The wise Marc Caputo commented on my last post, and I wrote a long response which somehow got erased the moment I clicked "submit." Since I think the issue Marc raised is worth talking about, I decided to promote it to feature status! Here's part of what Marc said:
"I can't help but wondering - who is he writing this run for? It can't be Batman fans and as we head into the release of "The Dark Knight", you know we're going to get some noobs in off the street (especially with FCBD right about the same time.) Is this for Morrison fans? I'm sure in part it is, although this really deviates from his usual rhythm on an extended run (which is fine.)"
And then he added:
"At this point, it's the scholars who are keeping this alive. Not being the biggest Batman fan, I wonder how the fan on the street (i.e., non-Morrison fan) is taking this. That opinion counts for a lot and I'm real curious since I don't know any who fit the profile."
I have NEVER wondered who a writer is writing for, honestly. The thought doesn't really occur to me. It doesn't matter who it's written for--all that matters is whether or not its any good. But Marc, and probably DC Comics, obviously cares what the "fan on the street" thinks about Morrison's Batman so let's venture a guess. One thing we know is that the "fan on the street" has poor taste in comics, since he didn't support Nextwave, or The Irredeemable Ant-Man, or The Order. Therefore, any opinions "the fan on the street" has regarding quality is suspect at best. Would he like Morrison's Batman? Probably not. It's unconventional (even as it builds upon classic Batman tropes), and therefore slightly challenging. I've read reviewers who wrote and podcasters who said that they "threw Batman #663 down" once they saw that it was filled with words. Note that they didn't say they read it and didn't think it was any good (though others have said that), the "fans" I'm talking about didn't even read it because it was FULL OF WORDS. Talk about closed-minded! So, once again, I don't hold out much hope for the fan on the street. He's dull-witted.
I also have to respond to Marc's other point, which is that Morrison's Batman run "deviates from his usual rhythm on an extended run." I disagree. Look at Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, or X-Men. Inconsistent art, longer narrative arcs interrupted by shorter ones, forced inclusion of crossover bits, and a larger sense of pattern and theme. That description applies to his other extended runs AND t0 Batman. To me, Morrison's current work looks strikingly similar to his usual rhythm on a corporate super-hero title. By the way, I don't think Morrison's Batman is some kind of transcendent achievement, but it's comparable to the level of quality of his JLA. Except the fans embraced his JLA, and we don't know how they feel about Batman, because a bunch of them throw it down without reading it.