Thursday, February 28, 2008

Batman, More Batman, Kicking Ass, and Dick's Meta-List

Quick Reviews:

Batman #674: Just in case you didn't believe how important 1963's Batman #156 was to Morrison's run, this week's issue hammers the point home. He turns this page into a central part of Batman continuity and starts pulling all the threads of his narrative together, leading into the upcoming "Batman R.I.P." storyline. Guess what? It looks like the Black Glove will be involved. He's not only the mystery villain behind the Club of Heroes three-issue arc, but he's the "Ultimate Enemy" behind many of Batman's troubles. Perhaps he'll turn out to be Norman Osbourne.

All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #9: This series has caught up to All-Star Superman! In numbering, that is, not quite in quality, although this is the first issue that feels like what I expected All-Star Batman to be like. It features humor (yellow Batman drinking lemonade to taunt Green Lantern--take that, ring impurity!), brutality (tracheotomy time!), and a bit of heart (parental concern!). I was getting into the Goddamn groove on this title, and now Miller switches things up with something more sincere. What's up with that? (And, if you had given up on this title, which you were crazy to do, this issue might make you regret your hasty decision.)

Kick-Ass #1: Super-heroes in the real world. Millar claims they've never been done like he's doing them here, and as much as I assumed he was using hyperbole, I think he's kind of right. This issue doesn't feel groundbreaking, but Romita jr.'s art captures the right amount of awkwardness and courage required to pull of the conceit. It's like Bernie Mireault's The Jam (which, by the way, TOTALLY deserves the deluxe hardcover treatment. Are you listening, Image or Dark Horse?), but while Mireault brought in supernatural elements, Millar and Romita jr. keep it real. Harshly real. Ironically real. It undermines every romantic notion of super-heroics, but it doesn't do it in a Garth Ennis, "I'm going to piss all over the feces of your idols" kind of way. It does it in a pure, idealistic way, even with all of the suffering involved. I liked the first issue a lot.

Dick Hyacinth's Meta-List 2008: Who has not been eagerly awaiting this list? Come on! Who can resist seeing how everything adds up for 2007 quality? Not me. And what I'm most curious about, of course, is not just what seems plain wrong (not wrong mathematically, but wrong aesthetically: Buffy ranked so high? Really--is it such an amazing comic? And Shooting War in the Top 20? Doesn't the quality of the artwork count for anything? And Acme Novelty Library #18 NOT even in the Top 50? Even recognizing that it came out late in the year, come on people! It was a great book), but what I need to go out and read. Stuff I missed or haven't gotten around to reading yet, like Exit Wounds, Shortcomings, Alias the Cat (all of which in the Top 10, and all of which I really want to read, but I just...haven't), and Superspy, The Blot, Notes for a War Story, and Three Paradoxes, among other things I probably will never make time for.

What do you want to read from the Meta-List?


RAB said...

I was dead impressed with how well GM brought the threads together in this issue of Batman but he's writing at a rarefied level here -- this story is for him and for anyone able to keep up with him. I don't mean the deep continuity references, but the way he trusts the reader to follow a passing reference or throwaway bit that slipped by several issues back. I had to go back and reread previous installments before I realized why Bruce was crawling into a dumpster full of garbage with his parachute. When it clicked, it was brilliant. Now I'm wondering how his whole run will read in one sitting...

MarkAndrew said...

I'm sorta reading my way down the big list. I HAD read the original Top Ten, but now we got Powr Mastrs in there, which neither comic shop nor bookstore nor library has, but it TOTALLY sounds like the kind of thing I love.

I've also got the Blot on interlibrary loan, hold's on Apollo's Song Professor's Daughter at the library, and I'll probably pick up Nat Turner this wedsnday.