Funnybook Babylon

November 26, 2008

Batman #681 – “Batman R.I.P. Part 6: Hearts in Darkness”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 4:47 pm
Batman #681

Batman #681

Yeah, yeah, I know I have shitty reactions sometimes. Full-on notes below the jump, although this issue is way more straightforward than normal.
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David Overreacts A Bit To Batman #681

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 11:22 am

UPDATE: After doing some thought and reading it some more, my initial reaction (which I’ll keep here even though I don’t still agree with everything I said this morning) was regarding my expectations for the issue more than the quality itself, since it’s actually a pretty fucking incredible action comic. My problem was, I thought I’d find out for sure who and what the Black Glove was, so I got angry, even though we have the next issue coming next fucking week. Which is pretty dumb and nerdragey of me so I admit to a decent degree of embarrassment, but still, I was really sure this issue was going to have the huge twist that was promised, even though honestly nobody ever said that for sure and we practically still have two issues left. In three weeks I may very well be feeling like a total asshole, and I’m okay with that, since I like good comics.

ORIGINAL POST I AM SAD ABOUT BELOW

Normally, this is where I’d do page-by-page annotations, but I don’t really know if there’s anything to annotate.

This is what DC promised:

This is it – “Batman R.I.P.” concludes here! The final, heartrending confrontation between Bruce Wayne and Jezebel Jet. The final fate of The Dark Knight. And the horrifying and shocking truth behind the Black Glove. With The Joker, the Club of Villains, Robin, Damian, plus an ending you’ll never see coming – this one has it all!

– From the solicitation

And also to show how strong he is and the way he deals with what happens to him. Bad guys take him down, and I’m thinking, ‘How do I get him back up?’ [Laughs] When we find out at the end who the villain is, it’s possibly the most shocking Batman revelation in 70 years.”

– Grant Morrison, at NYCC ’08

So, what did we get? See below the jump.
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More Blogs about Batman and Food

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 1:24 am

batmanandfood

 

Later this morning, the final chapter in “Batman R.I.P.” drops, so I need to get my crackpot theory out there tonight! THE MYSTERY DIES AT DAWN!

I’ll just lay it out here: I think Grant Morrison’s whole Black Glove mystery, the whole core of Bruce Wayne’s damaged psyche, all ties into a preoccupation of another famous orphan: FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD!

I’m sure I’m not the only person who read Batman #678 and wanted to know why was Robin eating so much. Twice, he appears, investigating all the weirdness surrounding Batman and his Black Casebooks. Twice, he is stuffing his face with junk food. When I reread Morrison’s whole run to lend a hand in David’s annotations, I was really just looking for more “food” clues. Everyone wrote me off as grasping at straws, that I had gone as clue-crazy as Batman himself in the midst of a “Zur en Arrh” induced breakdown. But look at the evidence. LOOK AT IT! (more…)

November 22, 2008

FBBP #80 – I Don’t Need Your Civil War

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 2:19 am

This week, the gang pours one out for the late, lamented Blue Beetle and takes a look at Marvel’s Civil War in the context of a big hardcover artifact. Both conversations pinwheel into the predictable larger “issues” like transmedia synergy and the marriage of James Carville and Mary Matalin

No podcast recording this weekend, but we hope to reconvene after Thanksgiving to kick off the Holiday Podcasting Season! Why not take this brief interlude to consider all that we have done right and wrong this year, and offer constructive criticism?

Do you prefer:
Longer or shorter shows?
Epic digressions or concision?
More Reviews? Fewer Reviews? Different Types of Reviews?

Should we try to have guests? What do YOU think? Let us know!

November 12, 2008

FBBP #79 – Tomorrow Never Lies

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 12:40 pm

This week’s two man show brings you another Jeph Loeb Happy Hour and a look at some of the recent spate of Mod comics. We’ve only got Joseph and Chris for this episode, as Pedro was in Boston checking to see racism is really over while Jamaal got an application ready for these guys.

And while last week’s historic election marked the end of Senator John McCain’s quest to become President, we here at FBB would like to offer Senator McCain a new position: the visual representation of our comic reviews.

The Man of At Least Six Faces

This week we looked at Dave Gibbons’s The Originals, Chynna Clugston’s Scooter Girl and Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram.

Plus, Chris presented another Jeph Loeb Happy Hour about the debut issue of his Marvel event, Ultimatum. The JLHH is slowly moving into Barfly range.

Warning: the talk devolves into a James Bond theme song discussion 107 minutes in. Yes, the podcast is that grotesquely long and rambling.

November 4, 2008

FBBP #78 – Election Day Special

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 3:43 pm

This week, Chris, Jamaal, Joe and Pedro bring you something to listen to while waiting in line for the polls.

On the table this week are Joe Kelly & Chris Bachalo’s Amazing Spider-Man #575 and Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo’s Joker.

And as an election special, Chris brings us a new “Yes, This is Being Published” about DC Decisions: “a master class in how not to publish a mini-series”.

Enjoy.

November 2, 2008

Dissecting the Anatomy Lesson: Everyone Wants To Be Alan Moore

Over in a comment thread to Jeff Lester’s recent (and very funny) review of Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Chad Nevett points out that

it seems every hero that was unique and alone in the past five years has discovered “Oh no, there are tons of you guys!” Kind of lame.

It hadn’t really hit me on the head until now just how much this is true, and where the whole twist comes from. While the DC Universe has always honored and integrated the concept of the known legacy, the unknown or unexpected legacy has become a frequently used element in a lot of recent (like, past ten to twenty years) superhero comics. You know what I mean: that story where the hero finds out, or hasn’t thought about and is now forced to deal with, the fact that he’s not unique, and that many of his presuppositions and assumptions about his identity were askew or outright false.

We’ve seen it a few times in recent years:

  • The Last Iron Fist Story in Immortal Iron Fist
  • The current New Krypton arc in the Superman titles
  • The Spider-Totem legacy in J. Michael Straczynski’s Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Speed Force legacy in Mark Waid’s Flash
  • The emotional spectrum and rainbow Lanterns in Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern
  • Any fucking story that tries to deal with Hawkman’s origin
  • The current Last Stand of the Spirits of Vengeance story in Jason Aaron’s Ghost Rider
  • The end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men with the Phoenix
  • Possibly Batman R.I.P. with the threat of ultimate betrayal and the commentary about Gotham being “a machine to make Batman”

I’m sure there are tons more I’m not thinking of; isn’t Ron Marz doing stuff like this in Witchblade? It was used pretty early on in Spawn, I think. Either way, the point is this: guys, the shocking twist in Alan Moore’s “The Anatomy Lesson” from Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 rules. I think we all know that; it totally pulled the rug out from under the reader in every conceivable way, and used that as a springboard to redefine the scope and themes of the book from a horror story to a space-spanning Gothic romance, and significantly increased the stakes of Swamp Thing’s actions and significance.

But along with its kissing cousin the Story Where The Hero Disappears and Similar Dudes Take His Place, it’s been sorely, sorely, sorely overused over the years, and is now gaining speed like the Terence McKenna timewave into some sort of singularity of plot twist reuse. Hell, Geoff Johns even managed to make it work with Green Lantern – back in the ’90s, when every superhero was stuffing their ranks with variations and refractions on themselves like a hot dog vendor trying to meet a product variance statistic, “holy shit, there are MORE of them!” didn’t mean anything for Green Lantern because, well, there already were more of him, so they just inverted the twist and killed them all off. Johns, on the other hand, just employed lateral thinking – instead of the twist being that there are more Green Lanterns than Hal Jordan, it’s that there are more Lantern Corps than the Green Lanterns.

I mean, it’s a cool story, and I greatly enjoy every comic I just named above, and will hopefully continue to do so now that I’ve realized the reliance on this thread. And there are tons of stories that are nothing like this, from Secret Invasion to All Star Superman (although it had some elements of it), but it’d be nice to see more people try to come up with the next “The Anatomy Lesson” than just trying to tap into it (where consciously or unconsciously).

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