Monday, April 07, 2008

Goddamn Batman Makes The Wall Street Journal

When the WSJ is reporting on Frank Miller's Goddamn Batman, you know he's made it into the annals of greater pop-culture:

"Frank Miller, a comics writer who has a long association with the character, is portraying him as unhinged, and suggesting this iconic hero borders on being a psychopath. Mr. Miller's Batman laughs maniacally to himself while on patrol; saunters about unshaven; beats criminals bloody; and kidnaps a young boy to groom him as his sidekick, Robin -- despite protests from other superheroes."

The article's writer, Brian Steinberg, ultimately approves of this latest iteration of the Masked Manhunter, suggesting that the nature of the character and his origin lends itself to this sort of portrayal.

Of course, in the end the longevity of the Goddamn Batman might also be explained in part by the fact that All-Star Batman and Robin, when it comes out, is one of DC's top-selling titles.

If the money is being thrown in this direction by the readers -- more so apparently than even Grant Morrison's run on "Plain Ol' Batman" -- then there might really be something to this crazy Batman and his f**ked up universe that is appealing to the public at large.

My question is: since the status quo and style set by both Miller on "ASBAR" and Morrison on All-Star Superman are obviously so successful, should DC take a cue from this and integrate those elements more in the "continuity" versions?

I'm still getting over the fact that Batman painted himself yellow and drank lemonade in order to beat Green Lantern. I mean, with this knowledge out in the open, the Green Lantern Corps would be pretty much screwed, no?


  1. "I'm still getting over the fact that Batman painted himself yellow and drank lemonade in order to beat Green Lantern."

    That almost sounds like it might be worth buying the book for!

  2. im waiting for the trade, hopefully by the time I'm 30 it will be out.

  3. Glad to hear that Miller's groundbreaking new take on the character is getting the attention it deserves. Too often, the press on our medium is negative, divisive and insulting. Love that the book is getting the limelight, couldn't happen to a better creator. In the WSJ no less!!

    Now if we can just get the NYT or EW to take a look at the awesome stuff Geoff Johns has cooking in Green Lantern - really, is there a better modern "superhero" writer than Geoff?

  4. Uh, no, they shouldn't make the real Batman the goddamned Batman. The only reason people can accept the Goddamned one is because he's in a seperate universe from the 'real' Batman. He's also insane in an insane world, but put into regular continuity you'd have to conform the rest of the world to him to make it work and that much continuity screwing would really annoy people I think.

  5. The same question's come up regarding making Marvel's Ultimate line its' primary universe. In each case, I'd say no -- making the All-Star books part of legit continuity takes away from both brands.

  6. Since One Year Later, the Batman books have been trying to make Batman more human. To make him more like "the Goddamn Batman," would just undo that work.

    All Star Batman relies more on star power and great art than anything. I read it every time it comes out, and I know it's beautiful looking trash.

  7. One observation: While getting the article in the Wall Street Journal is good, if it wasn't Frank Miller and Batman, it just wouldn't have happened. What I mean is, this is an oddball one time occurance, not a sign that comics are getting the WSJ respect. So expecting other media outlets giving similar props to Green Lantern and other books might be pretty far off.

    And to answer your question, no, mainstream DC should not adopt the All-Star style for their flagship books. One, I think the reason the All-Star books do so well is because they are so different from the mainstream books. They provide an alternative. If they were all the same sales and creativity would be diluted.

    Two, I believe, judging on what I read by most bloggers who like AS Batman, they don't like AS Batman because it is good writing, they like it because it is BAD writing. Be they laughing with it or at it, they are laughing. This is good for one fringe interpretation of Batman, but if every interpretation of Batman had the same mocking tone, the character would be diminished.

    Just my opinions.

  8. Anonymous7:25 PM

    My answer your question: Oh dear god please no. Morrison's Superman keeps true to the character, but ASSBAR is just vile.

  9. This article screams "This just in! Batman comics not like their 1960's incarnation"

    If you put Frank Miller and Jim Lee on a top-tier character, it'll do ganbusters whether it's a grim and gritty or Spranish or whatever. "Goddamn Batman" will only carry over to mainstream comics if they have that exact same talent.

  10. Alfred hasn't washed his mouth out with soap yet? Then keep it to the fringe please.

  11. please don't encourage frank miller, the "goddamn" batman makes me cry.

    i have to admit batman painted yellow does make me laugh though.

    doesn't make miller any less insane...

  12. Wait, Goddamn Batman isn't cancelled yet?

    Also, I read the Wikipedia summary of "Death of the New Gods." It made me very, very sadangry. Maybe I'll post about it today.

  13. "Miller's groundbreaking new take" had me in stitches. That's comedy gold, danbizzle.

  14. Hokay, so, the rampaging self-absorbed psycopath Batman made it into the pages of the newspaper written for rampaging self-absorbed psychopaths, which is now owned by rampaging psychopath-in-chief Rupert Murdoch?

    Sorry, I'm letting my prejudices out. There we go, thats better.

    But really... I would pay good money to see the Goddamn Batman in the regular DCU. It'd be great.

    GDBM: Rarr! Dick! Eat some rats!
    NIGHTWING: Whuh?
    GDBM: Hey! Superman! You're my beyatch now! Dumbass.
    SUPERMAN: Um... Bruce? Do you need to... lie down?
    GDBM: Hey! Dinah! You can't fight crime, you're a woman! C'mere and give me some sugar, baby!
    BLACK CANARY: *punt*