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Author: John Fallavollita
Friday, July 28, 2006

I know what you're saying.

"Where's Batman #654?"

"What a slacker. No review last month?"

It's not like that. Well, actually it's a little bit like that. Now that I think about it, that's more or less exactly correct. The problem is that last month's Batman book was all loose-end tie up. The huge "Face the Face" plot was great, especially when we see Two-Face return and finally grow a set again. Yee-hah! Then we get to the end. The big villain is revealed and the mystery solved and all I could think is "meh" -- And I believe that's an exact quote.

My problem with the ending is simple: I hate mysteries. I hate mysteries for a very simple reason. The easiest way to write a mystery is to not to have enough information available for the reader to solve it themselves and be smarter than the main character. Now that all being said I love crime stories, which be their nature tend towards being mysteries (Yeah I know, I'm just a riddle wrapped in an enigma, aren't I?).

The best thing out of last issue was Bruce Wayne deciding to adopt Tim Drake, Robin, as his son. Now he has a legal God-given right to endanger that kid's safety. It was something that when I read it I said "Finally!" I think I said it out loud too, which is mildly embarrassing at the Laundromat. So yes, I skipped last issue because I had two badly formed paragraphs to say about the whole thing.

So now we're at #655 and the start of Grant "I'm frickin' crazy!" Morrison's run on the Caped Crusader's main title. Actually I think Grant Morrison gets a bad rap in comics, but it works for him. People somewhat familiar with the genre and the writers therein tend to think of Morrison as a bit of a fruitcake. Personally, I think he's an unbelievable writer. His style, however, is more of the "Skull-shaped satellites" and "I'm going to blow up the Earth, muahahahahaha" than Batman usually deals with.

Knowing this I was hesitant and couldn't wait to read it all at the same time. And frankly, I was prepared not to like it -- which would ruin my theory that Grant Morrison is in the short stable of writers that could crap on a page and have it be, at least to some extent, enjoyable comic media… but we probably shouldn't go into that.

So not one skull-shaped satellite. We do get Joker's face on a helicopter, which is way cooler. Batman shoots Joker in the face (Yeah! That's what I'm talking about!). Ok so not really, but yeah he does. Read the book, you'll see. I'm still unsure if Joker is dead or not, and I kind of like it.

Batman's a hard character to bring fresh ideas to. He's been around so long that it's kind of like saying "Another episode of M*A*S*H where Klinger's in a dress? Brilliant!" But Morrison pulls it off with a concept that's really very simple; "What if Batman won?"

That's it in a nutshell. Batman "wins" his war on crime as much as somebody can, and now he has to be Bruce Wayne for a while. Add that to a few more plotlines being started up this issue, and I think we're in for a good time.

Also we're going to get a new Batmobile. I fully expect it to be skull shaped.

Love this review? Hate it? John can be reached for comment at JOHNFAV@GMAIL.COM.

John really feels like he should write a bio for himself: He is a college drop-out with no formal training in literature or critiquing (he cites his mutilation of grammar as proof). He has written several short stories that have won no awards (nor are they published). He is currently agonizing over a graphic novel, which he hopes will break him onto the comics scene like this generation’s answer to Elvis. Now he’s pretty sure he knows why he never wrote a bio.


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