Robot 6

Batman: Earth Wha…?: a spoiler-filled review of the new graphic novel

There are a lot of existential questions one could ask about this project: Why does it exist? Why is it an original graphic novel instead of a comic book series? Why is it subtitled “Earth One”? What does that mean, this year? What does it have to do with Superman: Earth One? Who on Earth is it for? Why was DC Comics promoting it as the more-or-less official Dark Knight Rises tie-in, distributing previews the week of the film’s release? And so on.

The whys I asked myself the most once I actually started reading it, however, regarded the particular choices writer Geoff Johns made while creating it. It’s full of significant, even radical, changes to the familiar elements of what you might think of as the basic Batman story and cast, and many of those changes seem completely random, in service of nothing in particular … save maybe a pretty messed-up message.

I’ve read just about every single comic Johns has written, and while I wouldn’t’ go so far as to say I’m a fan of his writing, I’m definitely very interested in it. I enjoy reading it for its faults as much as for its strengths, and I share his interest in the colorful characters and deep, complex history of the DC Universe, which the bulk of his writing has been concerned with.

In my experience, his very worst work has been that done without the crutch of DCU continuity, the sort of anything-goes wheel-reinventing he’s attempted on the recent Justice League reboot, with which he was paired with the direct market’s most popular artist Jim Lee, who brings strong drafting skills to Johns’ script, but little personality, flair or emotion. Johns’ very best work, on the other hand, has involved in-progress characters he was shepherding from a pre-established Point A to his own desired Point B, with artists capable of emotive character design and accessible, warm work. (His too-brief run on Superboy with Francis Manapul leaps immediately to mind, as does his early Stars and STRIPE with Lee Moder and his long, uneven run on Green Lantern with various artists of various skills and styles.)

With Earth One, Johns is reinventing without the benefit of the continuity wires or the DCU net, and he’s reinventing probably the most malleable, flexible character in comics, even if it’s unclear what the mandate here is exactly. (Like, if Superman: Earth One was Superman for the Twilight/YA book audience, what’s the point of this one? There are already plenty of Batman graphic novels that meet that particular need, and “A Dark Knight For A New Generation” on the back cover sounds a little grandiose, coming as it does when there’s a Batman movie in the theaters and one Batman cartoon series for kids just wrapped up and another’s about to launch.)

What he’s come up with is basically another Batman comic, one that is original and parallel to those starring the “real” Batman (like the All-Star Batman series was, but less faithful to the source material, or like a rebooted, “New 52″ version of Batman, if DC had actually gone ahead and rebooted Batman like they did the rest of the universe). This is an Elseworlds Batman, lacking only the “Elseworlds” logo and the sort of strong What If … Batman Was Peter Pan? or What If … Bruce Wayne’s Parents Were Killed by Bigfoot? sort of hook. Basically, for want of a better comparison, this is Geoff Johns and Gary Frank on Ultimate Batman.

The most obvious point of comparison within DC’s library of Batman books is Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One, which this is a sort of riff on (and say, there’s a fine example of a Batman book filling the Batman-for-YA-book-audience market right here!), with the fourth panel serving as Frank’s visual allusion/homage to a famous image of Mazzucchelli’s of the shadowed Batman running across Gotham rooftops.

The single scene from Year One that most heavily informs Earth One, however, is that one in which the brand-new Batman messes up while trying to stop a few guys from lifting a television set from an apartment, and almost dies on a fire escape. Johns and Frank are interested in exploring that Batman; the new, struggling wannabe vigilante of his first nights out, not the polished, professional crime-fighter we’re used to.

That’s not a bad route to go, of course, but the choices Johns makes while in the process of doing so are, as I say, pretty random.

Not only is this Batman not omnipotent, he’s barely competent — this Batman didn’t travel the world, using his wealth, time and focus training with master detectives and martial artists in order to become a perfect crimefighter. He was simply trained to fight by Alfred Pennyworth. He’s not a very good fighter, however, nor is he much of a detective. In fact, he lucks his way through this particular conflict, and it’s up to others to save his life and avenge the deaths of his parents.

This Alfred isn’t a butler, but a former Royal Marine hired by mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne as a security consultant, his first night on the job being the one on which the Waynes are killed, and he’s given sole custody of young Bruce. It’s a strange, reflexive and defensive take on the character, akin to Johns’ take on Aquaman, in which he tries to ratchet up the macho of the character to such an extent that it strains against the mold.

James Gordon is a broken-down, cowardly and corrupt police officer, crawling like a worm to protect his teenage daughter Barbara from reprisals. Unlike Batman, he actually has something of a character arc in this book, and, by its end, he’s finally on the path to being the heroic cop we expect him to be. Unfortunately, he begins to show a backbone not by enforcing the law, but by picking up a crowbar and joining his partner in beating information out of a bad guy.

Harvey Bullock is slim, fit and handsome (that’s him on the left), an attention-hungry but genuinely idealistic television star who comes to Gotham City to solve it’s most famous cold case and pump up his TV Q-rating in the process. He too changes by book’s end, and will likely evolve towards the more slovenly Bullock that has been the standard model.

And The Penguin isn’t really “The Penguin,” but Mayor Oswald Cobblepot. (First the plot of a 1992 feature film, now this; they sure have gotten a lot of mileage out of a plotline from two episodes of the silly 1966 TV series where The Penguin ran for mayor, haven’t they?)

The mode isn’t necessarily more realistic, other than Batman being more Phoenix Jones than Zorro. Sure, Johns and Frank took a lot of the super out the superhero whose name is in the title, but theirs is still a comic book in which the mayor of a major American city keeps a serial killer on his payroll, and pays him not with money, but with little girls.

The great weakness in the book, however, is how it essentially proves Batman’s beliefs and philosophy about crime-fighting and doing what’s right wrong.  Rather than being right, this Batman is quite clearly shown to be wrong, and naive and even a bit silly on top of it. He’s not a hero in the traditional sense of the word; he’s simply a protagonist.

Throughout the book, Batman refuses to use a gun to wage his vigilante war on crime, a point former soldier Alfred continually argues with him. He also refuses to take a life, leaving the serial killer — the one with a basement full dead little girls — in handcuffs for the police to take in.

When Batman finally confronts Cobblepot, the man who orchestrated his parents’ murder, Cobblepot stabs him in the gut with a blade-tipped umbrella, clobbers with a paper weight, unmasks him, stabs him again, and is about to slit his throat when Aflred blows him away with a shotgun.

Were it not for a big gun and a willingness to kill one’s foes, Batman would be some combination of dead and unmasked. I guess that’s one thing that differentiates this Batman comic from all the others: It’s the one that calls bullshit on Batman’s opposition to firearms and lethal force.

With so many creative choices and mythos changes made, statistically speaking, there had to be good ones.

I liked Frank’s Batman-with-eyeballs version of the mask, as it’s something we so rarely see (outside of Alex Ross paintings and the movies). It fits the more human version of the character, as he has a soul we can peer into, rather than two white, angry pupil-less triangles, and it allows us to read fear, surprise and angry in his first adventures as a man in a bat-costume.

That bat-costume is a rather fine one, too. Overall, I don’t much care for the design, but compared to other, more recent “realistic” takes on the Batman costume, like the armored version we saw in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and the recent Arkham video games, or the overly busy New 52 ensemble, this one manages to look functional while also resembling something a comic-book superhero might be able to wear while also running, jumping and punching.

I also liked the revelation of Martha Wayne’s maiden name, which, since I’m spoiling things anyway, is Arkham, descended from those Arkhams. That change really does put Bruce Wayne/Batman front and center in this universe, as suddenly all those criminally insane people he will eventually fight are likely tied to him personally and, as hinted at here, Wayne is engaged in a lifelong struggle to come to grips with the fact that insanity may run in his family. Basically, it literalizes the decades-old Is Batman a little, uh, batty? conflict that’s run through so many of the comics (and cartoon and film adaptations).

Although we won’t be seeing Cobblepot again, other villains are hinted at throughout the book, including a cliffhanger appearance by The Riddler, a brief appearance by a boy named Harvey Dent, the name “Crane” gets name-dropped and we see a collection of clown dolls in a room at the abandoned Arkham Asylum. Barbara Gordon is seen sketching a Batgirl costume, and her dad and Bullock have both changed their ways and started on new paths by book’s end. It will presumably continue in other volumes, as Superman: Earth One is to continue, and it’s possible that a lot of what is ugly in this book will eventually recede, and maybe even it’s tacit endorsement of torture, guns and killing will be emphatically denounced in coming volumes.

That would be nice, but I’m not in a hurry to read those volumes.

Ultimately, Earth One is maybe the most confounding, confusing Batman comic I’ve ever read (and, like comics written by Geoff Johns, I’ve read a lot of Batman comics). It reads easily enough, of course — together or apart, Johns and Frank are both accomplished, experienced professionals — but it’s just one strange choice piled atop another, and lacks either clearly expressed point of view to justify those choice or a great and unique artistic vision of the sort that helps the weirdest and wildest of the various alternate Batman stories get over.

News From Our Partners

Comments

51 Comments

My thoughts exactly. It almost feels more like a Spider-man comic than a Batman. Also Johns didn’t show his math by making Penguin that much of a nemesis. Either that, or he just wanted to show how inept Batman is.

Yeah, I really, really didn’t like what this book was trying to do. Aside from Miller’s All-Star Batman & Batman this is probably the most wrong footed reinterpretation of Batman that’s I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading. There wasn’t a single likeable character in the book except for maybe Barbara and it completely misunderstands what is so compelling about Batman in the first place.

Doh, I meant All-Star Batman & ROBIN.

Ya, I didn’t care for it either. Some interesting new concepts but Bruce Wayne comes across as an ***hole which makes it hard to empathize with the character. I found myself hoping that he’d turn into a noble character but that didn’t happen.

These earth one books have been disappointing so far. Superman earth one wasn’t bad IMO, it just didn’t offer anything new or interesting I thought.

@Isaac – I’d read the hell out of All-Star Batman & Batman.

While the Earth One books are flawed, they are at least well plotted, thought through carefully, and well produced from the art down to the binding. You may not like the characterizations they present, but they’re a heck of alot better than Marvel’s attempt at the same thing in the “Season One” line…which are clearly tossed off real fast to make a quick buck.

I don’t think you’re allowed to ask these kinds of questions. Because if you do, it must mean that you HATE COMICS and WANT THEM TO FAIL. And you’re a spoilsport besides who should just watch the movies and clap like everyone else.

I have trouble with this stuff too, though, so don’t feel too bad.

“Basically, it literalizes the decades-old Is Batman a little, uh, batty? conflict that’s run through so many of the comics (and cartoon and film adaptations).”

Which is no surprise, because if there is one thing Geoff Johns absolutely cannot do, it’s subtext.

Geoff Johns is one of the great problems of the modern DC Universe

I don’t know why, but I enjoyed this a hell of a lot more than JMS’ Superman: Earth One, even though both failed to grasp the key concept behind the idea of Ultimization (As I call it). That is, you find that key spark that makes Batman Batman, or Superman Superman, and you update around that, to make the timeless message relevant in a new context. Both of these books updated the trappings instead, losing the key points in the telling. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Gary Frank’s work, despite its obvious problems.

And I would read the SHIT out of “What if Batman’s parents had been killed by Bigfoot?”

Overestimated writer promoted to “Chief Creative Officer”.

It kind of read like a TV movie script. Not a lot of super-heroics, and stick a child killer in there.

Oddly, as much as I expect to hate this, al ost everything you say about it makes it sound pretty interesting; that is, assuming some of the suspected character developments DO keep evolving.

“I don’t know why, but I enjoyed this a hell of a lot more than JMS’ Superman: Earth One, even though both failed to grasp the key concept behind the idea of Ultimization (As I call it). That is, you find that key spark that makes Batman Batman, or Superman Superman, and you update around that, to make the timeless message relevant in a new context. Both of these books updated the trappings instead, losing the key points in the telling. ”

We call that Chapteroneization.

Wow, this sounds horrendous.

Geoff Johns is overrated, I’m afraid.

He’s running DC Films too and his first movie, Green Lantern, was a disaster.

@Kyle:
“While the Earth One books are flawed, they are at least well plotted, thought through carefully, and well produced from the art down to the binding.”

I’ll disagree with that, especially the “thought through carefully” part. And the “well produced…art” part concerning S:EO as Shane Davis is just awful. But JMS is awful too and doesn’t seem to know what message he’s trying to convey. Clark Kent meanders through the book unsure of what to do, until he hears a completely nonsensical speech about “truth” from Jimmy? So, everyone in Metropolis is a coward, except for Jimmy, and that’s because he’s a suicidal idiot because of some vague concept of truth? What truth was Jimmy fighting for? The truth about aliens invading? Are pictures truth? Jimmy was a brave mental-midget and Superman was just as dumb for being swayed by that speech.

“…both failed to grasp the key concept behind the idea of Ultimization (As I call it). That is, you find that key spark that makes Batman Batman, or Superman Superman, and you update around that, to make the timeless message relevant in a new context. Both of these books updated the trappings instead, losing the key points in the telling.”

This.

It’s like Kick-Ass, except the main character doesn’t have the excuse of being a stupid teenager.

It’s actually the only version of Batman I’ve found myself liking in years. No Bat-Dick and no impossible achievements make it shine for me…

DeleteMyComment

August 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

@ Joe H

Spot on. Especially about Shane Davis

Check out this preview of Supes Earth 2 #2

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=12984

On the first page, Superman has 6 abs. On the 4th page, Superman now has 4 abs

Geoff Jones doesn’t get Batman. Heck, from what I’ve read of his work, I’m not sure Geoff Jones even likes Batman.

I can’t imagine what possessed D.C. to use him for this book. (Maybe a yellow fear monster)

Meh. Lots of naysayers around here. Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of this. It’s what I expected and what I wanted. Frank’s art was incredible, too.

It is sad, because I used to really enjoy Geoff Johns, but lately I feel like he has been given too much freedom. I feel like he shoulda kept him as a writer, and not promoted him to CCO.

I used to read DC comics religiously, but with the New 52 and these Earth One series, I feel like DC is creating by committee and not letting creators create. All their books are Camels (Horses created by committee).

I loved it!

This sounds just disgusting. I never would have believed it if you had told me five years ago, but post-52, Johns has now joined Jeph Loeb and Mark Millar as writers whose work I simply will not read, no matter the artist or character. The Johns of JSA has completely disappeared in favor of someone with a mad-on for over-the-top violence and gore. It’s just a shame Gary Frank is being wasted on this stuff.

The preview with Batman falling off the roof reminded me of Kevin Smith’s scene where Batman pissed himself. Johns used to understand iconic, but now he’s a parody of himself. I don’t have much hope for DC’s multimedia success with him at the helm still.

To me the most frustrating thing about the book is the poor work that Johns does building the personality of the characters.
There are two key scenes between Alfred and Bruce that I thought were poorly executed. The first one is when Bruce’s Parent died and Alfred tells a 10 year old orphan that he is his.. butler (why would a soldier say that he is a butler other than to keep the ocupation that the character is known to have?).
The other one is the fight scene between Alfred and Bruce. Alfred is supposed to feel proud of Bruce because he was capable of destroying his prosthetic leg? and that makes him change his opinion about him?
That whole scene made no sense to me. I thought that I was supposed to feel excited about the outcome of that exchange, but I wasn’t and nobody should. The Batman that Johns presents is not only inexperienced, but kind of an inept. His mentor should be worried about him instead of proud that he was barely able to win a fight with an old man who lost his leg.

@JimmyGlenn:
“It is sad, because I used to really enjoy Geoff Johns, but lately I feel like he has been given too much freedom. I feel like he shoulda kept him as a writer, and not promoted him to CCO”

@Stephen:
“I don’t have much hope for DC’s multimedia success with him at the helm still”

Totally agree with you!

Geoff Johns is a very limited writer. I once heard him described, by one far wittier than me, as a very very lucky fanboy.
He simply thinks graphic violence makes a comic a mature read. ‘Hey kids can’t read this so it must be adult!’
He has chiseled the DCU into a revolting po-faced place that I rarely visit these days. Maybe he should stick to Sir Laser-Lot.

Re: I have no real opinion on how the Season One books are bound but some of them have been hugely enjoyable. X-Men, for instance, made Jean Grey more interesting than I’ve ever found her. And The Fantastic Four one raised some huge questions.

can anyone explain why Batman’s costume changed at the end? (suddenly he wears a costume with the yellow / bat symbol).

Thanks in advance!

kind regards,
Pete

His Justice League is horrible too.
He should just stick to writing Aquaman and GL and just pass on this CCO thing.

Thanks for the review. Now I’m glad I didn’t pick it up because that is definitely not a version of Batman I want to read.

Batman Earth One

August 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Sorry you didn’t enjoy it ;(

Why do I suspect that if Batman:Year One were published now it would receive a nearly identical review? How dare someone change something for reasons you can’t fathom.

@Stephen:
“Why do I suspect that if Batman:Year One were published now it would receive a nearly identical review”

Boy, that’s a hilarious comparison! :p

Batman: Year One>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Batman: Earth One

Who Cares N. E. Way

August 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I liked it. I will buy the next installment. It seems to be selling, so I am pretty sure there will be a next installment.

I especially liked the Easter egg that his final peaceful memory of his mother is in a bright red blazer with a yellow campaign button on. Explains how he comes up with the duds for the Robin costume. Plus there’s the fact that it may very well have been a Pre-Red Hood, Pre-Joker that killed the Waynes. Didja catch that?

It did read like Ultimate Batman. Which is cool to me. Evidently its not for everyone. Personally I enjoyed Ultimate Spiderman for the first 100+ issues. Until Loeb destroyed the Ultimate Universe.

As for Batman’s lack of use for firearms for himself…but no disdain for Alfred: he is fledgling. In order to abide by his “holy rule” of no guns….he has to be a better Batman. Alfred saved his behind with a gun. His parents are killed by a gun. OK: the scales are even. Move on from there. But not everyone who is a friend or partner to Batman abides by his cardinal rule. Gordon packs heat, Jason Todd threw a dude with diplomatic immunity off a building, Huntress uses excessive force.

I liked it alot better than the convoluted “Tim Drake has never been a Robin, whoopsie, we screwed the pooch” approach the New 52 has taken. As well as changing Mr. Freeze’s origin and making the Scarecrow sew his mouth shut for God’s sakes. All because Mephisto made a deal with Spidey….whoops: I mean, because Flashpoint happened.

Who was this for? Me evidently.

Because the New 52 is giving me a headache, drifting into convoluted storytelling. At least with this book….its all from scratch, has no ads, can be read in one sitting, and isnt going to have a 5 issue mini series bringing Cobblepot back to life, and retconning Birthday boy into Clayface Jr.

Not yet, anyway.

This seems like the type of comic that one ends up with when a fan turn pro can’t check/leave his fan ideas at the door.

Also, Alfred carrying guns and blowing away bad guys seems like something they only did in order to make him similar to the version of the character from the upcoming BEWARE THE BATMAN CGI cartoon. In that upcoming series, Alfred will be carrying guns and going into action with Batman.

It’s just a completely reprehensible book. I love Frank’s art work generally, but i wish i’d never read this. If this is where the medium’s headed, then it’s best that it just die away. This had no ethics of any kind, it was just disgusting.

I love the Batman character, and I hope this does not become the mold from which he ultimately emerges. i echo everyone here who says that johns is a disaster waiting to happen, particularly if he’s the one who’s going to guide the movie depictions of DC characters. They will not survive him.

When one writes a story where the main character absolutely fails to make a difference either way and must be saved by a minor character, that author has failed Basic Storywriting 101. This wasn’t Batman: Earth One, this was Alfred: Earth One. I’m not sure how strongly I can express my hatred for this book. I’m pretty flexible with my Batman interpretations, from camp to noir to grimngritty, but “Batman as a failure” is a non-starter.

What all these “modern” or “post-modern” takes on Batman as psychopath seem to miss is that Batman is not just a protagonist, he is the HERO of the story. While there may be difficulties along the way, the world itself must be changed for the better because of him, and what he does must be fundamentally right in that world about 90% of the time. Even Frank Miller understood that in the 80′s.

If a book about a Hero who dresses up as a bat doesn’t convince the reader that dressing up as a bat is the best way to do whatever the hero wants to do, then that book fails… just like Batman: Earth One does.

I’m fine with an ambiguous Batman — that’s been going on since before Frank Miller got his hands on the character– but Geoff Johns inevitably mistakes melodrama for nuance. This book is like a xerox of a xerox of Year One and Brian Azzarello’s Joker OGN, both of which are more interesting and more internally consistent.

I think that the problem with Geoff Johns is that he can only write plots. His best works (in my opinion) are the one’s which were plot driven such as JSA or his original run on The Flash. Where he tries to develop character, like in the second Flash series or Green Lantern, he fails miserably. In his pre-New 52 Green Lantern run, there was precious little time spent on Hal Jordan. He seemed to go from one cosmic event to another. It was only after the reboot that Johns took the time to see what effect this was having on the character.

Ultimately Batman Earth One is a bundle of badly conceived character development wrapped up in stunning art…which doesn’t really save it.

I totally agree with this =>


Thylacine
August 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Geoff Johns is a very limited writer. I once heard him described, by one far wittier than me, as a very very lucky fanboy.
He simply thinks graphic violence makes a comic a mature read. ‘Hey kids can’t read this so it must be adult!’
He has chiseled the DCU into a revolting po-faced place that I rarely visit these days. Maybe he should stick to Sir Laser-Lot. ”

I’d add that Dan Didio and Jim Lee have been promoted well beyond their abilities, too.

DC Editorial and these Chief Executive Officers have to go NOW… It has to be ASAP.

These guys are doing terrible damage to the characters. The damage can be minimized if much better editors and writers were hired but the situation will only get worse the longer these guys stay in charge at DC.

Johns, Didio, and Lee did what even Quesada and Bendis’ Marvel couldn’t do — they encouraged me to give up monthly hero comics altogether!

To be honest, it’s been a good number of years since I’ve seen ANYTHING out of DC or Marvel that was any good. I’d say DC: New Frontier was probably the last decent series (which I read that) they published and that was an alternate reality tale that had its fair share of story problems, too…

P.S. — The graphic violence is one of the biggest problems I have with Johns, too… The majors used to be able to produce decent comics that DIDN’T have limb ripping and copious amounts of blood.

I hated that he brought that with his writing…

… And yes, he’s a bland writer.

This weekend, I just looked over the collection of the Englehart/Marshalls run of Batman from the 1970s… Far superior to anything Johns has done with ANY DC character thus far. And they managed to do it without a lot of on-panel blood. The worst stuff with their villains was implied OFF-panel which is far more creative and forces readers to use their imagination. That’s far more horrific than anything that can be written or drawn! That’s a huge point lost on today’s comic creators.

I now,. fully, hate DC and hope they fail.

@Stephen (the second one, not me, the first post from that name!):

“Why do I suspect that if Batman:Year One were published now it would receive a nearly identical review? How dare someone change something for reasons you can’t fathom.”

I think this comparison really falls flat based on the same thing that David said above:

“…you find that key spark that makes Batman Batman, or Superman Superman, and you update around that, to make the timeless message relevant in a new context. Both of these books updated the trappings instead, losing the key points in the telling.”

Year One filled in gaps in the mythos that expanded on how Batman became Batman. Some of the ideas presented challenged readers (I’m thinking largely of Catwoman’s new history) but they didn’t bumble and fail to coalesce into a meaningful statement about the character. Batman Year One did not make arbitrary changes that undermined the core character, whereas that seemed to be Batman Earth One’s guiding principle.

Yes, in Year One Batman was highly skilled and messed up by not realizing throughinexperience just how many subtle nuabnces were needed to do what he wanted to do and not because he was a bumbling idiot. His grapple gun doesn’t work? He can’t even jump roof tops? Stupid.

Batman as incompentent and worse, cowardly, is not even Batman. Agree with comment that this story was far closer to a Spider-man story.

Fighting Alfred? Brutal. And thenhe’s worthy to do his mission because he beats up an old man who needs a can to move around?

This story makes me think that John shates Batman and is trying to destroy him. Lets get Alan Grant back, please.

All-Star, First Wave and now this. How is it there was a time period in the 80′s when every single classic Batman story was put out and now we get this garbage? Sick and tired.

I have to say, the comments section on this article is like a cross-section of bad jokes about fanboys.

All of you who rant about Geoff Johns, calling him a “lucky fanboy” are basically saying that you think you could do better, but you’re just not as lucky.

Look, this book may not have been for you. However, you have to give the man the credit he is due for taking quite a few characters who had become mired in their own continuity and putting them through adventures that were interesting, dynamic, and (for the most part) well-paced.

Do I think his writing has suffered from a bit of overload lately? Yes, I do. B:EO, though, was a project he got to take his time on, and it shows.

It may not be the Batman YOU wanted to see, but there have obviously been quite a few people for whom it was. You didn’t like it. That’s fine. Go read something else.

I definitely don’t think Geoff Johns is talentless, nor do I think he is lucky. I just feel like his work has lost the edge it used to have. I read all 4 books he currently writes, and none of them are as good as his runs on JSA, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., early Green Lantern, or even Infinite Crisis.

I feel like lately both DC and Marvel overuse their talents to the point that they exhaust their ideas.

Being an aspiring comics writer, I wish I would see an industry that was willing to take a risk on new talent, even the many of the larger indy publishers (i.e. Image) are tending to work with established guys over unknowns.

That being said check out http://Kid-Occult.com!!!!

@Capeless Crusader:
“All of you who rant about Geoff Johns, calling him a “lucky fanboy” are basically saying that you think you could do better, but you’re just not as lucky”

Yes… Johns seems like a nice guy.

But let’s just be honest about his present work: Batman Earth One and JLA ARE REALLY horrible and uninspired books.

Maybe the CCO position on top of his writing duties is a bit too much?
I don’t know.

Anyway, he made some good work before (JSA, Green Lantern first years, Stars and STRIPE)… and I hope that he stick with Aquaman and recover some of the magic of his past.

I enjoyed BATMAN: EARTH ONE and SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE because they offer stories that don’t require a Ph.D in comics continuity. I’ll admit that Johns’ take on the Dark Knight was radical, but I’m interested in this flawed protagonist and how he will be built (presumably) into a more capable hero. Would I want this as the primary, in-continuity Batman? No, which is one of the reasons it works here.

[/quote] Steve
August 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

It’s actually the only version of Batman I’ve found myself liking in years. No Bat-Dick and no impossible achievements make it shine for me… [/quote]

I agree with this guy.
I liked the more inept realistic take on batman, instead of the ubber heroic traditional one. As a fan of ARROW, and Phoenix Jones, I think this is the type of batman that should exist. One where he starts out like this, and slowly becomes the Batman we all know.
The only thing this guy said that I don’t agree with is the “no bat-dick”. By that, I assume he meant robin. I actually like robin, or at least the concept. though, I’d have to say my favorite was Jason Todd.

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives