Saturday, June 30, 2012

Batman: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

With Dark Knight Rises coming to theaters in July (It's just around the corner, holy shit!!), I thought it would be fun, to present our favorite Batman stories, our least favorites, and our favorite "What the fuck were they thinking?!" stories/moments.

Chime in, in the comments section, my minions... You never know when I'm going to surprise you with extras.

The Good: I am sure that there will be people disagreeing that this is the best (I think hands down, Batman: Year One is the greatest Batman story ever told, but bear with me...), but this is one of my favorites, so sit down, and put out that torch, and put down that pitchfork...

But Batman #666, by Grant Morrison, and one of those Kuberts (I kid, it was Andy Kubert), the story is set in the future, with Damian Wayne (current Robin) having donned the Mantle of the Bat. It's a stand-alone issue, with Morrison juggling implications of what happened since Bruce was Batman, with how Damian has dealt with being thrust in the role. As far as stand-alone stories are concerned, I'd be hard pressed to find one that has as much action and solid storytelling.

Runner up: Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's "Broken City" story, from Batman. It's a hard-boiled detective story... Just go read it. You'll be glad you did.

The Bad: Frank Miller's DK2. All of it. From Miller's treatment of Dick Grayson, to his laughable portrayal of Bats, and his attempt to shoehorn in most of the JLA, regardless to how they fit in... It's Miller's artwork and storytelling at it's sloppiest, and really adds nothing to the Bat Family's mythos. It's poop. A whole lot of poop.

The Ugly: There was an issue of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, by Alan Grant and Kevin O'Neill, (one half of the team that gave us Marshal Law,) presenting a story chock full of WTF moments, starring Bat Mite. I believe this was Bat Mite's first appearance in modern comics, and he was presented as a hallucination of some street-level gangster named Overdog. If you're in the mood for the sheer ridiculous, check this one out.

Anyhow, I am very curious as to what the Minions of the Iron Toy Cult have to offer, in the way of opinions on this subject. Speak up, be heard.

For now, though, it's time to go.
It's been fun though, right?



  1. the best: the original batman arkham asylum was soooo dark and awesome. the part where batman shoves the shard of glass thru his hand to regain his sanity was some of the most chilling and superb writing i have ever seen.

    the worst and the ugly: the 450 pound fanboy who left his mom's basement to attend chicago con 1994 in batman garb.... not pretty. spandex is a privilege not a right... it should have a weight limit

  2. The first Dark Knight was pretty amazing but the sequel was such a joke it does taint the original.

    Personally i haven't read anything that comes close to The Killing Joke. The was it shows how The Joker was just a regular guy and one bad day drove him totally insane was incredible. Then the lengths he goes to trying to make Gordon do the same thing was horrible yet powerful. Then how in the end rather then destroy the joker, batman actually realizes the end result will be one of them killing the other and he offers the joker a helping hand only to get this in response...

    See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn't dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says 'Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!' B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says 'Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!

    Which cracked batman up even though it was just hours after the joker shot and paralyzed batgirl for life.

  3. I'm hardly a Batman expert. And these aren't so much my top GBU picks. Bust mostly what is still fresh in my memory.

    GOOD: Batman The Long Halloween, I didn't want to pick it, but I can't help that I liked this story. Pretty much a who dun it following the murders of the Holiday killer. With a generous helping of featured villains. Mostly we get to hang out with the Falcone and Maroni family with Harvey Dent ever in the middle. Great character designs and nice dark settings. Though the art itelf wasn't too grand, the inks and the colors were perfect

    BAD: Batman R.I.P. The art not so bad, but the story didn't do it for me. Club of Villains was annoying and wordy. I hated the way they portrayed Joker with the forked tounge and suspenders. Finally...Batman of Zur-En-Arrh... keep it in the 50's and the cartoons.

    UGLY: Batman Cacophony, not exactly great, and I'm sure it's hated somewhere. But I like my Joker funny with a twist of sadistic, not just sadistic with a funny look. At the end of the day this story just turns out to be another Batman/Joker love/hate circle jerk. But I still enjoyed it.

  4. I also really hated "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"

    I know those out there, that hug onto Neil Gaiman's nuts, are going to cry foul... But that story was a bunch of nonsense.