Jason is taking a deserved break with his Claremont posts, going down to once a week before his big push to the end, so I thought I might write about two interesting comics this week in his place.
Batman and Robin 1. There was nothing I disliked about the Morrison and Quitely Batman and Robin issue. but I think the fact that I wanted it to be on the level of All Star Superman 1, the Morrison and Quitely debut on the OTHER most iconic comics character, set the bar too high. I was not crazy about the new Bat-mobile -- Quitely is a design genius (see the We3 armor for example) -- but this did not do it for me. (Nor did Morrison's OTHER new Bat-mobile which debuted a bit into the first part of his Batman run). None of the writing or dialogue really jumped out and grabbed me the way Morrison has in the past, though there is nothing here I would want to call bad. I was not crazy about the Toad villain, the middle of this issue was all talky and set up-y, and I was not crazy about the image of Batman and Robin falling from the car, which I think was meant to be pretty iconic. I missed Jamie Grant, the colorist from All Star Superman (though I think my favorite design thing in the issue was the yellow on the cover which is just so striking when you know Batman covers are almost always built around black, and I love how lanky the two of them are). But Morrison said in interviews that Quitely really explodes next issue and this all felt like set up -- I bet if I got this issue and the next at the same time I would be way more excited. The final two pages, with Pyg, deserve special mention, as they scared the shit out of me -- I cannot remember being so disturbed in a comic book, in spite of the fact that Pyg seems to have quite a lot in common with Morrison's Joker (bloody butcher's smock is very much like the bloody surgical gown, and both are circus characters). The preview also caught my attention -- I like that it looks like Hurt will still be in play, though it seems strange to show him with the keys to Wayne Manor since he already had them, if I am remembering this right. All in all, I know these guys can deliver a hell of a comic book and I think I need to see more of the whole to really get into it. Next month is the month. Quitely drawing the treads of boots is a great touch -- and one that reminds me of Frank Miller, Morrison's great hurdle, and the thing that dragged him down on the earlier Batman issues. Quitely firing on all cylinders is what Morrison needs to get the escape velocity to escape Miller, as he got the velocity to escape Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow in All Star Superman.
Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye 3. Jog, I think it was, argued that the first Seaguy mini was all about Morrison reacting to working on his uneven New X-Men and being controlled by editors and having his changes wiped out of continuity. I feel like this second Seaguy series is about Morrison reacting to his uneven Final Crisis experience -- the mind whacked crowds here, for example, very much recall the anti-life equation crowds of Darkseid, and the "Eye Spy Your Death" stuff feels very much to me like the was DC callously kills of characters like Martian Manhunter and Batman for shock value -- and tells us how it is all such a fun ride, this crazy DCU. Even the way Mickey Eye harvests wishes -- basically just a variation on the earlier Seaguy about how bad corporations control even the imagination -- reminded me of Superman and the wish machine. And She-Beard blowing the horn reminded me of Superman singing to save the day, and the magic horn in Final Crisis 7. And the Mickey Eye hoods like Justifier Helmets (you do seem to do as you are told once they are on). Death as a character, and a flame thrower, and talking animals and beams from eyes, and a mind controlled superhero woman with a sword -- all in Final Crisis and Seaguy both. Even Doc Hero towing the rides reminded me of the Green Lanterns towing the planets. I hope Seaguy continues as a kind of therapy for Morrison, a shadow to his work on iconic titles, where he gets to unload, breathe, revise, comment upon his more visible projects (am I wrong in thinking Seaguy's existence is based on a deal with DC along the lines of "If I do your big thing you let me do Seaguy"?). If the Seaguy in the first series was put back the way he was because Morrison's changes in New X-Men were all being written out of continuity, then here Morrison is feeling stronger about things (and who wouldn't be after All Star Superman) -- Seaguy knows the changes he made are only superficial (Seadog will be replaced; the system remains unchanged) but he is able to resist the temptation to take his place (Morrison as architect of the DCU) AND he gets the girl -- they kiss over the X of cross swords (Morrison's X-Men trouble finally transcended). And new adventures await -- a third Seaguy story, and Batman and Robin. What a pair they might make.