Pick of the Week

06.03.2009 – Batman and Robin #1

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1079
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Avg Rating: 4.5
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 85.2%
 
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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

I wasn’t even going to buy Batman and Robin #1. After the whole prior Morrison run on Batman, I was left a little cold. There were certainly things I liked about it, but was mostly ambivalent. Certainly Frank Quitely was a draw, but word is that he’ll be switching off arcs, since he’s not fast enough to do the monthly. Also, I was less interested in the idea of Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian as Robin than I would like. However, in the end, Quitely art is so rare that it would be foolish to pass it up. Plus, on any given day, Grant Morrison can surprise the hell out of you and show up with a completely different story than the last time you read him. It turns out that I made the right call.

Prior to Batman RIP, I poo-pooed the idea that perhaps Bruce Wayne’s story was getting old. It had been good enough for 70-plus years, and dammit, it was still good. Occasionally anyway. Right away in this story, I felt the Batman world invigorated by all new situations and relationships. Dick Grayson as the reluctant, but overly capable surrogate Batman and Damian Wayne as the irritating, but again utterly competent Robin makes perfect sense. Had Tim Drake been left in the role of Robin, we’d be looking at a relationship we’re all familiar with, but the Damian/Dick story feels fresh and new to me. I’d be the first to admit, I didn’t like Damian. I still don’t, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be interesting. I have to give DC and Grant Morrison credit for following through. It would have been easy enough to introduce Damian, do a story or two, and then cart him off somewhere out of mind until they wanted to play with him again. Instead, he’s just there, and these characters have to deal with him, like it or not. In fact, Alfred perfectly summed up his character in one sentence, and I just understood.

There’s no denying he can be difficult, but underneath all the defensive bluster, young master Damian is the inheritor of his fathers courage, his determination, his desire to do what is right.


And like clockwork, the scenes with Damian and Dick clicked for me right away. Damian claims not to respect the man, but he seems to respect the office, as it were. If he didn’t, and most of his talk wasn’t just “defensive bluster,” he wouldn’t be there. Further, Dick isn’t really one to take his shit, but he also hasn’t gotten rid of him. There’s all sorts of unspoken emotion and subtext happening between these characters, and I found it incredibly engaging. The issue truly earned the title Batman and Robin, since it actually seems to be about the relationship between them.

On top of the stellar character work, Morrison introduces a new villain and threat in Pyg. I believe this is a new character, and while the beginning of the issue suggests whimsy with an actual Mr. Toad character, the scenes at the end of the issue and the actual introduction of Pyg seriously gave me the creeps. Lobotomized henchmen with baby doll faces (a la Brazil) will weird me out every single time. Pyg himself seems to exist just between the silly costumed villains of the past, and something truly scary, which he has no right to be, dressed only in a pig mask and butcher’s outfit. They’re certainly not original images, but it works, and I found myself really wanting to know what happens next. It would have been so easy to start this new paradigm by pitting the new Batman and Robin team against one of the old, classic Batman foes. Fans would have cheered, there would have been lots of room for seeing Dick try to fit into Bruce’s shoes. Instead, it looks like Morrison is going all out to tell new stories with a new Batman and Robin.

It’s subtly different, but I think we’re seeing another side of Frank Quitely than we did in his last collaboration with Morrison on All-Star Superman. A different kind of story calls for a different tone to the art, and while it isn’t immediately apparent, it just feels different. The art in Batman and Robin is scarier and more gritty. The backgrounds are more prevalent, placing the characters in a place, where the Superman stories went more for an airy ethereal feel. It may have something to do with the colors of Alex Sinclair instead of Jamie Grant, but I think Quitely brought a slightly different toolbox to this job. Either way, he didn’t disappoint for a single panel. While Quitely is certainly anything but a typical comic book artist, he does what he does so well. Between the facial expressions and body language of the characters, you always seem to know where they stand and how they feel, and at the risk of belaboring the point, the scenes at the end of the book are truly frightening. They might be the most visceral pages I’ve read in a Batman book in recent memory. Maybe he just draws a good baby doll face though.

As I read though Batman and Robin #1, I had little to no expectations, but I kept noticing nice touches and found myself enjoying the read far more than I expected. By the end, I was so happy to get the very best of Grant Morrison and find myself invested in a story I hadn’t even wanted to read that there was no question that this was the Pick of the Week.

Josh Flanagan
Seriously, those baby doll faces…
josh@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. Great pick!

  2. I haven’t finished my stack, but I have to agree that this is really, really, really strong. 

    @Josh – Excellent writeup.  You have summarized my feelings in a much more eloquent fashion than I possibly could.  I have to agree that the faces and the pig character are going to give me nightmares.

    Also, and I never thought I would say this, Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! is in the running for my POW.  It was solid, too.

  3. Not done my books yet, but nothing I’ve read even compares to this.  Really great pick, Josh.

  4. Great review. I agree with alot of what you said. Along with subtly, I thought Daimian treating Alfred like a rich person would *actually* treat a butler was nice. It spoke volumes about Daimian’s background and attitude. And there is the little slip of "comfort" in him talking about fixing the Batmobile, but he quickly corrects for it. That’s good characterization. It’s not Superman shouting "I’M CONFLICTED!" it’s a character saying something that seems meaningless, but that given the context of the panel, means a lot. Good job, and glad you decided to hop on the bandwagon, Josh!

  5. Finally! Ifanboy.com makes the most obvious pick! 🙂

    Kidding aside this was a very great issue (and it was my POTW as well). Great review josh, you laid out everything perfectly on why Morrison is making this new team great…..when anyone else could’ve made it dull and predictable. I didnt get the Brazil reference with the masks, but it totally makes sense now reading it again.

    Only the first issue, but what a first issue. Cant wait to see where this story takes us. Considering the preview image on the last page shows Dr. Hurt….cant wait!

  6. I do love it when a review includes a block quote. Excellent MLA formating. This is going make a great trade. And solid  review, Mr. Flanagan.

  7. great review, i’m holding out on making this my pick till i read my whole stack but it’s gonna be hard to beat. great job josh

  8. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Liked this a lot. Exciting direction for the series. Mr. Toad is awesome!  

    Ultimately went with World of New Krypton as my POW, but it was damn close.   

  9.  

    Will have to pick this up now.   

  10. I liked this a lot but Chew was just fantastic.

  11. Loved this. I haven’t finished my books for the week, but this is a front runner for sure. Excellent review.

  12. i have to wait until tomorrow evening to read my books, however i don’t think this pick will cause me to have an aneurym like last week….

    however if it does i let you know

     

    that’s a really well written review as well, josh

  13. What are you smoking R–…oh wait. actually yeah i kinda liked this too. Dark Avengers was close for me and either one could have been the pick!

  14. Definitely a solid pick. I was stuck between this and Chew. It was a tie, really, but I went with Chew just for the underdog factor. All of my books were great, actually. Excellent week for me.

  15. I was in love with the way quitely did the sound effects

  16. Call me a heathen, but this book didn’t give me the glowing warm fuzzies that it gave Josh. The whole thing left me feeling "eh." I plan on giving it another couple issues to see if things pick up.

  17. This book was great.  I really didn’t enjoy Morrison’s earlier Batman stuff, but this was fun and gorgeous to look at.  Not only that, but he managed to not make it campy while still having out there aspects (such as the hover car).  Glad to see this didn’t resemble a certain movie of the same name.  Showing you can "be a comic book" but still be smart and enjoyable.

  18. My POTW as well.  Stellar book and a great review.

    Also, a chicken and jalapeno sandwich sounds delicious.  I have to make one this weekend.

  19. Brazil is one of my favorite movies, it has probably one of the best final acts of any film (the uncut version, I’m of course refering to :))

     

    I knew immediatly after reading this book that this was special, and that everyone would be unanimously behind it. Great pick and review!

  20. Wow, that was just plain good comic booking

  21. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

     Wonder if the new dynamic duo will deal with mostly new or obscure villains or if they will face off with the usual rogues just as often. Curious about how other characters, including the villains, will react to Batman or even notice if he’s a different guy.  

  22. My pick was the Captain Britain Annual. Batman & Robin #1 was…good, but I can’t give this the glowing fuzzy review that a lot of people are. Maybe people who didn’t like Morrison’s recent work are liking this more than they would otherwise because it sort of trumps their expectations by a longshot or something?

    The stuff with Pyg at the end was alright, but I don’t really go for scary nonsense for the sake of scary nonsense, at least not for a few seconds. Kubrick did it right in The Shining: just show the inexplicable pig-face once, and then run away down the hall. For all the talk about how RIP or Final Crisis "don’t make sense", it’s THIS STUFF at the end of Batman & Robin #1 that literally doesn’t make sense…but y’all give it a pass because it isn’t asking you to do any work as a reader. It was a series of scary little images, don’t get me wrong, but is something random and nonsensical really worthy of this much phrase, like it’s going to change the medium or whatever, like this is the equivalent of the shower scene in Psycho?

    Overall, really well-written review, Josh, but I’m only part-way on board. To put it in simplest terms, this was the "sell-out" Grant Morrison, not the near-genius Grant Morrison. The "sell-out" isn’t a hack, but he just caters to the lowest common denominator. He’s still good, though.

  23. If this is Morrison writing a more straightforward Batman story I might be in.  Here’s a deciding question: Is Winnick’s Batman about Dick or about Jason Todd?  If it’s the latter, I will be switching to Batman and Robin, as I have no interest in reading about Jason Todd.  I know Connor wrote about this earlier in the week but I wanted to make sure my interpretation of his description was right.

  24. If you say so…

  25. Oh, by the way, I don’t normally do this, because we want to keep the show sort of fresh, but go get Chew #1 from Image.  It was fantastic.

  26. @Paul I’m wondering the same thing and looking forward to which direction Morrison decides to go

  27. I wouldn’t call Morrison writing a relatively straight-forward story selling out. His scripts don’t have to be super confusing or mind-bendingly weird to be genius. The man knows how to tell a story, and he can easily apply that genius to a straight forward story.

  28. @paul meant to say looking forward to see which direction…

  29. "Sell-out"?  laughable non-sense that I whimsicllay scoff at and dismiss.

  30. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @comicBOOKchris – Agreed. I don’t like this odd notion that a book has to be experimental or "groundbreaking" (an overused term) to be worthwhile. 

  31. I was a bit leery of this issue.  I’m not a Batman fan (as I don’t particularly care for the character) but I’ve always been fond of the supporting cast.  And absolutely love Dick *quee snickering here*.  So I read this and I give it a solid four, though every three or so pages Damien would say something that would make me go "you obnoxious little shit".  That being said, I’ll be around at least for the first arc.  

  32. @Flapjaxx WHile you’re entitled to your opinion I don’t understand your point. You said in your review the man writes in different styles. But here he’s a sell-out? Yeesh. He’s only talked at length about wanting to write this type of Batman story as well as RIP. Not every story the man writes needs to be a metaphysical study of the world.

  33. @Flapjaxx: kick it against the picks.

  34. The creation of the new Villains is what makes this issue really great, Pyg and Toad are awesome and I hope they stick. Creepy as hell.

  35. @Paul: You can only break ground so many times before it’s completely broken.

  36. @comicBOOKchris: I don’t believe that’s true at all.

  37. I was so engrosed in this book that I read it durnig stop lights on the way home from the shop.

  38. Haven’t finished my stack, but I just want to add that Josh really nailed exactly what I liked about this issue. This has all the earmarks of the Morrison that I’ve been waiting for. Smart, engaging storytelling that pushes the Dynamic Duo into a fresh direction. I really feel like you could give this to someone with only the most basic knowledge of Batman, call it "Batman: The Next Generation" and you’d be set. 

    This is, for MY money (stress the "MY"), far more worthwhile than his experiments with Final Crisis and RIP.

    And the Quitely art is just superb. Actually, with Morrison and Quitely at the helm, I’d say this is probably the first real Batman book to fully shed the "Frank Miller" version of Batman that’s been (roughly) in effect for the last 25 years.  I think that really leads to that "fresh" perspective. So far, so good.

  39. While I agree with Conor that you can always break new ground, I do feel that not every experiment is a successful one. 🙂

  40. 2011 paperback here I come!!!

  41. Pick up my stack tomorrow and this review has done just what I like a good review to do – make me even more excited for the book…can’t wait!!

  42. I loved this book.  I’ve re-read this at least 3 times.  Not because I didn’t get it, but because it was such a fun and engaging read.  It was so refreshing to read a Grant Morrison book that didn’t feel like homework.  It was more straight forward than his recent work, but I was still able to find character depth and different layers in the storytelling.  And I was able to do all that without having to read annotations–I know, what a concept!  I didn’t feel like I was being forced to do any extra work, I did the extra work because I WANTED to do the extra work.  That’s a big difference, at least it is to me.

    Definitely the Grant Morrison I like.  On the surface it’s a great super hero story, but the more you dig you find something to chew on that brings you back for multiple readings.  Definitely a 5/5.  I can’t wait for the next issue!

  43. Your review is spot on, Josh… the relationships in this book were great– and it was just such a fresh new vision of the Batman world overall. 

  44. Nice review; definitely a great issue.  Loved the way Morrison created a sense of both panic and wonder by simply taking the concepts of the Batman TV show seriously.  Prominent sound effects, silly seemingly generic villains, masked anonymous henchmen—all of which used to make me giggle, in this issue made me shriek.

    Quietly’s art was expectedly amazing.  Though I give him credit for creating a new Batman look (one consistent with taking inspiration from the TV show), was I the only person who found it too…heavy?  Batman, especially former acrobat Dick Batman, seems like he should be lithe not bulky to the point of almost chunky.   

  45. I thought the book was great was well. My only issue (and it really doesn’t affect me) is that for a #1 it’s not really all that new reader friendly. I can only think of the causual reader picking up a book called "Batman and Robin" #1 and being really confused. A frontpage recap maybe? I don’t know, maybe I’m being nitpicky, but as someone who wants to get new readers in and share the love of comics I feel that this was a missed opportunity.

  46. YES YES YES!

    I am so happy that 20 pages into this story that we didnt see that it was all Alfred’s dream and he wakes up and he has a leather body suit on and Thomas Wayne is sipping absinthe out of Commisioners Gordon skull as it recites the book of Revelations, and Bat Mite is doing an Eartha Kitt impersonation, while Robin gets ready to go to school dressed as Eddie Munster.

  47. I normally don’t care for grant Morrison. Yeah, he has written a few things I enjoyed, but on the whole, I normally pass on his projects. His previous Batman work did not seem at all like something I wanted to read. But the premise of Dick as Batman intrigued me, so I figured I would pick it up. But after reading Josh’s review, this is now going to be the first thing I read when I get to my stack. 

  48. i figured this was it lol

    good pick. i loved this issue so much

  49. This book was my pick of the week for sure. The art was incredible, the loose feel to the lines and the typography drawn into the panels really fealt right for this story. The opening scene with the flying Batmobile was awesome. It was the little scenes that won me over though. The way Dick acted toward Alfred, commenting on his cooking and actually eating the food he made. The way he seemed to enjoy it all.

    It was the most exciting Batman comic I have read in a while and is everything I love about Morrison. He dosen’t just cover the same old ground he adds huge new pieces to the mythology of the books.

  50. Good pick, I also really liked this book.

     The art was amazing, and the last few pages gave me the creeps. 

  51. I thought this was the Great Grant Morrison Too.  This is what I want.  A great story to start off the new batman.  I can’t wait to read more bat books.  I’m excited.  Great Review!

  52. and I may have Pyg dreams now.

  53. It wasn’t my pick, but I agree with everything said here.  Pyg was a bit too disturbing for me, but I’m interested to see where it was going.

     Damian Wayne is about the same age as young Bruce was.  And Damian needs Dick to show him the way.  That’s what I think is going on here.

  54. I’m still laughing about the "sell-out Morrison" comment.  Linear storytelling is selling-out?  Telling stories that focus more on the heart than the brain is "selling out"?  Isn’t the very fact that he’s doing a Batman book "selling out"?  That’s like saying U2 is selling out because the song they used in their iPod commercial is "too danceable".

    Also, I’m continually impressed by how much I’m enjoying "War of Kings", although by now I shouldn’t be.

  55. In both this and All-Star Superman, all the people look like they have Warren Ellis face-cancer (a la Ruins).  I don’t recall Quitely drawing such ugly faces in We3.

    Diamond short-sold my store on War of Kings, so my POW was Dark Avengers.

     

  56. @conor: The term groundbreaking really should be reserved for something that has never been done before. So something can be exciting and invigorating but at the same time not be groundbreaking, since even though its exciting, we’ve seen it before.

     

    Take Morrison for example. Almost all of his writing is exciting, but not all of it groundbreaking. His run on Animal Man was very groundbreaking at the time, since I don’t think many mainstream writers were tackling all the fourth wall stuff that he was. Now, when writers suprisingly deconstruct the fourth wall in their stories, is it really groundbreaking since Morrison already did it?

    Also, people described Final Crisis and his run on Batman as groundbreaking, which I don’t think it was. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both really good and fresh, but new and groundbreaking writing it isn’t. When you look back at Morrison’s previous writings, especially Seven Soldiers and Doom Patrol, its easy to see that the surreal and dream-like storytelling is a motif that he uses several times. Hell, he even used it a few times in 52!

    Like I said,this is far from a smite against writers, but there aren’t that many REALLY new and groundbreaking ways of storytelling that have occured lately. Which is to say, there hasn’t been ANY, just few and far between, IMO.  

  57. @comicBOOKchris – that doesnt’ go against Conor’s statement, though. He just said that it’s not true that you can have "broken all the ground there is to break." He did NOT say everything needed to be groundbreaking or make any comments about current books. 

    Just sayin’.

    Personally, I think someone should always be trying to do new things with the form, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like a good traditional story as well. I read more than one comic book, after all. 😉

  58. I read B&R without knowing anything about it and I was surprised that it was in-continuity and in spite of that still greatly enjoyed it.

  59. What @daccampo says is true.

  60. @ daccampo: Oh I know he wasn’t saying that everything should be groundbreaking, I was saying how people label books as such when they’re really not. I probably should have been more clear about that. If I wanted everything to be groundbreaking, I’d have to drop more than half my list! The reason why I brought up those current books was because they have all been described as groundbreaking, and while all of them are really good, most aren’t really new ventures into writing.

     

    I just don’t people to judge a book on its originality more than its story. To me, the story is more important, and originality is highly overrated. I know there are people out there that won’t read a story because its not "groundbreaking" to them. Hell, I’m sure there are people who won’t buy this issue because its not written in the cerebral way that Morrison wrote R.I.P. and Final Crisis, and thus call him a sell-out.

  61. I found it enjoyable and it definately got me excited for the series.  Not gushing they way most of you seem to be, but I understand the appeal.  having not read Batman and Son, this is my first real experience with Damien.  I like him alot and as Josh mentioned in the review it seems that the title is very appropriate and I look forward to more interaction with these characters in their new roles.

  62. Yeah man, Morrison is a total sellout now. Guess I have to return all that merchandise with his name and face on it… oh wait. I don’t own any of that, nor does much (if any) exist. Like someone stated earlier, telling a linear story doesn’t make it any better or worse than his other works.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this issue.  The characterizations were great and the action was a ton of fun. A perfect first issue that has me salivating for more.

    P.S. I would totally buy a Morrison T-shirt that said something like "I reject your reality and substitute my own" tattooed on an image of his head. 

  63. Excellent pick.  I enjoyed this book and read it 2 additional times after the initial read.  Good stuff.  Great pick this week!

  64. The flying batmobile in this was too cheesy for me. And I don’t like Robin, he reminds me of someone in a Saturday morning cartoon. The story was meh but the art was good.

  65. @Anson17: Cant wait for the lemon scented G-Mo air freshener

  66. It’s funny — the batmobile definitely seems to be crossing a line for some folks. And I think in the past I would have been among them. However, I’ve been reading/watching some form of the "slightly more realistic" Batman for 25 years now, and I have to say I’m actually looking forward to this slightly sillier approach. I like what Morrison said in a recent interview… something like "the darks are very dark, but the light is neon bright." I don’t think Batman’s a sacred cow for me anymore. He’s such a mythic icon. I say let him be a little more whimsical in this book, as long as it’s well done. Besides, I think we’ll continue to see the dark and gritty Batman in the films for awhile, so I’m not too worried about the future of the realistic Batman. 😉

  67. I don’t get it. No, not the comic, I get that. I just don’t get the universal praise like this comic was written by Jesus or something. I thought this was a pretty good comic, but I must have different a different set of comic book eye balls to everyone else, because  this book 71% of the iFanbase POTW & to me it’s just good, not great.

  68. @ wade- this just proves my point that 71% is the unconverted who dont know the joy of a deadpool story.   🙂  😛

  69. Oops, I must have a different set of fingers too, the way I typed that.

    PS – A Morrison apologist typing — "don’t get me wrong, but is something random and nonsensical really worthy of this much phrase" — made me laugh.

  70. Yeah, the only explanation I have for this being the PoTW by such a large margin was not enough people picking up Chew #1 or Jersey Gods #5.

  71. or maybe we just all really liked it?

  72. @Wade: Your confused at the 71% loving this book. But not confused when Wolverine gets 80% of the love? 🙂

  73. So much fun.

  74. Crime is doomed! Great 1st. Pure love. Though I do agree with Nate. New reader friendly would be nice. My girl read this but she had like a billion questions afterward. I pointed her to Wiki and said "good luck". There’s not too much you need to know, but I think it feels more satisfying if you’ve read all that lead UP to now. 

  75. Maybe digital comics will fix that. Comments are already added to videos, but I guess it’s a recipe for disaster. It would be nice to have a laymans’ feature, where explanation and recommendations will pop up. It can be integrated with a comicbook store/library locator.

  76. @chlop & uberlush: It’s a serial medium. Sometimes not knowing things is part of how that medium works. The medium is the message and all that. 😉

    @TNC, Wade, et. al. Yeah… I have to say people "universally" loving a Batman book doesn’t phase me. Seeing a higher precentage like a Wolverine title is. And this isn’t a debate about the characters, but just that, in all my years of comics Wolverine’s book has been considered that really bad title that sells because people want to like it that much. Batman sells because Batman is, apparently, awesome. 😉 

  77. I loved the flying Batmobile, but I loved the BWKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS sound effect spelled out by the fired missle even more 🙂

  78. I was worried about the sound effects, I heard Grant M. mention them in context with the old 60s series and was worried they’d be campy, but I thought they worked excellent and had a great artistic flair.

  79. I loved this comic the art was great but we all know that aside from that I loved the last few pages from when Gordon is talking to the cops about batman to when Pyg tells the thief that his daughter is getting a dollface 2.

  80. @Prax: I have never read a comment as completely self contradictory as your last post. People read Wolverine because they like the charcter but Batman is awesome so peolpe like to read that comic?! Was it meant as tongue-in-cheek because i can’t tell?

    Anyway, iFanbase, hyperthetically if Wolverine 72 and Batman & Robin 1 came out on the same week, which would be your pick of the week?

    Seriously, i’m really interesting in hearing what people think on this

  81. @edward.  It would’ve been Wolverine for me.  I love Morrison and Quitely, but B&R is a first issue and 72 is the next to last issue in a major story arc.  The stories’ already developed and it’s easier to make predictions about the next issue.  B&R could honestly go any direction at this point.

  82. @edward: I think what Prax meant is that he can’t understand why Wolverine (the book), despite it being called a (usually) crappy book by many people, is so popular, but he can understand why Batman (the book) is so popular because his books are (usually) written well.  Personally, both seem to be fanboy obsessions, which would explain why many people stick with the books despite their quality while those same people would drop another book featuring some other character if its quality went downhill.   "Wolverine" has had some highs in its history, while the Bat books have had their share of lows, yet a general perception about both remains. 

  83. I would have gone with this book.  I ennumerated my reasoning above.  They’re different types of stories, and I prefer this one.  Not to say I didn’t have a hell of a lot of fun with Wolverine, but from the standpoint of character development and interesting relationships, Batman and Robin was much more my cup of tea.  Wolverine was just a bunch of cool stuff happening.

    As far as art goes, it’s a dead heat.  I love both artists for different reasons.

  84. Memo to iFanboy: from here on out, every pick of the week must be compared and contrasted with Wolverine #72.

  85. @ohcaroline: Considering it’s (I think) the #1 highest POTW comic for the year….yeah it might as well be -_-;

    @edward: You know my answer, this of course!

    @Prax: Yes Batman is an awesome character. Who’s gonna argue that he isnt? No one that’s who.

  86. @ohcaroline-Also, Wolverine #72 must always come out on top.  If not, the terrorist win.

  87. @oh_caroline lol.  sarcasm appreciated:)

  88. Never mind Wolverine; that fact that this was POW is a travesty when the best book this week was objectively, scientifically, oh let’s say Ultimatum.

    FACT: There are more superheroes in Ultimatum.

    FACT: People’s arms get ripped off.

    FACT: David Finch draws a lot of things happening.

    FACT: It has a magic demon wizard who has the power to turn Ultimate Spider-Man into one of my least favorite books of the month.

    FACT: Nick Fury calls someone a "bunghole."

    FACT: I have not read Batman and Robin yet, so as far as I know nothing good is in it.

    Ipso facto, you owe your entire readership an apology.

  89. (you may detect a hint of lingering soreness from last week)

  90. @edward, BC1, TNC Yeah, sorry for that. That was supposed to be tongue in cheek. I only got two hours of sleep yesterday! :-p Anyway, my point was more or less encapsulated by BC1. In all the years I’ve read comics, Wolverine has been that title that fan boys want to be "teh awes0me." In practice it’s usually been mediocre, most often crap. Whereas the Bat titles have always been lauded as being awesome from day one. I refer to Hush here, which for a long time was the "Best" Batman story in years. At the time I liked it, and you couldn’t say and wouldn’t see a bad word about it. 5 years later? It’s really not that good, truth told. But people are more willing to call a Batman book good because he’s the God Damn Batman. So yeah, it is contradictory but I expect to see Batman lauded, despite it being good or bad. Wolverine on the other hand… the fact that 80% of the readership here liked it last week is cool. It means it’s being well written. But that’s a shock to me. That’s a big deal. Though, it’s still not going to get me to read that overexposed monstrosity. 😉 

  91. @Prax: You mean your not gonna read the other 9 series he’s appearing and random one-shots/annuals?

  92. @TNC I try to avoid Wolverine wherever possible, actually. It’s harder than you think.

  93. @Prax: I know. But look! We’re talking about him now.

  94. This was a delightful read.  I think Quietly took a sketchy approach to the art, which lends to having a grittier feel.  His art was still amazing though.  My favorite thing in the whole book was the way that the sound effects were incorporated into the art.  Kudos to the creators for that one.

    I still have two more books to go, but right now POW is between Chew and B&R.  We’ll see how Scalped and Atomic Robo are. 

  95. @prax: you have to give the iFanbase more credit. it’s not like wolverine got 80% of the POW lastweek because people arbitrarily choose what’s popular. Just like you, they have the ability to critically analysis their books

  96. Seriously?  I never thought you’d pick this.

    Do you think your low expectations contributed to your liking this book more than it actually deserves?  Like happned with me and the Wolverine movie?

  97. This is going to end well.

  98. ha ha

  99. @dursin – You’re not giving me much credit are you?  Again, I enumerated many specific reasons about why this was a stellar comic book.  Feel free to disagree, but I didn’t fool myself into liking something that wasn’t good.

  100. @dursin – Almost 72% of people made it there POW. They couldn’t all have been decieved. Unless Morrison’s tinkering with the magic again…

  101. @dursin – You must be one kickass spellbinder dude!

  102. @dursin: see, Frank Quitely and Grant morrison doesn’t equal low exspectations, it’s equals high exspectations. Practically, the book should disappoint, not over exceed

  103. There it was, the first time I’ve agreed with edward in what must be weeks.

  104. @s30: Not magic; the LSD that is laced on every page

  105. @josh – Except his spelling of expectations. HOO HAH!

  106. @TheNextChampion – And still we wonder why comic prices are going up…

  107. @s30: It’s because of the creators uncontrollable drug habit.

    …..If you have another explaination for Morrison’s style I’d like to hear it.

  108. I think there are going to be a lot of Batman related Pick Of The Weeks coming from my side of town with all these new titles from all these great writers!!  I’m in Bat-heaven right now!

  109. @TheNextChampion – Your answer really did not have anything to do with what I said at all, I’m sorry.

  110. @dursin Honestly, how many comic readers do you know that would jump on a bandwagon and vote for something they didn’t truly like.  Just because it’s mainstream, doesn’t mean it can’t be good.  This non-conformist bull-shit should have went out the window as soon as your balls dropped.  I can’t stand that.  It’s like someone tried to argue with me that Radiohead were a bunch of sell-outs with every album after Pablo Honey.  My reply…"no.  they just decided to start making good music."  Opinions are welcome, but take that ‘your all sell-outs’ crap and send it back to jr. high.  Fuck me that irritating!

  111. *like?

  112. But Pablo Honey was the sellout album…

  113. @josh 

    Then what was everything after?

    Selling in? 

  114. The first album was those guys doing the album the company wanted from them. The Bends was an in between, and everything there after was them doing what they wanted.  What worked out better?

  115. @Josh.  Is that your speculation is that what Thom said directly?  I’m torn between OK and Kid A for my favorites…lean more towards Kid A cause I sort of listened out OK for the first two years after it came out.  They’re in the studio again, fyi.

  116. That’s what I’ve heard at some point long ago.  I couldn’t source it.  But it also fits with my speculation.

  117. again with the radiohead?

  118. Other then the song ‘Creep’ that album (Pablo Honey) isnt that great.

    It’s a tough call on whether The Bends or Ok Computer as their best. But no one ever wants to mention Hail to the Theif for this discussion. I think it’s up their with the classic Radiohead.

  119. My favorite Radiohead album is "The Bends" but my favorite song of theirs is "All I Need", but I don’t really know shit about white music.

  120. I unfortunatly know jack about Radiohead, but this similar scenario happened with Bad Religion, since their albums with the major recor label were much different than their ones with Epitaph. Stranger Than Fiction was ok (probably an in-betweener like The Bends) but the rest were dreadful. They barely sounded like the band they used to be!

  121. So, wait, is the argument that bands do better when they go out on their own, or worse?  I need this translated out of Radiohead.

  122. Who’s Radiohead? I like The Boredoms and Hella. Also, I like ice cream.

  123. so what do we all think of preview page of the up-coming stories?

     it looks like damain will quit on Dick, Todd will adopted the red hood persona agian and train his own robin-like sidekick, i don’t know who the spooky lava covered batman is and dr. hurt will get his hands on a set on conveniently laballed keys?

     oh, and i just read that earlier post, it must be the first time he’s been right for weeks too

  124. Yeah, this book was sensational.  Once again, Morrison and Quitely put the rest of comics to shame. Just…sensational.

  125. This HC and the All-Star Superman HC will look sweet side-by-side on a bookshelf.

  126. @edward: I’m excited for all of those plot points that the preview showed. I want to see how Damien can handle himself without Batman. Probably the Batman coming out of the lava will be a representation of Bruce somehow. Plus….those keys are just really funny to me. How did Dr. Hurt get a hold of them and why are they so neatly labeled? lol

  127. Can we just mention the Quietly art again? That panel showing the subterranean layers under Wayne Industries was shweet. There was definitely something different about his technique in this issue — anyone else think they’re coloring his pencils directly without inking them? I bet that would save a ton of time in getting a monthly book put.

  128. You leave this discussion for one day and it all of a sudden becomes about Radiohead! 

    @edward I’m not saying people can’t/shouldn’t/don’t critically analyze Wolverine. Indeed I said I was happy it garnered 80% of the POTW from iFanboy. That’s great for that book and for people who I’ve heard moaning for years that Wolverine has always been a mediocre book at best. (Not so much in the last few years, but mid-90s Wolverine? Early Rucka Reboot Wolverine? Yeah… moan-ma-moan-mona.) So yeah, my point is that Batman has always seemed to be a favorite regardless of the subjective quality of the book, whereas Wolverine has always been considered a "Bad" book, regardless of subjective quality.
     
    And if Wolverine maintains being a top-picked book that people are talking about, I may actually pick it up.
     
    @conor See, it ended well. Sort of. 😉 
  129. @PraxJarvin: Who moaned about Rucka’s WOLVERINE? That stuff was fantastic.

  130. Josh, that’s a lovely review. Pat yourself on the head (unless you’re wearing dollface).

  131. @Prax: So your point is Batman and Wolverine are both popular? (…..)

    Conor’s right. Rucka’s Wolverine was fantastic. there has been good and bad runs of Wolverine just as there has been of Batman.

     and is the large font size the discussion board version of yelling to prove a point?

  132. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    The large text isn’t Prax’s doing. Most likely a copy/paste issue.  

  133. hmmm, ok. it just hurt my feelings, that’s all

  134. @conor, edward At the time it came out, I remember a lot of people complaining about Rucka’s run. I read it and wasn’t impressed. And yeah, don’t know what happened to the font size. I didn’t c/p either….  

  135. @prax: people complained because people are idiots

  136. ‘It’s because they’re stupid, that’s why. That’s why everybody does everything’.-Homer Simpson

  137. @PraxJarvin: I think you are making a lot of assumptions based on your self-admitted dislike of Wolverine as a character.  The solo book has been pretty great for years now, with one or two arc  exceptions.  It’s not like it’s suddenly a new thing.

  138. @conor Perhaps not here, but in the other communities I frequent as well as from the people in my LCS, Rucka’s run got a lot of hate. And the Wolverine title, too. I dislike the character, yes, but enough to make up complaints? Hardly. And above I specifically said I haven’t heard as much complaining the last few years. 

  139. I loved the Rucka run.  This is not surprising.  I only read Wolverine when he write it and Robertson drew it.  How could you not like that?  Heathens.

  140. Not to mention when Jason Aaron writes it. Rucka’s series is great, but Aaron’s is a hell of alotta fun.

  141. @josh: By Robertson do you mean Darick Robertson?

    Cause if that’s the case. When did this run of Rucka/Robertson come out and is it collected in trade?

  142. @TNC: yep. Darick Robertson. He actual drew wolverine as a short, shocky, scary looking, working class thug. it was cool

  143. I actually just read the first two trades of the Rucka run last night.  The first one is called "The Brotherhood" and it’s drawn by Darick Robertson; the second one is called "Coyote Crossing" and it’s drawn by Leandro Fernandez — who has a somewhat different style than DR’s but sticks to the same basic aesthetic of making this a gritty un-pretty book.  I thought it was good; Rucka doesn’t pull any punches about Logan being a killer.

  144. I just read this on Sunday and was pretty impressed. I heard a complaint about th colouring work prior to rerading it, but I tink it had a complimentary textured an murky quality. Mr Toad was funny and I laughed out loud at the panel where B+R double punch him out. PYG seems like an interestingly twisted villain. Hopefully, Morrison won’t screw this up-he has a lot of making up to do in may book, after the debacle that was Final Crisis, and the stupidity of RIP (in my opinion).

    I am dissapointed that Quitely will only draw 3 issues.

  145. I read this from a friend and couldn’t tell you if I think it’s good or not. It "unclicked" with me after page about 5. 

  146. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @JJ – I’m sure you could if you tried. 

  147. Question from somebody outside the bat-verse, Is this book an ongoing or mini?? Seems inside continuity, but is it for sure?? I wanna pick it up after Josh’s review, but I’m barely a DC guy, let alone a Gotham City dweller and what I do get from that camp, for me, needs to matter. Please let me know someone!!

  148. @Joshua: As we said on the show, it is inside continuity.  It’s not a mini-series. It may end if and when Bruce returns (but then again, it may not) but it’s not a mini-series.

  149. POTW for those who love explosions – USM 133

    POTW for those who love explosions AND bungholes – Ultimatum #4 (Fact Jimski, FACT!)

    POTW for those who love awesome comics – Batman and Robin. 

     

  150. @conor: thank you very much. I can’t listen to the podcast til the end of the month when I get my DCBS order.

  151. Managed to finally get to reading this…and boy am I glad I did.  Been a long time since I’ve actually been excited about a Batman comic.  Great jumping on poiint for the new status quo and top-notch in terms of both art and writing.  Left me wanting more, more more…

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