Frank Miller Owns Batman: building a better robin

July 10th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

There’s this thing people do when they get bad news or see something horrible. It’s happened to you, and it’s definitely happened to me. Your unconscious mind registers it, but your conscious mind recognizes the danger inherent in what your unconscious mind is processing, so your brain switches gears. It tamps down that thought and pushes your brain in another direction. “Don’t pay too much attention to this. It will break you. Look away.”

This bit from Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder rings particularly true because of that fact. When you get those late night phone calls that make you sit straight up in bed and your mind takes a hard left away from the trauma–that’s what Dick Grayson is feeling right there. “No. Don’t go there. Not now.” He’s cognizant of the murder of his parents, he knows it happened, but he can’t let himself feel it.

Those thoughts, though, are hard to avoid for long. They creep around the outside of your mind, looking for a way in. It’s like the old adage about opportunity knocking, or the Bible verse that goes, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” Ideas want in, memes must be acknowledged, and this type of idea doesn’t just knock. It wants to pick the lock and demand your attention. It’s slippery, hard to hold at bay, and at some point, it slips inside you and takes control, whether you want it to or not. It’s the ultimate thought, the only thought, and you can’t escape it.

And so it goes with Robin. He starts questioning everything that’s happening, the murder of his parents pushes its way to the forefront of his mind, and he tries to push it back again. But, no–the dam breaks. The tears begin to flood and every single thought in Dick Grayson’s brain turns to one: “Their brains splashed all over my feet!” His life is upside down, nothing makes sense, and he’s breaking.

Batman’s slap, and his actions up to this point, make sense in context. He’s trying to recruit Dick Grayson for his war, and if Grayson makes it all the way through the five stages of grief, he’ll forgive his enemies, rather than having the obsessive mind state that’s required to be a Batman. Forgiveness leads to peace, and the Batfamily can never, ever know peace. That’s not how they’re wired.

The fast-paced, high-impact chase is Batman’s way of fast-forwarding Grayson’s recovery from his parents’ murder. He needs Grayson distracted until the pain fades away, leaving just the anger. Batman is sure of his choice, though he recognizes the pain he’s causing. But, he believes that the mission–whether that mission is protecting Gotham or avenging his parents or defending the innocent is still unclear–takes priority over any single individual’s pain. Gotham needs Batman, and Batman needs Grayson because Batman needs an army to get the job done. So: distract, distract, distract until the little boy is in the shape you need him to be in, no matter how much of a monster it makes you.

Later, Batman will realize he went about this in the wrongest possible way. This is how Bruce Wayne became Batman, but it doesn’t have to be how everyone joins his army. For now, though, it works. He explains the deal to Grayson in a rare moment of softness, and that does the trick.

Grayson’s thoughts return to his parents. He needs guidance and he needs his parents, but that’s all gone now. His safety net is gone, he’s been thrust into a world that should be restricted to adults, and his only guide is a man who is so sure of his convictions that he’d kidnap a child. Despite the situation, Grayson needs to know one thing: who killed his parents?

He collapses again, just for a moment, and then makes a choice. “Yes, sir. I’ll be brave.” He’s going to see this through.

The choice is the difference between Batman and Robin. Batman was thrust into this world, for whatever reason. Robin could have had a normal life. Batman was meant to be.

That choice is the birth of Robin. He chooses justice over grief. It’s the birth, but not the maturation. That comes later, when Batman’s hard heart goes soft and he realizes what he’s done to a twelve-year old child. All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is explicitly about the humanization of Bruce Wayne due to the influence of Dick Grayson.

Grant Morrison and Andy Clarke must have liked this idea of a choice being central to Robin. In Batman & Robin, Talia rejects her son. He chooses justice over terrorism, his father over his mother–and make no mistake, the idea of “Batman” is inextricably and exclusively tied to Bruce Wayne, no matter who wears the cowl–and he too pauses, thinks, and accepts his fate. This is the moment Damian becomes Robin, more so than anywhere else in that series.

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“Have you returned to Khera to commit SUICIDE with me?”

April 15th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

Lotta talk about Wonder Woman on Twitter recently, I figure due to the TV show, but she’s a character I could never really get into. My eyes just kinda glaze over. There have been bits and pieces (JLA Earth 2 by Morrison and Quitely, JLA Classified: Ultramarines by Morrison and McGuinness, sometimes the cartoon), but overall? I dunno, never clicked.

When it comes to women from an isolationist Amazon culture turned superhero who has a dopey blond-haired military dude for a love interest and a little sister who is also a hero, Zealot will always have my heart:

She’s basically Wonder Woman + All The Good Parts of Wolverine + Aristocracy + Guilt-free Violence. Wonder Woman’s always felt a little fluid to me, like people couldn’t ever decide what she was beyond “She’s in the Trinity, and sometimes she kills people I guess. Oh, no, wait, killing is wrong, so all of this awesome armor and her armory is uh ceremonial.”

Izza shame there’s only been something like three and a half readable Zealot stories ever, though. Great in theory, mumblemumble in execution.

Words on that one by Grant Morrison, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Alex Sinclair. Wildcats #1. #2 is undoubtedly lost and gone forever.

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Kiss Me And I’ll Kiss You Back

April 10th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

I live fairly close to a Japanese bookstore, and that gives me a chance to recklessly spend money on things I can’t read. I’ve got a few manga, a few art books, and a few magazines that had pictures I like. I was flipping through one I bought a while back, Inio Asano’s Sekai no Owari to Yoake-Mae (Before Dawn and the End of the World), and really took notice of the kiss that closes out the last story in the book. It got me thinking about kissing and comics, and trying to figure out the first kiss I saw in comics.

I’m pretty sure that it’s in Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s X-Men 1. During a Danger Room sequence, Gambit steals a kiss from a robot duplicate of Jean Grey. She explodes, and Gambit’s response is, “As I always suspected… redheads, they have a dynamite kiss.” It’s part of the personality spamming Claremont often got up to, something to remind you that Gambit is a Cajun lothario with a sense of humor.

There was another kiss later in the same story. A brainwashed Cyclops steals a kiss from Jean Grey (I’m just now realizing how weird it is that it happened TWICE in the span of three issues) and asks if his kiss is as much fun as Wolverine’s, which is actually this whole weird cuckolding/male competition thing that I’m not sure I’m okay with in my old age.

I asked Twitter about other notable comics kisses. The most common suggestion was from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All Star Superman. After gallivanting around Earth and using their superpowers all day, Superman and Lois Lane share a kiss on the moon.

The next most common was from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s The Dark Phoenix Saga. I flipped through and spotted a couple. I think most people thought of the kiss on the bluff, but here’s two:

The only multi-page kiss I found came from a suggestion from Jeff Lester. He suggested Gerry Conway and Ross Andru’s Amazing Spider-Man 143, which is toward the end of the golden age of ASM for me. This is one of the few kisses that lasts longer than 1 panel that I came across, and it’s good, if you’re a Spider-Fan.

There are plenty of others. Brandon Graham’s King City had a couple gooduns, Batman and Wonder Woman in Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke’s JLA: The Obsidian Age, and Ennis and Dillon’s Preacher undoubtedly had a few great ones, though specific instances are escaping me right now. Azzarello and Risso’s 100 Bullets had a great one in New Orleans.

The thing about 99% of the kisses I’ve seen in comics, with precious few exceptions, is that they all look basically the same. Look at the examples I’ve pulled. It’s usually a man, who is generally taller than the woman, in a dominant position, with one arm around the woman’s waist and maybe a hand bracing her head. The woman’s arms go around the man’s neck. It usually lasts just a panel.

The similarity got me thinking. This is a cultural thing, isn’t it? This is how people kiss. This is what it’s supposed to look like. It’s very Hollywood and screen-ready. Neither party is obscured from an observer, the man gets to lead the way, visually at least, even if the woman initiated the kiss… where’d this representation come from?

Here’s Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day in Times Square. You’ve seen it before, I guarantee. It’s a spontaneous kiss, rather than a posed one.

I kinda feel like this is the kiss in America, too. It’s definitive. It’s what you see at marriages, when people propose, and in movies. This has to be the genesis of that specific kiss configuration, at least pop culturally, right? Sort of like how John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat are the genesis of hard-edged heroes with twin guns, Bruce Lee is the genesis of 90% of kung fu fools in comics, Clint Eastwood is the source of Wolverine and all of his descendants, and on and on and on. V-J Day in Times Square may not have been first, but it’s got to be the biggest touchstone.

What’s interesting to me is that this type of kiss is far from the only type of kiss in real life, but it’s the most dominant in media/pop culture. It’s fairly chaste, isn’t it? There’s no groping, no grinding, none of the stuff that makes kissing so unbelievably interesting. There’s passion, but there’s no lust, for lack of a better word. It’s just a kiss. It’s romantic.

Here’s the kiss from Inio Asano’s “End of the World.” Long story short, the girl’s dating a dopey guy, but she loves him anyway. It makes her a little uncomfortable, being so content, and I sorta feel like this is their first kiss. Five pages:

This is really interesting. There are a few major differences from the standard kiss. She’s in control throughout, it’s explicitly erotic (consider her knee on the first page), her tiptoes and subsequent collapse lend it a sense of both desperation and satisfaction, and I feel like the way both of them are blushing and sweating only add to the effect. And then there’s the tongues and the spit. This sequence is wet. It looks raw. It looks like making out. I really like the difference between page 1, panel 1, and page 3, panel 1. One’s a surprise. The other’s a genuine embrace.

You can imagine why I found this sequence so striking. I was raised on a diet of women bent backward, chaste mouth locks, and variations on a specific pose. This is dessert. Makeouts, instead of kisses. I feel like it’s more reflective of real life, too, and it’s almost definitely the best kiss I’ve seen in comics. I don’t think most porn comics even go at it like this.

(A few asides:

(-googling for info on the history of kissing, how kissing is different in various cultures, and really anything in detail on kissing got really really weird and makes me self-conscious in a way I really wasn’t expecting. Do I need to make some apologetic phone calls? In any case, tell your mom I said hello.

(-As pointed out by my man Jamaal Thomas (who should really write more, once he finishes doing things like “having several jobs”), the kiss in All-Star Superman is deflated two pages later by the overwhelmingly paternal kiss on the forehead Superman gives Lois. I’m not saying dudes shouldn’t be kissing their ladies on the forehead or anything, but in that instance? It’s a little too much like a father tucking in his daughter. Mmmmmno, thanks.

(-here’s the origin of the title of the post.)

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Booze, Broads, & Bullets: All-Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder

April 17th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Chad wants to talk about Booze, Broads, & Bullets. Sean wants to talk about Daredevil: Love and War and Dark Knight Strikes Again. Me? I’ve just got an index and some words about Miller’s second-most hated.

Behold, I teach you the Batman.

Batman’s story is fundamentally about revenge. He was wronged as a child and dedicates his life to the get-back. Joe Chill, for various reasons, is beyond his grasp. He can never have his actual revenge. Either Chill is dead, too old, or simply doesn’t exist. So, instead of having an explicit goal for his revenge, something he can point to when finished and have some sense of accomplishment or closure, he’s left with a phantom, something he’ll never be able to grasp. The object of his hatred is transferred to “crime” itself, and thus begins his never-ending quest to get back at the world for the death of his parents.

Batman would not be a pleasant person to be around. He’s been training to fight crime since he was a teenager, at the latest, and that kind of focus does not lend itself to being a particularly good friend. He has focused his life on figuring out ways to solve mysteries, memorizing facts about decomposition, learning ways to hurt people, and make them fear him.

Now imagine if, after being brutalized on his first night out fighting crime, he found a lens to focus his vengeance. A variation on the last happy moment from before his life was ruined. Zorro re-imagined in a blood-soaked haze. “Yes. Father. I shall become a bat.” He is rich enough to do anything, save for overcome the heartache that infected him as a child. So, he lashes out.

A child’s fantasy becomes corrupted due to unimaginable pain. The moment his parents died, Bruce Wayne’s childhood stopped and the seed that would grow to be the Batman began, nourished by blood and anger. He’s going to become a force of nature, something that strikes from the darkness and has no more substance than a shadow. But, not the swashbuckler with a sense of humor from the movies. No, when the Batman laughs, it is a bad thing. That just means the pain is coming. And he’s going to hurt you because he was hurt as a child. This is the Batman.

All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder is the story of how Batman learned to be human. Follow along.

One thing I haven’t seen anyone address is how Batman is treated in the text. The Batman of the early ’00s, who alienated his friends and allies simply because he could, was still treated as a hero and morally correct. The Batman of ASBAR, on the other hand, is actively disliked by everyone he interacts with. In the first conversation he has with Dick Grayson, age twelve, Dick realizes that Batman is putting on a voice. “It’s like he’s doing some lameass Clint Eastwood impression. That’s not his real voice. He’s faking it.” Later, when Batman tells him that the car is called “the Batmobile,” Dick rolls his eyes and says, “That is totally queer. :rolleyes:”

Alfred, after being ordered to let the boy eat rats, declares that he is not Batman’s slave. He vehemently objects to Batman’s treatment of the child. Jim Gordon, the closest thing Batman has to a friend, mocks him after doing him a favor and receiving no thanks in return. “Of COURSE not,” he thinks. “That’s hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?” An inexplicably Irish Black Canary echoes Dick’s opinion of the name “Batmobile,” and even goes so far as to say that maybe, just maybe, Batman “could find some wee benefit from speaking to a person or two, now and then– of course not while you’re so busy punching somebody senseless?”

Hal Jordan, Green Lantern, gives him the treatment on behalf of the Justice League. Wonder Woman wants Batman dead and shown as an example of the cape community policing their own. Superman, showing signs of the ending of Dark Knight Strikes Again decades ahead of time, declares that “this is my world. These are my people. These are my rules.” He overrules her. The only person in the JLA who likes Batman is Plastic Man, who is insane.

The dislike, or grudging acceptance, is nearly unanimous. Vicki Vale dodges a direct meeting with Batman, but calls him a “flying rat.” The only person in the entire book who meets Batman and is anything less than completely unimpressed with him is a woman he rescues from rapist muggers in an alley. She says, “Thank you. I love you,” as Batman is leaving. His monologue: “Nobody loves anybody, my darling. We just survive.”

Think it through. No one in the book likes him. He’s playing a role that is so obvious a recently-traumatized twelve-year old can see through it. He has flashes of darkness, where thoughts of his parents come unbidden to his mind. He repeatedly calls grief the enemy, because grief leads to acceptance and forgiveness. “Grief forgives what can never be forgiven.”

Issue nine. He unleashes Robin on Green Lantern because it’ll be a laugh and he needs to show the JLA he means business. The anger and grief inside Robin spills over and he nearly kills Green Lantern. Batman is suddenly forced to realize that he’s been going about his quest wrong. He was forcing the boy into the steps he followed to become Batman, not realizing that grief and closure are vital to growth. The issue ends with them weeping over the graves of Dick’s parents.

That is the first step toward Batman becoming an actual hero. ASBAR is the story of why Batman needs a Robin. It brings him back down to Earth and forces him to acknowledge his own flaws and humanity. It shows him that you can be young and adjusted, and that crime fighting doesn’t have to be about revenge. The mean one-liners and Eastwood fade. The fun of crime fighting doesn’t. “Striking terror. Best part of the job.”

Of course, the tragedy of ASBAR is that Dark Knight Strikes Again lies in its future. After being fired, Dick Grayson went bad. Batman has to kill him, and while he mocks him, he still marks his passing with a sad, “So long, Boy Wonder.”

Make no mistake: the Batman is a child’s fantasy. Batman’s defining moment is tragedy, and it has effected his adulthood in a way that, say, Spider-Man’s tragedy didn’t. Uncle Ben’s death taught Spider-Man that heroism is a requirement, not an option. The death of Thomas and Martha Wayne taught Bruce that the world is a cruel place. He took Zorro, a character his father enjoyed, and stepped into his boots. It is telling that Miller revises Robin’s origin to include the fact that Dick’s father was a Robin Hood fan and often took Dick to see the movie. Dick chooses his name in honor of his father. Batman does, too. But the difference in the two of them is astounding.

But, for now, ASBAR is the last lesson of the Batman. He’s mastered ways to hurt, maim, kill, investigate, deduce, and solve. This is where he learns to feel. I assume that next year’s Dark Knight: Boy Wonder will wrap the story and show us how Batman and Robin work together in their first bout against the Joker.

All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder is grotesque and exaggerated. It’s not a satire, and there’s definitely a point to all of the glorious excess.

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Hot Wondercon News

April 3rd, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Just so you know, Comics Alliance is the place to go for hot off the presses Wondercon news. Two bits of note for Friday:

Greg Rucka is done at DC Comics and his Batwoman? Well, y’all are gonna be waiting a while. I have more details in the link.

-Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is back on track. It hits again in February 2011 under the name Dark Knight: Boy Wonder, a six-issue miniseries. I can’t even front, that news is super exciting. I can’t wait to see more of Miller/Lee’s take of the Dark Knight universe. Grant Morrison has faltered for me, due in part to the on and off art, and Dini is writing the kind of comic book you use to break up weed on. Miller/Lee’s ASBAR was like a chilled shot of vodka– something bracing and surprising, and something that’ll rock your world when you least expect it.

More on that later, though. Stay tuned, true believer 🙂

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Behold, I Teach You the Wildstorm

October 21st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Grant Morrison and Jim Lee on Wildcats ended up being a non-starter. The first issue came out, the second didn’t, and that was the end of that. I reread it recently, though, and it is actually very good, for a number of reasons.

One of my favorite parts of Frank Miller and Jim Lee’s All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is the dissonance between the art and the story. Jim Lee, love him or hate him, defined superheroic art for the ’90s. Multiple artists were told to draw in his style, including Ian Churchill, and from a strictly comics perspective, he’s probably the most successful of the Image founders. Miller’s story, though, runs in direct defiance of that, dripping with pulpy narration and so over the top in its grotesque incorporation of superheroics that it seems off-kilter and wrong. Once I got it, the book clicked for me.

As in ASBAR, Jim Lee’s art is used in Wildcats as a tool above and beyond “sequential art on a page.” Lee’s style is Wildstorm. They’ve had various artists come through their doors, with an astonishing amount of great ones (Dustin Nguyen, Sean Phillips, Travis Charest, Aron Wiesenfeld, Richard Friend, Laura Martin), but Lee defined the style and still stands out in my mind as the Wildstorm artist.

And Wildcats is Grant Morrison’s take on the Wildstorm universe, but a take on a very specific time in the WSU. He’s going right after the period of time when Wildstorm was at its peak, when The Authority, Planetary, Wildcats/Wildcats 3.0, Automatic Kafka, and Sleeper reigned. It’s Grant Morrison taking what Lee, Casey, and Ellis, in particular, built and pushing it to the next level. The book begins with a bit of exposition that sets the stage: President Chrysler has just come to power, and the world is in turmoil. With a few short phrases (“from the new underwater cities to the asylum ghettoes of Europe”), he establishes this new world. It is not ours, rather, it is a comic book world. Suicide bombers don’t strap explosives and ball bearings to their chest. Now, they are radioactive supermen who lurk in outer space. Telephones are 3D and you can have your very own android for protection (“In stock now! New low price!”). And, more than anything, superheroes are everywhere and revel in their glory.

scan0013Joe Casey’s Wildcats was all about pushing superheroes to a new level. Not the next level, but one different from the one they were on. A focus relationships and business maneuvers, rather than superheroics and spectacle, was a valid description of his run, until he had to give in to market forces and jazz 3.0 up some in an attempt to avoid cancellation.

Morrison takes Joe Casey’s Hadrian, CEO of Halo and reformed superhero, and pushes him to the logical conclusion of Wildcats 3.0. Halo has revolutionized the world, providing families with personal Spartan robots, fancy telephones, and other high tech tools. It’s the end point of the Reed Richards/Tony Stark/Superhero Super Scientist character. At some point, they are either going to drastically improve the world or die as failures.
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Friday Flashbacks 01: Boysenberry Pie

June 12th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

(from marvel’s x-men #8, words by scott lobdell, art by jim lee)

This is one of those scenes that stuck out to me when I was a kid. Going from a picnic to a fight to a pie in the face to a plot twist is classic X-Men. This was the beginning of a downtime issue, which is another X-Men staple. The team would play baseball, go to a bar, or sit around doing nothing after the end of a big arc. This issue ended the drama of Bishop joining the team and a Wolverine-centric story in Germany, and led into an X-Men/Ghost Rider crossover set in New Orleans, where they all went up against the Brood in the NOLA underground. In hindsight, it’s pretty ridiculous, but still fairly funny. Gambit tended to get all of the best lines and scenes in old X-Men books.

This was also back when the book had a strange tone. There was a lot of droll and self-conscious humor throughout the book, verging on actual meta-commentary. It’s nice to see and gave the book a fun, off-kilter kind of feel. I’m not even going to mention the “Gotta be da shoes” Gambit/Jubilee bit.

Well, maybe I will later. But not right now.

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Incongruous Art

January 4th, 2009 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Something strikes me as a bit out-of-sync about All-Star Batman and Robin.  Now, now.  Settle down.  I’m not trying to start anything.

What jumps out at me is the juxtaposition of the outrageous, film-noir-on-acid dialog by Frank Miller, and the finely drawn art by Jim Lee.  Although Lee’s intricate art serves the story well in large-scale panels, like the fold-out wide shot of the Batcave, it seems like the characters need chunkier lines and more high-contrast colors to have the same impact as the words.


Still, I wonder if my reaction to this is based only on the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen this type of art work paired with Frank Miller’s writing.

Does anyone think that this type of art suits Miller’s style just as well as the art we’ve seen in DKR?  Or better?

Does anyone else have examples of when an artist seems perfectly paired with a writer, or when it’s a match made in hell?

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Geoff Klock and friend on All-Star Batman #10

September 26th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

I really dig Geoff’s blog. It’s one of my must reads for a variety of reasons. We have similar tastes, except when they are almost polar opposites, he’s a great writer, and he’s smarter than I am. Below is an excerpt from his post about ASBAR #10, which is an overall great read. Scott, one of his co-bloggers (is there a word for that?), absolutely nails a lot of what I like about ASBAR #10. Also, Miller/Lee Barb Gordon rules, from the Miller-style dangly earrings (scope the logos) to the entire demeanor. She’s a teenager.

Now I just need to get back to posting in Geoff’s comments and conversating about all this. I’ve been too busy to do so lately. I’m done with a big project, though, so I can come back with a bang.

Remarkable: Comics Out September 24, 2008 (All Star Batman)

First of all, Miller is acknowledging his own part in what would become the “Grim and Gritty” era of comics while simultaneously ridiculing it by having Gordon dismiss it by calling Batman a ‘Jerk.’ It’s also important to note that Gordon’s assessment of Batman as a ‘Jerk’ is important for how Miller views Batman; he has always felt that Batman should NOT be your buddy. He’s supposed to be scary, he’s not your friend but he’s the first guy you’d want to have your back in a dark alley. This informs so much of the way that Miller has portrayed the character, particularly in this series.

Miller gives us an interesting bit of background on Batman and Catwoman: they knew each other and were romantically involved in their adolescence. Hmmm, two people who share a young romance and grow up to be on opposite sides of the law? Sound familiar to anyone?

Batgirl is back in this issue and I get the feeling that Miller likes her a lot more than Robin and is using her as a sort of Carrie Kelly stand in. I also love that she is the ‘Fucking Batgirl’. I love the contrast of this with ‘The Goddamned Batman”. “Goddamned” is a very adult swear; it is a blasphemy and, as such, it carries weight. “Fucking” is a child’s curse word; it is shocking for the sake of shock and exactly the kind of thing that a rebellious youth would say to rail against the world.

I also like how, later in the issue, Gordon decides not to come down hard on his daughter because, as far as he’s concerned, she’s being hard enough on herself but, just a few issues earlier, you’ll remember that she was boasting about how great she was at bullshitting her dad. She’s playing him like a violin.

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Julian’s About A Dollar (50+50)

August 25th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Julian Lytle hit me with fifty… and then fifty more.

1) X-books from 1991-1999
2) Generation X drawn by Chris Bachalo
3) That ill cover to the old Who Killed Jean DeWolfe Spider-Man trade
4) Erik Larsen on Amazing Spider-man
5) The First pages of X-Men #1 drawn by Jim Lee with the X-men in a training session
6) X-men #4 where they are playing Basketball
7) Jubilee in all her Mutant awesomeness
8) Backlash by brett booth
9) Back in the day when Savage Dragon and Pitt would guest star in almost every Image comic
10) Michael Turner on Witchblade
11) Joe Madueira on Uncanny X-Men
12) Storm in punk rock gear and no powers with a Mohawk
13) X-Men Series 1 trading cards all drawn by Jim Lee
14) Marvel Universe Trading Cards Series 3
15) Spaceman Spiff
16) Kandea
17) Kaneda’s jacket and bike (it’s an ensemble)
18) Mad Love
19) Dark Knight Returns
20) A Dame to Kill For
21) Kingdom Come
22) New Frontier
23) Darwyn Cooke
24) Bruce Timm
25) Gen 13
26) Humberto Ramos
27) Crimson and Out There
28) Geoff Johns’s Teen Titans Run
29) New X-Men By Grant Morrison
30) The Fourth World by Jack Kirby
31) Spider-Man
32) Galactus
33) Batman
34) Superman
35) Crisis on Infinite Earths
36) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
37) Luke Cage beating Dr. Doom for his cash
38) Dr.Doom
39) Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee
40) Earth X, Universe X and Paradise X (with Heralds)
41) The Legion of Super Heroes
43) Love and Rockets
44) Mike Mignola
45) 7 Soliders by Grant Morrison and various artists
46) 52
47) Akira
48) Naruto
49) Calvin and Hobbes
50) Peanuts
51) The Crew
52) Priest’s Black Panther
53) Bendis writing Luke Cage
54) The New Avengers arc with the Hood drawn by Lenil Francis Yu with no inker
55) The Crew’s White Tiger aka Kasper Cole
56) The Master of Kung Fu
57) The Phantom
58) The Authority By Ellis and Hitch
59) Planetary
60) Alan Moore
61) Alan Moore and Travis Cherest on WildC.A.T.S.
62) Cyber Force
63) The Justice Society of America
64) Captain Marvel (Fawcett)
65) The Ultimates 1 and 2
66) Ultimate X-men By Millar and BKV
67) Dazzler
68) Boom Boom
69) NextWave
70) Dragonball
71) TMNT
72) Concrete
73) Elfquest
74) Jason Todd
75) Robin
76) Runaways
77) Young Avengers
78) The Metal Men
79) Rusty and Skids
80) New Mutants
81) Adam Pollina on X-Force
82) War Machine
83) Ed Brubaker’s Captain America
84) Casanova
85) Umbrella Academy
86) Marc Silvestri on Uncanny X-Men
87) Watchmen
88) Podcasts
89) San Diego Comic-Con
90) New York Comic-Con
91) Alex Ross
92) Moebius
93) Gambit charging a bike to blow up the Phalanx creature the X-men fought
94) Secret Wars
95) Maus
96) Sinestro Corps War
97) The Punisher
98) Preacher
99) Cliffhanger
100) Capcom’s Marvel fighting games

Me and Julian are from the same era of comics, man. Jim Lee X-Men, Jubilee, Moebius (who remembers that Silver Surfer story he did?), Gambit… it’s all dope.

Here’s his #5, for example:

I learned the word “cripes” from this comic. No joke.

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