Sunday, October 07, 2007

Neil Shyminsky on Morrison's Batman 667-669

[Neil published a smart post in this subject on his blog. Below, I have reprinted the conclusion. Click the quote to go to the full post (not a long one) on his blog. My only quibble would be that I think Morrison wants to revive the league of Batman, wants to show them as not lame -- he just fails for the most part].

For all its seeming genre-playfulness, the story is impossible to actually submerge yourself within. As Batman remains critically, even patronizingly, distanced from the exercise of the story, it becomes difficult for us as readers to feel anything for - as Robin described them last issue - the 'league of Batman impostors'. It's an ironic revision of a terribly lame concept that supplies us with equally lame motivations for the villains and does little more than convince us that, yes, clichés and Batman impostors are, as I said, terribly lame. Didn't we already know that?


neilshyminsky said...

I think that the most upsetting thing about this little story for me was that I really wanted to like it. I almost always enjoy the 'Ten Little Indians' styled genre exercise - part of the fun is always in seeing how it'll be twisted or reimagined. And, of course, I love J.H. Williams. But Morrison didn't just go the obvious route - the co-villains are the team founder and the most disagreeable hero - he also cheated by making the real mastermind an off-screen villain. And that sucks.

Ping33 said...

Morrison's whole Batman run seems to delve wholesale into the "inconsistency of Batman" thing. I half expect to see Gay Batman and Robin pop up soon. The funny thing is that I have long been fascinated by the idea that Batman is so malleable so that he can be all things to all people... but find Morrison's approach to this idea really mediocre and bland. The ONLY thing which gives the last arc any depth whatsoever is William's superb art (esp how he can be realistic and cartoony on the same page to denote theme.) Meanwhile Miller is using the same idea to create ASB&R:TBW which also manages to comment on the original Batman issues from the 40's as well as Comics and Superheroes on the whole.
To add in some irony: Miller's book is being derided for being knuckle-headed anti-comicbook hate speech while I'm SURE that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE has lauded Morrison for his Joker issue/novel which was written in prose for no discernable reason other than ego.