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Fourcast! 87: Batman & Robincast

June 6th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

-This was supposed to go up last week, but WordPress hiccuped or something and I didn’t notice until Friday night.
-No, seriously. I didn’t forget. Shut up. Here’s proof:

-”Missed Schedule?” How does an automated post miss the schedule?
-Anyway.
-Batcast!
-Talking about Grant Morrison and crew’s:
-Batman & Robin Vol. 1: Batman Reborn
-Batman & Robin, Vol. 2: Batman vs. Robin
-Batman & Robin Vol. 3: Batman Must Die!
-I don’t think I actually hate Warren Beatty, but Esther’s memory is way better than mine.
-”Talking about” more like “Talking around”
-You know how we do
-Here’s that Wingman essay
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-Here comes a new challenger!
-See you, space cowboy!

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The Cipher 11/10/10

November 10th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

and yeah, ain’t nobody as true as us
-Comic books? Did you know that they let people other than Grant Morrison write Damian Wayne? Whose bright idea was that?

-What have we learned?

-Kanye’s record leaked a week ahead of schedule. As expected, it’s good. I’m not sure how good just yet–I’ve only listened a few times–but good enough that I listened to it a few times in a row.

-It opens with Nicki Minaj, which is whatever, but the production and rhymes are solid.

-He does a lot of really interesting stuff musically this time around. He’s much more willing to let tracks breathe, or go on long past their running time, which is something I enjoy. There’s a breakdown on “Devil In A New Dress” before Rick Ross’s verse that’s tremendous, the 9 minute version of “Runaway” is heat, and there’s one track in particular that feels kind of like 808s & Heartbreak in miniature. I can’t wait for the official release, as long as I can get the cover art with the dude with the sword in his head and not that ugly painting.

-It’s been a good year for music, hasn’t it?


you ain’t gotta like me
created: I’ve got something big cooking that will hopefully land with both feet right in the small of someone’s back, but in the meantime, I put some words on comic book covers (protip: they’re there for a reason) and Thor comics (protip: don’t read all of them, or even most of them). Soon, though, I think I’ll have something you’ll love/hate.

consumed: I watched George Clooney in The American the other night. It was pretty good. It was kind of the anti-Bourne, and not really how the trailers made it out to be. It was a very quiet movie, though it opens on an effective bit of violence, which had the effect of making almost every scene very tense. You’re waiting for the explosion. It’s like Unforgiven, but instead of fighting against type like Eastwood did then, Clooney is stuck in a movie you expect to go one way but insists on going another. It indulges in cliché a few times, but it doesn’t really hurt the movie. I liked it, I’ll probably watch it again.

I’m in the middle of a reread of Grant Morrison’s run on Batman & Robin. I picked up Batman Reborn and Batman vs. Robin the other day in prep for an upcoming post. It’s wildly uneven, with Philip Tan not even doing the bare minimum in terms of storytelling or quality being the nadir and Cameron Stewart’s arc being the height. I’m massively frustrated by Morrison lately, and by the fact that what should have been a good story has been marred by crap art. I’m gonna try to work that out on the page, though, so stay tuned.


i like me enough for the two of us
David: Amazing Spider-Man 648
Esther: Batgirl 15, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne 6, Birds of Prey 6, Knight & Squire 2, maybe Red Robin 17
Gavin: Batman Return Of Bruce Wayne 6, Booster Gold 38, Justice League Generation Lost 13, Knight & Squire 2, Welcome To Tranquility One Foot Grave 5, Avengers Prime 4, Chaos War Thor 1, Incredible Hulks 616, New Avengers 6, Ultimate Comics Thor 2

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Your Halloween Treat

October 31st, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

If you have seen a little too much scary this Halloween, take a gander at this.

If this does not make you feel better, you have no heart.  At all.

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Dammit, Damian!

September 9th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

So Batman has a son conceived under unfortunate continuity circumstances.  And this son becomes Robin while displaying no interest in justice, goodness, or preserving life.  He’s an eight year old who kills people, and throws in some attempted murder of the hero’s family.

He provides a permanent tie to one of the most annoying families in comics: a father who is always causing trouble for no reason while trying to achieve his goal of nobody knows, and a daughter whose one goal in life seems to be proving Freud right about that whole ‘penis envy’ theory.

Meanwhile the kid is shown, at eight or ten, to be better at everything than everyone.  Occasionally he provides some flashes of amusement, because he’s rude about it.  However, mostly he’s a more violent, more angry, more disrespectful version of Batman.

Really not my cup of tea, but at least he was a cup of some sort of boiling liquid and that proved useful last month when he was thrown in the face of The Joker.  Finally, finally, finally, the guy who can mow down anything and feel good while doing so started something I’ve been hoping was going to happen for years.

Finally!  Finally, in Batman and Robin #13, Damian did something I can approve of.  And don’t tell me that the Bat universe would be poorer for losing The Joker.  Go ahead and tell me about one good Joker story from the last twenty years.

But he’s Damian, and his primary purpose for existing seems to be bugging me, so I was not surprised to see the preview for Batman and Robin #14.

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Maybe I’m Just Like My Mother

May 6th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Grant Morrison, Andy Clarke, Scott Hanna, and Dustin Nguyen’s Batman & Robin 12 reveals the identity of Oberon Sexton and sets up the next arc of Grant Morrison’s Batman mega-story. That’s nice and all, but what I dug most about the issue was something else entirely.

A preface: I’m not 100% sold on Batman & Robin. The art has been shaky when done by people not named Cameron Stewart or Frank Quitely. The story hasn’t been hitting on all cylinders. I’ve talked about this with David Uzumeri, the #1 Batmannotations guy on the internet, because I was confused. I like Morrison. I like Batman. I like Damian. This should be clicking for me, but it wasn’t. This issue, though, came the closest to the knock-your-socks-off spectacular I was expecting. And it wasn’t because of Oberon Sexton. It was this scene:


Maybe I’m a sucker for parental issues, but this is it. This is Morrison fully bringing Damian into the Bat-family and setting him on his path to be a hero. Batman began fighting crime as revenge on crime itself. Dick Grayson brought a much-needed light to incredible darkness. Tim Drake did it because Batman and Robin can never die. Babs Gordon did it because it was fun and because helping people is in her blood. Cassandra Cain did it as penance.

Damian, ten years old, just slightly older than his father was when he made a vow to avenge the death of his parents, has finally found a cause. His father, bleeding to death, said, “Yes. Father. I shall become a bat” and chose to honor his parents through his life’s work. His mother raised him to be a killer and run roughshod over the world. His father, and his father’s family, treated him with love and kindness. They treated him like a person. His mother is cold, distant, and considers him a tool.

Batman wants to fight crime. His biological son has a more focused target, a specific representation of crime. The son of the world’s greatest detective and the heir to the world’s foremost criminal empire has chosen a side: his father’s side. Damian’s cause is to be a worthy enemy for the daughter of the greatest criminal mastermind on the planet.

I also enjoyed this:


“You’re nothing, old man. I can end you whenever I want to.”

This is how you do fall-out from an event.

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Deathstroke and Morrison

April 27th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I’m ambivalent about the Batman and Robin run so far.  There are some great characters and the stories have all the lurid pulp appeal that a Batman fan could want.  At the same time, there are places in which Morrison heaps on needless complications that detract from the overall story.  (What was the point of making Jason Todd a redhead with a gray streak?)

But I’m intrigued by the fact that Deathstroke popped up in the last issue.  The character has basically been used out in the last few years.  He’s come to be a generic villain, which is a shame given the unusual character he started out as.  Morrison, however, does not do generic villains.  I’m willing to bet that Deathstroke is in there for a reason.

I’m wondering what reason, though.  Deathstroke, in every iteration, seems extremely unlike a typical Morrison character.  Morrison’s characters, although they vary considerably, all share a febrile, hallucinatory energy.  Deathstroke has always been the grizzled, plain-spoken mercenary/soldier.  It’s an incongruous match, and I’m interested to see how the writer and the character match up.

Ideas?

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This Week and That Week in Panels: Weeks 25 and 26

March 21st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

For those who haven’t noticed or forgot, a nasty storm caused me to lose my cable connection last week and rather than wait a day to post TWiP, I made the dumbass decision to add it onto the next week. Apparently I was too busy to notice that this week was a huge one regardless, making this a gigantic update. Welp, let’s get moving.

The A-Team: Shotgun Wedding #1
Joe Carnahan, Tom Waltz, Stephen Mooney

Amazing Spider-Man #624
Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Paul Azaceta and Javier Rodriguez

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There’ll be Sun.

March 16th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Okay, this is technically today with spoilers, so I’ll cut it.

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Fourcast! 33: Last Week in Comics

February 15th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music
-Oh snap, comics reviews!
-Batman & Robin #8? Good stuff! Cameron Stewart drew a great fight scene, Grant Morrison writes a fun Batwoman (“I have to die.”) and the British stuff is pretty fun.
-Esther wants Damian to disappear, though. That sucks.
-Amazing Spider-Man #620? Pretty good, with a great Mysterio bit and amazing art from Marcos Martin and Javier Pulido.
-Secret Six #18? Blackest Night crossover, Amanda Waller runs things, and Deadshot shoots dudes.
-Fact: I cannot say “Deadshot” without saying “Deathstroke” first.
-Fact: Deadshot’s miniseries from a while back ruled.
-Jormungand volume 2 from Viz features a child soldier who goes into two separate suicidal rages in this volume, a wacky arms dealer, and the hijinx they get into. David likes it because he probably has a gun fetish. Good stuff!
-See you, space cowboy!

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This Week in Panels: Week 19

January 31st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

A fine set of comics this week. Ah, it’s good to have Batman & Robin and Frankencastle Punisher around.

Batman and Robin #7
Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart

Captain America Reborn #6
Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch

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