What felt like an awful lot of work for very little Batman

Final Crisis by Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, Doug Mahnke and 23 other people who are totally awesome and amazingly talented but aren’t going to get their names typed out by me. Sorry team.

So assuming that you (whoever you are – seriously, don’t you have something better to do with your time?) aren’t a huge Batman nerd, Final Crisis contains the “death” of Batman which was actually Bruce getting stuck in the past. That lead to Dick and Damian becoming the Dynamic Duo and it just seemed required that, if I’m going to have a thorough knowledge of all things Batman, I’d have to read this story.

For the record, Batman has like ten pages near the beginning where he was all cool and detective-y, gets kidnapped and then doesn’t show up again until his short, but really epic death scene. I’m not really sure if it’s just my personal bias but I really felt like Batman’s “apparently-he’s-dead” spread was the best part of the whole thing.

When I started thinking about the Justice League I was like “DC… what were you smoking? Mixing a bunch of superheros who get their powers from totally different places on totally different levels hanging out in the Hall of Justice? Who thought that made any sense at all? I know it was the sixties and all but geeeeze.”

Sometimes I think I’m wrong about that. There are some really good Justice League stories. Doom, which is a movie based loosely on the Tower of Babel comic book arch is kind of awesome. All the members of the Justice League are well characterized, unique and kind of limited in their power, which is awesome. The cartoon Justice League that was on TV in the early 2000s also managed to make everyone’s superpowers not a big deal and to keep everyone’s character filled out and interesting. Young Justice was just awesome.

But sometimes the stories just suffer from too many characters and too convoluted plots. To start off, there are like a million superheroes in the Justice League and then think about it, if you’ve got Superman on your side, what kind of situation also requires support from Green Arrow? Or Batman for that matter. What is challenging enough for a god like alien to face down and a totally normal human in a mask who has a fondness for projectiles to manage? And the answer is usually completely ridiculous. Not always, sometimes it does work out really well, but often you just end up with a multipronged attack on earth that’s so complicated the best GSP in the world couldn’t explain how to get from point A to point B.

That’s kind of how I felt about Final Crisis. By the end I’d more or less forgotten who was a hero, who was a villain, who was a hero turned villain (and vice versa), I was pissed off that all the lady heroes had gone to Darkseid and I just wanted Bruce Wayne to reappear and bring some semblance of an understandable plot with him.

I still enjoyed it. Bruce’s not death was spectacular. I’m a fan of Black Canary and Green Arrow and Oracle and they all had stories I understood. As usual, Batman hanging out with super powered aliens and holding his own makes him way more awesome. But by the time we got to the walking tiger wearing a suit I knew I was in way, way over my head.

Last movie I watched: Iron Lady. Meryl Streep is kind of amazing.

Last TV show I watched: Camelot. But that’s all over now.

 

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