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Batman #29: Nice. It's a Bruce thing, *not* a Batman thing, but it's a Bruce thing from the Bruce that built Batman, so it's smart and fearless and utterly pragmatic. This Bruce is the guy I read Batman to get glimpses of, in a way.

Batwoman #6: Color me utterly unsurprised. I mean, it's pretty much a multiversal fixed point by now. (This isn't a complaint.)

Dark Nights Metal #1: This, however, is a complaint. I prefer everything Bat to begin and matter after the above-mentioned guy came up with the idea. Anything that overdetermines that cheapens him IMHO. And, frankly, the whole idea about the freaking N-th metal being the core mystery of everything feels like the premise of a bonkers fanfic challenge, not something you'd like to built an official Event around.

Justice League #27: I get it that the children of heroes will tend to have non-normal lives, but it's lazy that in most futures there aren't heroes other than the descendants of the current ones. That's the laziest and most pre-modern kind of myth. Give me the entitled grandson of Superman being constantly vexed by somebody who got her powers during a nanofactory industrial accident or something.

Star Trek The Next Generation: Broken Mirrors #3: The forced parallelisms make everything in Mirrorverse stories quite predictable (exceptions: the original episode, quite a bit of fantastic TNG fic I must've read about twenty years ago, gods, and arguably some of the DS9 ones), but within those stylistic limits, I think this issue absolutely nailed the characters' voices. It wasn't just a mechanical reverse image of TNG, but you could also see the actors delivering those lines and with those expressions. Very often (I'm looking at you, Superman/Batman comics) symmetries are achieved only by breaking characterization.


Mister Miracle #1

Trigger warnings for suicide, mental health issues, or (and?) Darkseid messing up with the fabric of reality itself. Again. Either one can be thought of as a/the trap — how do you escape reality or what you perceive as reality? — so Scott is a good metaphor POV for that kind of thing. Ideally, they won't necessarily explain it one way or another.

It has something of an Animal Man vibe to it, but with a more tsunami-like approach to a rising tide of dread.

Barda is heartbreaking and adorable and scary (in good good and bad ways).

Recommended, unless you're not in the right headspace for it (in which case don't worry, comics and books always wait for you).
On one hand, genius trillionaire superdetective leveraging terrifying trinkets in a globe-(plus moon)-spanning quest to solve a multi-millennial conspiracy is very much my jam. I'd read the Bruce Wayne: The slightly less grumpy Elijah Snow comic.

On the other hand (and unlike most Ellis/Hickman multi-millennial conspiracies), the particular secret here, and the payoff, are phenomenally stupid. A metal, really? Batman as dark versions of different members of the Justice League? Pace Snyder, that's not what Bruce fears a wrong turn would've led him to. That's Owlman (or, more egotistically, that's the Othersideverse).

It's annoying. Sometimes I wonder if Bruce gets annoyed as well by the ridiculousness of his world. He's a scientist, a rationalist, a trained detective. I bet he wouldn't hate magic and metas half as much as he does if they just made some damn sense.


I wonder if he's fully aware that he'd probably be psychologically unable to do this if Reed Richards were around. I wonder if Reed knows that, and that's why he's staying away (the maths is clear: a multiverse with both Victor and him, by being in different universes, can dedicate themselves to do good, is better than a multiverse with Victor squandering his genius trying to kill/humiliate him and/or take over the world (mainly in order to kill/humiliate him), while he has to spend a fair amount of time stopping him)(note to self: while Reed's concept of "doing good" is less problematic than Victor's old one, it's still problematic).

By the way, I seem to recall a panel posted somewhere of Ultimate!Reed tricking the High Evolutionary into collapsing the Multiverse (because Celestials forbid Crisis on Infinite Earths will ever stop happening), which in theory should impact Reed, shouldn't it? (Maybe that's why the Maker did it? I don't think so, although I haven't been following Marvel, but it'd be a fairly Richards-ly thing to do, to destroy/collapse most of a multiverse just to get a single guy you're particularly annoyed by.)

Hot comics tip

Whenever I want to make a Batman comic extra cool, I redraw in my mind every Batman panel with Bruce Wayne doing the exact same thing, but wearing a black Armani suit with a tastefully hidden set of utility belt+cowl devices.

We're constantly reminded that Batman is human, but the fact that he dresses like a superhero makes it less psychologically salient (on purpose: he designed Batman *not* to look human). Seeing the actual guy do what he does — I mean, not just the "kicking criminal arse"/detection bits, that's a more traditional type of badassery, but when he fights or otherwise interacts with metahumans — gives me unholy amounts of glee.

Batman: the grumpier third of the Trinity. Iconic.

Bruce Wayne: The guy who's solving a case on the "phone" with Jim Gordon while sparring/flirting with Diana of Themyscira on a moon base he designed half of, in (surely very expensive and tricked-out) jeans and a t-shirt. That's the one who inspires me.

Morrison sometimes very much gets it.

And this panel improves tenfold IMHO if Bruce's in civilian clothes (not as opposed to his suit, there's no Batman suit) and Superman isn't (although you'd have to change cowl for tie).

007.1, if you will

One of the nice aspects of the ongoing James Bond comics is that they portray a Bond who's more generally knowledgeable and competent at his job than the movies'. Yes, that Bond eventually got the job done, but things always got screwed up before he did, and his operational craft outside ill-advised sex and violence was, to say the least, suspect. The current Bond is a recognizable version of that one, but he's also more of a professional. When things get screwed up, it's despite his best efforts, not because make a mess and then figure it out is his default tactic.


Aristeia: An aristeia or aristia (/ærᵻˈstiː.ə/; Ancient Greek: ἀριστεία, IPA: [aristěːaː], "excellence") is a scene in the dramatic conventions of epic poetry as in the Iliad, where a hero in battle has his finest moments (aristos = "best").

Also known in contemporary epic (e.g. set piece battles in comic crossovers) as Crowning Moment of Awesome. The relationship seems to go deeper than this, though: the way large comic battles are depicted — the roll calls, the individual combat, the tides and turns — seems, with the obvious changes from an oral to a visual medium, very similar. I think it goes deeper than the straightforward observation that hero is a common term in both, and that metas = (demi)gods; it seems to be a common narrative trait (I'm not familiar with, e.g., Hindu epics, but if I had to bet I'd say that it owes more to the intersection between human cognitive limitations and the synchronous complexity of battles than to an specific cultural tradition).

Anyway, nice to know DC and Marvel do live up to very old traditions (although not even Homer dared have the Greeks do a new siege of troy every year).


B.P.R.D. 1946-1948

It's good, although melancholic. Less a horror story than a war one; monsters are mostly defeated, but not always and not fully, and never without costs to bodies and souls, both supernaturally and metaphorically. Makes me think a Hellboy prequel movie could be interesting, although Hollywood doesn't really have a good track record with this kind of thing, from the surprisingly disappointing Van Helsing (how the hell do you screw up that premise?) to the absolutely terrible I, Frankenstein.

And I'm still waiting for At the Mountains of Madness although first they are going to have to find a plot.


Comics (Warren Ellis Edition)

Injection #12: Injection is, essentially, Planetary, except that everything secret in the word is terrifying and the protagonists screwed up and are responsible for about half of it.

The Wild Storm #3: Mostly the original WildStorm universe, but tightened down into a much more consistent history, and in a relatively more realistic-looking setting.

Bruce Wayne, Ladies and Gentlemen

Bruce: This situation is too dangerous, leave Gotham.

All the Robins[1]: Sure. And by "Sure," we mean "Nope." Dick, literally: "Ignoring Batman's pretty much the definition of being a Robin."[2]

Bruce: *kidnaps the Wayne-ish subset of the Robins, puts them in stasis chambers, and stashes those in the Fortress of Solitude* [3]

[1] Minus Tim and Steph, and, yes, Rebirth can kiss my tushie, Steph was/will be a Robin and Cass was/will be a Batgirl, and the whole Mother thing can kiss my tushie, too.

[2] Batman, somewhere: "... And that's why I have a team of adoption lawyers on retainer." Alfred, somewhere else: "I'm sure sixth time will be a charm, Sir."

[3] Alfred: *files away the idea, as Bruce's developing a tolerance to the sedatives he uses to "convince" him to rest whenever his injuries are particularly grievous*



cass, can you not

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