Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Velvet 10, originally released April 22nd, 2015.
Patrick: Aren’t spies just the coolest? They’re up there with ninjas as some of the most fascinating types of heroes. Part of what makes them both so damn irresistible is their impossible levels of competency. It’s the same reason we love Sherlock Holmes – we can’t fathom a scenario that he can’t clever his way out of. That makes their day-to-day lives the stuff of fascinating stories, even if we have every confidence going in that they’re going to come out victorious. But then, why’s it so satisfying to watch these infallible heroes scramble? There are few moments as narratively disarming as the odd beats when James Bond or Sherlock Holmes or Ethan Hunt are caught off guard. It’s like a violation, seeing the most capable people out-matched. Velvet 10 shows our already on-the-run hero set even further back, and the scope of the story broadens rapidly, mutating so quickly that we barely have time to understand one development before the next steamrolls everything that came before. It’s dizzying, disorienting, and leaves the breathless reader just as lost as our hero. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Batman and Ra’s al Ghul 32, originally released June 18th, 2014.
Patrick: No one’s got a deeper bench than Batman. A lot has been made of the integrity of his relationships lately — it’s almost the most important piece of Batman’s mythology in the New 52. Check it out: Batman Eternal is all about Batman struggling with his relationship with the city, and even pulls Gordon out of rotation. This comes on the heels of The Death of the Family and the Leviathan killing Damian, which all just compounds the stress put upon those relationships. Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Red Hood, they all have reason to distrust the man who’s a superhero first, and a human being second. But Batman’s not just the biggest superhero in Gotham, he’s the biggest superhero in the DC Universe, so there’s no end to the relationships we can explore to learn something just a little bit more about Bruce Wayne. Continue reading →
Peter Tomasi can be seen as a workhorse of DC’s writer stable. He is constantly dealing with other people’s baggage in his own series, including the Batman and Robin-alteringdeath of Damian Wayne. But that’s not the only thread Tomasi has used to weave his Batman epic. Indeed, the loss of Robin has turned into survey of how the New 52’s Batman fits into rest of the Universe. Issue 30, titled Batman and Wonder Woman, plays with some of the best toys in the box. Patrick sat down with Pete and went through the issue page by page, so get your copy handy and join us on the Commentary Track.
Retcon Punch: First, can you talk about going after Wonder Woman and exploring the more magical end of the Universe. I know we’re chasing around resurrection pits and whatnot…
Peter Tomasi: Yeah,it seemed like a good place to explore. They’ve had Lazarus Pits all around the globe, and it felt like a cool bit that we hadn’t ever seen where: why wouldn’t a secret island full of Amazonshave one? Maybe there’s a little something-something going on there, and we could play with a little magic there. I don’t really do this a lot, I’m a very linear storyteller — I wrote this whole sequence of them going to the island first and all this stuff. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman Incorporated 5, originally released November 28th, 2012.
Drew: Patrick once pitched me an idea for a comic designed to simulate the sensation of picking up a long-running, densely serialized series late in its run. Batman Incorporated is already a fantastic example of the kind of comic mythology Patrick was aiming to lampoon, but with issue 5, Morrison flexes is own insane mythology muscles, dropping us into a future we know nothing about. Except for when we do. While Morrison’s Gotham of the future still relies heavily on hilariously vague, yet vast-sounding mythologies, it contains enough hidden rewards for longtime readers of Morrison’s Batman epic to set up some emotional through-lines for that future. Unfortunately, that same coherence can only make it more frustrating for newcomers to this series.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman, Inc 3, originally released August 22, 2012.
Drew: After catching up on the entirety of Grant Morrison’s “Batman Epic,” I’d gotten the impression that I knew Morrison as a writer, or at least as a writer of Batman stories. His every tic had become familiar to me, from his penchant for mind-bendingly baroque symbolism, spouted by even the most unlikely characters, to his general assumption that everybody knows what the fuck he is talking about. His work with Batman has largely served to place Bruce in an ever-deepening universe where everything is connected, and discovering how is essential to his survival. As the Epic draws to a close, however, and the connections become more apparent, Morrison changes his strategy, delivering a straightforward, nearly Platonic Batman story, complete with disguises, masked goons, and a double-crossing dame.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Batman, Inc 2, originally released June 27th, 2012.
Shelby: I wasn’t totally sold on the first issue of Batman, Incorporated. I hadn’t read any of the pre-relaunch Batman, Inc stuff so I was pretty clueless. And, blasphemy though it may be, I’m not the biggest fan of Grant Morrison. I may have to take it all back, however, as this trip into Talia Al Ghul’s backstory, while not wholly surprising, is interesting and a lot of fun to read. Continue reading →