Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder

Go To

Advertisement:
  • Crack Pairing: Batman and Black Canary.
  • Crazy Awesome: What a lot of Batman's actions appear to be intended as. Unfortunately, he ends up looking just plain crazy.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: When so many characters, including and especially the main protagonist are at best sociopathic jerks without sincere empathy for other human beings, it's hard to feel genuine sympathy.
  • Designated Hero: The Goddamn Batman, who is psychotic, brutal, and an-all round Jerkass. He kidnaps Dick Grayson, age twelve (albeit from Dirty Cops that were about to kill the boy), and then forces him to live alone in the Batcave, expecting him to hunt the rats and bats in there for food. Then he complains about having Dick around and repeatedly insults and assaults him for getting on his nerves. He goes out on patrol laughing about how awesome he is and how much he loves being Batman as he gleefully poisons criminals, sets them on fire, and attacks police officers; while it isn't outright stated, Fridge Horror implies many of the victims of these incidents don't survive the encounter. And he thinks that if he had a Power Ring like Green Lantern, he would use it to enforce his will on the world, destroy (unspecified) enemies of the United States, and exile Superman from Earth, which is basically the backstory for Sinestro and the reason he was cast out of the Green Lantern Corps, using a Power Ring for selfish, tyrannical means. Why are readers supposed to like this depiction of Batman, exactly? It says something when the Villains Wiki has an entry for him.
  • Designated Villain: The Justice League are repeatedly insulted and mocked by Batman as a "club" for ineffectual morons. While this is accurate to how Miller is writing them, all the Justice League does in terms of their interactions with Batman is call him out on his crap, particularly that he's an insane nutjob that's making superheroes look bad and should try and tone it down a bit for the sake of everyone. And they're absolutely correct.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Alfred, for refusing to put up with Batman's crazy crap.
    • Hal Jordan, for calling out Batman on his terrible treatment of Dick Grayson, age twelve, and being pretty much the only hero that doesn't do or say anything horrible or offensive, which is ironic, given Frank's opinion of him.
  • Fan Nickname: Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall calls Batman in these comics "Crazy Steve".
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Many fans like to believe that this story (and The Dark Knight Strikes Again) is in no way connected to Batman: Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    • The close up on Vicki Vale's panties reveal that the design is that of a Bat. This, much like Vicki Vale herself, has no real importance to anything.
    • When Dick Grayson, age twelve, is huddling alone in the Batcave, his shadow cast on the floor forms an "R." It's probably supposed to foreshadow that he's going to become Robin, but the Batman mythos is very deeply ingrained in popular culture, and Robin/Dick are prominently featured on most of the covers, so it's not so much foreshadowing as it is symbolism for the sake of symbolism.
  • Fountain of Memes: It is, after all, Batman Turned Up to Eleven — now with extra crazy flakes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The 1994 Batman/Spawnnote  crossover had Batman riled up at Spawn's lethal methods, vexing him to the point where he chucked a batarang in Spawn's face when Spawn asked to shake hands. At the time it was understandable; in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One he never used lethal force. After his child abusing, cop-killing antics in All Star Batman his attitude towards Spawn killing seems flat out hypocritical. However, it's completely in line with Miller, as Spawn asks Batman why not kill her - and Batman can't think of anything. Face Palm.
    • Likewise, a lot of scenes from Year One. Especially the scene early on where Bruce breaks out of a cop car but winds up crashing it and still goes out of his way to save the two unconscious cops inside, even one of which is shown to be somewhat of a dick because of his willingness to let Bruce bleed to death, in light of the cop-killing scene early on in ASBAR.
    • As Linkara pointed out, Frank Miller once said he considered Batman the most pure and good of all DC superheroes. Fast forward to this comic and suddenly we have the Goddamn Batman smirking gleefully as he slams the Batmobile into cops, abducts Dick Grayson, Age Twelve, and generally runs around acting so brutally out of character that Linkara dubs him "Crazy Steve" because even "Batman In Name Only" is still too much like Batman.
    • At one point in the story, Crazy Steve contemplates taking Green Lantern's ring for himself. Although the general idea of Batman becoming a heroic Green Lantern was explored in the One Shot Batman: In Darkest Night, Dark Nights: Metal (which came after ASBAR) features The Dawnbreaker, who's essentially what an unhinged Batman could be if he became a Green Lantern.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This line:
    • The love scene between Batman and Black Canary also count. In the story, they make out while keeping their masks on. The scene might be Squick, sexy, or even outright funny to some people. Fast forward three years later, Batman and Catwoman have SEX with their masks on. The scene is here if you want to check it out (NSFW)
    • Although the "I'm the Goddamn Batman" is the most remembered part of the quote, right before it, he says "Who the hell do you think I am?"
    • When 12-year-old Dick Grayson, age twelve, initially creates his costume with a hood, Batman cynically tells him to drop it, since according to him, this would be impractical in a fight. Flash-forward to Grant Morrison's run, when Damian Wayne becomes the new Robin. His costume includes a hood. Linkara has theorized Morrison might have done this on purpose as a Take That! to this comic.
      • This is acknowledged in the comic itself. Dick mentions how Batman taught him that a hood would limit his line of sight, but Damian proves that, having been trained from a far younger age than Dick, he can fight perfectly fine with the hood.
      • A later comic by Morrison, though, has the Bruce Wayne Batman scold Damian for having a hood in his outfit.
    • On the topic of Metal, this Batman's actions are very similar to those of The Red Death from DKM.
  • Idiot Plot: The Justice League strongly disapproves of Batman's methods, and Wonder Woman openly wants to kill him, but all they do is send Green Lantern to deal with him. Said "dealing" takes the form of basically a stern talking to and a finger wag. This despite the fact that any one of the League's members should easily be able to apprehend Batman on their own, nevermind four-on-one. If the League wanted to rein Batman in they could do so at their leisure, but in the hands of Frank Miller, they're too stupid and ineffectual to do anything more than try to reason with him and otherwise submit to his demands of them.
  • Memetic Molester: It's often been pointed out that the way Batman treats Robin can get really uncomfortable. Says he's been watching him before Robin was orphaned, takes him away without the kid's consent, smiles as he thinks about putting the kid through hell...
    "Fast hands, my little Robin. Fast hands, big mouth."note 
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Several lines in the series, as well as the series itself:
    "I'm the Goddamn Batman."
    • Dick Grayson, age 12.
    • And then Miller had exactly the wrong reaction to the Goddamn Batman meme, as he threw the word more and more into Batman's lines until it's practically a Verbal Tic.
    • "Damn you and your lemonade!"
  • Nightmare Fuel: Batman, when he isn't being completely ridiculous.
  • No Yay: "I touched my mother's breast. It bled on me."
  • Older Than They Think: Some readers take exception to the Joker being emotionless and grim, a far cry from his usual depictions. However his early Golden Age appearances did have the Joker as a more morose character compared to how he would later become known.
  • Padding: The series suffers terribly from this. One critic noted the book felt like Miller was spreading 4 issues of story across 20. To put it in perspective, Batman meets Dick Grayson, age twelve, in Issue 1. They arrive at the Batcave in Issue 4. The time in between (the entirety of Issues 2 and 3) is focused on either repetive inner monologue from one of them, or scenes focusing on other characters (despite this being a book about Batman and Robin). Black Canary's introductory scene takes up half of Issue 3, but all that happens is her getting harassed and her beating up a room full of people, and then she wasn't seen again until Issue 6. The Justice League appears in Issue 5 to talk about confronting Batman, but nothing happens about that until Issue 8, and the actual confrontation happens in Issue 9. Finally, while Dick's parents getting killed was the event that began the series, it wasn't until Issue 7 that we actually learn who hired Jocko Boy to carry out the murders, and when the series was cancelled after Issue 10, we still had no hints why they were killed.
  • Signature Line: "Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the Goddamn Batman."
  • Snark Bait: Virtually every other panel has some.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The fact is that most people think this is a bad Batman story; that doesn't stop them from finding it absolutely hilarious.
  • Squick: Batman talking about how his mother's breast bled on him after he touched it. Ignoring the fact that it's an implied bullet wound, the overtones are unpleasant to think about.
  • Strawman Has a Point: When Green Lantern confronts Batman, he points out that Batman is hospitalizing people with his excessive violence and endangering a boy as young as Dick Grayson, age 12.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: This series was part of DC's All-Star line of comics, which was meant to encapsulate everything good about specific DC characters and their mythology. This comic failed spectacularly at it, especially when compared to All-Star Superman.
  • Values Dissonance: Batman's asking Dick "Are you dense? Are you retarded or something?" clearly dates the story back to the days when it was considered acceptable to use "retarded" as a synonym for "dumb" or "stupid", before it became widely considered one of the absolute worst discriminatory slurs that anyone can use. In-context, Batman is basically just calling Dick a moron — which still makes him a Designated Hero considering what Dick's just been through — but to modern day readers, the line comes across far harsher even than Miller intended.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Many fans just read it to see Batman declare "I'm the goddamn Batman!"
  • What an Idiot!: If Green Lantern had a brain cell in his head, he'd have dismissed Batman's offer to meet him at a time and place of his specification, and just captured him then and there with the power ring on his own terms. Or, thinking a little harder, used his ring to manipulate normal objects that aren't painted yellow, like, say, controlling a normal pair of handcuffs to arrest them, or throwing heavy objects at them (such as bricks).
    • For that matter, there's Batman's plan to begin with - as Linkara pointed out in his review of the series, Booster Gold encountered Sinestro while the latter was a Green Lantern in an issue of the former's series; yet despite the fact that BG's outfit naturally featured large amounts of yellownote  (which led BG to assume he would be fine against Sinestro), BG lost when he fought against Sinestro because the latter used methods that didn't involve touching him.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report