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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Batman & Robin & The Facets of the Joker

November 15th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Earlier today I put up another edition of This Week in Panels. When I was getting the one for Batman and Robin #6, I noticed something odd. A striking similarity that didn’t poke out the first time I read it. At first I was wondering if it was a coincidence, but then I looked further into it and noticed that there were even more similarities. Being that this is Grant Morrison, I knew all of these nods had to be intentional.

One of the things about Dick Grayson as Batman is that he needs his own villain. Yes, he can fight the Joker, but it wouldn’t be the same. They wouldn’t have the magic of Bruce and the Joker as rivals. On the other hand, there’s Jason Todd. Ever since he’s been brought back to life, he’s been wasted potential. Whether he’s Red Hood, Nightwing, Red Robin or Batman with guns, he’s been in one bad story after another. And while Bruce Jones’ horrible Nightwing squandered Dick vs. Jason, the potential is still there. Dick Grayson and Jason Todd are meant to be archenemies. Todd would play off Dick far better than he would Bruce.

So if Jason Todd is Dick Grayson’s Joker, then they need to cement this. Most would consider Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Killing Joke to be the ultimate Batman vs. Joker story. It’s fitting that the first six issues of Batman and Robin have been something of a retelling of that very story. Let’s look at the two:

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Here’s Something to Try…

October 13th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Next time you read an issue of Batman & Robin, make sure to do so with this cranking in the background.

Thanks to Yannick_B for bringing this kickass theme to my attention.

Also, stay tuned for later tonight. I should have another We Care a Lot up. This time it’s about Spider-Shemp.

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Batman and Robin History From the Future

July 10th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Between Batman & Robin and Batman, I realize that while I do enjoy Dick Grayson as the newly-christened Dark Knight, what really seals the deal for me is his relationship with Damian Wayne. The big selling point is that now the roles of Batman and Robin are reversed. Batman is now the light-hearted one mentoring the brooding, moody badass. Without even mentioning him, Damian is the best use of Jason Todd since his resurrection, as Dick is trying to make sure that, against all odds, Damian doesn’t end up either corrupt and crazy (like Jason) or dead (also like Jason). I feel that the Dick/Damian dynamic is what’s going to define this episode of Bat-history and may ultimately make it one of the more interesting duo dynamics in comics, alongside Cage/Iron Fist, Booster/Beetle and Wolverine/Cyclops.

Then I remembered something. This isn’t the first time the two of them have crossed paths in comics. In fact, they helped lead to one of the few bright points of the Kingdom Come sequel Kingdom. More specifically, Kingdom: Nightstar, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Matt Haley ten years ago. Following up on the plot thread shown only in background shots from Kingdom Come, Nightstar — the daughter of Dick Grayson and Starfire — has a romantic relationship going with Ibn Al Xu’ffasch — son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al’Ghul. Bruce, being a delightful asshole in this continuity, decides to let Dick know.

There you have it. The next time Robin gets all indignant at Batman, imagine that inside he’s thinking, “I’m so going to nail your daughter in an alternate timeline for this, Grayson…”

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Ultimatum Edit Week 4: Day Two

June 8th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

I’m sure you remember yesterday… or maybe not. I mean, nothing really happened due to it being just a cover, a recap and a page of Hulk breaking stuff. At least here we’ll get somewhere.

Blame ManiacClown for the Yo Gabba Gabba thing. The dude’s a dad, so I guess that’s his excuse. Still, he showed me clips from that show of Biz Markie talking to children while being stoned out of his mind, so I can’t hate on it.

If you want some actual context on how we got from point A to point B, in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man and Hulk stumbled upon Strange’s house, where demons and stuff were being released due to the place’s structural damage. Strange was taken over by Nightmare, who attacked the heroes, only for Hulk to pound on Nightmare until that big explosion happened. I explain this because Ultimate Spider-Man is the only comic that makes the Ultimatum situation not suck.

We’ll be back tomorrow for more from Strange and the Great Pumpkin.

Day Three!
Day Four!
Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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Something Light For Friday: Who Would Win In a Fight?

November 21st, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

We’ve all done Batman vs Superman, and Batman vs Captain America.

How about Original Bucky vs Original Dick Grayson?

It seems like an uneven fight, since Original Bucky fought Nazis while Original Dick Grayson just ran around in a futile effort to make Batman seem less gay, but I’ll be buried deep in the cold, cold ground before I admit a Marvel anything trumps a DC anything, so I’m going to call it for Dick Grayson.

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Who Grayson?

October 2nd, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Variety reports that because of the success of Smallville and, I’m thinking, the death of the last executive to okay the Birds of Prey series, the CW will be ‘prepping’ The Graysons, a story about a young acrobat in the years before he will become Batman’s sidekick.

That’s right. You know him, you love him, and his name is . . .

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