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August 24, 2006


Dave Intermittent

I thought one of the more interesting things about the interview was the fairly prominent Miller bashing, coming on the heels of the Moore swipes of last year. Is there any other creator who spends as much time taking shots at his (putative or actual) betters?


I'm not sure Miller has been Morrison's better since sometime before "The Coyote Gospel"; his recent work seems determined to strip away even the "putative."

Morrison always likes to play out his anxieties of influence in public, typically with the shadow of Moore, although if he's working on Batman Miller is the predecessor he's got to deal with. I suppose it'd be easier to get more worked up about it if he didn't happen to be right so often, especially in Miller's case. A broad target, to be sure, but Miller keeps handing us the ammunition. Morrison's reaction to the Batman vs. bin Laden stunt seems exactly right, his obvious revulsion at the project's "decadent indulgence" trumping any entitlement to professional courtesy.

Kevin J. Maroney

I have no problem at all with a charity ball being held at a museum, since, well, it happens all the time.

And I took the preserved dinosaur to be Morrison's playful interpretation of Damien Hirst's sculpture "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living", which is an entire shark in formaldehyde (photo available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hirst-Shark.jpg). In the DCU, which has actual dinosaurs wandering around, Hirst or someone like him did the same thing to a dinosaur.

Your comment that the issues haven't reached the level of his rhetoric reminds me of Morrison's run on New X-Men, where his grand ambitions--aesthetic and narrative--unfolded very slowly. But we all know how that turned out. . . .

Dave Intermittent

I'm not suggesting that Miller is better than Morrison; my only, minor, point, was that it's interesting that Morrison makes a point of calling other people out. Within the circle of mainstream comics writers, this kind of overt attack seems pretty rare.

Dave Intermittent

Admittedly, though, I find his Miller bashing sort of odd given that Morrison-via Gothic, Arkham Asylum, and JLA--did nearly as much as Miller to define Batman as grim and disturbed. It makes the bashing seem somewhat calculated.


But we all know how that turned out. . . .

With everything blamed on a sentient drug?

I liked the dinosaur better after it turned out to be real, but I still can't shake the feeling that we were expected to approve and make loud whooping noises and write breathless plot summaries IN SUPER EXCITED BOLD FACE on our blogs just because yet another millennial retro comic featured yet another fucking dinosaur.

And the problem isn't that the charity ball was held at a museum, it's the disjunction between this particular charity and its surroundings. The African aid references are the sole note of realism in a comic that otherwise rejects realism at every opportunity; it ultimately rejects the charity too, but in a way that makes the inclusion seem glib and callous.


We've been over Arkham Asylum before, but Morrison clearly wrote that Batman in the Frank Miller mold (filtered through his own symbol-laden style) no matter what his 2004 annotations say. Morrison always goes after the writers he used to imitate, which does make the current Millar-Morrison tiff rather appropriate, if not inevitable.

I don't think JLA presented Batman as disturbed, though, and Morrison is on much more solid ground when he cites it in the AA annotations as the beginning of his reclamation. The JLA Batman was unremittingly serious (his funniest lines were always "Hh") but his hypercompetence was a reaction to the decade of fallible, pugnacious, easily breakable portrayals that followed in Miller's wake. It was subsequent, lesser writers who turned that competence into paranoia and now he's reclaiming Batman once again.

Dave Intermittent

It took me a second to read the Millar as more than a typo. Stupid lack of attention to comics spats.

David Van Domelen

I imagine a conversation between Morrison's Batman and Furman's Grimlock.

"Hrm." "Hh." "Nhh."


Don't forget Rorschach!

The Prankster

This is way late and would ideally have gone in the "Generics" comments, but what the heck, you brought up 52, so...

You held up the Montoya/Question thread as one of the better aspects of the book, but I have to take issue with that. That plot annoys me something fierce, partly because I hate the technique of captions layered over dialogue panels that Rucka (?) is using--it smacks of someone who can't resist cramming in as many words as they can get away with--and partly because even I, with my highly limited knowledge of superheroes, know that the Question ought to be a lot weirder and less approachable than they've got him. Ironically, the issue which seems to have turned you off the series--with the big Black Adam wedding--is what redeemed the storyline for me. I actually have been enjoying the Black Adam portion quite a bit, as I feel it HAS been progressing nicely and in keeping with the putative rules of the comic (Isis slowly luring Adam over to the side of good), and this issue actually made me want to keep going after being disappointed in the climax of the Booster story and the nonsense with Ralph Dibny.

Um, sorry to thread hijack, I just wanted to keep the discussion going...


Maybe I should put up open threads for comics comments every so often...

I'm not a fan of Rucka's endless narration or his mellow Question either, but his plot has had the most progression and the best pacing. Unfortunately this past week it tanked in horribly slapdash fashion, from Montoya's remarkable inductive leap to the lazy staging of the whole bomber sequence. Apparently there's no security despite a history of attacks by suicide bombers in the same location; in a crowd of hundreds if not thousands, Montoya spots the bomber because she's wearing... a backpack!; Montoya worries about the bombing starting a panicked stampede, but a laser pistol, a shooting, and a woman screaming about a bombing have no effect; and nobody else in the wedding party or the crowd even seems to notice. Nor am I clear on how all the elements of the plot fit together. If Intergang was only in Khandaq to strike at Black Adam, why were they shipping weapons to Gotham from there? Sure, this could mean there's more to the mystery but given the poor execution of the bombing sequence I'm not optimistic. And in this series' perennial problem, the suspense would have been much greater if it had built over a couple of weeks instead of coming up the same issue it's resolved.

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