Suffocating Ugliness in The Beef 1

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

I’m overwhelmed by the relentless ugliness on display in Richard Starkings, Tyler Shainline, and Shaky Kane’s The Beef 1. The issue closes with the image of a man transforming into a skinless, muscle-bound freak, and it’s a welcome respite from the grotesqueries that come before. Continue reading

Batman 14

Alternating Currents: Batman 14, Drew and Michael DFToday, Drew and Michael are discussing Batman 14 originally released November 14th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Drew: Batman and the Joker are timeless. That is, they shift and adjust to the times. It gives them longevity, but it also makes pinning down the true nature of their conflict difficult. The Joker has been everything from a harmless prankster to a genociding psychopath, and Batman can range from avenging creature of the night to kid-friendly crime-stopper, so the fundamental nature of their relationship must lie deeper than superficial proclamations about color scheme, or even “seriousness.” The Dark Knight tilted at the deeper levels, but left them as overtones to the physical conflict. In Batman 14, Scott Snyder takes that subtext and makes it the text, delivering a surprising rumination on the nature of both detective stories and humor in general. Continue reading

Batman 13

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Batman 13 originally released October 10th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Drew: Bruce Wayne knows those closest to him can be taken away. It’s an idea that was violently embedded in his mind as a child, and has driven every waking moment of his life since. A person driven to such lengths obviously values the closeness of others, yet it’s one of the bitterest ironies of Batman that his goal of stopping violence actually puts the people around him in greater danger. Bruce has been reminded of this all too often, as Jason was killed and Barbara paralyzed, but he can’t help but rely on others; as Batman Incorporated  recently pointed out, Alfred was there from the start. That reliance is often one of Bruce’s greatest assets — he could not have defeated the Court of Owls without them — but it’s also one of his greatest liabilities. Fortunately, very few criminals have the express goal of harming Batman emotionally, but of course, the Joker isn’t just any criminal. Continue reading