Pause for Comic Books

Batman Beyond Unlimited #12 by Krul Porter, Lindsay Fridilfs, Nguyen Satples and Beechen Breyfogle. The New 52 Batman Incorporated #7 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham, The New 52 Batman the Dark Knight Trapped in the Chaos of the Mad Hatter by Greg Hurwitz and Ethan Van Sciver. The New 52 Death of the Family Nightwing # 16 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Ever Ferreira. The New 52 Batman and Robin A New Dark Knight Rises #1. Young Justice Invasion #4 Reflections of Danger by Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones.

Lesson Number one: Comics are so confusing and require so much effort to understand. Graphic novels are so much less confusing. I mean, they’re hard to follow but nothing like good old staple bound comics.  They are essentially chapters of a larger story that’s being released slightly randomly over months and months and only available in some places. I suppose if you were more devoted than I am, you’d realize that it wasn’t a random schedule, you’d go to DC websites and figure out when the ones you wanted to read were coming out and plan to go to the special stores accordingly. I’m either less devoted, less intelligent or marginally less nerdy because I don’t do those things.

But my decision not to actively pursue the stable bound wonders of the world does somewhat affect how much I get out of the reading experience.

For example the Young Justice Invasion is the fourth out of six. I’ve read one other. It’s a stellar story but it’s got like sixty million characters in it and they’re all of solving the problem from different angles which kind of fragments the story so it doesn’t really feel like you’re reading so much as getting news updates from different camera crews around the world. Fun, but not really  narrative. When they’re published in novel form, things will flow better. The Nightwing is part of the larger story arch Death of the Family (a play off of Death In the Family, the comic series in which Jason Todd was beaten almost to death with a crow bar and then blow up, after his mother betrayed him) but this whole comic was the Joker beating the snot out of Nightwing. One, that’s just upsetting on principle. Two it doesn’t make for a great read. When I can read the whole story, it’ll just seem like a particularly rough chapter for Dick Grayson while other stuff happens, but by itself it just feels kind of…. disappointing. In the Dark Knight, we get Batman trying to figure out whose behind a kidnapping ring, and since he can’t just look at the cover of the comic he’s in he doesn’t know its the Mad Hatter. But it’s too incomplete to feel that awesome because all that happens is Batman makes a list of suspects and then checks them off. He barely even investigates  Not that fun as a stand alone.

Oh, I guess he breaks up with his girlfriend too. Which was probably my favourite bit actually. At least she wasn’t evil. I don’t think.

On the other hand the Batman and Robin was a really cute, really neat stand alone story in which Damian sets up a scavenger hunt across Europe based on places his paternal (not crazy) grandparents had visited to prove to his father that he is clever and also that he loves Bruce. While Bruce is away, believing he’ll catch up with Damian, Damian is in Gotham wearing a tiny Batman suit and punching people. But it was its own story and surprisingly heartwarming and cute. Particularly when Bruce works it all out and comes home to not yell at his son. Also there was some quality Alfred in there. The Batman Incorporated felt like reading the most exciting chapter of a book ever all by itself, which is both super exciting and kind of unsatisfying. On the one hand, Talia has Bruce! Damian’s coming after him and that kid is epic. Also, I like that both Dick and Tim are around but now I have to wait until the next one comes out and I get around to getting somewhere I can buy it. Frustrating! The Batman Beyond is similarly excited. Sort of anyway. The first third is about Superman getting kidnapped by a bounty hunting alien. I wasn’t that impressed ’cause Superman’s kind of useless. The next third was Mircon’s origin story, which was kind of neat but only because it ran parallel to Bruce’s downfall. And the last third mostly involved Terry getting the snot beaten out of him, getting rescued by Dick (favourite part!) and having an epiphany. But there’s got to be so much more to that story coming that isn’t in this flimsy staple bound thing and I won’t get to know what for ages. So unfair.

But that’s what I get for reading comics.

Last movie I watched: The Amazing Spiderman. It was actually kind of really awesome!

Last TV episode I watched: Teen Titans. It had its moments.


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