COMIC BOOK REVIEW

OPINION: ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN #5


Author: Bill Ramey, Founder of BOF
Email: BATMANONFILM@MSN.COM
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
From DC COMICS: "The pulse-pounding adventure continues with the All Star creative team of Frank Miller, Jim Lee and Scott Williams! The Batman puts Dick Grayson to the ultimate test, and the orphaned aerialist must make a difficult choice before becoming Robin, the Boy Wonder!"

Newsflash: ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER has again hit the shelves of comic book stores!

Let’s have a PAR-TAY! Well on second thought, perhaps not.

But let’s do have a review of issue #5 of the Frank Miller and Jim Lee team-up.

If you’ve been keeping up with the story -- and how in the hell was THAT possible? -- The Batman has “kidnapped” young Dick Grayson and recruited him into his “war.” All-Star Batman is a total asshole who has glossed himself “The Goddamn Batman.” To this reader, our young Batman -- as written by Frank Miller -- is an unhinged nut job. And judging from our first encounter with The Dark Knight in #5, he’s getting crazier by the minute -- or panel in this case.

It seems that yours truly isn’t the only one that has determined that “All-Star” Batman is a friggin’ whacko, as the story opens with a meeting of “The Justice League” who thinks the exact same thing as moi.

Meeting in Metropolis, Wonder Woman (With whom the story opens -- and let's just say that Miller's WW put the "B" in the "B-word," but has a really nice ass!), Superman, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man debate whether or not to take this “Bat-Man” out. Seems that there is the belief that he’s giving these new costumed “super heroes” a bad name. Should they take him out -- and I mean that literally -- or ask him to join them is the conundrum these new super friends now face.

Methinks that our writer, Mr. Frank Miller, is up to two things. One, he’s doing a parody of the “dark and gritty” superhero that he helped create back in the 1980s. FM basically started that whole deal (YEAR ONE, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) and other writers kicked it up a notch and perhaps took it a tad too far.

Secondly, I think FM is setting us up -- and especially The Batman -- for some kind of epiphany. We think he’s a total asshole by his arrogance, his demeanor, and the way he treats this young orphan that he HAS basically kidnapped.

Leaving Dick Grayson alone in the Batcave, expecting to eat rats to survive? Manhandling Alfred as well. WTF is that all about?!

As far as my “critical analysis” of ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN #5, what’s there left to say? Well, Jim Lee’s artwork kicks ass, for one. Less (but not totally) “splash-pagey,” if you will, and more inline with the story taking place than the previous issues. I love Lee’s Batman and he doesn’t disappoint, and his depiction of Wonder Woman is hotter than hell to be candid. As any red-blooded American fanboy/man will tell you, there’s nothing wrong with that.

When it comes to Miller’s writing, I’m now convinced that dude is up to something here -- probably enjoying the hell out of all of us freaking out! I do think he’s parodying his 80s Batman and I think he’s also setting the readers up, as I previously mentioned. Trust me, there are some scenes with Batman running and swinging amongst the Gotham rooftops -- laughing manically as The Joker -- that’s going to make you say out loud, “WTF is Miller DOING!”

I’m now confident that there is some sort of method to Miller’s madness.

Well, at least I’m hoping so...bigtime.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM,
BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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