Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Comic Book Alert: A shakeup in Batman writing

Those who read this blog know that I hold Batman: The Dark Knight in very low regard.

Well here's some hopefully good news.

Various sites are reporting (Batman-News had one of the most interesting pieces on it) that writer Paul Jenkins will be replaced by Penguin: Pride and Prejudice writer Gregg Hurwitz starting with Issue #10 (after the first arc and the Night of the Owls crossover).

Now, first of all I'd like to congratulate Hurwitz. He did an amazing job with the mini-series and he deserves the chance at a full Bat-title.

As to the change-up... THANK YOU DC!!!

For those who liked the Jenkins writing, I'm sorry, but just because the book is selling decently doesn't mean it should be able to be the book that goes into the ENTIRE DC Universe to make the story compare to the traditional Batman and Detective titles.

Given how ridiculous the dialogue has been in Detective Comics (see below), it's hard to believe something could be crazier in the mainstream Bat-titles.

But TDK has managed to be an exercise in insanity. Over a span of six issues (SIX ISSUES), this book has shown Two-Face, Joker, Bane, Poison Ivy (or the lair at least), Clayface, the Ventriloquist, Victor Zsasz, some new sex-toy villain called the White Rabbit, Scarecrow, The Cavalier, Deathstroke, the entire Gotham-based Bat Family (Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman, and the Birds of Prey), the Flash, Wonder Woman and Superman.

Additionally, Alfred has been portrayed as an  ice cream eating pervert, Commissioner Gordon has been seen as a whiny little man, and every single villain to this point has been either slutty or off their freaking nut.

Don't get me wrong here. This is not "All-Star" bad. I understand that this book's goal is to be a cameo fest and have an epic feeling.

However, there's two problems with that. First, this kind of mega-cameo styling in this endless arc resemble a video game plot. Games can get away with it because it comes at you all at once and it takes over a year to get a follow up out. In other words, people don't deal with that style more than a couple of days a year.

Spreading that style out over months and doing it on a consistent basis wears a reader out. Printed comics are not the medium for such massiveness (at least not without multiple books and limiting into a one-shot deal over one or two months).

Secondly, Jenkins is using so many of the characters, giving them further characterization that he's forcing all the other titles to operate as if that style is the way of the universe (at least for a period of time). This means Bane will continue to look like his luchador self without a real change up for a while, which isn't a huge thing, but it sucks that character's big New 52 reveals and new imaging are being set in the C-title.

So once again, good luck to the new writers. Hopefully I'll be able to start reading TDK again soon and not be totally lost!

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