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Grant Morrison on Batman, Paul Dini on Detective Comics


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#1
ShadowGhost

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Starting with issue #655, Grant Morrison begins his run as the scribe on Batman for DC Comics, along with artist Andy Kubert. This is a great team-up, and the first issue of their run proves it.

I can already see this is going to be a good run. Respecitvely, Paul Dini (best known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series) is doing a run on Detective Comics that starts this month as well. I haven't picked up that issue yet, but I most definitely will when I get to my comic shop next.

The last run on Batman was intertwined with Detective Comics and told the story of Two-Face's return as a criminal. I thought it was decent, but always hate the cross-over arcs with a passion, just because it feels like I'm being suckered into buying more titles. Anywho...

This new run that has started up will not be directly connected, thankfully, and both writers have already proven their chops with previous work. The first scene in Batman #655 was really, really well done. Definitely the best Joker I've seen in a comic for a long time. Kubert really did him justice.

If there are people out there who haven't been on either Batman, or Detective Comics, and have been trying to jump on, this is a really good time to do it. Not only do you get excellent talent, but finally an arc is here that isn't so dependant on a number of different books, which is something I hope to see continued.

Edited by ShadowGhost12, 28 July 2006 - 06:15 PM.


#2
Tank

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i jumped back on both Bat titles this month as well thanks to Dini and Morrison-- two personal favorites.

For those interested- Dini on Detective is doing one shots-- each issue focuses on one case. Morrison on Batman, is doing longer arcs. the first one up is continuing form the 80's graphic novel Son of The Demon... that means Talia and possibly Ras Al ghul, and a third person that shall go hidden

[hide]Batman's son[/hide]

#3
Thomas Alan

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About freakin' time they brought that up.

#4
Tank

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I know rite?

Aside from an adult version of him in Kingdom Come, he's been forgotten for like 20 years!

#5
ShadowGhost

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That alone was one of the biggest "Oh damn!" endings the Batman comic books (monthly ones) have had in a long time. I am definitely interested in seeing where this character is taken...

#6
XIII

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Battman 655 was quite good though the splash page where the Joker is shot is a bit confusing until you learn the first Batman is not the real one.

I don't know if the Joker is dead but I think I read somewhere Morisson is bringing a "new" Joker.

#7
NumberSix

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Loving both series so far. Detective #822 is out this week with another Done-in-One entitled "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective". Great new character progression for the Riddler, as (and I'd expect no less than this) Dini wipes away the last messy year or more of Riddler's life with a single line of dialogue. Worth it.

Favorite scene: Riddler riding with Batman in the Batmobile --

"So...nice car. First time I've been inside it conscious."
"Don't touch anything."

Second favorite scene: the first DCU appearance of Roxy Rocket. Cute.

#8
ShadowGhost

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Dude, Roxy Rocket? I forgot about her, and never thought she'd make it to a comic. That's interesting :P

I'll definitely have to get to my shop this week (haven't been there in like 3 weeks) to get this.

#9
ShadowGhost

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Well, I got DC #821 last week sometime and read it (and loved it!) but haven't had a chance to talk about it until now.

I have to start out by saying I love how Dini is keeping each book as their own story. Sure, long story arcs are great sometimes and work really well, but I think there is still plenty of room left in this medium for a single-issue story that is just as fullfilling as one that spans through 6 issues on two different titles! This is most definitely a format I hope to see used more often in the future. At the very least, do like Morrison (and many others for that matter) are doing and go ahead, make your run one long story arc, but DO NOT leak it over into a different title, thus forcing the reader to get a whole other title for at least that run until the story finishes. This drives me insane. Keep the story to the damn book that its supposed to be written for only.

Anyhoo, loved the book, and hopefully I'll get my hands on the Riddler story soon...

#10
NumberSix

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Batman #656 is in stores this week, part 2 (of 4) of "Batman and Son". I'm not sure which was more fascinating, the League of Assassins' army of ninja Man-Bats, or the Lichenstein exhibition used as the fight-scene backdrop. Wild 'n' wacky!

#11
ShadowGhost

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I just finished reading Batman #657, the latest installment of Morrison's run on Batman and all I can say is, "Wow!" I totally dug this book, and am now really excited about this arc, and the possibilities it has. Up until this issue I had been enjoying the arc, and thought it was decent. I was glad they were finally doing something with Batman's son, but I didn't think it was up to par with a lot of Morrison's other stuff. After this issue I'm definitely thinking this has the potential to rank up there with his other stuff. I love where this is going so far.

All I can say is that I really hope Morrison hangs around on this title for a hell of a lot longer than just one arc!

#12
NumberSix

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I'm still digging Detective Comics, where the idea of the Penguin and the Riddler as reformed men with burgeoning new careers is just...wild. :thumbsup:

Morrison's Batman kinda took a turn south for me with part 3 of "Batman and Son", though. I think it was the part where little Damian...was named Damian in the first place. And then there was the part where he came off like every sitcom brat who was ever introduced just to drive the main (and otherwise childless) characters batty for a while. Like Cousin Oliver, except the li'l rugrat goes away after a single harrowing episode. It's an old plot device.

Y'know who he reminds me of most? Stop me if you recognize this famous voice: "I'm a chicken-hawk, and I'm gonna catch me a CHICKEN!"

That's our li'l Damian al-Ghul, a.k.a. Chicken-Hawk the Boy Wanker. :thumbsdown:

#13
Gman

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That's our li'l Damian al-Ghul, a.k.a. Chicken-Hawk the Boy Wanker. :thumbsdown:


:thumbsup:

Let me count the ways I HATE One Year Later!

#14
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CONSUMER ALERT: Paul Dini does not write the new issue of Detective, #825. It's a fill-in issue by a rookie writer and some rookie artists.

I didn't look closely before buying it myself. I think I'm gonna let my son have this one, because it certainly ain't a keeper.

#15
Tank

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I read it.

"Rookie" doesn't even begin to describe it. Being a rookie to comics is one thing, I can even excuse it seeing as I'll be in that spot soon.

But this Batman issue is beyond that. It's more like being rookie to storytelling in general-- which is not cool. This issue reads like a fanfic.

#16
NumberSix

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My son liked it more than I did, which I kinda suspected would be the case. This was the kind of story I'd imagine seeing in a juvenile Batman book, the kind where he's stymied by this seemingly unstoppable villain before he snaps his fingers and yells with gusto, "AHA! That's IT! I'll use BAKING SODA!" And the Electric Company-level readers at home are all entranced by this new science factlet that they and Batman just learned and applied...together! Throw in some imitation Mike Parobeck artwork and you've got yourself a nice stocking stuffer for the kids.

I can do without it, though, especially since we didn't get imitation Mike Parobeck. We got a series of stiff, robotic chalk outlines that the colorist probably had to work overtime to fill in and add actual details.

Being a rookie to comics is one thing, I can even excuse it seeing as I'll be in that spot soon.


And the crowd goes wild! *yeeeeey* :thumbsup:

#17
ShadowGhost

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Hehe I didn't know that, Tank. That's awesome!

Anyhow, sounds like a stinker. Lets hope there aren't any more fill-in issues for this arc, as we established while discussing the X-titles, and the new Uncanny arc in particular having a fill-in creative team (whether it just be the artist, or in this case a writer AND artist) it really ****s up the pacing, and can pull you out of the whole feel for the story that been woven beforehand. I'd almost rather see a title late that put out a crappy one for me to waste my money on :shrug:

Dini's Detective is something that I begrudgingly dropped due to circumstances beyond my control, but I'd definitely be interested in a trade if DC is smart enough to put this one out as a trade, of course. They sure don't have the best collection methods, though, so it's sketchy.

#18
Tank

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The thing that i don't get is that they plan out this stuff literally over a year in advance. it seems to me that an editor (especially one on a big name title like x-men or Batman) could get a writer and artist on a storyline, have them develop it and actually FINISH the arc before even soliciting it.

#19
NumberSix

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From what I've read, some editors don't work that way. Diamond's solictation policy use to be (dunno if they've revised it any) that they wouldn't permit any company to solicit for a new series until and unless the company had the first three issues in the can -- written, drawn, colored, lettered, ready to go. Some editors, eager to get things moving, would send solicitations as soon as those three issues were in-house. Then...for whatever reason(s), something would invariably happen that -- despite all that lead time -- #4 and all subsequent issues wouldn't be ready on time because, technically, they no longer had to be right on time.

Again, I dunno how it works now, but it seems editors don't have as much incentive to adhere to a strict monthly schedule -- or enough disincentive not to hire slackers -- as they did back in the old days...or even the not-so-old days. Remember when the Marvel Knights line first started under the editorial control of Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, and we saw months fly by between issues of Daredevil? Marvel editor Tom Brevoort commented on Usenet at the time that if any other Marvel editors had let a book fall that far behind schedule, they'd've been out of a job.

Notice how that doesn't seem to happen much?

#20
NumberSix

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Looks like Morrison is off Batman for a bit:

http://www.comicbook...tem.cgi?id=8908

I'm not too bothered by this, really. Ostrander and Mandrake are a pretty reliable team, having worked together before on Grimjack, The Spectre, and Martian Manhunter. If anything, I'm glad to see any editor anywhere acknowledge that deadlines are still a job requirement. Heck, they're even bumping it up to biweekly to play catchup.

Thank you, DC.

#21
ShadowGhost

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Bah. I am sort of bothered by this. Meh, not too much so, but nevertheless I'm digging what Morrison's doing on the title, and it's been so long since we've had a good Batman arc, IMO that we need someone who's going to do what Loeb and Lee did for the title back with the Hush arc. I know, there are always going to be those who dislike them, I know people who didn't like Hush, and I know some people aren't likign Morrison's run, but it sure beats some of the War Crimes-like **** we've been getting...

We'll see though. I'm not dismissing either Ostrander or Mandrake as typical fill-ins. We'll see what they have to offer.

#22
Tank

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Morrison's run is okay-- but it's not blowing my mind. I REALLY wanted him to pull a New X-Men with Batman.

Why do DC characters have such a harder time of striking out in bold new directions as opposed to Marvel characters? Or is that my bias?

#23
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Nope. Not your bias. I find with DC that things go back to the way they were "before" whatever happened with minimal lasting affect. That is generally true for most superhero comics, but I do see it happening more in DC. Just look at the whole "1 Year Later" thing...talk about useless. You could've easily continued those titles without stamping that on the front and it would've flowed just the same, IMO.

#24
ShadowGhost

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K, so umm, new Morrison Batman run. Interesting format choice, no?
Still don't know how I feel about that choice, despite the fact that Morrison's writing is of course excellent. I really felt some MORE art would've enhanced the story though. And some actual penciled art at that, not the digital-made 3D model art. Just didn't attract me.

I'm curious as to what others thought of this book though, as I suppose it will be this way for the rest of the arc. If anything, it really made me realize how much of the story art tells, as the description in this book was rampant. Like I said though, I love Morrison and this book was still very well written, I just prefer my comics to be just that, comic books.

Needless to say I'll certainly be reading the r est of his run.

#25
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I HATE reading text stories in comics format. It may be because the text stories that saw print in my childhood were there only to fulfill USPS regulations at the time, so they were always the worst dreck imaginable -- whatever the editors could order their interns to slap together. They scarred me. I even skipped the backup segments in Watchmen for years because of the scars. As soon as I flipped open Batman #663 and saw it was a text story, I shut it and demoted it to the bottom of the stack. Took me four days to run out of other immediate reading material and finally give it a break, including a couple of Sudoku puzzles.

Once I gave it a chance, I actually loved it. Morrison's standard comics stories are entirely without narration, so we never get a sense of his love of language that this issue shows full-on. And John Van Fleet rarely does interior work, so that was a pleasant bonus.

I'm betting this was a one-time deal and we'll be back to sequential art next issue, but I'd love to see Morrison work up some more prose. But, y'know, printed in a book.



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