grant morrison

Biff Bam Metaphysics

grant-morrisonIf we wanted Batman to save us all, we were doomed. Look at the world while wearing your metafiction suits and there is still no way he can reach every person calling out for help. The world is too big, too daunting. It is filled with things we have to call dreams because we fear what they say about us if we are the truth.

But for others they reject Batman. They claim it isn’t Batman. They look at the Dark Knight and don’t recognize him. Where is that old Whiff Bam Pow? Where is the grim dark ultra justice? Why is he wasting time in space when Gotham needs help? Where did the Bat-nipples go.

Morrison’s Batman run is Batman et all. It is grime meets sci-fi meets pop art meets madness meets camp meets ultra justice. He did it in one night. He did it thirty-five minutes ago. He did it while the world collapsed. He did it collapsing the world into a singularity. He did it while focusing the world around a single city. And he did it while distracting us. The Magic Batman trick.

batman2-600x507It started with a cave and it ended with a cave and all the while Batman went into caves, he built new Batcaves (complete with giant coins and costume displays). He had mysteries for the mystery fans, monsters for the monster fans, sci fi for those fans. He even played songs for the obscure indie Batman fans with their Batmanga hardcovers. And all the while he played this tune with different instruments and composers, some who faltered(1) we got an amazing symphony with bits that everyone could enjoy.

But like most classical music, it is easy to get lost. There were issues where everything faded together and I felt I was missing things. Some jokey reference. Some obscure reference. Something vitally important to the universe. Things became rougher during the intermission when these jokes became more obscure and originally I’d stopped reading there.

My original reading of Morrison’s Batsaga began with with RIP. It made no sense. Batman didn’t die. Who are all these foreign people in costumes? Why did Joker get shot in the head. And then the end – why is there stuff with Darkseid? Why aren’t things wrapped up. I put the book away in disgust. I wanted Batman’s funeral by Neil Gaiman, not THIS.

My second reading began with INC and notes. Annotations, a fresh start and the bounty of comic internet journalism made me love the series, the artists, the camp sci fi action. Hello Lord Death Man. And then comics died down for my – the universe I knew ended, the series went on hiatus and I took a comic sabbatical.

But finally I went back to the beginning for my third reading. I opened the Black Casebook stories and the heritage of Batman. I followed up with reading from the beginning of Morrison’s brief Bat-stuff in 52. Those moments where he was in Nanda Parbat. The exercising of his demons – the first villains he more or less fights in the Ghost Batman – the Ghosts of his Past, Present and Future. Maybe the gun, his failure and his ruined legacy. There I found the Morrison Batman magic with everything.

Batman-Inc-hed1And the idea of the future was recurring. The Batman 666 future – Gotham in flames, the world insane and everything collapsing. Over and over, the Batman who made the deal with the devil. The great to the x-th grandson of the man who made a deal with a devil. “Yes father I will become the Bat”. Even the son without the father born in the belly of leviathan leading to the apocalypse. The intermingling of the Bible and myths from the world into some super religion – a collapse of all faiths into one. Leviathan. It became hypnotic and confusing and tricky and it ate itself and became a bundle of snakes.

And Batman does the same, his family grows, it lives when he doesn’t. When he is dead he expands the legacy of his family. He cleanses his line. And when he returns it grows again. And then it collapses. The army he made shrinks against a larger one. He loses. He suffers loss. And he continues. Batman lives in the strangest world where everything comes together for one reason, to one point.

The biggest misconception of Batman is that he does his work for revenge. It is not revenge because Joe Chill has vanished and the drive for good has not. Batman is not there for any one person. Batman is out there for every scared child to comfort them. He teaches them, inspires them and like any parent he hopes he works out for the best.

In the end building a family, hoping the future will be better than the one before are all you can do. Batman didn’t end here. Other Batman stories will never touch the changes. The stories that can before can never affect this one and so we are locked with something completed. A complete Batman directed by many men into a single song, played many ways and it ended as it began in a cave, with a friend, with a world that still needs saving.

Batman by Grant Morrison took many names. It took us to many places. And in the end, it took us back to the beginning of the track with memories and ideas. With hope and inspiration. And even if he didn’t save all of us because of preconceptions or who Batman is, he did what he could.

 

1. Looking at you guy on Return of Bruce Wayne 4 who filled in for Cameron Stewart. Less issues with the computer guy for the Internet 3.0 issue.

In its 24th year, the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, MI outside Detroit has grown larger and attracted more fans than ever before.   A recent update on the Con’s Facebook page confirmed that over 30,000 fans attended the 3-Day show.  While it’s true that there was heavy traffic to enter the parking lot and long lines to enter the hall, indie artists reported triple the sales of last year’s show due to the high volume of people through the door.

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This is the front of the line on Saturday morning an hour before doors opened.

Here’s a rundown of the guests that this reporter had the chance to interact with.

Lloyd

David Lloyd

V for Vendetta artist, David Lloyd’s latest project is a 21-page noir thriller in Aces Weekly Volume 1.  Aces Weekly is an exclusively digital comic anthology available at http://www.acesweekly.co.uk/home.

Perez

George Perez

The Great George Perez attended the show, delivering commissions and sketching sharpie headshots in between countless autographs.  Mr. Perez’ latest released work is the cover of Legion of Super-Heroes #20, available this month from DC.

Anyone wanting to catch up on Perez’ past work need look no further than this month’s Superman Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow? Tpb and Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6 Tpb.

If that’s not enough, his influence is felt across the New 52 as characters he created may be followed monthly in the pages of Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Justice League.

Kitson

Barry Kitson

Barry Kitson is currently nailing it on Valiant’s Bloodshot title!  Issue #11, containing Barry’s artwork is out this month along with more Barry pencils in the Harbinger Vol. 2 Tpb.  Furthermore, it was just announced that Barry will be illustrating the aftermath of this summer’s Harbinger Wars event in Harbinger #15.

Kitson cares deeply for his fans and this weekend was a prime example.  When Barry saw gridlock on the road leading to the convention center saturday morning, he chose to make the journey from highway to convention hall by foot rather than keep his fans waiting!

Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski

Speaking of Bloodshot, the writer for that title and Valiant’s big summer event, Harbinger Wars, Duane Swierczynski, was present!  Duane’s also involved with the revival of X for Dark Horse.

Clark

Matthew Clark

Notice a trend developing?  Bloodshot #11 Variant Cover artist Matthew Clark was stationed across the aisle from Swierczynski.

Manning

Dirk Manning

Horror comic writer and Bleeding Cool columnist Dirk Manning was dressed to impress while promoting his recent release of the Write-Or-Wrong column collected edition.  Dirk’s next project is a flip book called Love Stories (To Die For) containing two comic book horror stories.  The book will be available from Image Comics’ partner studio, Shadowline, in September.

McKenna

Mark McKenna

Industry veteran Mark McKenna’s new creator owned project, Combat Jacks, is about humans terraforming a planet while they’re attacked by Jack O’ Lantern monsters.

Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham

Tyler Kirkham, fresh from delivering the incentives to those that pledged to his successful kickstarter project NAWRG, set up in prime convention hall real estate.  In short, NAWRG is a story about a troll that lives with a family, but the story contains a deeper meaning on how adopted pets bring great joy to people.   Tyler’s recent work includes Red Hood & the Outlaws, Superman, Teen Titans, and Green Lantern: New Guardians.  His next project is Action Comics #22.

Paquette

Yanick Paquette

Yanick Paquette made his DC debut two years ago in the pages of Batman Inc. and continued his DC work with the New 52 Swamp Thing series.  Yanick’s next project is Wonder Woman: Earth One where he’ll reteam with Grant Morrison.   Yanick remarked on how he loves the way that Grant consistently surprises him and he never knows what Grant will put into their stories.

Hunt

Ken Hunt

Ken Hunt is an artist on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, currently working on a top secret cover for a future DC release.

Bisley

Simon Bisley

Englishman Simon Bisley was particularly interested in the Detroit Redwings t-shirts that local hockey fans were sporting, remarking on how cool the winged wheel design was.

Kolins

Scott Kolins

Scott Kolins recent Orang Lantern backups in DC’s Threshold title will soon give way to a Larfleeze ongoing series with his art and written by Keith Giffen.

Forney

Sean Forney

Local hero Sean Forney is in the midst of his own kickstarter project The Scarlett Huntress!  The Scarlet Huntress features Sean and his wife Stephanie sharing art and writing duties.  The story is a modern take on the Little Red Riding Hood mythos.  He’s almost at his goal and your pledge could be the one that puts him over the top!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/838034909/scarlet-huntress-anthology

Defoy

Jay Defoy AKA Jay A.D.

Young talent Jay Defoy recently completed the first issue of his creator owned title Threadcount: The Tale of Norman Crest.  It’s about a man that gains superpowers that seem ridiculous at first but turn out to be a fun crime fighting asset as the story goes on.

Richard

Sara Richard

Sara Richard’s artwork has a fun fairytale influence to it.  She spends her days drawing adorable My Little Pony Covers.  Check her out.

Spaniards

From Left to Right: Ramon Bachs, Miguel Sepulveda, Manuel Garcia, Andrews Guinaldo, and Pere Perez

These five artists traveled from Spain to meet their fans and deliver high end commissions.  They’re pictured holding pieces that they did for comic art connoisseur Ari Shapiro’s Batman on Gargoyle themed collection.  Reportedly they were commissioned as a group since they share a common rep.  Once they started work, the artists competed with each other over whose piece was strongest and which Ari would like most.

Roadkill

Roadkill

Until next time, dear reader!

This Week’s Best

spider-man batman superman reviewsI read about 30 new books a week. This is a pretty good sized haul considering that the overwhelming majority of books I read are from Marvel and DC and are super hero books. It’s not like all I like is Big Two capes books it’s just that these stories work in this format for me the most. The rest of what I read comes in trade paper back for me. Since Marvel and DC books are so interconnected, I like to keep up.

That all said, I’ve been dropping more DC books than I have in a long time and picking up many more Marvel books. It’s been widely reported that DC is losing market share as well as critical acclaim as the New 52 continues. The Batman books have been the only DC books that have consistently stayed at the top of my pile. Animal Man and Aquaman have and continue to be some of my favorite books while Scott Snyder leaving Swamp Thing has me worried. Either way, here are the standouts from this week:

 

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_3_5Uncanny X-Men #5

Marvel Comics

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Frasier Irving

This is starting to really feel like an X-Men book now. It’s a totally new era but what makes X-Men books work is all intact here. Enemies from all sides, love triangles, mysteries, an all powerful villain, humans fearing them, in-fighting, new mutants, powers not working…this really has it all! This was billed as the true flagship X-Men book before it came out and I found that hard to believe. Wolverine and the X-Men felt like the true flagship book to me. Then I thought about it more. Wolverine and the X-Men represents the Morrison-era X-Men style of a book while Uncanny X-Men represents the more classic X-Men team. Uncanny has more baggage and is the outlaw team with a manageable roster. I think both styles work and are just as legitimate. This issue let the action die down just a bit in order for the interactions to have their place. The expansion of this team feels organic and really has me wanting more.

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Batman-Inc-10-variantBatman Incorporated #10

DC Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artists: Chris Burnham & Jason Masters

While not my favorite issue recently, Batman Inc. books are still some of the best on the shelves. This one felt a bit slow till the last page and somewhat redundant but I see why Morrison made these choices. With three issues left in his HUGE run on Batman, this issue brought in elements from a variety of his past stories that are all going to build towards the finale. I love the idea that Batman is pulling out all the stops to take on Leviathan. Incorporating his Batbots, the Suit of Sarrows, and the Man-Bat Serum to give him the edge he needs makes this feel as big as it should be. The Al Ghul “family” is coming apart and it’s going to be a factor for the future of Batman. This had one of the best last pages of a Batman book that I can remember. If this was a Rocky movie, it’s where you would hear his theme music starting up. Game on!

Avengers_Arena_Vol_1_8Avengers Arena #8

Marvel Comics

Writer: Dennis Hopeless

Artist: Kev Walker

Last issue took time away from the main story (which had one crazy ending) to give us the set-up of Arcade to the way we find him in issue #1. This issue takes us back to the scene of Kid Briton’s death and we see how everyone is dealing with it. With as many characters with powers there are in this book, this never feels like a super hero book. These teens are confused real sounding characters who are way out of their element. This title grows on me with each issue. Once I got over if this whole story was happening in a virtual reality or not I finally fully committed to what’s been going on. Combining all these eras of Marvel teens from every corner of the Marvel U really works because the cliches feel very tenuous and alliances feel strained throughout. I’ve read many of these characters in the titles they came from so the accumulation of all those stories really enhances this for me. As a Darkhawk fan from the 90s as well as someone who has never missed a Runaways appearance, this book had a great twist for me. I recommend this book to non super hero fans as well as seasoned Marvel Zombies. There’s really something for everyone here and Kev Walker’s art is always crisp and approachable.

This week’s Worst

X-Termination_Vol_1_2

X-Termination #2 – Conclusion

Marvel Comics

Writers: David Lapham, Marjorie Liu, Greg Pak
Artists: David Lopez, Guillermo Mogorron, Raul Valdes, Matteo Lolli, Don Ho, Lorenzo Ruggiero, Carlos Cuevas, Allen Martinez
It’s really rare that I use this space as a place to complain about comics. For the most part, I’m dedicated to talking about what I like in comics and letting people know about it. This storyline and this issue (in particular) is awful. Uncoordinated collaborative writing and art made this feel like the obvious editorially mandated story that it was. Two so/so X-Men books that everyone knew would be canceled crossover with the least important X-Men title (Astonishing) to combine into a really basic story that ends two titles. Extreme X-Men was the new version of the Exiles which means it was a reality jumping title that was basically Sliders meets the X-Men. Crossing that title with Age of Apocalypse makes sense because that’s another alternate reality X-Men title with low sales. The contributions made by the various artists seem rushed and are very inconsistent from page to page. It was jarring. The ending was obvious from the from the first page and it felt like everyone was just going through the motions. The upshot is that I will be picking up two less mediocre books from now on so at least there’s that.

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Wu-Tang and comic books are a natural fit.

Their albums have a sense of comic book continuity, the way that Enter the Wu-Tang was succeeded by a slew of solo albums, and then Wu-Tang Forever opened with Reunited.

From the alter egos that the members assign themselves, such as Tony Starks and Johnny Blaze, to outright references to characters like Wolverine, Doctor Doom, and Riddler, comic books influence Wu-Tang from start to finish.  That makes this lecture review right at home on a comic book site.

RZA, lyricist, actor, composer, executive producer, and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, appeared in an intimate speaking engagement at the New Hazlett Theatre on Pittsburgh’s North Side.  In a brilliant addition to their series, Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures booked RZA as part of his Wisdom of the Word tour on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

20121005-rza-picture-x600-1349447490

The stage was set with two luxurious leather chairs and an elegant glass chess board between them.

Local poet and Carnegie Mellon University professor, Terrance Hayes, took the stage promptly at 7:30 to introduce the featured speaker.  Mr. Hayes stood while he read a piece of his own poetry, then rhythmically described RZA’s rich career as a bladed shuriken where each point represented an endeavor that RZA has taken on over the last twenty years.

RZA

RZA appeared from behind the stage and both he and Hayes took their seats.  Hayes opened the interview by moving a pawn forward on the chess board, stating he wasn’t an expert by any means.  RZA scoffed and described Hayes’ opener as a Sicilian move.  RZA told the poet he was watching him, as he’s heard chess players in the past describe themselves as beginners in order lull their opposition into a false sense of security.

the stage

RZA comments on Hayes’ “Sicilian move.”

With the chess match on, Hayes asked his first interview question.  The query related back to his introduction, where he detailed that, as a poet, he knows all poets want to be musicians.  He asked RZA about his venture into directing films and if rappers have an inner desire to be actors or directors.

Before his answer, RZA noted it was commonplace for actors to be aspiring emcees as well, with a prime example being the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here.

joaquin

Joaquin Phoenix: Aspiring Emcee

RZA moved further into his answer.  When RZA composed soundtracks for Quentin Tarantino’s films, Tarantino saw similarities to directing in the way that RZA created music.  RZA wasn’t familiar with camera angles and other directing techniques, but Tarantino has mentored RZA in his film career, which reached a milestone with last year’s The Man with the Iron Fists.  RZA wrote, directed, and starred in it alongside Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu.

RZA’s directorial follow-up is set to be the film adaptation of Grant Morrison’s Image comic Happy.

RZA's next project as a director.

RZA’s next film project.

RZA discussed the time he spent in Steubenville, Ohio in his youth when his family moved there with his stepfather.  During the same timeframe, RZA’s father owned a convenience store in the Hill District in Pittsburgh, which led to many weekends spent in the area.  RZA enjoyed his time in Pittsburgh and noted that he had never seen anything like the Original Hot Dog Shop before coming here.

RZA noted that when an area is isolated by water, something special and unique has a chance to incubate there, independent of the outside world.  His examples were Staten Island, Pittsburgh, and Godzilla’s Monster Island.  When it leaves the island, or peninsula in Pittsburgh’s case, it spreads outward and inspires all it touches.

Hayes reminded the audience of Mr. Robert Fitzgerald Diggs’ many aliases besides RZA, including RZArector, Bobby Digital, The Abbot, Bobby Steels, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, and Prince Rakeem.  Diggs explained that each alias represents a different facet of his own personality and the RZA is the sum of all of those facets combined.  Hayes pointed out that each alias has allowed RZA to experiment with a different rhyming style and the fans are still waiting for RZA’s long anticipated solo album to be released using his signature “RZA” name and style (All of his solo albums have been in a style that RZA debuted on his 1998 solo album, Bobby Digital in Stereo; on a comic book related side note, that album had cover art by Bill Sienkiewicz).

bob-digi-cover

Bobby Digital Cover Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

This appearance was in promotion of RZA’s second book, The Tao of Wu.  RZA had been interested in writing a book that focused on wisdom since before writing his first book, The Wu-Tang Manual, which deconstructed Wu-Tang Clan lyrics and its mythos.  He signed the deal with the publishing company on the express condition that they allowed him to do a second book that would allow RZA to relay some of the wisdom he’s gained as he’s advanced in years.

The Tao of Wu is about the struggles that RZA has gone through in his life.  He wanted to write about something that would resonate with people and he wanted to create a map that people could use to navigate their own struggles.

The book is about RZA’s present goal to remain ”above the ruckus” as opposed to “bringing the ruckus” which characterized the militance of his youth.  The wisdom of age has taught RZA that coming in war and demanding peace is less effective than coming in peace and preparing for the eventuality of war.

RZA asked the audience to imagine what 2-Pac and Notorious B.I.G. would have been like had they made it to their 40s, his age now.  He reminded us that we lost both Pac and Biggie before either were even 25.  Furthermore, neither Jesus Christ nor Martin Luther King, Jr. made it to age 40.  RZA challenged us to imagine what sort of wisdom they could have gained and imparted on the rest of us had they lived longer.

rza reads

RZA reads a passage from The Tao of Wu.

When asked about A$AP Rocky using the lyrics Shimmy Shimmy Ya, a signature ODB line, in his song Long.Live.A$AP, released in stores this past January, RZA replied that he didn’t feel as though A$AP was stealing from Ol’ Dirty Bastard.  Instead, he remarked on how an acknowledgement like this will lead new fans to ODB’s work.

The chess game went unfinished, but RZA ended the show by noting that life itself inspires his creative drive.  If he had the chance to go back in time and talk to Prince Rakeem, the alias he used in his youth, he would recommend following ideologies that would help him obtain the Twelve Jewels: Knowledge, wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice equality, food, clothing, shelter, love, peace, and happiness.

R.I.P. Damian Wayne

dc comics podcast review batman

One of the greatest new characters of the past 10 years of comics, Damian Wayne has been killed in Batman Inc. #8. This death was at the end of a 6 year run by the character’s creator, Grant Morrison. Because of this and how it was handled, this death did not feel like a stunt. It felt organic and had a real emotional impact. This podcast was about who Damian is and where he stands against the other Robins in history.

Listen to the Episode Directly.

Listen to the Episode on iTunes.

Check out the best Damian Panels in Nick’s latest Tumblr – www.SonOfTheBat.com

Nick goes into what he thought about Damian in more depth here.

Check out some of the best recent Batman panels here.

iTunes listeners: HELP US OUT!

Win Free Marvel Comics of your choice by leaving us iTunes reviews. Click HERE to find out how!

Have something you’d like us to discuss? Please email us question at info@shortboxpodcast.com with “Listener Topic” in the subject line and make sure to let us know if we can use your name on the podcast. Thanks for listening!

The Best New Character This Decade

Spoilers…I guess. Damian Wayne, the Robin of the last few years, is dead.

It takes a lot to get an emotional reaction from me with a super hero death these days. With everything from the once thought taboo resurrections of Bucky and Jason Todd (the first Robin to die) to the multiple deaths of most members of the X-Men, death doesn’t really have a meaning in comics anymore. It’s almost always a sales ploy with lots of lead-in hype, maybe a polybagged issue, and usually found in the pages of the year’s big mega-crossovers. Yet, none of that happened in Batman Inc. #8. This felt like an organic death of a hero by the writer who created him. Like the death of “Xorn”, Jean Grey, and Aztek (all by Grant Morrison).

new-52-dc-comicsLike Captain America’s “death” in Captain America #25, this death came about in an issue that came right after a crossover in a related title that promised a big death (with a title like Death of the Family…you’d expect a death, right?). When all the Robins made it out alive in Scott Synder’s story, I let my guard down. That’s one of the reasons why this death made such an impact on me; I wasn’t prepared. A death this big without hype from solicits and speculation for months reminded me what it had felt like to read Superman #75 and Uncanny X-Men #390.

wayne new 52 dc comicsI caught wind of what was to take place the day before I read the comic from the New York Times Article that broke the story but I had to see it for myself for it to really hit. There it was, a heroic sacrifice as powerful as any because it was in the service of just one innocent life. Here was a character I had once hated, then was annoyed by, then grew to be my favorite supporting character in the entire Batman mythos. My feelings towards him were a calculated journey Grant Morrison cooked up in order for the character to have the biggest impact. How often does a super hero in a mainstream comic get a third act? Not many. There has not been a super hero created since 2000 who has become more important to me than Damian.  Here’s why:

dc new 52

Before the New 52 was the Post-Crisis DC Universe. The DC Universe that I grew up on that, to this day, feels like the real one. This was a DC Universe that was complicated and multi-generational. One of the most complicated relationships in that universe was that of Batman and Talia. While Joker might be Batman’s arch-foe, non have more power or resources than Ra’s Al Ghul. His daughter Talia both loves and hates Bruce in a way only a woman scorned can. Grant Morrison’s landmark run on Batman (after his character defining All-Star Superman story) began with taking a once thought Elseworlds story, Batman: Son of the Demon and bringing it into canon. The result was Damian Wayne, heir to both Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul.

murder ghost dc comicsTrained at birth from a position of privilege to be a killer and heir to a criminal empire, his strange upbringing was revealed in bits over the course of years worth of stories. Suffice to say, this was a 10 year old boy with training far and above any that the previous Robin’s had received. His time with the League of Assassins taught him that death was his to dish out and he did just that while in Bruce’s care in an attempt to help his father in his mission. He would fight his programming constantly in his time as Robin under both Bruce and Dick Grayson (who replaced Bruce as Batman while he was thought to be dead…see what I mean about death in comics?).

batman child batDamian was a Robin like no other because he had no interest in being a normal kid nor did he know how. He pushed himself constantly both physically and mentally. He lived to seek approval because that’s how Talia physically and emotionally engineered him. Morrison played with the plot device of showing Damian’s future as Batman in a increasingly more dystopian Gotham in a number of issues that showed the full evolution of the character. I look back at the Dick Grayson and Damian Batman and Robin stories with longing. I wish they could have stretched that teaming for longer because it was such a different dynamic between Batman and Robin then what has been written for the past 75 years. An optimistic conversational Batman paired with a grim and brutal 10 year old Robin…it was so fresh! Like most things in comics, however, the status quo had to be returned (as was always the plan) and Bruce returned to take the cowl back while working with and taking a stricter stance with Damian.

batman pearl comics dc 52The last year of the DC Universe we find ourselves in now, The New 52, contains all the stories from Batman and Damian’s past but in a more condensed timeline (don’t think about it too much, your head will hurt). The evolution of this partnership over the last 17 months really bloomed from one of resentment to a real father and son dynamic that was often sentimental. Just when everything seemed to be working the rug was pulled out. In fact, Damian was becoming the new glue that could have held the Bat-family together after Death of the Family. Alas, it was not meant to be because, in a plot by his own mother, Damian has suffered the same fate Jason Todd did…a heroic sacrifice his partner was too late to help atop.

damian wayne 666 alternateGrant Morrison did a lot of work to get me to fall for this character so completely over the past few years. At the same time DC made a mess of my once favorite Robins, Tim Drake while simultaneously bringing back Jason Todd (let’s not even get into Stephanie Brown). This has all left a big hole in my heart for the titles of Robin. Will I be able to open it again to the inevitable next Robin? Will Scott Snyder set up Harper Row as the new Robin? Will Tim Drake come back (I doubt it)? We’ll see. In the mean time, check out Damian’s appearance in this clip from Batman Brave and the Bold and remember that it’s not your DNA that makes you a hero but your strength of will. Damian Wayne, you will be missed.

It’s going to be sad when they break his death to all the Bat-Pets.

damian wayne robin batman

Episode 17 – Recommended Reading

Hi everyone! Episode 17 features our guest Jason Juniewicz. We go over storylines that we feel deserve more attention. The intro song is Mute City F-Zero by Power Glove.
We picked:
  • Marvel 1602
  • Teenagers From Mars
  • Transformers Autocracy
  • Spider-Man: The Other
  • Chew: Taster’s Choice
  • Joe the Barbarian

Marvel 1602

comics reviews podcast

Here’s a review of Marvel 1602.

Teenagers From Mars

The story that inspired this comic is the public hearings against the comic book industry that led to mass comic book burnings. Watch this clip to see how crazy things got:

comic book rob g rick spears
Trade Paperback Cover
comic books short box podcast
Interior Art

Transformers Autocracy

short box podcast

Autocracy #1 Cover

Autocracy Interiors

 Spider-Man: The Other

JMS short box podcast

Cover of Spider-Man: The Other

short box podcast reviews

Morlun

the other death spider-man

The “Death” of Spider-Man by Morlun

tony choo short box podcast

Chew: Taster’s Choice Trade

comic book reviews short box

Interior Art

Joe The Barbarian

comic books reviews short box

Cover of the Trade Paperback

grant morrison short box reviews

Interior Art

Cheap Reads!

Mentioned in this week’s forthcoming podcast, Fantastic Four 1234 is Grant Morrison’s only FF story. It’s NOT the FF story I would recommend to people who haven’t already read FF stories before. That’s not to say there is a lot of continuity needed to understand this. It’s just…this is a fairly dark FF story. The FF aren’t really a dark team but this is something different. Something really fascinating. I don’t want to give this away but there are a lot of classic FF characters memorable story. What elevates this considerably is the Jae Lee art. Not your typical Fantastic Four artist, his work really fits this story perfectly.

Pick this hardcover up from Amazon for…$1.28 + Shipping on Amazon!!