Friday, July 04, 2008

Batman #678 review

Batman RIP: Zur En Arrh

The issue starts off with Tim reading one of Bruce's journals before being attacked by some circus clowns. He beats them back but they continue the chase. Cut to Bruce laying face down in a gutter, hopped up on crystal meth, being found by a homeless fellow named Honor Jackson. Honor helps Bruce get back on his feet. Bruce is completely out of it, flashing back to the last thing he saw remembers just before winding up in the street. We cut to Nightwing kicking the ass of a couple of guys dressed like gladiators and communicating with Tim who's still on the run (yet still had time to top for a burger...Time really eats a lot this issue). Tim knows Bruce is in trouble but doesn't tell Nightwing much before Nightwing encounters...Scorpiana I think it is. Back to Bruce, we see him running around with Honor Jones, begging, getting in trouble with drug dealers, etc etc. Honor then gives Bruce a mysterious little gift before having a brief heart to heart and disappearing. Now Bruce, on his own, stumbling around, runs into a fellow who informs Bruce that Honor had just recently died. Back to Tim, he's trying to get a hold of Nightwing who is now a prisoner at Arkham Asylum. After that, we finally see the Batcave again, the Black Glove firmly in control and Alfred tied up and beaten badly. The couple of pages we see Bruce stitching together a new costume, holding the device Honor gave him, The Bat-Radia and announcing himself as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh while the Bat-Mite hovers over him.

And my thoughts are...are...well I'm pretty baffled.

I liked this issue but only in spite of the overall story. As for the overall story, I'm clueless, but this issue had some good stuff going for it. I really, really liked the stuff with Honor Jackson. He sees Bruce, treats him like shit but once he recognizes him he decides to help him out (and keeps calling him "Soljer"). So he takes Bruce on his little odyssey across town and his side quest to a liquor store. I thought it was funny and endearing. The gift of the Bat-Radia was a nice moment too. I don't know, maybe it's just cause when I was reading it Al Sharpton's voice kept popping up in my head, but it made the character oddly like-able. That it turns out Honor was already dead was probably the dumbest thing Morrison could have thrown in (I groaned), but once you realize it was all Bat-Mite's doing (I think...least that's who Honor Jackson was talking to in his first panel appearance) it is slightly forgivable.

What am I thinking of the overall story arc?

Honestly, I'm really not caring much for it. Each new part just seems disconnected from the last. Jezebel Jet, who spent last issue totally fucking with Bruce, doesn't make the slightest appearance this issue. Joker? Where the hell is he? What about all that stuff from lsat issue about Thomas and Martha Wayne whoring themselves about? Nothing. Nothing at all.

I haven't been reading Morrison's run from the very beginning, am I just missing something from earlier issues? I know I don't care for the constant references to old silver age stories. It's just getting tedious. Yes, Grant, you can pull all sorts of crazy, obscure characters out from your magic hat, now stop pissing around and get this shit into high gear!

I hate to say this, he's done lots of stuff with this title that I've greatly enjoyed, but until Morrison decides to start telling a coherent story, it's becoming nothing more then puerile self-indulgence.


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