Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, Patrick discusses Damian: Son of Batman 1 and Cataclysm 0.1.
Patrick: Fifth week is always strange. DC uses it to roll out their Annuals, and other oddities. Generally, our pulls are lighter, so there weren’t too many titles that we didn’t already get around to talking about. There were two books that I just wanted to bring up briefly and then I wanted to just turn this space over to the comments to find out what else y’all were reading this week.
First up is the bizarre “What if?”-ish mini-series Damian: Son of Batman. I totally understand Andy Kubert’s drive to write and draw this piece: Damian is a fascinating character, and the world of Grant Morrison’s Batman 666 is one of those concepts that seems like it’s criminal not to revisit. We all miss the little bastard, so I guess it was only a matter of time before someone loved him enough to bring him back. I am 100% certain that Kubert was the wrong man for this job. I can’t — for the life of me — figure out what he thought was so interesting about Damian, because he writes the character’s voice as unsure and confused, lacking any of Damian’s trademark braggadocio. But Damian’s voice isn’t the only casualty here: Batman straight doesn’t sound like Batman — at one point he refers to Robin as “young man.” F’what?
If there’s an interesting nugget to the story, it’s that Batman dies in the first couple pages. Robin spends much of the issue dealing with the fallout, which means visiting his mother and grandfather and beating up any of the villains that claimed the Bat Kill as their own. (That last bit includes a Jackanapes cameo, which leads me to believe that no matter what Kubert’s assignment is, he’s going to find a way to draw that fucking monkey.) But the whole concept is subverted by the end as Bruce Wayne appears in the Batcave. So like… he’s not dead? What’s the point of playing this hypothetical game if we’re not even going to pretend? Also, why the fuck does it say THE NEW 52 on the cover of this issue? This thing is distinctly non-canon.
I also read Ultimate Comics: Cataclysm 0.1 — because hype works on me. I told Drew that I was picking it up and I got a snappy teasing: “oh, yeah, a world you’re not reading about is ending: can’t miss that.” Gentle ribbing aside, I’m not sure why I’m even half-interested in this event. The story follows the Vision, who in the Ultimate Universe is a sexy gold lady robot, as she follows her prophetic dreams about the world coming to an end to Galactus, Devourer of Worlds. Realizing that Galactus means business, she tries to take him out with some anti-matter bombs, but there’s just no winning against the big purple guy.
As it stands, this is an exercise in “can I make myself care?” — and that’s such a crummy way to look at entertainment, so maybe I should just cut my criticism off there. I plan to pick up at least Ultimate Spider-Man’s adventures through the end of the world here, but only because I suspect that he’ll be joining the main Marvel Universe by the end (if he isn’t already in that Splendiforus Spider-Hero costume).
This is not a comic, but I’d recommend this week’s episode of the How Did This Get Made? podcast about the 2003 Daredevil movie. It’s worth a listen for the reason all episodes of How Did This Get Made? are worth listening to — Paul Scheer, June Diane-Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas are hilarious — but this one has an added bonus of featuring Ed Brubaker. Brubaker brings his wealth of comic book knowledge to bear on this poor flick, and routinely doing such ultra-nerdy things as comparing the theatrical release with the director’s cut, but he’s also going toe-to-toe with the professional comedians when it comes to jokes. Plus, by the end he’s pitching a Marvel Studios Daredevil reboot that sounds like it’d be fucking awesome.
The conversation doesn’t stop there, because you certainly read something that we didn’t. What do you wanna talk about from this week?