Radio Dead Air

Desperately Seeking Batman

November 3rd, 2010

This is going out to Grant Morrison, the “legendary” comics writer and the man behind the current run on Batman.

Grant . . . can I call you Grant? Well, too fucking bad.

Grant, I’ve been following this stuff for a while now. The Batman of Zur-En-Ar fiasco. The “Batman kills Darkseid with a gun” incident. The “Batman lost in time, hoping each leap will be the leap home” conflagration. Even that shit with the “piggy piggy piggy” man. I think it’s fair to say I’ve put up with quite a lot.

You’ve done your best to put your stamp on Batman. In fact, it would appear you’ve done your best to put your mushroom-shaped welt on Batman. I don’t know why. Your work on Animal Man was the stuff of legend. Your All-Star Superman is spoken of in hushed, reverant tones. You have accomplished so many great things in the realm of sequential art. This is why your insistance on running through the Batman title like a bull in a china shop baffles me.

You seem to be insisting that when you’re done, Batman will be forever altered . . . you intend to leave enough of a mess than no one to follow you could possibly clean it up. You have this obsession with things from the Silver Age, with the medium of comics itself, far more than you have respect for the actual characters or stories told with them. These things work quite well when you have your own sandbox to play in, when the stories you create are self-contained and don’t spill out into everything else. But your work on Batman is bringing to mind the phrase, “If I can’t have him, nobody will!”

What brings me to all this is the concept of your newest tantrum in the Batman line, Batman Inc. In this storyline, you have Bruce Wayne reveal to the public that he’s been funding Batman for all these years and he intends to make Batman a franchise. While the idea might seem grand at first, it insults the intelligence of the audience. While Bruce Wayne may not be recognized as being Batman, he’s now made himself responsible for Batman. He’s opened himself to lawsuits from every single criminal, thug, villian and crazy who’s ever tangled with Batman in years past. He also now must ensure the conduct of every other Batman he intends to spawn from this enterprise. What happens when one of them goes rogue, as will inevitably happen?

You like imagery. You like invoking concepts. But you don’t take the time to get from point A to B in any meaningful, sensible way. You do things because you like the picture in your brain; you don’t stop to consider if it would make a lick of sense or would be good storytelling. You just want to show that image, common sense be damned.

So I’m asking you — nay, begging you — to please stop. Just stop now. Go home. Have some coffee (or more of those hallucinogens you’re so fond of). Take up fishing. Watch some Top Chef. But whatever you do, please . . . don’t let it be “writing Batman.” Stop. Writing. Batman.

PS – No, that doesn’t mean write another piece of horseshit like Final Crisis, either.

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