Saturday, December 06, 2008

Miller's Batman

Part Two: A critic's Praise

This Tuesday the Dark Knight DVD hits the shelves, which means it's a good time to look at what's the best comic book depiction of the character out there right now. Of course, I'm not actually going to anything in depth, because I'm partly lazy (some may some more than partly) and partly bored with the idea of taking a serious look at a Batman comic.

But I will say that while Grant Morrison has done interesting work on his "Batman: R.I.P." storyline, the best Bat title out there is Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder. I'll quote some praise from the Newsarama Blog to do my talking:
It’s bold and brassy, and when you read it in trades, it’s much clearer that Miller has a very clear plan for this series. His deliberately off-putting versions of Batman and the JLA are building the importance of Robin in the DC pantheon. The all-powerful, naïve farmboy, the caustic Greek warrior, the fearless and thoughtless flyboy, and the uncompromising, brutal vigilante, each of them show tremendous potential for heroism, yet it is the humanity of young Dick Grayson that seems destined to bring that potential out of them. Miller also seems to want readers to ask themselves questions about the influence of Batman’s violent actions, and do we really want to trust our protection to a handful of powerful beings? Plus, honestly, it’s just brutally, ludicrously over the top fun and a breath of fresh air in the nostalgia-heavy superhero market.
The one thing to keep in mind about ABRTBW (I'm not sure if that is the accepted acronym nor do I care), is that it is one of the most reviled high-profile superhero series being published today. Pretty odd considering it is better than most of the superhero work being critically praised today, which I often find over-serious and puffed up with bizarre self-importance. It's a superhero comic for god's sake.


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