Monday, January 26, 2009

Batman R.I.P.

Gee whiz, we’re all so impressed by Grant Morrison’s ability to connect everything in Batman’s history. We’re all so impressed that it all turns out to be part of some vast, crazy-ass conspiracy. Please…

I’m (usually) a fan of Morrison’s, and he’s (usually) an amazing writer, but “Batman R.I.P” has been one of the most disappointing great Bat arcs in a long time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of a conspiracy, and I love to see a superhero get picked apart (Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s “Born Again” is one of the greatest Daredevil stories, if not one of the greatest comic book stories, of all time), so that I can see him rise up from the ashes. However, I don’t like to see what was hyped as one of the greatest Bat-stories of all time actually come out as the barely coherent masturbatory ramblings of a man who fancies himself a “chaos magician”, and has increasingly allowed that to not only inform but dictate his writing to a popular audience.

It’s certainly not the worst Bat-tale told, but if you want to read Morrison’s good Batman stuff, read his old run on JLA. Now, there was a Batman! I can even dig on “Gothic”. While I enjoy “Arkham Asylum”, I don’t think it’s the amazing work of art that many others seem to. And “R.I.P.” is even worse in terms of coherence and rationale.

Perhaps it’s to be blamed on the artist(s), but I’ve consistently found the action to be difficult to follow in Morrison’s run. That much, I can get over easily, as that’s almost to be expected on occasion. Sometimes an artist isn’t right for the title, or the artist and writer don’t work particularly well together. What I can’t get over is Morrison’s crazy plot/style, trying to weave transcendental psychology between kung fu and conspiracy. Save that shit for The Invisibles.

Probably my biggest issue with “R.I.P.” isn’t Morrison’s writing, but the whole “Who will be Batman now?!?” thing that D.C. is pushing. It’s such bullshit. No matter who puts on the cape and cowl in the interim, we all know that within year good ol’ Bruce Wayne will be back and better than ever. This is just another one of D.C.’s yearly ploys to get old readers back, and perhaps draw in a few curious “outsiders”. And it doesn’t hurt that TPB sales are going to be through the roof, not to mention all of the crossover shit (i.e. other Bat-books, “Final Crisis”, etc.).
(Earlier, I wrote "Infinite Crisis". See, there have just been too damn many "great, sweeping, epic" stories put out by D.C. [about once a year now] that use the word "crisis" in the title, attempting to still cash in on the success of that one true crisis [the one that was on infinite earths]).

Reading “R.I.P.” just makes me want to read a GOOD Batman story. So, when the hell is issue 11 of All Star coming out anyways, Frank and Jim?


Bruce said...

I stopped buying Batman comics. He's my favourite character, I write a blog that talks about nothing but Batman and I've stopped buying Batman comics. Good job DC.

M.C. Elroy said...

I completely understand. I still buy "Batman" just because I've been buying every single issue since 2000. And I have hope that after this whole thing is over, it will get better.... I hope...

Though I am digging "All Star", just hate its sporadic release.