Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Lapis Exilis, Aug 29, 2008.
It's good to know that we have accredited scholars hard at work on supporting banal fanboy opinions.
That article may surprise you. It's really about the argumentative strategies used by Batman fans when they debate the issue with Superman fans. The writer introduces the concept of value theory on the second page, and evaluative comparisons and descriptive comparisons on the third page. The author forces us to think about what makes superheroes great, and concludes that Batman is "better" in one area (courage). All fanboys should abandon their errors in reasoning after reading this essay!
Maybe he should have come up with a title that didn't read like one from a thread in this forum. Could've used a colon and subtitle, that one.
The writer wanted a title that didn't seem too highbrow, and would therefore draw in the unsuspecting non-Philosophy major. The tactic worked on me.
That was more or less my thought. I know there are several books that lots of other people like but that I couldn't get through, like Hush. But I think I'm going to avoid a "Totally Wretched" section, so I don't end up ranting...
I'd include the Two Face Annual(?) from the late 80's written by Andrew Helfer
The Prey mini-series by Moench and Gulacy
The Denny O'Neill/Neil Adams Rha's Al Ghul storyline from the 1970's
...and that story where Bat-Hound meets Batmite. Okay, maybe not
Try the recent Joker storyline from Batman Chronicles 7-12. DC have already released it I believe in hardcover. Then there's also Batman Year 2, a four part story in Detective Comics that was released straight after Batman Year 1. The art for 3 of the 4 issues was done by Todd Mcfarlane of Spider-Man fame. I'm also a big fan of the artwork of the late Jim Aparo and love how he used to draw Batman, especially for covers. In the early 80s DC published its first mini series, a 3 part story called Untold Legends of the Batman. This was a pre Year 1 attempt at telling Batman's back story. The art is good to boot. Lastly you could try the 'Zero' issues of Batman published in 1994. At the time DC did one of its periodic house cleaning exercises. They produced a five parter called Zero Hour with crossovers galore. Afterward they did issues numbered 0 designed as a jumping on point for potential new fans. The 0 issues of Batman, Detective, Shadow of the Bat and Legends of the Dark Knight were used to tell Batman's background story and scenes from them were used in Batman Begins particularly concerning the Batcave and Batmobile.
Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy seemed to adopt a similar strategy of eye-catching titles for more scholarly work. I've read about 60% of it so far.
The 25 Greatest Batman Graphic Novels
That list is kinda screwy. It lists Dark Victory in the top ten, and that book was utter crap, though I'd agree with the list's top four. And the list includes Son of the Demon. Don't even get me started on what a travesty of character rape that story is. Yeah, Batman's gonna work with Ra's al Ghul while Ra's henchmen are gunning down enemies right in front of him. Blech.
You know, Mr. Freeze isn't that popular of a comic book character it seems.
That's because the only time they made him interesting was when Bruce Timm & Paul Dini were in on it. Even when they retconned their version into comic continuity it still only felt like a pale imitation.
Actually, I know that "Heart of Ice" is the fan favourite freeze episode (and for some, episode, period) but I really think the most interesting Freeze story was the Batman Beyond one. "Meltdown" I think it was called. If for nothing else than his crazy suit at the end.
Has anyone brought up DKR or DKSB yet? I know they can be a divisive set of books, but they are honestly among a very small number of comics that I can read more than once in a blue moon.
" A Death In The Family" is, imo, essential. The death of Robin shaped Batman as we know him today.
I didn't fully read the caveat/rationale at the beginning, but they did seem to state that quality wasn't the only qualifying trait they were looking for - impact and fan reaction also figured in. So I can see how Hush, Dark Victory, Death in the Family (blech*3) et al got in there.
No Dark Knight Re-Returns, though. Yay!
I read the first issue of Venom ages ago, and remember really enjoying it. Since it's a Batman story without major consequences or known villains, I'd guess from its place on that list that it's actually very good. Is it?
Yeah, I didn't read it either - just flipped through the list.
And for all that the death of Jason Todd was very important in comics continuity for quite awhile - that has a whole lot more to do with DKR (which is where the whole idea originated) than Death in the Family, which is truly one of the worst things I've ever read. And now they've brought him back, a concept I cannot even begin to deal with.
DKR is already on my list though. It's a great story - probably Miller's best work because unlike Year One it has a strong ending.
Never read it myself. Something about the idea of Batman taking drugs just doesn't ring true to the character for me, but if anyone has a review that says it's really good, I'd be interested to hear it.
Let me set it up...
Spoiler: Venom spoilers
Batman has been following the trail of a kidnapped little girl. He meets the father, who has been working on drugs that enhance strength - steroids, in essence. He offers the pill to Batman, who takes a beat, and refuses them.
Batman tracks down the kidnappers and the little girl, through hours of detective work, and finds the little girl trapped under some rocks in a cave that is caving in. The water level slowly rises. Batman must lift a pile of rocks to reach the girl before the water level rises too high. He can't. He's done everything he can, but isn't strong enough. The little girl is killed.
Batman returns to the professor, and asks for the pills.
In his first fight afterwards, he lifts a man over his head, throws him through a plate glass window, and laughs and laughs...
Whether you read that or not, I'd say that "Batman takes drugs" is a gross simplification, and the first issue goes to lengths to spell out the conflict.
But again, I should wait to hear from someone who read more than one issue...
That actually sounds like an interesting book.
I didn't doubt that the story would justify his decision through some such incident - but the scene you describe after he first takes the pills is exactly what I'm talking about. It all sounds like a way to do a variation on "what if Batman was out of control?" I've never read one of those that was particularly good.
I'd say they are. Certainly the Scarecrow issue stands out - it was written by Doug Moench during his run on Batman. Moench is truly an excellent character writer. (Have you read Moench's run? It may have been the greatest extended run on the Batman comics ever...check this site to learn why: http://popcultureshock.com/features.php?id=1183 )
I meant to add - beware the "Scarecrow" and "Ra's Al Ghul" "Year One" one-shots that were released at the time of Batman Begins (actually, two-shots - each were two-part issues). They weren't annuals or part of any extended comic line, and weren't actually "Year One" stories - they were just released to capitalize on the villains being featured in the movie, had "Year One" added to the title in order to capitalize on Year One popularity, and feature pretty awful writing (Batman fighting zombies, etc.).
I think the largest objections to "The Man Who Laughs" seems to be the fact that people don't like Joker origins after "The Killing Joke." I could be wrong, though.
That's "Lovers and Madmen." The art is pretty bad, and the story is so-so. A very different take on the Joker's origin. I prefer "The Man Who Laughs," but you might want to at least check this out. Be prepared for dissapointment, however.
I thought Year 2 was terrible. Just a bad story all around. It's also been retconned out of existence. Thankfully.
Separate names with a comma.