Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Batman Unauthorized

There is now a link to Batman Unauthorized -- edited by Denny O'Neil -- on the toolbar on the right. The essay I have in the book is a nicer version of three posts printed here on Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman/Spawn, and All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. My overall point is that these works are secretly awesome, and that Frank Miller is a misunderstood genius in the iconoclast mode of William Blake. BenBella makes a pretty good product and I am sure that the other contributers are equally sharp.

At this point I have no other essays in the que at BenBella so this is the end of my BenBella "Quadrilogy" until they put up another call for papers.

7 comments:

neilshyminsky said...

*begin rant mode*

I've only ever read one BenBella Smart Pop book, and it was the one on the X-Men. It was the single worst collection of pseudo-academic hack work I have ever read. It's so bad that I wouldn't even recommend it as an intro into reading the X-Men critically or politically - I'd be afraid of the damage it could do to someone who hadn't been inoculated against stupidity.

*end rant mode*

scott91777 said...

I just ordered the book off amazon... you know how I feel about Batman as Intepreted by Miller. I actually hadn't read your thoughts on Batman/Spawn... but it definitely sheds light on what Miller is doing with his later Batman work.

Anonymous said...

I feel like making a rhetorical question: "All Star Batman & Robin" - the single most successful tract *against* Batman?

Btw, Jim Lee does some very nice architectural work on the title. I'm thinking for example of the splash page where Batman sees Green Lantern's signal hovering over Gotham (#8)or the double page spread in #5 when we see Batman on the city's rooftops, getting ready for his nightly patrol. (Of course, three pages later he gets the chance to lovingly relieve some muggers of their teeth...)

FrF

scott91777 said...

Clarify what you mean by 'against' do you mean it is a poor representation of the character, contrary to previously established notions of the character, or that it makes the character come off as a maniac vigilante that should not be admired?

Scott91777 said...

A thought just occurred to me, I think Miller gets a lot of flack in his intepretation because the version of Batman we're most accustomed to is the "Brooding Scary" Batman (which has less to do with Miller and, honestly, more to do with the Giffen-Demattis Justice League, The Animated series, Tim Burton's Film, and every other Batman writer in the Mondern Era for that matter)

Miller's Batman is Scary... but he's certainly not brooding...

Anonymous said...

Scott, I'm firmly in the "Batman should not be admired" camp. Therefore it's fine with me that Miller in more than one sense makes this point admiringly explicit.

I'm not the biggest fan of Frank Miller's oeuvre but I have to somewhat grudglingly admit that "All Star Batman" is fascinating and it's so too on a formal level. (How much time has passed in the story from issue 1 to 8? 48 hours?)

FrF

scott91777 said...

In that case, I'm in agreement with your reading of AS Batman and Robin as being *against* Batman. Although, I have to say, I'm not sure that's how Miller feels.