Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing The Goddamned 1 originally released November 11th, 2015.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. There I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”
Matthew 13: 10-13
Patrick: God makes Adam and Eve. They defy God’s will and are cast out of the Garden of Eden. They have two sons: Cain and Abel. The sons don’t get along, so Cain kills his brother. God is furious with Cain, marks him as a cursed man and sends him out to the land of Nod away from his family. My summary of the Cain and Abel story right there is about as long as the actual text from Genesis. That book is nuts – it can spend paragraph rattling on about lines of succession, but burn through two deep betrayals and the first murder ever in a scant few sentences. If there’s any meaning to be found in that story, it must be extrapolated out by the reader – that’s why people go to church every Sunday: so someone can try to explain the “meaning” of the stories to them. But even those explanations are hard to understand. Take Jesus’ answer to “why do You speak to them in parables?” above. The point of the stories isn’t to understand them necessarily, but to experience them. Jason Aaron and r.m. Guéra’s harrowing first issue of The Goddamned sets out very specifically to be experienced rather than understood.
Today, Suzanne and Spencer are discussing on Batman Eternal 25, originally released September 24th, 2014.
Suzanne: I fondly remember reading Batman: Hush for the first time over five years ago. There is so much to like about that book — Jeph Loeb’s long-form storytelling, Jim Lee’s pencils, and the Batman-Catwoman relationship to name a few. Loeb develops the friendship between Bruce Wayne and Tommy Elliot so convincingly that it adds creative tension to the final reveal. You almost want Hush to be someone else because of the depths of his betrayal to Bruce.
Batman Eternal introduces Hush to the New 52 as the Big Bad behind the crippling of Gotham City starting with the arrest of Jim Gordon. How does this series’ treatment of Hush add relevance to him as a character? After Loeb and Lee’s story arc, some readers felt that Hush was overused and his appearances were mediocre at best. Certain characters benefit from a dormant period and less can be more, such as The Joker. I’m hoping that three years of living in New 52 character purgatory makes this appearance all the more effective. Continue reading →