Saturday, January 17, 2009


So, lots and lots of people are complaining about the fate of Batman in the past issue of Final Crisis. For those who will not read it and haven't heard about it, Batman pretty overcomes the worst possible mental torture (in another book but chronologically before this). He then proceeds to find Darkseid, THE GOD OF EVIL WHOSE VERY PRESENCE CORRUPTS REALITY, basically tells him off, and uses a gun with a poison god bullet to save the world and countless lives.

My stance? Fantastic. I am not a fan of everything Grant Morrison writes. But I am a fan of his past few years of DC work, because they show a passion and respect for the work before him, especially Jack Kirby's. And if you respect the Kirby, then my respect for you increases ten fold.

I take note that a lot of people who complain about Final Crisis #6 are the same people who 1) usually don't enjoy DC from the past couple years, 2) like to bring up the darker and grimmer style that is present in DC titles, and 3) really really don't like gun bit, and 4) find it all boring.

First off, this comment from reader The League on the Occasional Superheroine site sums up a lot of what I feel and in a much more concise way than I could muster:

"What I don't get, in this particular case, is why anyone is biting on the cliff-hanger ending to an issue of a comic where we don't know what will happen by the conclusion of issue 7. Let alone calling the scene you're talking about "disgusting".

I find treating any single issue as if its the FINAL issue of DC Comics, Batman comics, etc... when you're past the age of 22 or so, kind of mind-boggling. Batman died in the last volume of JLA at least twice, with at least one of those deaths penned by Grant Morrison (Rock of Ages and the Obsidian Age).

And, frankly, I really don't see how this is any more desperate than killing off Cap.

Death and destruction are sort of what the protagonists of the DCU are there to rail against. Without villains who are death-dealing and destructive, it doesn't make much sense to have heroes who want to stop them. Otherwise, one winds up with books in which characters slug it out for no discernible purpose.

I'm no fan of the grisly imagery that recently appeared in Teen Titans, but I also don't mind villains who can begin to reflect the sorts of atrocities we know are possible and which are A-O.K. in every other medium.

And if we want to look at the history, didn't DC have a storyline 20-odd years ago where they killed an infinite number of universes?

Some may not like the story, and that's fine. But to claim to know someone would only be enjoying Final Crisis because they mindlessly consume whatever DC puts out is more than a tad disingenuous. The exact same suppositions could be made that Marvel readers will mindlessly buy anything, no matter how trite (see: Secret Invasion).

Further, it doesn't begin to describe what's happening in other books, such as JSA, JLA, the Superman titles, etc...

If your problem is truly violence in comics, then I would expect a regular complaint department vis-a-vis Marvel's line of Wolverine and Punisher comics. I'd expect a full complaint regarding the recent Joker book by Azzarello, the inhuman behavior witnessed in The Killing Joke, and a denunciation of Nova pulling apart Annihulus's innards.

There is an entire final chapter to this story, and then a universe of comics coming afterward for an unknown number of years.The idea that Bruce Wayne is "dead" is somewhat ridiculous, but I do find it to be an interesting "

Well said. Also, Darkseid used the Omega Sanction, which as noted by many already online is not an actually death ray. "Back in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, Morrison redefined the classic “Omega Effect” as the Omega Sanction, a sort of dimension where you live an endless number of lives, over and over again, reincarnating every time, never able to rejoin with the Source. Mister Miracle escaped from that, so it’s not impossible that Batman could either."

In my personal view, I generally like my superhero comics a bit lighter with a sense of humor and heroism. On the flip side of that , I really really love it when Jack Bauer kills the hell out of people. Violence has a place. You can overdo it, you can underdo it, you can tell a fantastic story utilizing violence, and you can tell a piece of crap story with violence. The Blob cannibalizing the Wasp? Crap. Nova pulling Annhilus inside out in a giant battle to save the universe? FRIGGIN' AWESOME. Sometimes it's just good storytelling. Sometimes, it's if the violence actually has a reasoning for existing. I find the majority of Mark Millar's violence (Kick Ass) unnecessary and gratuitous. Half the time it makes no sense, like in his current Wolverine run. Parts of that last issue reaaaaally sucked, but they existed so we could see Wolverine butcher the X-Men. Of course, this is comics so maybe I'm being too picky about things making no sense.

I think I have a whole separate post to get into if I want to delve into the darker aspects of the superhero world and each companies hand in this trend.

But, I do want to talk about the gun thing here. Seriously, dudes. I love the fact that Batman can do what he does without relying on guns. Batman doesn't go around killing people, and it makes sense that guns are something he just straight up hates. That being said, BATMAN KNOWS WHEN TO MAN THE FUCK UP. Best case example, this one time Batman has a case involving that douchebag Gunhawk. By the end of it, Batman was too far away to prevent Gunhawk from killing someone. So Batman used a sniper rifle to make an IMPOSSIBLE shot to disarm Gunhawk. And after that, he threw the rifle into the depths of the Batcave. Which, man, that place has got to be full of shit. There's a dead alien down there and who knows what else. But back to point. Batman doesn't kill the Joker every chance he gets because the Joker, for as much a threat as he is, WILL NEVER ENSLAVE THE WORLD INTO A HELLISH NIGHTMARE STATE OF DOOM.*

And then finally. Boring? awritjiaeogueasgusejgkseg

*EDIT: Right, ok, except for that one time in Emperor Joker. It was a a slightly happier type of hellish nightmare state of doom though. Except for Batman. It just straight up sucked for him.

1 comment:

joe bloke said...

see, if I was Batman I'd have a gun, I'd have a really big gun, hell I'd be pulling all kind of high-powered semi-automatic shit out of my utility belt.. none of that getting into punch-ups lark for this caped crusader, no siree. I'd be be up on the roof with a doobie and a sniper rifle, picking the bad guys off between brewskis.

and as far as the whole Batman's dead thing goes, I can't be arsed. I want to care, I really do, but I just can't be bothered slogging my way through Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend/Prodigal Son again, bored the jayzus out of me last time 'round, no reason to think it'll do anything other than the same all over again.

Billy Batson & the Power of Shazam! now, THAT'S good comics. . .