Thursday, July 27, 2006

Batman #655

Issue #655 of Batman sees Grant Morrison taking over writing chores, with Andy Kubert on pencils. You'd probably expect something a little out there from the writer behind Seven Soldiers, We3 and The Invisibles. Or at least some really wild new concepts thrown in there ala New X-Men. But in the end, Grant Morrison didn't provide much of a departure from the previous incarnations of the series. It's all pretty straight-forward. There are some interesting things involved in the story, including the character of Bruce Wayne and the new role that that puts Alfred in, as well as the situation surrounding the first story arc, which the title isn't shy about relating: "Batman & Son." I'm really not too keen on Andy Kubert's pencils. They get the job done, but it's nothing special to look at. There was a cool scene at the beginning of the issue where a laughing-gas-poisoned Jim Gordan and visiting Batman both chuckle over the same twisted joke about an article in the newspaper. That was the only moment that really struck me in the whole issue.

Overall this was something that won't get any fanboys upset. This is one of DC's biggest books and as such, Morrison took a rather mainstream approach to it, but I can't help but feel like I was waiting for something else... I don't want it to be different and wacky just for the sake of being different and wacky, but I was looking forward to a higher quality story maybe? Possibly something a little more epic like THE Two Face story or something...

Now, I know people criticized Joss Whedon when he took over Astonishing X-Men because he decided to make it more of a traditional superhero book, but at least it was superior storytelling there. For some reason, I'm expecting that Grant Morrison isn't going to get the backlash that Joss Whedon did. The situations are a little different, as Whedon followed up a highly inventive run on New X-Men, but should that really be a factor? Grant Morrison's one of those writers that seems to garner attention from the alternative community a bit more than other creators and as such, he seems exempt from criticisms that other writers and artists would get over the same sort of things. Is it because he's earned more respect via his track record? Just a thought...

As Morrison's run on Batman progresses, it may turn into something special, but for now it's just kind of...there.

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