Monday, August 17, 2009

Batman: Fortunate Son

The back cover says this is, "A startling and moving tale from the early days of Batman's career." And it is moving. It's moving right into the trash.


The Trembler said...

Batman: "Pigs -- from a gun. . . My God. . ."

Excellent review! You should really load up your reviews with comics that can get you to this level or outrage more often. Though obviously, you might not want put and the may only be os many. Still, the energy you had in this one up this near the top of your reviews.

According to my quite research, the writer isn't quite 70 He's Gerard Jones (Age 52), who I know wrote some other mainstream comics (I think he was writing Green Lantern shortly before, but not during, Emerald Twilight). I think he's considered someone of a comics historian, But what I really know him from is all the manga translating he did, especially Ranma 1/2.

As for Crowe. . . Ah, that name kept making me think of MST3K. Anyway, you read this comic and I haven'. I don't know the details. So do we ever see Crowe when he isn't drug addled to some degree? And are these drugs that were purposefully designed to give him specific delusions or just ordinary drugs that via plot hole happened to precisely push Crowe in the direction the Col. Sanders wanted?

I'm asking this because if he is primarily drug addled, I don't quite blame him for the opinions he expresses. There is a reasonable variant on the opinions he expresses, as you yourself suggested, which inlcuds balancing the pure market motive and writing music (or whatever) "from the heart." Sometimes, that can help you sell more, as can giving away the occasional free song as a sample. (Or you truly can do it all free if you're prepared to finance your life some other way.)

If he believed that and then drugs twisted his option into the stupid version you so excellently demolished, the I wouldn't hold him responsible for that specific option. His free will is compromised.

On the other hand, assuming he knowingly took the drugs to begin with, I would blame him for doing so and for opening himself up for the likelihood of having his opinions compromised in unpredictable ways and choosing the possibility of being made idiotically violent. I just don't blame him for any specific stupid options that the drugs (loosely speaking) "gave" him.

Unless, of course, those were his opinions before the drugs kicked in. (i guess that would mean he had stupid opinions but wasn't going to act on them, and maybe making him act on them was what the drugs were for.)

That's more analysis than this comic is worth, isn't it?

(But I just have to say, I'm not clear whether Crowe started taking drugs on his own -- a good assumption, given the rocker stereotypes in this comic -- or whether he was tricked into doing drugs as a part of this bizarre, nefarious plot, which the dialogue seemed to suggest? Or is that never really clarified?)

That image of Batman that you laughed at made me think of the Val Kilmer portrayal. something about the lips. Maybe because of Doug's recent Batman Forever Rifftrax.

About Paw, though, Did he read the comic? Did you give him the gist and let him say what he wanted? Did you give him a script of talking points? Im curious about that.

Again let me say, great job!

Lewis Lovhaug said...

I did give Paw a copy so he would know exactly what was happening when he formed his opinion.

As for the drugs, it's not entirely clear. Sometimes it's suggested in the comic they gave him drugs as well as hiring Elvis impersonators to push him in the direction they wanted, other times, as we saw, he was downing pills like nuts.

Mountain King said...

Unfortunately for me Batman is my favourite comic book character. He is the last throwback to the old school comic hero. Dan Dare, The Shadow, The Phantom and the like.
Another thing I'm a fan of is classic rock and roll. Rather than modern manufactured bands that DO in fact alter, re-edit, pitch correct and basically chop the notes together from about four dozen different takes (my rant, sorry).
So in theory Batman VS the evil of music should be a brilliant joke, you know about a page long. Not ninety.
The art was so bad I had to pause the video and shout at a mirror. The plot was, well frankly, stupid beyond words and, to put it as honestly as I can, it practically raped my sanity. Even more so than At World's End.
Fantastic review. In your Countdown Reviews the comics relentlessly awful plot seemed to ware down your passion for comics. This aberration inflamed it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm utterly confused here, is the message the comic is trying to convey that "rock and roll is evil," "playing music for money is evil," "making money is evil," "corporations are evil," "not making money is evil," "not working for corporations is evil," "rebelling against society is evil," "conforming to society is evil," "drugs are evil," "not doing drugs is evil," or that Batman experimented with a bass player in his youth?

Lizard-Man said...

Surprised you didn't use the obvious "Fortunate Son" song as a opener during the title. Then again I guess it would've been too easy.

Man this comic doesn't know jack about Rock n' Roll. So the entirety of Batman's rogue's gallery loves Rock N' Roll. So? What happens if it turns out Guy Gardner likes Rock n' Roll? Is he evil? What about Green Arrow? He's an old lefty, he has more then likely listened to Rock N' Roll as a kid. Does that mean he's evil? Seriously the arguement holds no water. So a crinimal likes a form of music. Big deal, the Ultra Humanite in the DCAU cartoons listens to Japanese Kabuki opera in his jail cell! Does that paint opera as evil?

And I don't buy that Batman would think Rock n' Roll as a cause of crime. Afterall during his world travelling and trainning he learned more about the causes of crime and I'm positive none of them were Rock n' Roll. I'm positive he would know well enough that crime is caused by people who take advantage of the weak and disenfranchsed. And he definetly wouldn't want to excuse crinimals of their guilt by claiming "Rock n' Roll made them crazy" he doesn't strike me as that kind of person. Does that mean he'd like Rock n' Roll? Probably not, but think its a cause of evil? Highly doubtful.

Anyway, great review sir. You did well in defending Rock N' Roll as well as pointing out the stupidity of "Selling out". You can never really sell out to be honest, thats a definition made by wannabe rebels. As soon as something is mainstream it isn't hardcore or edgy enough. That however is just natural. If something gets more popular it eventually gets accepted. If something makes more money mroe companies buy into it. The only way you cannot "sell out" by their definition is to make crappy unwanted music that doesn't garner any popularity and is only loved by a bunch of underground folks. If you wanna learn more about the nature of counterculture and the beliefs they follow you might want to consider picking up a copy of "Rebel Sell: Why the culture can't be jammed." Great book, I highly recommend it.

Don't worry I won't point out who those rock stars were suppose to be. I don't really know either.

In any case let me close off this comment by saying keep the reviews coming Linkara and remember this their hair may be thiining, their livers may be failing, their lungs may be blackening and their arteries may be clogging... but the rock never dies!

So keep on rocking Linkara, we'll see you round.

Rachel said...

You know, I would totally go to a punk show where the bands on the bill were "Death... and Crime... and The Rage of a Beast"

Seriously. Sounds hardcore. I bet they do at least one Black Flag cover.

Paul S. said...

Half of this book sounds like it was written by a 71-year-old reactionary and the other half sounds like it was written by a bored 17-year-old trying to sound "deep."

It's all bad.

Alex Stritar said...

Wow. That comic was probably worse than Superman at Earth's End if only because it went on longer.

Great review. I wasn't sure what to expect because of the whole Batman vs Rock n Roll thing, but I wasn't expecting something this bad.

Rock on, Linkara.

David Andrew Wiebe said...

Good job, Linkara! Best one yet.

I need scissors! 61!

Edward said...

There are free museums in London and Washington, but even they have special exhibits that need to be payed for. Not to mention the gift shops.

Chris said...

This comic is nothing but death. And crime. And the rage of a beast.
But seriously, why does Robin look like Alfred E. Neuman in every panel?

m121akuma said...

Holy CRAP that was bad. I think that may well have been one of the most intelligence-insultingly bad comics I've ever seen. Careful with that whole "comic with a CD packed in" idea though, before Grant Morrison actually uses it.

And does Deadpool know about your drug-induced fantasies? ;)

WeirdAL said...

WOW this is your angriest review yet.How can anyone combine The Dark Knight to some irrational anti-rock story? I think they shoyld have used Mickey Mouse. Or Super Goofy.

J. J. Ramsey said...

One of the funnier bits from the Arkham Asylum bit was where one of the villains professed to like ABBA? ABBA? Come on! They aren't exactly the kind of band that would inspire anyone to overturn cars and burn them. At worst, they are "lite" and a bit saccharine. I can understand finding Black Sabbath a bit scary, but ABBA?

Are you sure that Jack Chick didn't ghost-write this comic? Or maybe it came from the perpetrators of "Rock: It's Your Decision." :P

Marcel said...

Is it just me, or does this comic leaving me with a nostalgic feeling for Superman - At Earth's End? At least that was hilariously bad. This Batman comic was just plain bad.

The message of this comic seems like it was written by a ultra-right wing conservative nut. Now, I don't know if Gerard Jones is a good writer (haven't read any of his works), but this seems kinda off for the guy. It's as if someone just used his name to get their anti-rock'n roll message out.

As for the message, it was just so damned confusing. Is music bad? Or is making music for money bad? Seriously, what the hell kinda crap is that?

And why, oh why did they go to that tired cliche of making Robin into a whiny-ass punk kid. It grated on me in those Joel Schumacher Batman flicks, it gets on my nerves on the comic.

Batman vs. Rock & Roll. It should've been a funny joke. But it was just plain awful.

Keep the beat alive, Linkara. :)

Will Staples said...

Great review, but the dig at Europe came out of nowhere and, IMHO, was unnecessary. For one thing, the author was clearly not promoting Crowe's viewpoint, as Crowe was shown as a fool being manipulated by Lazarus. Also, most Europeans, as well as American liberals such as myself, don't see government services like Britain's NHS as "free", but rather consider their taxes their payment for these services, just like trash pick-up and road maintenance here in the States; even if an individual doesn't end up using such a service, it improves the general public welfare (for instance, in the case of health care, they'd see a healthy populace as a good thing).

Again, I enjoyed your review, but that one political aside miffed me. Sorry. >_>

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Fair enough, Will, though actually if you DO read it, it's hard to tell who's point of view we're supposed to be following, but considering we spend an awful lot of time with Crowe and hearing his thoughts, I wouldn't be surprised if the author WAS trying to make us sympathize with his position.

Anonymous said...


What I found amazing was some of the subtext in there, like the bass player flashback, which by the looks of the bassist and girlfriend may be a parralel of Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols. Wonderful.

I also enjoyed how this is supposed to be about the evils of violent rock & roll, but the only lyrics quoted are from Beatles songs. By 1999 there was a wealth of hardcore punk and black/death metal with satanic, anti-government, or outright violent lyrics that could have been used, and even if the writer didn't want to delve into underground music, the moral panic hearings of the 80s brought out a lot of rock lyrics that could have sufficed and were easily accessible.

Oh, and great ending, man. That's some of the funkiest playing I've ever seen on an upright bass.

Joshua the Anarchist said...

Speaking of Superboy-Prime voice (yeah, kinda off topic, sorry), I was rewatching the Rocky series the other day and realized something: Mickey Goldmill says "kill ya to death" in Rocky III. Wow.

Oh, and when you said "a real message of Rock'n Roll", I was literally praying you'd play "God Gave Rock'n Roll to You". GET OUT OF MY MIND!!

ezim93 said...

Batman + Rock n' Roll= FAIL

Great Review
I can't imagine Batman has been in crap like this. Quick question: Was Fallout 3 just a reference or do you really play it?

Hossrex said...

All Linkara said was "and how're those taxes going for ya?"

If you prefer large government, you obviously don't mind paying high taxes, so the comment shouldn't be offensive.

Some people on the other hand would prefer the government have as little impact (for good or ill) on their life as possible.

Norris said...

Hey Linkara, I love your reviews but a minor thing that always bothers me on the web: it's only an illegal violation of free speech if the government does it. The Bill Of Rights protects you from the government, not your fellow citizens.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Fair enough.

Carrie said...

This reminds me of a secular version of a Chick Tract with superheores. I can't believe Gerard Jones would write this, he can be a good and fairly level-headed writer when he wants to be.

Norris said...

I noticed something (I'm writing these as I watch...which is not efficient, I know) but apparently Bruce Wayne was hanging out with No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of The Sex Pistols and Nancy Spungen. Which...makes this whole "Batman hates rock" thing make even LESS sense, because that band's leader Johnny Rotten disapproved of Sid Vicious' heroin addiction, destructive relationship with Nancy (the eventually murdered girlfriend), and refused to join the rest of the band when they went to record with a former train robber who was hiding in Brazil because he felt they were glorifying a criminal who harmed an innocent train conductor to steal regular people's money.

In short, Johnny Rotten is the kind of person Bruce Wayne would approve of even if he didn't particularly like him. And since Bruce apparently was hanging out with Sid and Nancy, he woulda likely met Johnny.

NOTE: Yes, I know, it's not explicitly stated that the punk rocker young Bats fell in with was Sid Vicious...but a European punk rocker who murdered his girlfriend narrows it down almost as much they narrow down who "Not Elvis" is supposed to be.

Psychotime said...

That was a weird one.

The House of C.R.P said...

Oh lord. That "Punk" line was making me flash back to All Star Bataman and Robin.

As a music lover, let me say that this comic is a disgrace. Some of it's values are making me think that Andrew Ryan was right! Well, partially.

And was that a Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged Reference?

bojak90 said...

That Who the hell approved this horse dung? I don't know who's the craziest in this comic: Crowe for following hallucinations and attack people, robin (why was it dick anyway? why not use Jason Todd? That way none of the likeable robins get soiled) for being a dumbass fanboy, or Batman for...well words fail me.

By the way Linkara, your Elvis voice is awesome!

Cecil said...

wow... Punk = beast? LOL

That was awful... XD, funny thing is that my sis and I watched your video review from Batman (the crazy old comic with the leather thong XD) and my sis mentioned that she wanted to see another Batman review from you soon. Coincidence? I think not XD

So let me get this straight, music is evil? RIIIIGHT @w@

An excelent episode! We laughed from begining to end!

Crazy56U said...

Comment Fail

You know, I really enjoyed those comments you made about the topic of money and how that one guy thinks everything should be free. ...there's only on problem with this, though. ...aren't you the freaking guy who, in that AskThatGuy video, admitted that he thinks the Klondike corporation want's to take out money?!?!

Still on that subject, you even admitted that you wanted EVERBODY WATCHING THE VIDEO to send you their money because "Only you can stop people from making money." ...which DOESN'T make sense because you want people to SEND YOU MONEY.

Bottom line... QUIT BEING A HYPOCRITE! (...please ignor this.)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"And was that a Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged Reference?"

Not deliberately. ^^; Really I just wanted an excuse to use my old man voice again, otherwise I would've skipped the scene because of how pointless it is to the story.

Lord Seth said...

As you pointed out, there really isn't anyone to emphasize here. But what I'm confused about is, was the author trying to make us emphasize with anyone in particular? Having (fortunately) not read this comic, I can't really tell who, if anyone, the AUTHOR wanted us to emphasize with.

Incidentally, was your "Kids today with their iPods and their M&Ms and their hula hoops and their Youtubes and their pierced I-don't-know-whats" a reference to Grandpa's final speech in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Movie, or were both you and LittleKuriboh (the guy who makes Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series) paroying/quoting the same thing?

Rachel said...

Also, it seems that all the bands referenced in the comic are super super old. Which lends some credence to the "out of touch writer" theory.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing with the not Elvis being in a glass tomb like Lenin brings back a memory of the crooks hideout in Robocop 2 where they had the same thing along with other priceless possessions acquired due to their tracking in a drug they made.

Now the crypt that used to hold Elvis is apparently available for sale and is visited by tourists all the time.

Plus most museums coach their ticket selling as donations to charity wheter this is to make the ticket sales exempt from taxes or a measure to make people feel better at buying tickets is up to the ticket purchaser. Even free to visit museums will still ask for donations.

Maggie said...

Yes! Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey!!! That made up for.....whatever the heck that comic book was. Batman hating rock& just doesn't work.

Maybe next time Batman can fight the evils of violent cartoons.

Truce Weston said...

that was your best and funniest review by far! I haven't laughed this hard in ages! Now we know why Linkara is the man!

The Bea Authur comment was so random it made me lose it (when will I learn not to have a drink in hand when I watch AT4W?) Your videos need a warning label with them! They are that funny!

And that reaction to that "pigs! from a gun!" remark was the crowning gem! I had to stop the video and compose myself for a few moments, and I went back, and the same thing happened again! It was because I swore I heard the F-bomb at first! I know you didn't say that after the 3rd time re-listening to it, but still. Just sue me for having bad hearing, but still a funny moment anyways!

I never seen a worse piece of garbage in comics! No twin clones of Hitler, no dumb plans from the Church of Humanity, no pointless mini-series, no magic coins, no shoulder pads, no out of character Amazons, no giant robots, and not even any deals with the devil! Just horrible art, terrible writing, a crazy story about rock and roll with Batman that makes no sense in the end!

so until someone tells me how long did Sgt. Pepper take before he became Dr. Pepper, MAKE MINE LINKARA!

Rhomega said...

"You kids and your...hula hoops and your...pierced I-don't-know-whats". Linkara, are you a Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged fan?

Anyway, the art style completely sucks for this. Batman's motivations are poorly done, and he does seem like some old grandpa who doesn't like anything that came out after 1950.

videodrone 675 said...

that was funny!

i dont agree with the negative comments about this video at all posted.

they all have their right to speak of course! i dont agree with them though and felt linkara made solid and fair points.

dont let 'the man' hold you down mr linkara! keep on rocking with what you do!

AndrewTS said...

Re: ezim93

"I can't imagine Batman has been in crap like this. Quick question: Was Fallout 3 just a reference or do you really play it?"

That whole spiel seemed to be a reference to Grandpa Moto's rants from Yu-gi-oh! Abridged.

I also liked the paraphrased reference to Billy Madison. *I*

A. Conroy said...

A really great episode from you.
Certainly one of the best you have done with a strange nostalgic feeling to the Superman review.
When you showed Batman's look I also had a good laugh about. Not because of his bunny ears but the generic pretty face the artist gave him. It looked like Tony Curtis was playing him.

CR! said...

Good lord this one is up there as one of my favorite reviews from you. It had everything that is fuel for you: bad art, a subject matter out of left field, horrible dialogue. And even a guest star.

Rock on!!!

Lord Seth said...

Also, it seems that all the bands referenced in the comic are super super old. Which lends some credence to the "out of touch writer" theory.

Actually, though, this makes me consider something. Here's a possibility: This comic was actually written long before it was published, back when Dick Grayson was Robin and the other stuff in it was halfway relevant. Gerard Jones is old enough that that could have happened. If this is true, then back when it was written, DC chose not to publish it, but later on they decided to make it anyway for whatever reason, and then repackaged it with the "from the early days of Batman's career" to explain why Robin was Dick Grayson. I have no idea if that's true or not, but it does make some sense.

Oh, and while I'm probably the only one who cares, I goofed up in my earlier post and wrote "emphasize" when I meant "empathize". In the off chance anyone was confused, there you go!

aa97464 said...

Wow? Really Linkara?

Did did you take a dig at Europe because someone brought up divergent standards of freedom?

I've no problem with you being as conservative as you want, but that comment comes off as being quite reactionary, not to mention kinda playground-ish.
"My country can beat your country up!" seems about equivalent.

Incidentally, wouldn't pointing out 1) no, they don't or if you must play the patriotic pipes 2) the lack of division between government and religion allows the displaying of religious iconography, which America has chosen to reject in favor of purely secular governance.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

Erm, actually I was referring to museums and Crowe's idea that they should be free - as in no payment to enter or enjoy. Crowe's the one who compared museum and artistic iconography to religious worship, and seemed to be pretty okay with that.

My point was that simply because "Europe" (I noticed also he didn't specifically NAME a European country; simply that "Europe" does it) is doing it doesn't mean America should be doing it.

Queen Anthai said...

You need to end EVERY SINGLE ONE of your reviews that way. ALL OF THEM. :)

aa97464 said...

The caption reads "in Europe, the relics of saints...*blah blah*"
I'm unsure where museums enter into the equation. Good sir Crazy-pants seems, and I could simply be speaking in ignorance, to say his devotion to not-Elvis is equivalent to a religious one, and thus the relics of his "rock-faith" should be as freely displayed as any religion's in Europe.
Not unlike some Christians believe the Ten Commandments should be displayed in front of courts (but with more squiddly-doos, obviously).

Maybe he was referring to the European union?
I guess if you got the vibe he was trying an appeal to authority to valid his rock-tastic legal proposal, I can understand trying to invalidate that line of reasoning by attacking the initiating premise (European laws= awesome).
But I don't really see how pointing out higher tax rates invalidates his premise (fallacious though Johnny Blow's argument is). I guess if you considered higher tax rates symptomatic of inferior legal practices? It just seems like a non-sequitor to me, as law and taxation are mandatorily different branches of government.

IN summation, I will stop distracting the talent now! *stops distracting*

thehivemind33 said...

Wow, Rock n' Roll is evil? Mainstream rap is worse. You have Rock that talks about love for a girl, getting through tough times and all that great stuff...then you get most of the Rap kids listen to today. With great lyrics that talk about having sex with many prostitutes and taking as many drugs as you can! Not to mention hurting innocent civillians! Great lyrics, huh? Then again the rap of today wasn't really around in '99 as far as I know. Great review as always Linkara! I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

So music makes you evil? By that logic, I make the Joker jealous.

Irandrura said...


On the saint comparison, I would like to point out that display of saints' bodies in Europe isn't funded by European governments or taxes at all. They have a thing called separation of church and state as well. Display of saints is funded by the Catholic Church. You know, the private organisation that devotes a good portion of its income to that sort of thing? And which makes money from the display of sacred relics?

So, you know, maybe if there was a huge organisation in America dedicated solely to protecting and spreading the sacred message of rock and roll, an organisation which earned vast amounts of money from donations, legacies, building hire, selling various texts and icons... maybe if there existed a non-profit church of rock, then things would be comparable.

I mean, what is Crowe even suggesting? That such an organisation be founded? That the government subsidise sites of cultural importance due to rock music? The US government already does that. It donated a significant amount to Bethel Woods to commemorate Woodstock, for example; or you've got things like the Mississippi Blues Trail, financed in part by national grants, to showcase the origins of blues music.

This isn't even bringing up how incredibly insulting it is to people of religious faith to compare their icons and holy sites - which they maintain at their own expense! - to the works of for-profit musicians.

Ugh. That one line was just... fail... of the highest calibre.

rdfox said...

Ye gods. I haven't even watched this yet (still loading--my computer's slow enough that I get horribly out-of-synch video and audio if I play while it's still loading), but based just on the comments...

Even if the story was written in the late 70s and held onto for twenty years before release, there were plenty of better choices for talking about the "evils" of rock than BEATLES lyrics. How about some Alice Cooper? What about Sabbath's "Paranoid," which basically consisted of Ozzy saying "fuck you!" to just about everyone in America over Vietnam *except* the poor bastards who were sent to fight the war? ("War Pigs" is widely recognized as shots at the generals and--particularly--the politicians who ran the war, but most people forget that "Iron Man" was really about the way the public was treating Vietnam vets, warning them of what would happen if they kept abusing and hating them.) Depending on the exact timeframe, Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics probably would have been a very good option, too, what with their anti-government, anti-technology, anti-capitalist, anti-pretty much everything lyrics and pure shock value/gratuitous destruction stage act. (I'm sorry, you're not going to convince me that having WOW come out on stage naked, spraypaint "Fuck the police!" on a car, blow up the car, sledgehammer a television, and then destroy all the band's instruments and equipment with a chainsaw is artistic in *any* way.)

If it really was written in the late 90s, then I'd say that it wouldn't be hard at all to have used quotes from, say, Rage Against the Machine. While I rather enjoy "Killing In the Name," it *is* pretty much just accusing law enforcement of being nothing more than an arm of the Ku Klux Klan, so I can see how Batman would be offended by it.

日本文化のマニアック said...

Great review! The last few had been a little lackluster, because the comics were mostly just mediocre rather than awful (and maybe you were a little burned out by covering Countdown), but this one was classic Linkara.

As for comic books etc. about music, there are several good manga that follow that theme, BUT at least one of them (Nodame Cantabile) actually did release CDs with all the music (classical music in this case), and for all of them, the adaptations, either live action or animated, were superior to their originals precisely because you could actually hear the music. You can get a good story in, but eventually you actually want to hear what they're singing. Of course, this comic didn't even have a good story...

About the only way I think you could really "sell out" is if you were to completely change your music style just to match what's popular. Then you really are doing it for the money rather than making money for your art. In the end, it's kind of ironic how many artists actually make it to the big time riding on a message of "rebelling" etc...

And for people bridling over his Europe comments, he's a self-proclaimed conservative, of course he doesn't like high taxes (whether the services are worth the money or not varies from country to country, precisely why you ought not to just say "Europe"). And I have no idea whether the comic was actually endorsing the ideas of Crowe or not either. It was as though multiple people were writing it without conferring with each other.

mightysamurai said...

"But I don't really see how pointing out higher tax rates invalidates his premise (fallacious though Johnny Blow's argument is)."

How do you think all that "free" stuff in Europe gets to be "free" in the first place?

Jason said...


Anonymous said...

That was definitely the worst comic you've reviewed in awhile. However, I was disappointed by the quality of the actual review since it seemed to consist of you just shouting at the Camera about how much you hated the comic, rather than examining and satiring just how stupid it was. One of the things I've always enjoyed about your videos over those of other online critics is that you tend to explain in depth just how poorly conceived and executed something is rather than using the more popular style of just shouting at a camera how much you hate something. Also, initiating an America vs. Europe pissing contest seemed to be needlessly confrontational. However, I'm probably fairly biased in that regard since I'm extremely sick of America vs. Europe flame wars as they have been erupting everywhere online recently over the health care reform fiasco. In terms of what you actually said, I think I'll have to respectfully disagree with you over whether or not government funding of museums is a good thing.

PontifexPrimus said...

Great review! It really showed how the plot and characters were all over the place: who were we supposed to root for? Who were the real villains and who was a victim?

The comparison to Reefer Madness was really appropriate; this comic was obviously written by someone with no knowledge of music at all (punk = death? WTF?) who yet had a grudge against everything liberal: free music! SHOCK! HORROR! Free culture! OMG! THE END IS NEAR! What about the children?

Even worse is the attempt to justify this position by having it supported by Batman as a figure of authority: "extensive scientific research proves: rock and/or roll equals BAD". This is just plain cowardly abuse of an established character as an unassailable mouthpiece for the writer's misinformed opinion.

Thank you for giving this comic the thrashing it deserves!

Minor niggle: the dig at Europe was a little uncalled for - our system works fine for us, and you don't see us making fun of Americans for all the things we take for granted that you don't have... like a working medical care system. ;)

Lewis Lovhaug said...

I am not getting involved in that debate and I would request commenters not get into a big debate about health care and taxes here.

LN said...

This just in: "Linkara officially the best web reviewer; final song seals it"

Someone should write a punk song about Batman, just to spite him! :P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another hilarious video!

Totalpranny said...

Awesome ending, good review though I think a couple more digs at the hilariously bad artwork and dialogue wouldn't have gone amiss. Man was the message that rock is evil stupid. Did Jack Chick write this ?

If I have one criticism of your videos overall, it's this : When you're really pissed off at something in the comic, you tend to let your anger get the better of your comic talents, by which I mean you get so mad at it you forget to be funny at the same time.

PS : In response to a commenter above about religion : Maybe I misread your comment, but it seems to me Europe - the majority of Western Europe anyway - is waaayyy more secular than America, especially France (the idea of the President or any public official taking an oath on the Bible or any religious book is unthinkable there).

Sieg-sama said...

Oh boy. Worthy of the silver age indeed, but it only could've been done so horribly in the dark age...

One of your best yet.

BTW. Were you the one who got the Sage into comic reviewing?

Anonymous said... - at least the first bit has some mentions about ASBARTBW. Dunno if you figured that out but... yeah.

RocMegamanX said...

I have a few questions about this comic.

1. Where did that giant penny in the Batcave come from?

2a. If Batman is about what goes on in the villains' minds when they commit crimes(i.e. Psychology), then why would they just abandon that and point the finger at Rock and Roll?

2b. While we're on the subject, why would they just randomly have Two-Face like Black Sabbath? He's a former D.A.-turned acid-scarred coin-flipping mobster. You'd think he'd have more of a classic taste.

3. Abba isn't really rock and roll. I thought they were Disco. So does this mean Disco is evil now? I suppose they would have a point if they used Studio 51 as an example, but still...ABBA?! And the Riddler likes them...kinda makes you wonder.

4. There's a Jack Chick tract about Rock music, saying that people like Elvis and the Beatles were in cahoots with the Devil. I say this, because the main villain tried to make Rock and Roll into a religious cult. Now religion is a hot button issue that should be tread with caution, but still, makes you think, doesn't it?

geogirl15 said...

OH, DC. You never learn, do you....? What a disjointed mess based around a bizarre and slightly stupid premises with lame characters and bad art. Oh, fantastic. Another wonderful review.
You deserve some kind of medal for taking care of bad comics.

...Incidentally, have you been keeping up with DC's latest crossover event, Blackest Night?
It's been ok so far, but there may be something shitty coming in very soon...
The solicitation for Adventure Comics #4 seems to be pushing the return of Superboy. Superboy-Prime.
And it's a tie in to the event.

...Should I be worried?

Kimberly said...

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey! LINKARA I LOVE YOU.

"God gave rock and roll to you! Put it in the soul of everyone!!"

Weedly weedly weedly weeeeee (<-- air guitar)

Dave said...

One thing confuses me... exactly what moral are we to take from this?

Other than "silence"?

Anonymous said...

"1. Where did that giant penny in the Batcave come from?

One of the past cases I forget which one though. It was shown in the various animated series.

TheGoose said...

The Giant Penny was originally from a villain named the Penny Plunderer, a criminal who centered his crimes around pennies.

Though, since we haven't seen him much Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, I don't think there's ever been an explanation to where Batman got it from in the comics. However, there was an episode of Batman: The Animated Series called, "Almost Got'em," where all the villains tell stories about how they almost killed Batman.

I can't remember much of Two-Face's story, but I do remember that he had a giant penny which Batman used to stop Two-Face from getting away.

Stressfactor said...

Having once worked for nuns I also gotta say... That whole 'relics of saints on display for free' bit... uh... yeah Mr. comic book writer, they're on display for free because they're generally in a freakin' CHURCH! Hello, McFly! The relics of saints are there as reminders and guides for the faithful and, the last time I checked, admission isn't charged to walk into a CHURCH.

Despite it's existence (and yes, this DOES exist) the First Church of Elvis is NOT an actual church nor is it a recognized religion. So, in short... Graceland doesn't COUNT.

Carrie said...

Rewatching the review, I'm almost convinced this comic is nothing more than a satire (though not a good one) on all the views toward rock from "selling-out", the evils of it and marketing off it.

The House of C.R.P said...

Oh dear lord. I just realized something. Crowe is an evil Kurt Cobain!

(Taken from Tv Tropes. Thanks TV Tropes!)

James said...

Wow... amazed that so many people are busing on Linkara just because he made a comment about the European tax system. Let the guy have his opinion.

Anonymous said...

"the First Church of Elvis is NOT an actual church nor is it a recognized religion. So, in short... Graceland doesn't COUNT.

Well not yet anyway. Every religion started out as a small movement then turned into a cult then when it got political power and started corrupting gov'ts then it became a religion.

Who knows in a few hundred years the Church of Elvis could be the only church left. People have seen Elvis in near death expierances along with Kermit the Frog.

Anonymous said...

"...and started corrupting gov'ts then it became a religion."

Corrupting governments? Really now?

Oh please, governments are corrupt by definition.

How does the old saying go? "Show me an honest politician and I'll show you a master of keeping secrets".

Anonymous said...

Uh politicans are just a small part of gov't. The real people that run the gov't are the clerks, staff etc who aren't politicans.

There is a huge differance between a burecrat and a politican.

Also you should take note of the followning. Many of the founders believed that religion and goverment were purer when they were seperate from one another.

Religion flourishes in greater purity without than with the aid of government.
-- James Madison

Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all other religions may establish, with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians in exclusion of all other sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute threepence only of his property for the support of any one establishment may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?
-- James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessmen

When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...


what does that have to do with what was said before or in fact anything said in the video?

Ranchoth said...

Some things come to mind about that whole mess of a story.

-Robin, even if you don't have cause to think that Batman thinks punk rock is you really get the impression that Bruce Wayne is the kind of person who'd have been even a casual fan, growing up? He strikes me more as a "listens to really moody opera at high volume in a darkened room, practicing his glowering" sorta guy. (Although I might imagine the Burton/Keaton Batman might have enjoyed Siouxie Sioux in small doses)

-It also kind of strikes me that Bruce's father telling him not to listen to Rock'n'Roll, right before hurrying them off to see their fatal Zorro movie could have easily lead to a better, even more logical plot point——you could have had Batman realizing that he was blindly holding onto an anti-rock prejudice, just so he could hold on to a precious memory of his father, even though it wasn't actually that justified a viewpoint, and he was allowing to to color his view of the world (and this case in particular) to his own detriment; or he could be revealed to be feeling guilt over just obediently shutting off the radio because Papa Wayne said so, even while appreciating the art. If he'd tried to make more of an argument for it's artistic merits, tried to put up a fight for a cause, however small, that he believed in——you see where I'm going with that?——he might have gotten in an argument with his father, and probably would have lost it, but just maybe it would changed things enough...maybe he would have gotten grounded that night, maybe his father would have relented and let Bruce listen to the end of Stairway to Heaven and they could have caught the next showing at the theater, hell, maybe it would have opened up a new level of bonding between father and son, girded by a mutual respect for their inner determination and a shared love for a developing musical art form, with the result of dodging fate's bullet and leaving Bruce's parents alive to a ripe old age. But young Bruce didn't, he meekly put aside his own beliefs, gave up his first chance to "fight the good fight," and people may have died because of it. Never again, said he!

See? Now you've got rock'n'roll creating Batman, and a story element that could too easily lead to Batman deciding to fight evil with the Power of Rock™. It's still stupid, but at least it's campy, entertaining stupid. :D

-The police in Tennessee (if that's where not-Graceland is) are less likely to open fire into a mob of crazed rioters who've apparently already shot a cop than police in California are to cut down to doofuses with guitars with a volley of rifle fire?

-Exactly how much music was Batman able to listen to while cramming at the rock museum? Say, he was there three hours, each song was three minutes long, and he didn't play any more than once, or pause one so he could go to the bathroom. So...60 songs, from all of the history of rock? I'll give him enough credit that he was able to read about completely different songs while he was listening without becoming confused or distracted (He *is* Batman, after all), and that gives him the valulable experience of reading the history, social context, and artistic criticism of what's going to look, in a good deal of cased, like just a lot of "nonsense poems."

I hope Batman doesn't need to write a proposal for a research grant anytime soon.

-Are Superboy-Prime and Crowe related to the Charlie-in-the-Box from the Island of Misfit Toys? And if so, what powers and edgy backstory does HE have? ;)

Rhythm Bastard said...

Awww, why did they have to name it after one of the best Creedence Clearwater Revival songs?

Yannick said...

wow... Batman hates punk because of Sid Vicious? Srsly?

Also awesome review, Lewis. Though you should come to Europe sometimes, the tax rates aren't as bad as you'd think. Besides you actually do get something back for it.

Derek said...

They thought Rock & Roll was bad? I can only imagine what they would say about my Death Metal. Talk about issues, huh?

OmegaWyrm said...

Wow, I didn't think it was possible for there to be another Batman comic that approaches "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" on the suck scale, but this one seems like it might even surpass it.

GuitarZero183 said...

Oh lord; they had a copy of this in my High school Library being a batman fan I picked it up and immediately put it down after seeing geriatric Robin, thank god I did.

Inanna said...

So, wait. The enmohawked bass player grabs Bruce, and next thing Brucey knows, he's spent 'weeks trapped in his obsession'?

And then later he freaks out and accosts a guy with a resemblance to mohawk-dude, accusing him of being a 'beast'.

...The slashy/homophobic subtext in that is mind-boggling. Even with... no, especially with the girlfriend's murder in there.

Which makes Batman's hatred for punk and rock even more totally irrational.

This is one of the best reviews so far, I think -- still working my way through. The Warrior reference, the ending, the righteous indignation throughout, all worked out splendidly. I just hope you emerged with your sanity still relatively intact.

TimeTravelerJessica said...

Seriously, how the hell did Crowe not kill anybody with his grenade stunt? He threw a grenade into a room full of people and we clearly saw it detonate in a blast so big it was visible from outisde the building, but we're supposed to believe no one was killed or maimed? What, was everyone in the room wearing above military-grade body armor under their clothes?

Ming said...

Wow, this is one of the worst Batman comics ever. If someone were to do a list of the ten most hated Batman comics, I'd place this at number 2, right underneath the Dark Knight Strikes Again. I don't know what they were thinking when DC allowed the writers to come up with this. If I wanted some anti-rock ranting, I would have read one of Jack Chick's tracts.

Anyway, great episode. Love the speech from Paw defending rock music. The end sequence with "God gave us rock and roll" from Kiss -- one of the most epic moments ever.

Guitar Maniac said...

"There's a Jack Chick tract about Rock music, saying that people like Elvis and the Beatles were in cahoots with the Devil. I say this, because the main villain tried to make Rock and Roll into a religious cult. Now religion is a hot button issue that should be tread with caution, but still, makes you think, doesn't it? "

Considering that there have been similar foolish condemnations of certain music styles (namely punk and rock) from non-religious sources (including Richard Dawkins, The Rationalist Association, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, etc)? I'd say that there are an equal number of people on either side (religious and secular) who are dumber then toast.

"Uh politicans are just a small part of gov't. The real people that run the gov't are the clerks, staff etc who aren't politicans."

..who all take orders from the politicians. Ergo, the politicians and their corporate backers are people who run the government.

"Well not yet anyway. Every religion started out as a small movement then turned into a cult then when it got political power and started corrupting gov'ts then it became a religion."

1. That is incredibly inaccurate. Islam was an established religion BEFORE it gained any sort of political clout, Christianity was an established religion while it was still being actively suppressed by the authorities. Same thing with Buddhism, Tao, etc. Read a history book, won't you? Try Holmes' "A Brief History of World Religions".

2. That's the other way around: Governments corrupt religions and twist their purpose and messages to serve their own selfish (and ultimately secular) needs (The so-called "religious" right of America, The militarized Buddhism used by corrupt government officials in 6th Century China, the perverted version of Islam used by corrupt states in the middle east, etc). Read Pape's "Dying to Win".

Now that we've cleared that foolishness out of the way, Linkara, I wanted to thank you for this excellent review and bringing this comic to my attention.

As a Spaniard, I have not had much of a chance to read some of the more, shall we say, "colorful" of the comics you Americans enjoy. So I am grateful for your view.

Also: I must apologize for my fellow Europeans. They seem to be a tad bit sensitive to simple humor. Don't worry, I swear the majority of us have a sense of humor!

enigmus20 said...

What was the point of this comic? Was a musician they were trying to put over? What...I don't even...GAH!

Tzelael said...

I have a confession to make... I used to be one of those hipster folk.

Granted, my look at Selling Out was a bit more sensible; in my eyes, Selling Out meant that the musicians weren't really making anything particularly inspired or creative, just churning out hits for a paycheck. But this... This is a really stupid look at it.

And don't get me started on how stupid that comment about Punk is (My perception might be colored since my Dad was a punk/proto-grunge band, but I digress). Punk is mostly about bare-bones simplicity breaking away from the more elaborate style of rock in the 70s (Starting with stuff like the New York Dolls and Iggy Pop, later popularized by the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and the Clash), basically the musical equivalent of Minimalism with songs that typically only have 3 chords and very few lyrics. But I'm boring you with too many details, but basically, the idea that Punk is an inspiration for violence is just plain stupid, though it was a long-held sentiment about Punk Bands (Mostly because of Sid Vicious and such charming things he did like puking all over the audience).

And just to close out, those poseur-types talking about the music video... If they wanted to get all artsy-fartsy about Crowe's playing, why didn't they talk about it in terms of what Crowe is actually doing? "The Strongest Guitar"? What does that even mean? Is he able to pound out the 3-Chord Whammy like Punk Bands did, or does he play really elaborate and melodic and/or heavy solos like a lot of Metal Bands did? EXPLAIN COMIC! EXPLAIN!

Anyway, awesome review man. Incidentally, you rock.

Marcus Hazard said...

As a music teacher, I just want to say, THANK YOU for making a point about the idiocy that is studying for a few hours and becoming an expert.

I've been learning about music and its history, styles, form, composition, and other aspects of it for over a decade, and I have barely scratched the surface! That line in this comic pissed me off so much...

Anyway, great review, and glad the comic got the trashing it deserved. I do think you are being a bit harsh on Robin though, as we all have that hero or idol that we seem to give more credit to than is due and believe can do no wrong. It's till stupid, but it is an explainable stupid.

De-Ji said...

A girlfrind with kung fu grip? Ouch. Watch out for her, guys!
And Linkara, if you say you’re going to dance for a while, don’t stop filming. XD

Doug Puthoff said...

This of course, reminds me of the BATMAN TV series episode wherein Catwoman steals Chad and Jeremy's voices, the climax of which you can see here:

Say what you will about Adam West's Batman being square. But he was hep...uh, hip in regards to rock'n'roll.

Of course, rock'n'roll was originally about sex (the word being a euphemism for sex), but the genre was quickly perverted (see Boone, Pat), so it means much more than sex now.

Mateja Kovač said...

The Elvis "Uh-huh-huh!" is excellent! :D

So, if I make a small nuclear bomb and detonate it in some giant desert or whatever, and no one gets hurt: it's not a big deal - no one was hurt! The radiation will reced after a couple of hundred of years!

This one-shot was written by a Serb, I tell you. Punk is death. And you sold out, Linkara. Doing this for living instead of giving it to us without profiting and living like a bum.

"I Am the Walrus" has more meaning than this does :B

Why the Beatles' version of Twist and Shout and not Isley Brothers'?