Dave Galanter
December 1st 1969 - December 12th 2020
He was loved.

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Member Since: Thu Aug 17, 2017
Posts: 128
Subj: Batman 106 review
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 at 03:53:01 pm EST (Viewed 128 times)

What to say? I get what the author is doing, but I reject the premise of the story. We see Batman and Clownkiller track down thieves using hovermachines to steal stuff and Bats tell Clown not to kill or maim, they're just thieves.

We see the latest villain saying Gotham is going to hell and why don't you, new mayor, buy my tech to save the city. It's the beginning of the Magistrate. The founder is a man called Mr. Saint and he grew up in Gotham before the Dark Times, before the (crime) Empire. He pitches that normal cops can't take don't abnormal crooks and that Gotham, once a shining beacon on a hill, is a national joke and no one wants to live there. (He has a point).

We see reporters hanging out at Bruce's brownstone and neighbors also speaking about how things used to be better in the old days.

We also see the new Batcave, where Bruce is training Clown boy. It doesn't look that bad. Again, I am not buying "he has to do more with less" bit because we really don't see the less. Bruce still has a lifestyle that 99 percent would envy.

Finally, we see Damian run home to Mommy. She points that out and says Damian no longer has resources and friends. Then brutes come out and say they're with the League of Lazarus and fight fight fight. A thug has a knife at Talia's throat. Damian hesitates to kill and the last shot in the book is a splash of blood in the air. We are supposed to think that thug slashed Talia's throat and the blood is hers. I bet the blood is the thug's because Talia didn't hesitate to kill.

What I liked - The art. Pretty good dudes, but again, my complaint of today's artists being good at individual panels but not great at showing action remains. Think of it as the difference between being a great still photographer and a great action movie director.

There is a of parallel action going on. Now Bruce and Damian no longer have "resources." Damian and Clown Boy are now being taught by mentors. Damian is being told to kill, Clown Boy is being told not to kill. Mr. Saint remembers the good old days and even mentions Thomas Wayne being a wealthy guy who served the city as a doctor. His solution is to build a fascist state. Bruce is Thomas' son, and his solution is to catch crooks and bring them back alive.

The art thieves used very expensive tech to steal a painting. Bats doesn't have the money to pay for expensive tech. Parallels and paradoxes abound. I also have to say that spending a fortune to steal a painting is not a great business plan. Thieves understand certain cost/benefit ratios.

Aside from Tynion pointing out that no one would want to live in a city with Gotham's body count, I don't agree with the premise he's setting up. But he is right, business and people would flee the city for safer ports. It happens in real life. Look at Newark or Cleveland.

DC can't just keep playing the same notes. The Dark Knight Returns came out 36 years ago. Back then New York was a hellscape, but the city turned around. Why not try that story and just have Batman go after the freaks, with Gotham being a place where people actually want to live.

The whole kid sidekick thing Tynion is doing has been played out before with Jason and Damian. This is just a repeat of what's been done. When you start taking something that is unreal (costumed crime fighters and colorful villains) and try to make it real, it gives people like me - knit-picking know-it-all – permission to knit pick. But when you say this is the world and here are the rules don't question it too much, I'll go along as long as it's fun and entertaining. I will admit that this is quite the needle to thread but when it works it's a lot of fun. But when you make it "real" and comment too much on real issues, it falls apart. At least that's my point of view. Your mileage may vary.

I also don't like it when Bruce just reveals his secret identity to just anyone. I am old school, when superheroes didn't even tell their wives they were superheroes. You can say that's unbelievable, even in a world with flying aliens who look just like us, but that is a foundation I grew up with and like. If you don't, I get it. But if you're going to get real, then you have to play it out all the way. And they don't, except for the original Spider-Man - Green Goblin thing, and that ended in a woman being fridged. No one wants that these days.

Or I could be wrong.

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