Variant Covers: The God Damn Batman Hates Labor Day
A good afternoon to you all. Fellow geeks, innocent bystanders, lost internet wanderers wondering how they found themselves in such a fresh Hell as this. The following batch of word-vomit is Variant Covers, your weekly look at the comic books dropping this week. As I am wont to do, every column comes with the following caveat; I am primarily a man of Capes and Latex, when it comes to comic books. My tastes are suspect at best, and if you have a different set list of comics stowed in your pull list for this week, I’m all ears. Amongst other things, I can be fairly accused of being comically curious.
Batman and Robin #14
The god damn Batman can’t catch a break. It doesn’t matter who is donning the mantle, that guy is more than likely in line for a serious ass-whupping. Couple that with a can of Angst Like Fuck, and his existence is guaranteed to be rough at best.
So despite the fact that Dick Grayson is currently our favorite Flying Rodent, he is still dealing with serious shit. Namely, the purportedly back from the dead Thomas Wayne. I don’t know where Morrison is taking the Bat-mythos by resurrecting Thomas, but it’s fun to watch. Wayne is back from the dead, and being spun as a man who despised his wife, loathed his son, and really likes wearing creepy Eyes Wide Shut masks. Where is this shit going?
As Grayson lies in a rubble of flaming Bat-jet, Damian is confronting the Joker in a Gotham City police station. Seriously, isn’t this a situation for epic and enjoyable fail? Back in issue thirteen, Damian spoke my mind when he called the Joker out for what I’ve always felt was his bullshit rhetoric. The Joker isn’t an agent of chaos. In fact, the dude is beyond meticulous in his orchestration of far-reaching schemes. Dismiss the veneer of anarchy, and you see the Joker for the mastermind he is beyond the bullshit.
So Brucey’s kid is face to face with the Joker, whilst his protege Dick is being confronted by his father? Good god damn. Paging Freud or some shit, we have some serious daddy issues being mulled through in this title. Where is all of this going? I have no damn idea. But? But I’m enjoying the ride.
It’s worth mentioning that Batman and Robin is currently worth reading for the artwork alone. I mean, I’m a Morrison fanboy, I’m not fronting. But Frazier Irving is beyond gorgeous in his work on the title. I could read the comic sans dialogue or narrative boxes, and I would be just as happy. Irving seems beyond adept at creating a horror is that equally gorgeous.
I’ve made a grand dent in my reading backlog lately. After a summer of staring in horror at the volume of comics I had amassed, unread, and covered in dust, I threw off my trepidation and started reading. And reading. And reading. It currently stands at something like five or six comic books, but they can wait. It’s a good run of Demo by Brian Wood, which I have been assured by Pepsibones is quite excellent. Then there’s the quirky supernatural western Sixth Gun. Aside from that?
Progress is a hell of a thing.
Amazing Spider-Man #641
Ah, One Moment in Time. The storyline which explains in a knotty narrative what happened to continuity when Parker and MJ’s marriage was sacrificed in order to save Aunt May’s life wraps up this week. And I have to say, I can’t remember the last time I was so torn on a storyline. I’m not really sure how I feel about the whole fucking fiasco. But I don’t hate it, I know that much.
At the beginning of the event, I spent a good amount of time detailing various things which I now happily recant. I thought I enjoyed Parker in high school more. Incorrect: I enjoy him as a regular guy in a complicated relationship. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I’m another twenty-something in a relationship with a chick I totally love, but fuck, ain’t even the shiniest of trysts complicated at some point? I am feeling that, for real. Time to grow-up, Drinkwater. I ain’t 17 anymore, I’m fucking 27.
In fact, I went so far as to say I didn’t really dig on Spider-man at all anymore. Incorrect: this storyline has roped me back into Parker’s life.
Maybe it’s because I’m accustomed to Parker only in the Avengers book, when he is a sorry facsimile of his former self. In them, he’s been reduced to a plethora of bullshit and cringe-inducing “witty” comments. I could go on, but I spent a good deal of time last week lamenting Bendis’ writing on the Avengers titles. All seventy of them. So seeing the guy behind the mask actually reveal and nuanced? Dig it. Maybe this is on me for having dropped off the Spider-cliff a while ago. Mea culpa, yo.
On the other hand? On the other hand, the entire exercise is in convoluted story telling. How many winding narrative roads do we have to go through to justify a shitty storyline gaffe many moons ago? Apparently, a lot.
Around The Horn:
Commenting on comic books every week feels shockingly the same as commenting on one’s own life. Most times, it’s just a batch of the same. So while there’s some comic books coming out that I’m jazzed for, ain’t nothing much got me doing cartwheels of glee. Same ole, same ole. For instance, Daredevil #510 drops this week, and is consistently solid. There’s the latest issue of Thor: The Mighty Avengers, which I’m jazzed on too. And don’t forget the inestimable Glamourpuss #15. Actually, you probably can forget that.
Let me parlay my ennui into something productive. Summer’s over, Fall is imminent. What’d you peeps take a particular liking to this summer? What titles have rocked you? Left you panting? I’m interested.