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After the break, you'll find a new episode of Comic Books Are Burning In Hell.
This time around, the entire team discusses Grant Morrison's run on Batman comic books, which had only just concluded upon the recording of this episode. Peekaboo!
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Tucker nails Batman, Inc. #13 pretty well. It's not dower, although that is Morrison's own description, but wry, perhaps even absurd. The panel when Batman is standing alone in his club-house, the sheet drapped over his club-house car, and he's telling the club-house cow and the cat (?!) to shut up? That's the money shot.
I also agree with Matt: this issue was boring as shit.
Man and House |
2013.08.09 at 07:33
Not sure about your contention that Morrison doesn't believe his own jive about "magick sigils" anymore. I think he still believes it. What he says IS "advertising", but I think he still falls prey to his own hype and propaganda, and that is what's so dismaying to me. I have also stopped reading interviews with him (because they got too nauseating), but I see nothing on the page to suggest that he has finally grown out of his New Age/mid-life crisis phase. Morrison has done a lot of great superhero comics, obviously, but for the last five years or so it seems like most of what he's done for DC just boils down to him saying "I don't want to grow up, or grow as a writer. I want to suck on Superman and Batman's teets forever. Oh -- I guess I'm done with superhero comics . . . after these next three projects. Okay, now I'm done. No I'm not; here's a prose book I wrote that never makes any sense but uses a lot of flashy phrases to make you think that Superman and JFK are the same person. Also, I live in a literal castle, am the whitest man alive, and have no children -- but don't you dare think for a second that I am unable to relate to everyday reality and humanity in all its many variations and generations. I will now say something wondrous and not-quite-totally-incoherent in order to make you to think I am a cool rock star and that you, nearly as old as I am now, should still be caring a LOT about things like rock stars and Batman."
I still think it was a great run of comics, though. At least, his "Batman" and "Batman & Robin" stuff was really good (disclaimer "for what it was"). The third act ("Incorporated") started out fun at first, but then he went out of his way to bog it down with too many allusions to his previous work, and with too much loud, violent, boring, depressing crap in the last year or so. Chris Burnham is a good artist, but seeing his stuff so often -- doing so many boring linear action sequences -- stopped being fun like eight issues ago. It's like Morrison went out of his way to be boring and dull, and then said "See? I've proven that Batman can be boring and dull."
I actually think Tony Daniel's art really worked for those issues of Morrison's Batman. Of course he's a fundamentally unsound artist who never learned the basics of anatomy or storytelling. But I think that fit well for the story Morrison was telling, which itself seemed to have a lot of holes, incompletions, and distortions in it -- to purposeful effect, I would say. Unlike someone like Sam Kieth, Daniel's art in weird and unrealistic despite him TRYING to do a cool sort of realism. This perfectly mirrored the experience of the story itself, in which many of the characters (and the readers) are trying to evaluate superhero psychodrama as if it were a logical detective story. The flatness and blandness of Daniel's art made me appreciate the weirdness of Morrison's story even more. I don't normally take this tact of "It's good BECAUSE it's bad", but Tony Daniel's art in those dozen or so Batman issues worked in that respect for me.
Ron H |
2013.08.09 at 20:14
I'm not sure where you guys are getting the idea that editorial interference played a significant role in Morrison's run. All the stuff he wound up doing:
- Having Darkseid send Batman back in time for 2 years worth of stories
- Having Bruce Wayne announce his affiliation with Batman to the world, and publically using WayneTech resources to build Bat-Bots
- Writing 13 issues of his own book in the Nu 52 that bore no resemblance to anything else in the line
- A motherfucking all PROSE issue, which took him something like 6 months to write and clearly wasn't edited at all
It sure looks like he was allowed to do whatever he wanted.
The real reason things start to come apart is because Morrison did what he always does, which is fill up a notebook with big, barely-related ideas and then try to cram as many of them as he can into something that hopefully resembles a story (this is basically a paraphrase of something Joe said around the time of RIP). RIP falls flat because in some notebook at the start of his Batman run, Morrison wrote down "Batman vs. Satan!" in big red letters and assumed that he could make it work as he went along.
And if post Final Crisis issues of the run seem more rambling and less considered than previous story arcs, it's not because DC nixed Morrison's plans. It's because there were no plans to begin with. Originally, his run was supposed to end with Final Crisis (you can find interviews where he says as much), and then I guess both DC and Morrison decided that the money was too good to stop it there.
2013.08.09 at 21:30
Well, Cass, *I* wouldn't (and didn't) say there was rampant editorial interference -- certainly, a lot of unique-to-Morrison things happened during the run -- but Morrison himself has since alluded to certain aspects of the project escaping his grasp around the RIP/Final Crisis period:
"No, I love Batman, I was only going to do it for a little while and I had a plan for ‘Batman RIP’ which wasn’t going to be RIP at all, but Dan [Didio] hijacked it to be the death of Batman, and then after that the idea came along for Batman & Robin which really got exciting."
As I said in the show, I do suspect Morrison's scripts were left effectively alone for at least much of the Batman Inc. phase -- and yes, as you indicate, Morrison has stated several times that he desired to extend his run(s) on the character himself, due to getting more and more ideas -- insofar as the material was allowed to exist, in large part, in a pocket world away from too much in the way of active continuity (even before the reboot)... which may be right and may be wrong! Who is to speak of the nature of any collaboration, barring first-hand testimony from the participants? As always, we hope our guesses will prove educated, at least.
Joe McCulloch |
2013.08.10 at 00:52
Someone in this 'cast-I think it was Matt Seneca-mentioned Firestorm, and at first I thought he said Butterstorm. I would buy a comic titled Butterstorm sight unseen.
2013.08.11 at 19:19
Tucker's timing on the intro was exquisite
About the podcast... It seems less that Morrison is pissed that he didn't get to remake Mickey Mouse, and more that he wasn't able to get out from under Frank Miller's shadow. He rationalized/narrated his defeat as being at the hands of the big idea behind the character (some innate capacity of Batman the Icon to draw his writers into a loop of nihilistic violence), but really, he's just mad that big daddy Frank's Batman is still The Batman.
Nate A. |
2013.08.12 at 17:50
The "first-phase" of RIP is a string of villains trying to make their own Batman by funneling ever-similar "people" through his psychological trauma. Hurt only gets completely damaged ghosts of Batma. Darkseid's minions go so far as to clone Batman and uses his exact DNA, but yet every clone goes completely mental after going through his psyche.
I thought that the point of that was that no one, not even Batman himself, could live through 700 issues intact.
2013.08.30 at 11:52
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