Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman #50

These fucking variant covers have ruined my entire New 52 collection of comic books!

Rating: Remaining steady at 5 of 51 DC Comics. I certainly have problems with some of the crap happening in the current Batman story, "Superheavy" (which is ending now so I'm going to start forgetting the problems immediately), but at least this comic book is telling atypical stories. Not that a Riddler story followed by a Joker story followed by an amnesiac Bruce Wayne are atypical! But Snyder is coming at them in imaginative ways. New 52 Batman has been all about telling big stories about Batman and his most iconic villains (as well as some new ones that became even iconicker than some of his most well-known enemies!). The only problem with this comic book is that it's been too consistently good. By comparison, DC has been serving up a lot of fucking crap every month. It would be nice if the people running DC would look at the Batman title and think, "Hey look! Well-written, thoughtful stories sell! Maybe we should hire more writers who actually have something to say!" Instead they just kept on the same old thought train and said," Hey look! Batman sells well! Let's put Batman in every other fucking book we publish!" Lazy bastards.

• Bruce Wayne has regained his memory via a method that we're just not going to talk about anymore. I've boxed it up and put it in the attic behind the spooky full length mirror with the musty sheet over it. Now we can simply move on and when anybody asks, "What did you think of that story where Batman and the Joker died and then Bruce forgot he was Batman while Alfred gathered the children of Gotham so he could put them all in danger?", we can stab them in the throat and stuff them in a box and put it behind the mirror too.

• People really like to read things that let them say, "Ooh! Meta-textual commentary! Smartsies!" And Scott Snyder likes to fill his Batman comic book with that kind of thing. But you know what is also smart? Writing a story about Batman that's just a fucking story about Batman that says something about Batman and doesn't have to also be a story about how the fans have been desperate for Batman to return. Subtext doesn't have to be meta-textual. John Steinbeck's books are chock full of subtext and not once will you catch him winking slyly at the reader. Well, maybe Chapter Thirteen in East of Eden. But that's it!

• The narration in the previous scan is Jim Gordon speaking to himself and not Bruce. So that's clever, right? Except, you know, he's still talking about the reader! It's just the reader gets to be fucking disappointed all over again! "What?! Jim Gordon still! Fuck this shit! Hurry up and get dressed, Bruce!"

• Bloom vented Gordon's spleen so Gordon needs to calm down or he'll die. In the meantime, The Batman Brigade has entered the fight to stop Bloom.

• Bloom gains control of the Robot Batman's and everything is going to shit and Jim Gordon is going to die and Superman is going to say, "Ha ha! I told somebody so! About something. Or whatever. Metropolis is still standing! I win!"

• And then Batman returns! Sorry! I didn't mean to remind anybody of the movie Batman Returns! Although I'm sure some of you still think of it fondly because you haven't seen it in twenty five years.

• Bruce's Deus Ex Machina was obviously defective because Batman came back with a sense of humor.

• That last caption was a joke. I actually think Batman has a great sense of humor. And not just DC Animated Universe Batman who is one droll motherfucker. Batman is like me! His jokes are mostly just things that make him laugh while everybody else looks around confused or offended.

• Batman allows Alfred Pennyworth to resume his job as Penny One even though Alfred was a total dick and tried to keep Bruce from being truly fulfilled. He may have been happy at the community center and fucking Julie Madison but that's not what Bruce would have chosen if he'd been given the choice. So even though he was happy, Bruce was still in prison. Hopefully Bruce will make Alfred feel bad about it later. Or maybe he'll just hug him for the first time since Martha and Thomas died and Alfred will collapse into a lanky ball of tears.

• Jim Gordon kind of sort of quotes "The Second Coming" before Batman cuffs him to the inside of a helicopter where he'll probably bleed out while Batman saves the day. I suppose Batman expects Jim to fly the helicopter to the hospital to get his spleen stitched up. Or Batman is pissed that Gordon stole his job for so long and he's hoping Jim will pass out and crash the helicopter and die.

• Gordon decides he doesn't mind if he dies because he's embarrassed of his role in Fox's Gotham. At first I thought that show was going to be about one incorruptible man standing up against a city of corruption and making a difference. But apparently it's a story about a totally corruptible man without the will to stick to his beliefs who paves the way for a desperately needed and actually incorruptible hero to save the city.

• Duke's cousin Daryl explains how this whole mess came about because he's actually the genius behind the seeds. He just fucked up and created a monster named Bloom.

• Batman embarrasses himself with a line way, way beneath his level of intelligence.

• Batman's plan is to suddenly have access to a fifty foot tall Batman Robot so that he can kick Bloom's fifty foot tall ass.

• Bloom's philosophy about how gardeners are not necessary and yards should be allowed to grow wild and free mirrors my own. Except I think his is metaphorical while I mean it literally. Fuck gardens and proper lawn care. Give me overgrown bushes, ivy, ankle-high grass! That's the yard I like to lounge in.

• With the help of Bruce and Jim and all the citizens of Gotham who were part of the problem but then decided to remove their seeds, Duke defeats Bloom. I'm not sure if he kills him or not but would that matter? Bloom's body was originally on the way to Potter's Field to be buried anyway! And Duke hasn't been told by Batman not to kill yet! Loophole!

• Jim Gordon gives a speech that's pretty much the same speech Bruce Wayne gave back in the Red Hood story and the same article that Karen Page wrote at the end of Daredevil Season 2. It's the same speech about how the people without powers living day to day are the real heroes that comic books keep trying to pretend they're about when they really couldn't care any less than they do about real people. But I suppose I'm supposed to feel uplifted now so I'll pretend I am.

• Gordon gets his job back just like Batman got his job back! And Duke gets a job offer from Bruce Wayne! I hope it's not as a personal assistant.

• Julie Madison realizes she has to die because she's now one of Bruce's lovers who knows his secret. It never ends well for someone in that category.

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