Sunday, April 16, 2017

Batman #20

I am a pain in the ass.

I wonder if Tom King told DC Comics that if he were given Batman to write, he would be reducing every piece of dialogue to first person declarative statements?

Commissioner Gordon: "I am Commissioner Gordon!"
Batman: "I am Batman!"
Commissioner Gordon: "I am the law!"
Batman: "I am calling my lawyer who also is the law and represents Judge Dredd!"
Commissioner Gordon: "I am rescinding my earlier statement!"
Batman: "I am on hold with my lawyer's office! I am listening to the greatest hold music ever!"
Commissioner Gordon: "I am beginning to suspect that my daughter is Batgirl!"
Batman: "I am not winking under the cowl!"
Commissioner Gordon: "I suspect Gotham would be safer without you!"
Batman: "I am going to cry!"

Recently, Batman pissed off Bane. It couldn't be helped for plot related reasons. But since Batman knows he can't beat Bane without calling up Jean-Paul Valley for help and since Batman didn't want that creep sharing space in the main Batman comic book, Batman decided to pull a Reverse Knightfall on Bane. That's not as sexy as you might think and definitely has less dicks in buttholes than you're picturing in your sexy mind. A Reverse Knightfall is where Batman makes Bane fight all of the Arkham inmates before Batman beats the living shit out of Bane and cripples him until DC Comics decides Crippled Bane isn't interesting enough to sell more comic books and declares that he's much better now.

Too bad for Batman, Bane isn't exhausted after fighting Arkham inmates all night because he's taking Venom. Bane is all, "I am the end!" And Batman is all, "I am still here!" But picture that more dramatically and with lots of fish lips since David Finch is drawing it. Plus David Finch already managed to get a double splash page in! Of couse it was of the scene from Issue #1 where Batman is riding on the back of a crashing plane. I wonder if that double splash page had already been drawn but hadn't been used for the first issue and Finch asked Tom King, "Hey, Tom? I spent an awful lot of time drawing this picture and you guys cut it from the first issue because you didn't want to waste two pages on it. But since I put effort into it (and believe me, it was effort! I couldn't figure out how to add a naked lady to it so it was miserable work), can you write it into a future issue? It would really help and Meredith would appreciate not having to hear me moan about it."

While Bane and Batman fight, somebody who calls Batman "boy" retells the "I am Gotham" and "I am Suicide" and "I Am Bane" stories to Batman (which is weird that the story that's currently happening is part of the recollection). But he does it in that "You might have missed the point of the story the first time around, and that would be a shame, so here is what it meant!" kind of way. As if I haven't been paying attention! I might be okay with you patronizing other comic book readers, Tom King, but try to remember that I'm reading your comic books too! Maybe try to assume that all of your comic book readers are as astute and sexually experienced as I am! That was a Tom Kingian first person declarative statement with an M. Night Shyamalan twist!

I'm too lazy to scan pictures right now so pretend you're looking at a picture of Bane punching Batman in the face. Picture it in David Finch's art which is that kind of art that comic book companies think is the best art out there although it's got so many little flaws that it bugs the fucking shit out of me. Why does DC Comics think David Finch, Tony S. Daniel, John Romita Jr, and Jim Lee are the greatest comic book artists of the age? They're all fucking terrible, what with the fish mouths and the women who all look fifteen and the angular shaped everythings and the lines, the lines, the goddamned fucking lines scribbled all over everything!

Apparently the voice retelling Issues #1 through #19 is that of Bruce's mother. I guess that means Batman is close to death. I hear that's what happens when you're dying. You hallucinate the voices of people you know and then pretend you see heaven and then you stop existing forever. Unless you're a comic book character.

And since Batman is a comic book character, he's allowed to be pushed right to the brink of death, beaten, dying, bleeding out...and to suddenly rise up as strong as ever by simply declaring "I am Batman!" and believing in himself and his city and his poor orphaned Gotham Girl! Heroes can never beat the villain when the hero is at full strength. That would be silly. The hero has to be nearly dead to finally remember that they can beat the bad guy. Then when they're nearly dying, they find the strength and wherewithal that they couldn't find at the beginning when they were absolutely healthy and at peak performance.

Rope a dope this, motherfucker!

That's all it takes for Batman to defeat Bane! All Batman needed to do was get his ass beaten by Bane for fifteen pages and right when Bane was about to destroy Batman for good, Batman times a single headbutt to knock him out and win the day. I guess that makes sense. Bane tired himself out by beating Batman to a bloody pulp so Batman still has his, um, lung capacity? No wait. A rib pierced his lungs so he doesn't even have that advantage. Um, he still has his, um, moxy? Why am I even questioning it?! I already explained that that's how comic books work. Besides, he's the Jeezly Crow Batman! Of course he didn't die even though he apparently prepares to die every time he goes into a fight. I guess that's why he wins? Because, in his own mind, he's already dead?

The issue ends with Batman hallucinating a final confrontation with his mother, his greatest enemy. He finally defeats her by realizing she's proud of him even if his survivor's guilt sometimes doesn't let him believe it. He acknowledges that he isn't simply fighting this war because he's a little boy who made a promise because he was sad that his parents died. He acknowledges that he fights for other people. What a revelation! Batman cares about people more than he cares about himself!

That probably sounded sarcastic because it was intended to be sarcastic. The only problem is that lots of writers do write Batman as if he doesn't give a shit about anything but his mission. So on one hand, I'm annoyed at the need for this definitive statement on Batman. And on the other hand, I'm still annoyed! Anyway, here you go! This final issue of the "I Am Bane" story arc should probably be subtitled "I am Batman." Or, since this was a reflection on the first twenty issues of the comic book, it's kind of a way to say the first twenty issues were a collected story called "I Am Batman."

The Ranking!
No change! I get it! Batman cares! Maybe just show that he cares more often in little ways so writers don't have to shout it with big stories every so often so that they can go back to the easy stories with grim Batman's obsessive war on crime!

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