Blog Archives

The Problem With Over-Saturating Batman

So, I was watching Linkara’s review of Batman: The Dark Knight #1 – 3, and a thought occurred to me when he was talking about over-saturation of Batman in the New 52. Now, to answer the question, yes, that was definitely a thing in the New 52. However, on closer observation, it’s clear that it’s not JUST a New 52 thing. Even now, in Rebirth, and I’ll get more into this in June, we have three books devoted to Batman, he’s part of three team books, and he constantly cameos in other books with characters relating to him. In fact, right now in DC, there are seven books that are officially part of the Batman Family line of books, and at least ten other books that either star Batman or another Bat or Gotham related character in some way, shape, or form. That’s seventeen books right there, many of which are shipped twice monthly.

However, it actually goes beyond that. Another point people have made is that other DC characters, especially during the New 52, have been made a lot darker and more brooding, and at times have been given darker coloured costumes. In other words, more like Batman. And if you think I’m lying, rewatch the current DC Cinematic Universe movies involving Superman, and tell me he hasn’t been made a LOT more like Batman. The problem with that being that DC has less of a varied universe of characters. Thankfully, that seems to have gone down a lot with Rebirth. What has NOT, however, is that, in the team books that Batman is in, guess who is usually the one given the most highlighting and oftentimes is the one to save the day? It’s insane, and it actually makes it hard for people like me to be big Batman fans.

Here’s what a lot of people might not recognize, though: This actually hurts Batman in the long run, too. You might be wondering how in the hell that’s possible. Well, it is, and I’ll explain how that is: The more DC and Warner Bros. continue to make other characters be more like Batman, the darker and more assholish (AKA more like when Frank Miller writes him) they have in turn made Batman in an attempt to keep him distinct. Furthermore, the more they over-saturate the character, especially now that he’s so over-the-top dark and an asshole, the more people are gonna be turned off by him. Yes, he’s still selling great, but how long is that going to last? Again, I’ll go over this more in June, but suffice to say, Batman in his solo-title written by Tom King is a complete dickhole, and while past writers have taken him beyond the usual constraints of a human being (and thus missing the point of his character entirely), there was a SEVERE bullshit moment during the I Am Suicide arc. The biggest reason people are still buying is due to the legacy of the character, not what he’s doing right now. So yeah, it’s working out great for him now, but one has to wonder for how long.

Anyway, those are my own thoughts on the matter, but what about you, the readers? Let me know what you think in the comments below, and we’ll see how things change in the future. Ja né!

Advertisements

My Thoughts On DC Books Getting Cancelled In March

So, with the solicitations for DC in March out for all to see, a few cancellations have been made official, one of which I already talked about, one I knew about and didn’t mention on here, and one I just found out about and is making me rather sad. So, let’s go through all three and what my thoughts are on them.

Animal Man

Not TOO depressed about this one. Why? Well, for starters, I never read it, but I have seen bits and pieces, and I can say that while Animal Man isn’t my own personal cup of tea, I can see how a LOT of people would love the crap outta it. The other reason is that the writer, Jeff Lemire, is gonna be writing adding Animal Man to the roster of one of the Justice Leagues, likely either Justice League Dark or Justice League of Canada. Either one works, honestly. My only concern the ending of the Animal Man book, the status of the Baker family by the end of it, and if they will be appearing in the League book he’ll be in.

Batman: The Dark Knight

THANK FRAKKING GOODNESS, this book is getting cancelled! If I may be allowed to adapt a quote of Roger Ebert‘s, when he was talking about the movie North, I hated Batman: The Dark Knight. Hated, hated, hated, HATED that book. HATED it. Hated every single stupid, intelligence-insulting moment of it. And it’s gonna survive until #29, not counting the #0 issue or the Villains Month issues. The ONLY reason this book made it this far, and I know this, because I WAS one of the people who bought it for a while, is the title (because The Dark Knight was still hot), and the fact that Batman was the main protagonist. If you put anyone else in these scenarios and storylines, wouldn’t have ever made it past the first arc. And the fact that writers are very generously trying to make something out of the random, idiotic stuff that happened in it, I don’t know why they bother trying, but kudos to them. In fact, memo to me, come March or April, do something that carefully analyses the idiocy of this book.

Talon

Sadly, this book, not okay with it being cancelled. Going into Talon, I was initially concerned that this was gonna be a waste of time, and on the very first issue, I knew this was gonna be awesome, and it has been. Calvin Rose has been awesome, Casey Washington has been quite possibly one of the best new characters of the New 52, the story has been a great follow-up to the Court of Owls/Night of the Owls arcs of the main Batman series by Scott Snyder, and my only hope is that these characters continue to hang around. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become regulars in the upcoming Batman Eternal weekly series. I’d LOVE it if Casey became the next Oracle type of character.

So, guess that’s one book I’ll be forced to drop. However, I’ve decided to stick with Talon until the last issue. Regardless of what happens, how it ends, and who stays or goes, I’ve stuck with it since the beginning, so I feel the need to stay with it until the end. I owe it to these characters, and I owe it to James Tynion and Scott Snyder. Still, I guess that helps me with my decision regarding what to drop for the new books in the new year, which you can still vote on, btw.

So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Comment below, and we’ll see how these books conclude in March. Ja né!

 

What I Bought Today – The Fearless Defenders #9, Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1, Red Sonja #3 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Yep, it’s Wednesday once again, which means it’s time to check out…

What I Bought Today

Thankfully, this week turned out to not be as expensive as I thought it would be, and I probably won’t be getting any more comics for this month. Reason being, I’ve made the decision not to buy any more of Villains Month (aside from what I got today since it was minus the 3D cover and had been set aside for me anyway), and I don’t really have any interest in Battle for the Atom (seriously, what is it with comic book crossovers involving books that aren’t even a year old yet lately?). So, with that in mind, let’s start with Cullen Bunn before we move on to the one-two punch from Gail Simone, here’s Fearless Defenders #9.

This issue was just straight up funny in all kinds of ways. First off, just the cover. HILARIOUS. Second, the Defenders having their friendly banter between themselves and the criminals they’re fighting (The Enchantress, Chondu, Arthur Nagan, Ruby Thursday, and Quicksand). Third, their (sorta) boyfriends getting together to plan an intervention for the women at the Luck O’ The Irish Pub, saying it’s because they lack guidance as a team, only to have Molly Fitzgerald dress them down and cut to the meat of the matter: They’re jealous they aren’t on the team, and don’t believe an all-girls team will work. Fourth, we get a little insight on how Valkyrie and Annabelle are handling their little “time-share” situation, especially as it pertains to their individual love lives. And, of course, when the two groups meet up to beat down the baddies and the men get told to piss off and let them do their jobs. Also, that Clea wants a divorce because Doctor Strange is kind of a twat. Anyway, good stuff, and with the kick-ass action to accompany it, just tons of fun.

Batman: The Dark Knight, AKA Ventriloquist, AKA Why The Hell Isn’t This Batgirl, Especially When She Actually Gets Mentioned In This Book And Batman Isn’t? This book’s already been out for a week, so there’s not much to say on it that hasn’t already been said. Thus, I will keep it simple: Ventriloquist’s origins are kinda cliché (another jealous sibling story?), but at least she remains thoroughly messed up to the point that some ambiguity is still present for her. Overall, it’s good, but I’m hoping this isn’t the last we see of her, ‘cuz if it is, then she’s not really going out on so much of a high note.

Red Sonja, holy shit, this book continues to be awesome. And I love that every time I think I know where this book is going, it slaps me in the face and goes “No you don’t.” We get a little look at Red Sonja’s origins, which I honestly don’t know if they’re revised or not, since the only thing I saw of Red Sonja before Gail’s book was the sorta shitty movie (thought I will admit it’s not as notoriously bad as Arnold claims it to be). Either way, we learn a bit about how Sonja got to be the person she is, the tragedy of her life, and in the end, we’re teased with the possibility of her being dead, just before her ‘bodyguards’ return with news of a cure for the plague she’s been infected with. Overall, great stuff, can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. As I said, probably won’t be buying any comics for the rest of the month, but there MIGHT be a game I’ll be buying this month, we’ll see. Ja né!

What I Didn’t Buy Yesterday (And Why I Should Have/Shouldn’t Have) – Justice League #20, Batman: The Dark Knight #20, Batman: Li’l Gotham #2 (WARNING – SPOILERS)

So let’s talk about some books that I didn’t buy yesterday, why I should have/shouldn’t have, and ultimately why I didn’t. Let’s start off with Justice League #20.

First off, I only briefly skimmed through this book, and while I’m usually good on picking up details, I may have missed a couple here or there, so if you wanna know the full deal, read the book yourself. Anyway, we get to see the three newbies (FirestormElement Woman, and The Atom) take on DESPERO, of all people, who has the Kryptonite ring stolen from the Batcave last month, although he himself didn’t steal it, and it’s been altered to fit his giant fingers. However, while Despero is able to plough through them easily enough, he has less than stellar results when Martian Manhunter makes a surprise arrival at the Watchtower, telling Atom not to reveal that he was there after dispatching Despero, so she has to tell the other Leaguers that she managed to fluke her way into taking him down. After recovering the ring, we learn that, yes, in this continuity, Superman is still the one that gave the Kryptonite ring to Batman, just in case something happened where he was mind controlled or turned to evil or for whatever reason he might be forced to power Supes down. However, he’s less than thrilled when he finds out that there’s a box in the Batcave for each member of the League, each containing a fail-safe for each one. It’s at this point that Batman tells him other reason he doesn’t like the idea of him and Wonder Woman dating, as he shows Clark Diana’s box to reveal there’s nothing inside (shut up, don’t make that joke). Instead, should the need arise, Batman chose Superman to be his fail-safe against Wonder Woman, should the need arise. However, to keep things even, Batman hands him another box: The one containing the fail-safe against Batman, and insists that if Clark is truly his friend, he’ll use it on him if he’s ever turned rogue. We don’t see the contents, but whatever it was, it shocked Superman pretty bad.

So getting back to Rhonda Pineda, the new Atom, I’ve REALLY been enjoying her as a character. She’s smart, witty, and kind of a geek, as she apparently spends her free time shrinking down to enter and play MMORPGs. And yeah, as I made no attempt to conceal, I find her kind of hot, too… … …She’s the mole. She’s the one that hacked the Watchtower database and downloaded the entire history of the Justice League. It’s not entirely her fault, though. She doesn’t want to continue doing this, but she’s being made to. Turns out, she’s a member of the JLA, picked out to be the counter for Element Woman, and forced to do Amanda Waller‘s work.

So yeah, why didn’t I buy this issue? Mostly that, plus money, plus the Shazam mini-story that is, as per the norm, terrible. And I’m just gonna say this now: I’m dropping Justice League of America. Why? Well, remember how I said this book was headed to a not-very-fun place? I’m sorry, but it’s clear to me that the plot of this is essentially Suicide Squad with superheroes, except that some of the heroes on the team aren’t being written to be all that heroic. Just some free advice: When the most heroic members of the team are Vibe, Stargirl, and Steve Trevor, that’s a problem. Why? Because Steve isn’t even a superhero, Stargirl isn’t even an active member of the team and instead being made to work as their public face, and Vibe, while his reintroduction in the reboot has been pretty awesome, is still kinda young and feels out of place at times, like he should’ve been on Titans or something. Oh, and it gets better, because they’ve decided to BRING BACK DOCTOR LIGHT! No no, not the good one, the fucking rapist!…DOCTOR COX, I NEED YOU AGAIN!

THANK YOU, DOCTOR COX! Just…Geoff Johns, NO! Just, NO! I respect the hell outta you, and of course am sad to hear that yer leaving Green Lantern, but NO! There are characters that should be brought back and given a second chance, and there are freaks like this that need to remain dead and buried! NO!

SYMBOLISM!!!11!! OMFGWTFGENIUS!

Batman: The Dark Knight #20. First off, I wanna apologise to someone who shall remain nameless due to a pretty bad argument/discussion that broke out last night over this issue. But I digress, for all of the bad this series has had, this issue is the worst of all, and makes me so glad I dropped it a year ago. The story is pretty much crap, with Bruce continuing to grade to the point where he as a character is only motivated to make his life better by flashbacks of his parents, and Alfred actually starts talking him into considering hanging it up as Batman. But what makes me despise this issue more than any other? Well, remember that time I brought up the stupidity of Batman revealing his true identity to Natalya, the love interest no one cares about?

She’s dead. Oh, and not just dead, but she got the crap kicked out of her by Mad Hatter’s goons and then dropped out of a helicopter straight down onto the Bat Signal (see what I meant about symbolism?)…Y’know, I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t an active reader before the relaunch, but I’ve heard some pretty sick tales of characters treated like this in comics, particularly women. And frankly, I am sick to death of seeing this shit!

And finally, that leads to Batman: Li’l Gotham #2.

So what are my thoughts on it?…None. Kinda the reason why I didn’t buy it: It was sold out by the time I got to the store. But I’m hoping to get an issue of it soon enough, and then I’ll share my thoughts with y’all…I will say that, even without reading it, it automatically gets points for having Damian in it, alive and well.

So that’s what I did not buy yesterday, though hopefully I buy one of them sooner than later. Leave your comments below, and I will see y’all next time. Ja né!

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises #18…….Wut?

Okay, I’ve made it clear that I do not read Batman: The Dark Knight on a number of occasions. I find the stories to constantly be wrestling at the border of being boring or downright chaotic/nonsensical. As such, I did not read Batman: The Dark Knight #18. However, after reading about Batman: The Dark Knight #18, there was one moment in that book that I had to discuss…THIS.

…Okay, everybody with me now: Palm up front, aaaaannnd GO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZxzJGgox_E

…So, I decided instead to do some in-depth analysis to demonstrate, for those who may not get it, why this is BAD.

  1. If there is a single person who cares even a little bit about the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Natalya Trusevich, I would love to hear your explanation as to why. I’m sure I mentioned this before, but when Ivy tried to create a hallucination for Batman in Detective Comics #14 and appeared as Natalya, I had a “Who the F is Surge?” moment when she showed up. I don’t find that they have any chemistry beyond what he usually has with his usual flings, and I don’t find her all that interesting, except for when she occasionally pwns Bruce for being…well, Bruce. But c’mon, that’s not that hard. Give me something more to work with. Good grief, I honestly find Dr. Chase Meridian from Batman Forever to be a better match for him, and she regressed into a giggly schoolgirl trying (and failing) to be slutty whenever he put the Batsuit on!
  2. Oh God, the dialogue. It is literally him repeating “This is who I am” over and over and over again. Oh, they tried to change it up by having him stress one word, saying “This is who I am” when they got to the Batsuit, but that was it. Ooh, that’s TOTALLY different.
  3. The reason he does this is because Natalya decides she’s had enough of the usual Bruce Wayne antics and Bruce, in response to this, has a hallucination of his parents (yes, seriously) telling him when he was a kid to someday find the woman that will complete him. Okay, I am not against the idea of Bruce settling down and having a family, but if he thinks this woman is the one that completes him, he CLEARLY is even more out of his gourd than I thought.
  4. Clearly the New 52 version of Bruce Wayne has not revealed his secret identity to many women before (in particular Catwoman), because I’m honestly trying to remember a single time in the comics that he ever revealed his identity as Batman to a love interest that didn’t end BADLY. The closest I come to is Catwoman, since nobody died and, while he decided they couldn’t have a romantic relationship just yet, they did continue to work closely together and flirt back and forth. But Natalya? She is so kidnapped AT BEST.
  5. This one’s actually kinda dumb, and I could be way wrong, but I don’t think the primary Batsuit that Bruce uses is situated there. Not a big deal, just another level of stupid I couldn’t ignore.
  6. While I do admittedly find it kind of funny for Bruce to take a girl that was gonna dump him and go “You don’t want this? Bitch, I’m the Goddamn Batman!”, it is HORRIBLY out of character for him. And so is that smile on his face that just says “I am going to show you something SO cool!”.
  7. If you need any more reason to not like Natalya, it’s her reaction to all of this. She doesn’t even seem in shock so much as “I am witnessing…something…”. Now, granted, that’s the artist’s fault as much as anything, but still…

So yeah, there ya go, comic. You fail. In seven very distinct ways with just ONE page, YOU FAIL!

FAIL

Anyway, leave your comments below, and feel free to check in this Wednesday with What I Bought Today, which will include Detective Comics #900. Ja né!