Monday, December 20, 2010

BAT - ‘er up! - - - - getting into Grant

 

I don’t read BATMAN titles on a regular basis.  I did come back for awhile right after BATMAN: R.I.P. (which I haven’t read yet) and sampled the new DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN AND ROBIN (Issue #1), BATGIRL, STREETS OF GOTHAM, RED ROBIN and BATMAN (Dick Grayson)  - - and even wrote about some of them here.  I liked all of them  - - just made a budget decision not to try and follow them all.  Eventually I weaned every one of those titles from my monthly buys.

However, reading them prompted me to check out the back history and a noted Bat-scholar (name of Bill) told me I needed to start with the BATMAN AND SON trade paperback.  So, I’ve been buying some of those trades and stock-piling them for that rainy day.

Recently, I picked up BATMAN, INCORPORATED  #1 out of the blue (should that be out of the black?) and BATMAN: THE RETURN one-shot and read them without benefit of having gone through all that back-story first  (including THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE, which I was also stock-piling).  I thoroughly enjoyed them and feel the new direction is very fresh.

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So, that then prompted me to read those six THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE issues.  Yes, I’m confused  (as you might expect) but I sense that Grant Morrison didn’t just “throw something together”  (as some critics of him suspect) but actually had a game plan in mind and sought to tell a lengthy tale that would introduce some new elements into Batman mythology.   I also see that he didn’t intend to make it easy for the reader (including Batman loyalists) but wrote a challenging script that reminds me of author James Joyce’s classic ULYSSES.  (Very hard to follow but ground-breaking for modern literature  - - and very rewarding if you have the patience to work through it.)

So, the question is = did Morrison indeed compose an epic worthy of discussion and review for decades to come? - - or is it a monumental flop, a noble experiment that fell apart?  - - or just genial Grant having a joke on us?   I intend to answer that question  (at least for myself)  and will update you (if you care)  on this website.  Look for several more articles.

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