Friday, December 05, 2008

Comics Out Thursday December 4th, 2008 (Morrison's Batman))

Batman 682.



Superhero origin stories are told again and again -- even Superman is getting a new one, which is just silly at this point, yeah? The trick is, what are you going to add to the story that was not there before persuasively. How many times have I seen that bat crash through Batman's window? Lots of times. How many times has it occurred to me that the bat is surely dead as a result of the crash through the window? Zero. That there would be a mess to clean up? Zero. That of course Alfred is going to have to dispose of this stupid fucking animal, which has no symbolic significance for him? Zero. That he is going to have to THROW IT AWAY and BURN it, because it is a dead animal that is going to give someone RABIES or something. That page seriously cracked me up, because it perfectly fulfills the Hollywood axiom of be INEVITABLE yet SURPRISING. (If I was still arguing that Morrison was in a literary agon with Miller, this would be a great subversion of Year One, but I am declaring that fight over. Morrison never stood a chance, but he can still hold his head proud for kicking the crap out of Alan Moore's Man of Tomorrow story in All Star Superman).

The rest of the issue was not so good. The variant history thing where you acknowledge variant tellings of the story with "thats not how it happened I have seen before and seen better. I have certainly seen it DRAWN better by John Cassaday in Planetary/Batman. Mothman and Snake man did not do it for me. The art was occasionally charming (panels 2 and 4 of page 13 for example), but not by any means a favorite. The end reveal was OK, but as Tim Callahan points out, it refers to a book that came out long ago, and which I do not really remember anymore. Overall: a lukewarm comic book with one great page.

11 comments:

Jason said...

All Star Superman may beat Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, but I still say Supreme is much more entertaining than All Star Superman.

But that's just my opinion (and I realize that might be literally true ...)

Curt said...

That's a tough call, Jason. I think that All Star Superman probably stands as the more essential of the two works because: 1.) it has an ending (although, Supreme's lack of a conclusion was no fault of Moore's) and 2.) it has consistently excellent visual story-telling throughout the run.

If Chris Sprouse had illustrated the entire run of Supreme, and if the final two issues of Moore's second year on the title had been published, Morrison would've had a much harder time topping him.

Jason said...

Curt,

I meant Liefeld's Supreme, not Moore's.

I kid, I kid.

I think you could just submit the first twelve issues of Moore's run ("The Story of the Year"!) as something for comparison, because then the number matches that of Morrison's All-Star, and then you have a more complete story.

And yeah, art-wise, Supreme has some underwhelming bits. I still find that run more genuinely funny, fun and clever than what I've read of All-Star.

I concede that All-Star is better than "Whatever Happened," and "For the Man Who Has Everything," though.

scott91777 said...

Ah, Liefeld... The Michael Bay of Comic books...

I'm actually looking forward to the two part Neil Gaiman story "Whatever Happenned to the Caped Crusader" coming up... actually, it might be interesting to see how THAT stacks up to "Whatever Happenned to the Man of Tommorrow" since it's supposed to be kind of a take on that.

Streebo said...

I loved Supreme as well. It brought all of the missing magic from he Silver Age back to Superman - but All Star Superman wins from taking that Silver Age magic and making something new from it.

Jason said...

It's weird to me that Gaiman is doing something like that. You'd think with all the times he's mined/copied/followed Moore's work, he'd be tired of it.

Bah.

(Sorry, comparisons to Moore make me so curmudgeonly for some reason. Don't mind me.)

neilshyminsky said...

When does the Gaiman Batman story come out?

James said...

Part One is Batman #686, Part Two is Detective Comics #853, both come out in February.

In a recent interview, Dan Didio did that line about how "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" would be a perfect jumping-on point for people who saw The Dark Knight and wanted to check out some Batman comics. Probably not a great idea to publish it in two separate titles, then.

Jason said...

"Probably not a great idea to publish it in two separate titles, then."

Or, for that matter, a YEAR after The Dark Knight came out ...

(Silly Didio ...)

James said...

Well, he may not have specifically referenced Dark Knight, but it's implicit in any discussion about laypersons suddenly getting into Batman comics, right? And the DVD/Imax re-release is around now/soon, I think?

But yeah, that Batman R.I.P. was the ongoing storyline when the movie was in theatres... that's a whole other discussion (of dumbness).

speedreeder said...

Hey Guys, I read a very interesting review of this issue, that ONLY serious comic geeks could come up with.
It put the whole issue and the whole RIP story line in a new light. You might want to check it out.

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/122871022428045.htm