Wednesday, May 16, 2007

All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder #5: The Live Running Commentary

Alright, does everyone have their copies of ASB&RTBW #5 in front of them? I am going to record my initial reactions to the book as I read it for the first time. When you hear Batman punch you in the face (POW!), that means it's time to turn the page.

Ready? Let's begin.

Batman is punching me in the face. Or maybe this is Jim Lee getting his frustrations out (my theory).


Page 1: Oh dear. "Sperm bank?"
Five hours ago, eh? Is anyone still keeping track of time? Also, when did Metropolis turn into such a dump?


Page 2-3: Stilettos? Seems practical. This is weird because it looks like Jim Lee is doing his version of the Frank Miller Wonder Woman from DKR. I don't even know what to say about what she's saying. Let's move on and see where this is going.


Page 4-5: I gotta say, when I first heard about this series called "All-Star Batman and Robin," I never expected to see Plastic Man and Green Lantern in it. Or even Wonder Woman and Superman.
So...what? Hal doesn't get a proper introduction by Wonder Woman?
Why would Wonder Woman care what Batman is doing if she doesn't care about this "world of men"? Why would she be a part of this organization of super heroes? (I refuse to call it the Justice League). Why is Plastic Man a fire hydrant? What is Hal doing with those giant hands? Is he so lazy that he makes hands so he doesn't have to move his own when he gestures?


Page 6: Who is this woman? Circe? She wants to kill Batman and put his head on stick because he's setting a bad example with his extreme methods? She wants to murder him because he's a psychopath? But...ah forget it.
What in sweet hell is Plastic Man doing? And why is Hal such a bitch?


Page 7: Still no Batman. Or Robin. Just sayin'.
"Damn you, Diana! Damn you and your Amazon arrogance!" God that's fantastic.
I seriously have no idea what's going on. But I love it. Superman is telling Wonder Woman that she'll pay for her crimes with her blood. So...these guys are all psycho. that the message here? Batman is always getting the bad rap for being crazy, but these guys are even crazier? Or is everyone just crazy?


Page 8: SHUT. UP! You have got to be kidding me. That kiss is so stupid. Holy lord. This is fanfictastic. Wonder Woman is a Mary-Sue for Frank Miller!!! Seriously! Go back and read the last 8 pages with that in mind!
I love Hal in that last panel. "Duhhhh."


Page 9: No. No way. No. best page...of anything. Ever. It' sums up the whole series in one beautiful, ridiculous page.


Page 10-11: "Giordano and Adams." Cute.
Man, it's too bad this series blows, because it really does look fantastic. These two pages are not too bad. Kinda ridiculous, but if the whole series had started with these two pages, that would have been kind of dope.


Page 12: Seriously. Nice art.
"Every inch of me is alive." *giggle*


Page 13: I kind of like the idea of a crazy cackling Batman. That really would be pretty terrifying.


Page 14-15: Batman is threatening that guy with...arthritis. Weaponized arthritis! Hee!
Well, I like watching a bunch of rapists get beat as much as any girl, so I have no problem with these pages.


Page 16: No problem with this page, either. Man...not a bad run these last few pages. (And when I say I have no problems, I mean relative to the rest of the series).


Page 17: Aaaaaaand you lost me. "My darling?" Ew.


Page 18: "Whiskers"? I find it so weird the amount of times Batman has said "cool" in this series.


Page 19-20: Alright! Shirtless Alfred! Now we're getting our money's worth!
We all pray your master hasn't gone man, Alfred.


Page 21: Is this still the night that Dick's parents were killed?


Page 22: Kids love axes!

And we're done. Well, that taught us nothing. I can't believe how long this took to come out. I bought more Christmas trees in the last year than issues of this comic.

The first nine pages were so awful that they cancel out anything that was tolerable in the second half. I'm actually sort of disappointed that the second half wasn't as stupid as the first. But's a pretty dumb comic.


John Foley said...

It's getting worse. It's legitimately unbelievable how bad it is. Alfred hitting the heavy bag? The only thing missing was that Miller cliche where someone's hitting the heavy bag and they hit it so hard that the chain snaps.
And no, I didn't actually buy the issue. I read it in the store. When the situation is this dire, this place is a library.
I really think Miller is just pulling all of our legs and trying to see how terrible he can make it and still sell books.

rachelle said...

Oh I bought it. But I have an employee discount.

Alfred's a stud. It's so wonderfully stupid. He's going to work the bag and then go make out with Vicky Vale.

Anonymous said...

Dude! Plastic Man! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
Say what you want of Miller, he's the only one who can make a TRULY good canonical Plastic Man. [Note, this is from Dark Knight Strikes Again. Haven't read this one yet.]

I maintain that this is a joke, much like DKSA, whose villain was a big Frederic Wertham reference. This could be a commentary on the 90's maybe? Which is why he got Jim Lee?

Nigel said...

i believe the scientific definition for this issue would be "dung".

The Faulk said...

I'm completely in the minority here. ASBAR definetly has it's flaws and I'm the first person to point them out.

But on the whole, I really like this series.

SallyP said...

Haven't bought it, and didn't read it. Frank Miller makes my head hurt. On the other hand, I didn't know that Hal was in it, so I may have to actually sneak a peek.

I must admit however, this sounds hugely, AWESOMELY bad.

Toriach said...

Personally I'm voting to have the series renamed, All Star Frank Millers Train Wreck. The idea of Wonder Woman pushing some guy aside and snarling "Out of my way spermbank." is appalling on levels I did not previously know existed.


(Where's the love? It's at Geek Love!)

Anonymous said...

Never mind btw, now that I read this. This Plastic Man is actually worse than other interpretations. When will people learn! He's not a nutcase [or at least shouldn't be!], he's lovably bland! People!

I think I get this now. DKR was suppoused to be a joke when it was overly dramatic, and this is a prequel to DKR. Bah. Look for Green Arrow saying horrible things as Superman rips his arm out of his socket.

Rational Mad Man said...

So whats the problem now?
MJ was to "domestic" and now WW is too "strong"
Alfred is hititng a heavy bag?
Well as a former SAS (or was it MI6) spy I would imagine hes had soem martial training, and it is a greta way to keep in shape.
Personally I found the portrayal of WW both honest and in tune with many of her recent appearence. is it taken to the furthers extreme? yes but then so is every character in this. Im actually surprised you people are applauding WW as she is simply baltently displa ying an attitude many of you seemt o display more subtly.
Think of her history. She comes from an island of all women. Not just women but women who have all been victimised, raped, and murdered by men.
Think odf that, every person WW grew up with, was a victim of mens worst predations. Do you honestly think that wouldn't have an effect on thier society?or thier societies view of men? DO you onestly believe a woman raised in that environment wouldnt show a lothing of men?
What postive information would she have heard about men grwoing up? What would a child in that circumstance, who had never met a man, and been surrounded by thsoe who hate men (with good reason) think of men?

I mean is there any portrayl of a woman that passes y;all ideological test?
If shes too curvy its sexist. If shes to passive its sexist, if shes too agressive its sexist, if shes too masculine its sexist if shes too feminine its sexist.

Dont any of you relaise that if you people had thier way every single female character inc omcis would be a carbon copy of each other?

Personally I love this title.
I love that frank has the balls to push Batman's, Wonder Woman;s, and supermnas characters tot he frthest possible edge. I love that he has the balls to portray WW in this manner. I love this title.

Adam J. said...

The first line of dialogue made the wait sooo worth it. "Sperm bank," indeed, Mr. Miller.

Rational Mad Man said...

In many ways I think this version of Wonder Woman is a perfect example of what would happen to any women raised in a totally feminsit society.

rachelle said...

I didn't say the Wonder Woman parts of the comic were sexist. I said they were stupid. That's totally different. If it had been Green Arrow marching into that meeting and saying they needed to stick Batman's head on a pike, it would have been just as stupid (though the make-out scene would have been more enjoyable).

But to address some of your other arguments...I guess I am just having a hard time picturing what it would be like to grow up and live in a world where every woman I know has been victimized in some way by a man. I would really need to stretch my imagination. I guess it would make me feel...angry. And I suppose when I see men doing something or saying something that is sexist...I would want to criticize it.

Anonymous said...

/\ /\ /\

O.K. maybe I should not post anything here again. Or at least not wear my "# 1 Turner Fan" when I come into the shop.

Didn't pick up this issue yet so only gave this enrty a quick scan. hehe sperm. As soon as I read it though I will be coming back to read the commentary. Keep up the great work.


Johnathan said...

Oh, snap!

Captain Infinity said...

Thank you, Irate Canadian Lass, for reading this comic so I'll never have to.

FlatlineJack said...

Wonder Woman:
Pages 1,2,3
"I hate men. Men are stinky. Men are the worst. Everything about men is really bad. There should be no men."
Pages 4,5,6,7
"Why can't you be more like men? Be a man! Men are strong! Why aren't you a man?!"
Page 8
"Teehee! I like kissin' boys."

Also, it took me a very long time to figure out what the hell Plastic Man was supposed to be in his first shot, then realized he was a fire hydrant in a raincoat (duh! How obvious!) and then re-read what he said to Wonder Woman. he just ask her to PEE on him?! *shudder*

rachelle said...

I didn't want to think about it too hard, but, yeah. I think he was asking her to pee on him.


andy g said...

Definitely a satire, as DKR 2 was. Intended as Frank Miller's comment on all the 90s shite that came out from Image et al, supposedly insired by his DKR (and Watchmen to a lesser extent). Hence Jim Lee (who's not in on the joke). He's doing a purposely-bad impression of himself. Genius.

Matt said...

This series is spermbankastic!!!
I freakin' love it!
It's a DCU we've never seen before. Embrace it.
If you want Batman proper, go read Batman or Detective Comics...or go read your Batman back issues.

rachelle said...

I do and I will.

toonsNtunes said...

so i read it... and my reaction is simple...

I am not picking up this series ANY more.

And if anyone wants to buy issues #1-5, lemme know before I put them on ebay!

And it's a shame too, because All-Star Superman is soooooooo good. And I read that they're planning an All-Star Wonder Woman too. Is it going to be the same psycho disjointed feminist/whore WW we just met in ASB&R?? yikes!

Rachel said...

If I hadn't been reading your commentary with it, I wouldn't have been able to get through this. The way he wrote Wonder Woman and Superman made me even angrier than his Batman, if that's possible. Wonder Woman is a diplomat, what...what IS this? And Veto. Veto the kiss after WW's men rant. Veto shirtless Alfred. I'll grant that Alfred probably trains, but I don't want to see it. I like him just magically being amazing at everything, and he usually uses his brain or a weapon instead of his fists, and he wouldn't train shirtless no matter what. Veto Alfred talking like a creepy pedophile about Bruce as a boy. Veto Dick acting demented, although I can hardly blame him at this point. And veto the overuse of caps.

It was very pretty, this is true. Why does Jim Lee always illustrate stories that I hate? Maybe it's because I was still reeling from the WW/S horror, but Batman didn't piss me off as much in this one. And for some reason I'm intrigued by the idea of Martha Wayne's last sight being Bruce going a little mad. But that wasn't enough to redeem this.

Maybe it's a satire, maybe it's a joke, but I don't care. It's like jokes about rape, or killing Iraqi children - joke or not, it's disgusting. I'm so unhappy right now. I'm going to go watch toonverse until the world feels right again.

jcs said...

once you understand that miller's success and buckets of sincitymovie money has driven completely insane the series is more tolerable. The reason it runs so late and comes out at random times is that FM writes the scripts after 3 day coke binges where in he wakes up in the middle of the desert covered in his own vomit. He hitchhikes back to town and while he's sitting in the car he writes out the script on a soiled cocktail napkin

Viagra said...

I haven't seen this one yet but judging by the reactions on the rest, i better leave this one alone and go on with my life as it is said...

Thank you for this post, really worthwhile info.

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