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Not really sure what all I want to say here, except that I'm generally... discontent.

Seriously, does everything have to be Dark and Gritty? Does every character have to be a caricature? The bitter, beaten-down, old commissioner, the crazy and ruthless vigilante (and since when does Batman use guns, even with rubber bullets, good grief), the spineless mayor manipulated by advisers, the psychiatrist who's so in love with words and ideas that he can't see the forest for the trees...

Ugh. Just, ugh.

There's also way too much love for graphic fighting and so on here for my tastes, although I guess to each his own.

I can't figure out why, if this is "in the future," the President is still obviously based on Reagan. Maybe I shouldn't look for "sense," though.

The whole thing with the general is also seriously disjointed, and way too... brief? I don't know. I picked up on some of the subtext - the eeevil insurance companies didn't allow his wife's treatment, so he turned to selling guns to try to fund it, but it was such an aside altogether that I'm almost wondering why it was even included.

The new Robin is at least interesting, although I'm not sure it's going to go anywhere good. At all.

And the Batmobile looks weird, I think, except with the shaky art it's hard to tell WHAT it looks like, really. Still not a fan, sorry. :p

It feels like Miller's trying to say something and make some point here, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to be really, except perhaps "whatever side they may be on, people are all crazy and stupid and violent. The end."

Or maybe I'm just in a Mood today and not giving it enough close reading. Thoughts?

Comments

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stormfeather
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, now I'm wondering how much Batman was with the dark and gritty stuff before Miller. I mean obviously there was some heavier stuff, what with Jason Todd and all but... Meh.
theweaselking
Nov. 12th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
Before Miller, Batman was Adam West. "Gritty" Batman is a Frank Miller creation, with all that implies.
vizsludraugas
Nov. 12th, 2010 12:39 pm (UTC)
The original stories from the 30s were very dark. The stories in the 40s started to move away from that, and from the early 50s until the 1970s, the influence of the diabolical Dr. Wertham made them shy way from the darkness.

The stories really got dark again in the 70s-check out The Joker's Five Way Revenge (which you can find in The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told. "The Laughing Fish," in the same volume, also comes from that era.

People think that Miller made Batman dark and gritty. This isn't true, but he did change the public image of Batman from the camp Adam West version.
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stormfeather
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
I think this was, in the end, my problem with it and why I was somewhat wondering if he had a point, or if he was just making things Dark and Sucky, because he is just so... cliche about it. There's the good ol' cowboys striding along with their True Grit and kicking ass, the stupid, brutal Bad Guy that's not even allowed to be in our species, the cliched characters, etc etc.

It's like he just wants to paint everyone in the worst light possible, and throw them out there. You can make some sense and get some messages out of it, but it feels almost like what you yourself are putting in there, rather than what Miller's intending, almost.
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stormfeather
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think this is also partly why I'm having trouble pinning my own thoughts on the vigilanteism - here obviously it works and is what is needed, but that then implies that even in the real world, vigilantes are a matter of how bad they're needed, how "good" (in the moral sense) they are, etc etc. Which is disturbing.

And yes, I think that I can agree that there are some interesting themes here, but that they don't work out as well in the practice because Miller's obscuring them with his own agenda, which I'm not as much a fan of. (Namely throwing an inch of grime on everything and putting all the authority figures in their nice little pigeon holes... although the new female commissioner is more complex than I'd have expected.)

And really, I think I enjoy Batman more pitted against individuals than put in the role of an army (especially if he's going to start using even *rubber* bullets), which is part of why I'm not enjoying this as much as I might otherwise (and, come to think of it, probably why I enjoyed the first chapter more than this one).

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