Monday, January 02, 2006

The Best and the Worst

Well, I finally got my most recent batch of comics. Some of it worked -- brilliantly -- and some of it was a terrifying trainwreck. And not the kind covered in delicious chocolate. Just a warning for those unfamilar with the ways of the world: spoilers.

The Best: Batman #648

I know that a lot of people hate Judd Winick's work. Even those who don't hate it tend to call it "hit or miss." But for me, Winick's work has been consistently solid. And his Batman is some of the best Batman I've ever read.

He really seems to "get" a lot about what makes Batman tick. Combine that with spot on portrayals of Dick, Alfred (Alfred!) and the mysterious return of Jason Todd, you have the makings of something phenomenal.

This issue continues the streak with issue 648. Most of the issue is a confontation between perennial baddie Black Mask and the Red Hood. It's a brutal one, but it's the ending that's the real shocker: Jason Todd is dead, again. But clearly all is not as it seems. I know I'll be waiting for the next issue.

The Worst: Superman/Batman #23

Jeph Loeb, Jeph Loeb. *shakes head* I heard that you were a good writer. I even enjoyed Hush. *sighs* What happened?

Superman/Batman #23 is one of the worst comics I can recall in a long time. Which is a shame, because Loeb's first arc was absolutely fantastic. But this issue? Maybe it's been the incredible delay. Maybe it's the fact that there're too many characters. Whatever it is, this issue reads like a bad fan-fic that somehow managed to slip into Ed McGuinness's work pile.

It's already been definitely proven that the new "Supergirl" is a "Mary Sue" of the worst sort. I will accept no argument against that. Why else would she show up in this issue clad only in a towel for reasons that I cannot elucidate? But then Jeph Loeb destroys all the brilliant work that Greg Rucka has done with Mr. Mxyzptlk. Then the Joker shows up. For some reason. And let's not forget the weird Kryptonite Man, Bizarro and "Batzarro," Superwoman and Batwoman, Metron, Darkseid, Red Son Superman, and Batman Beyond. Somebody tell me: why?


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Melchior del DariĆ©n said...

I liked the whole book collecting angle Alfred talks about in Bats 648, and the fight ain't bad, either.

Trying to read and understand Superman/Batman makes me feel utterly stoopid. Comics just shouldn't have this effect. It's wrong.

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Yeah, anything that gives Alfred good facetime is worth the read. And Winick has been real good about that. Most writers just pretend that Alfred doesn't exist for the most part. And that's a shame.

And yeah, a friend of mine put this issue of Superman/Batman the best: "Eek" I couldn't have said it better myself.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Centurion said...

I'll agree with 648, it's pretty solid feeling.

I know a lot of people hate Superman/Batman #23, and I agree with many of the reasons in that way. I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn't list it as a great comic. It was pure chaos, and I have no idea what is going on half the time in the plot, yet I couldn't help myself laughing with/at it. For that reason I enjoyed it, and I hope the arch resolves itself in some manor of 'rational' sense.

Then again, I enjoy Batzarro as a character. For the opposites reason I enjoy reading Batman. Ironic I know, but it's true.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Scipio said...


Because Loeb confuses using Silver Age characters with creating Silver Age fun, which is much like confusing wearing your mother's clothes with being a beautiful woman.


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