1. Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert's fourth issue of Batman is out today and it winds up their first arc. Now, I think, is a good time to judge how we think he is doing. Plus, recommend, comment, and discuss what's out this week and what's in the news (nothing caught my eye).
Here is my preliminary take on Morrison and Kubert's Batman 655-658. We know from interviews Morrison is trying to write against Miller's grim and gritty Batman, which (as far as I know) is still a pretty big force in your regular Batman titles. Morrison wants to revive the 70s "love-god" Batman (his words) and so he draws heavily on 70s comics, like the one where Batman sleeps with Ra's Al Ghul's daughter. The thing is the 70s Batman does not need a revival: those comics are still good reads; the 60s comics he is reviving in All Star Superman need to be revived because we need to be shown again that they are brilliant and surreal and not stupid (I for one thought they were stupid and Morrison has shown me my mistake).
But there is another force making Morrison's Batman totally unnecessary and today I realized what it is: Batman: The Animated Series. Brad actually pointed out the connection when the first issue came out, but now that the first arc is over I am deeply struck by the idea that this 70s revival feels especially stale because this is the Batman of Batman Animated: fun, cool, and a little bit silly ("You didn't know about the rocket"). Morrison's Batman issues act like Batman Animated never happened, just as his X-Men run imagined Ian McKellen's Magneto never happened; he thinks this is a persuasive Batman because he is only thinking of the comics and not of TV just as with his X-Men run he ignored the films. As a result he thinks he has a great Batman comic book but what he has written is a sweet but stale Batman comic book, a very week Morrison comic book, and a great episode of Batman: Animated if he had gotten this script done in 1992.
As my friend Alex pointed out, however, I must admit to liking the exuberance of Ninja Man-Bats -- if you already have a bunch of ninjas, silent and sneaky and deadly, don't you kind of defeat the point if you make them all into hairy screaming crazymonsters who crash through windows?
2. Check out this review of Seven Soldiers #1: I am going to want to talk about this soon, as I don't think the guy is totally wrong. But I do think there is more to be said.
3. Brad Winderbaum's Satacracy 88 episode four is out today on itsallinyourhands.com. Or click the thumbnail below to watch it on revver.com. I will post about it tomorrow.