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Reviews ComicBook / Grant Morrisons Batman

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05/19/2020 13:13:16 •••

A Comic of Highs and Lows

Morrison's lengthy run writing Batman is an interesting beast. I'll look at it piece by piece here. And a lot of this is going by the trades, as that's how I've read it.

Batman and Son: This opening story is decent enough, but I feel like Bruce and Damian could have spent a little more time bonding. It all ends up feeling a little rushed by the end.

The Black Glove/RIP: Here's where things start getting really interesting, with a lot of interesting, ambitious, and just plain weird storytelling, but it all totally works, and by the end, Dr. Hurt becomes one of my favorite Batman villains.

Batman & Robin (Trades 1-2): More excellent stuff, with Dickbats and Damian getting into some exciting and colorful adventures, along with some just plain dark and messed up imagery.

Time and the Batman/The Return of Bruce Wayne: This is where I start losing patience with Morrison. For starters, why does every trade reading order place Tat B here instead of right after RIP? I was left totally confused as to what happened when I started B&R. And I find the whole Final Crisis tie in and the time travel thing to be needlessly weird and confusing, especially since in T Ro BW, the dialogue is so cryptic and the art is so often murky and vague that I wasn't sure what was happening in specific scenes.

Batman & Robin (Trade 3): Dr. Hurt and Professor Pyg return, so I should love this, right? Yeah, no. The time travel stuff is still in effect, giving Hurt a frankly stupid backstory that kills him for me, frankly. And then he gets defeated by slipping on a banana peel. Seriously, what the fuck.

Batman, Inc.: This arc starts off really, really well, with a lot of fun stories and cool new side characters. It starts losing me a bit with Dr Dedalus, who feels like he's weird purely for the sake of it. And then the reveal that Talia is behind Leviathan, as well as every other thing that happened in Morrison's run... somehow. This continues into the New 52 era of the book, which has its moments (a certain character death is very well handled), but ends on a needlessly mean and unsatisfying note, apparently because Morrison was pissy about Scott Snyder's dark Batman stories selling better than his stuff. People like a dark character to be, you know, dark. Who'da thunk it?

Overall I'd say the run is still very much worth reading, but it's not without some very frustrating elements.

05/19/2020 00:00:00

For me, it was like most of Grant Morrison's work in general: it's really good when it's just knuckling down and telling good, solid stories, but it loses me whenever it goes off the rails into the drug-addled, psychedelic, over-the-top surreal lunacy of murky, incoherent storytelling and wild, unfettered experimentation. And it's unfortunate that literally everything I've ever heard about the man suggests he's happiest when he's doing the latter, and only does the former to get the political currency to be allowed to do the latter.

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