Monday, January 20, 2014

All-Star Batman and Robin #7

 photo ASBAR-7-Thumbnail_zpsef59151d.jpg

The comic that teaches us that true romance is making out after setting people on fire.

Previous All-Star Batman and Robin Reviews:
Issues 1 and 2
Issues 3 and 4
Issue 5
Issue 6



111 comments:

LucasChad said...

I would've gone with a Dracula joke from that "I hate the sun" line (maybe a clip from Horror of Dracula), but Batman singing the Beatles is still pretty amusing!

Retro, design og lopper said...

Your All-Star Batman and Robin reviews are awesome!! I can't wait to watch this one!!

Adam Burchfield said...

Why do you have the Son of Insano on your wall?

Manucharyan said...

You continue to underestimate the Irish Ninja... that could be unwise. SHAMROCK SHURIKEN!

Anonymous said...

I just realized something. That fact that you called Batman "Crazy Steve" is hilarious considering there is a video game website called Rage Select out there. They did a playthrough of Batman: Arkham Asylum where they created their own version of Batman called "Loco Steve". Loco Steve is a childish, jive-talking, Harry Potter loving, psychopath who calls white people "honkeys" and refers to himself in the third person.

The best part is he is probably a better superhero.

Kevin Mills said...

What's with the "know from screwed" and "know from hurt"? Why is "from" being used here?

The fact that Linkara didn't point it out as poor literacy makes me think it may be a dialect / colloquial thing, but I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

Wait, Are they implying that the reason Crazy Steve got Grayson Age Twelve to attack Rats is to show him how bad klling is? I think what happened to Grayson’s Parents should be enough to show him that!

Batman may have a troubled past, but he’s still reasonable and feels that if he did kll, he’d be no better than the Criminals. Crazy Steve however has probably mrdered more than a couple of dozen people tonight, and he does so whilst laughing as though he was the Joker himself!

And considering all the crud we see Grayson go through during this, is it any wonder he becomes the Joker in Dark Knight Strikes Again?

Why do Bad Writers always seem to portray Batman loathsome of Superman too!? I thought the two were best friends! You know, Superman trusting Batman enough to say; “Have this Kryptonite Ring in case I go crazy”, not “You take every opportunity to say I suck and that you’re better. Here; Have my weakness.”

I understand Batman is a more Darker DC Hero, but even he’s allowed to have some upbeat moments now and then, isn’t he?

Nice Review, Linkara.
Looking forward to seeing more from you. ;3

Zachary said...

I'm the goddamn miggity miggity Mac Daddy

Robert J. Hendriks said...

A little over two years ago I started buying trade paperbacks. Among them are some books that are considered bad, like Countdown To Final Crisis, Amazons Attack and One More Day. Some I bought to find out how things fit into continuity and others because I wanted to see just how bad it actually is. But I have absolutely no intention whatsoever to get my hands on All-Star Batman And Robin, it looks really terrible.

Shanethefilmmaker said...

I don't think Steve's insults in the opening is Crazy Steve himself. I think Frank Miller got sick of the majority Batman Fanbase's criticizing him and decided to talk through Crazy Steve insulting them. Could that mean that Crazy Steve could be Frank Miller the whole time? I'm starting to think this is less of Batman Story, and more of a story of Miller's every day life, as he sees it.

Galvamagnus said...

I think the "Deconstruction" occurs in the last five minutes, after SPOILERS! Batman saves Green Lantern from choking to death, and discovers that his actions are far too extreme and brutal.
Too bad the rest of the comic is bullshit,

brad said...

But who is worse Crazy Steve or Super Whine Prime? I'd guess Superwhine cause he was in normal cannon.

Brendan G said...

This is great! Definitely worth the wait.

Robert Tanner said...

You have Dr Insano's son on your shelf

Anonymous said...

Ever get the feeling that maybe Frank Miller is a stereotypical fratboy with access to a thesaurus disguised as a middle-aged man?

Also, can't wait for the next issue, featuring Pimp Joker and Topless Nazi Lady.

Rockwell555 said...

Wow, can't believe I'm one of t he first posts here this time ^_^

As to the thermite/bleach thing: Like you, I don't know if its true (and too afraid to search), but it does remind me of something from the movie "Fight Club" where Tyler mentions making napalm with gasoline and orange juice.

As I recall, the writers intentionally had him give a false formula for making napalm in case someone really tried it, and I'm thinking that's the case with the 'thermite/bleach' one here.

Anonymous said...

Well, this issue wasn't as stupid as the last one, but still stupid. Frank still shows himself to be a misogynistic homophobic manchild, and the dialogue is even dumber. And people that might have defended this series clearly can't tell the difference between a good deconstruction and a badly written pile of trash where everyone is a jerk.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

Not seeing any comments so I don't know if anyone asked this, but isn't that bit about keeping the masks on also what Catwoman 52 said in the first issue when she and Batman went at it on the roof?

Anonymous said...

The hell's on Black Canary's arm? It's white with a blue outline in the rain. Can't be the rain itself, that's mostly clear and if it was then she'd be covered in it and not just her arm. Did... did she get doused with some of that exploded bleach? Is the blue runoff from her costume? Is she going to have to call herself the White Canary now?

Hubi said...

I had a lot of really good laughs with the episode! This is the worst Batman I have ever seen although I still enjoy it when Linkara takes it down piece by piece.

thorondragon said...

aaaah, crazy steve. whenever I forget why I am afraid to read dc and or marvle comics, he alays is there to remind me that the characterization of such a major character can be screwed up to unbelievable levels.

I swear I am rooting for frowny joker in this one. burn that world to the ground, joka baby! the world will be a better place for it.

Hubi said...

There were a lot of really good laughs in that episode for me :D

This is probably the worst depiction of Batman I have ever come across! Does anyone know an even worse one?

Brendan G said...

You know what? I think Batman: Hush actually would work pretty well as an All Star book. It goes through so much mythology, and adds new stuff (Bruce seeing Alan Scott as a kid and Thomas Elliot) its probably one of my favorite comics.

Laughing Hyena said...

I found the use of the Yu-gi-oh GX Obelisk blue costume bumpers most appropriate for this episode.

Because that was a show that was actually deconstructive of what came before.

I don't know where some people are coming from trying to defend this comic as "deconstructive". It just boggles the mind.

Gadzinisko said...

This series needs to end with you having yourself a nice big fire from all the issues and drinking Miller beer...

Anonymous said...

I really don't get the whole "superheroes should never ever kill" thing. It's not a matter of deciding whether criminels deserve life or death, but rather which ones deserve what. The fact that Batman keeps letting the Joker live means that he'll keep on killing and making more orphans like Bruce is. And it's very likely that they won't have a butler or family fortune to become crimefighters like he did. All I'm saying is that a distinction should be made between the Joker and someone like Captain Cold.

Or hell, just banish the Joker to the Phantom Zone if you really don't want to kill him.

Anonymous said...

(Spoilers)
A thought just occurred to me as to a possible explanation for this madness-

-Batman in this comic is a psychotic "vigilante" who not only is more like the Punisher in his methods, but laughs constantly and sadistically, killing randomly like the Joker.
-The Joker, as we'll see in later issues, does not smile, and has a glum stature about him. True, he kills a reporter, but he seems to have some sort of repressive mood about him.

Maybe this whole thing is just Batman being high on Joker Venom (He seems to have encountered him at some point prior to this issue), and the Joker is all moody about not having a serious opposite to him, since "Crime has no Punchline".

The rest in my mind is just crazy reimagining of popular characters.

Tyler said...

You know this has been 7 issues in, and Frank finally realized that Batman has super villains for him to fight against. Most superheros can be defined by the villains they fight.

Now I'm afraid of just how bad Holy Terror is.

JFinley91 said...

Crazy Steve is starting to remind me of Yami Yugi from Season 0. Even to the point that he wins the affections of a girl by setting someone on fire.

AmuroNT1 said...

Hey Lewis, I just wanted to comment really quick that I've been having this odd issue with your site lately. Whenever I try watching your episodes on the site, the video is insanely laggy (but the sound is fine). But then when I watch them on Blip, they work perfectly. I dunno if it's something you have any control over, but I figured you should know. I hope this doesn't come off as needless whining, and if someone else has brought this to your attention already I apologize.

alissa mower clough said...

IN all fairness to Black Canary: male sweat turns some women on, especially if they've just been doing something really "manly" to get that way.

Men act that way with women, also, sometimes, hence Napoleon's letter to Josephine: "I'll be in Paris Tuesday. Don't wash."

Carl said...

I'm surprised you didn't make mention of the Batman animated series, that had a similar moment, when batman discovered Dick's parent's killer had returned to Gotham, and went out of his way to try to find him before Dick found out.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I do think this comic has merit of it's own.
It's one of the funniest comics ever written.
I find the whole running joke with the Batmobile to be genuinely funny.
Also, I'm an iconoclast, so bonus points for that.
It's always more fun when they use the real thing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZDQtCAwoYM

If you by the way want to see an interesting deconstruction of Batman (of multiple incarnations of Batman nonetheless), you may want to check the anime "Tiger and Bunny"
The anime itself is a homage and deconstruction of American superhero comics in general (and the American comic industry itself for that matter), but there are some obvious references and parallels to Batman in particular.
The three main characters can be seen as various interpretations of Batman, each trying to prove the validity of their approach and methods
Wild Tiger is the 1960s Adam West batman (with bits of Spiderman)
Lil' Bunny is the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan Batman
and The Lunatic is Frank Miller's God Damn Batman (with more than a little Punisher thrown in)
It is particularly interesting how they treat The Lunatic (unlike the titular duo, we don't even find out his secret identity ), as his very brutal methods aren't obviously condemned nor condoned, and at the end, it is left to the viewer to interpret whether he was right or not
Overall however, all three have their pros and cons highlighted throughout the story, and none of them is presented as being entirely right or wrong

As for Frank Miller, he is getting a new movie
The 300 sequel coming to theaters is based on the script he wrote for his unpublished "Xerxes" comic

Also, will we get ourselves some Fat Grandma?

And by the way, what's the name of the music you play as the Miller Time theme?
I think I've heard it in Ren & Stimpy and SpongeBob before


Goldenbane said...

D'OH!! What movie is that quote from? "Violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness." That's a good one.

MarioJPC said...

Very funny review, and it's a very hard to see and read...

I read tone day about the Return and the issue, some can have one Batman, an that Batman can't be the writed or the showed by one author, director, creative or actor; but that can be near or can be good made (like in the Return or any other). But this character is out of this basis, this language and all the others too. And just like you just said, this is the first issue in a while than in fact it shows something about their protagonists and about the story... but 6 issues to not tell or show any about Robin and Batman 's relationship; or not showing any "detective" if not shouting about that and the Goddam thing...
Bad written. Good drawed, but is not more interesting, just easy to pass the pages.

AmazedSatsuma said...

I see a Frank Miller adopted a noun, a verb, and Goddamn sentence structure

Henry T said...

For a minute there, I thought you were going to make a Bleach (anime) joke.

I haven't read the All Star Batman books, so I was expecting something more graphic with the kiss scene.

Good review Linkara!!

Henry T said...

For a minute there, I thought you were going to make a Bleach (anime) joke.

I haven't read the All Star Batman books, so I was expecting something more graphic with the kiss scene.

Good review Linkara!!



... And first? Sorry, I always wanted to do that.

Starman said...

I had almost forgotten how stupid this series is. Thanks for reminding me. Looking forward to meeting you at HelioCon next weekend!

Anonymous said...

The deconstruction argument makes no sense. Frank Miller has always fetishized Batman like this. Ignoring that though, if it was a deconstruction it doesn't explain the behavior of the other characters at all, or why they would even be included.

Nero Angelo said...

I finally got it. this is what batman is like when the joker's the writer

popeyedboy said...

Looking at this and the actual comics I really have trouble believing this was ever intended to be a deconstruction, mostly because I can't really see much difference between this comic and plenty of other later works that Miller spewed forth.

The stilted, unnatural dialogue that would be out of place at any point in comic book history, the juvenile objectification of women, the need to set Batman above all other characters and ultraviolence just don't seem any different.

However, to be fair (in a twisted way), I will say this. If it actually was intended to be a deconstruction, it seems to follow a common theme among bad writers who belatedly realize how bad they are. They attempt to fix their works with a deconstruction, but they never realize that the deconstruction is just as horrid than the serious works with no clues that this isn't supposed to be the same tired material, so the reader has no idea that the intent was every any different from what came before.

And I get the feeling that when not-Batman is ranting about calling his car whatever he wants, it's actually Miller yelling at his critics.

Last parting shot, it'd be better if not-Batman didn't criticize Robin's kicks when the art made it clear that not-Batman couldn't do a proper kick to save his own life.

Anonymous said...

Astro City is a fantastic deconstruction of superheros if that is what one is looking for.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I opted out of this review at around the halfway mark because it just didn't feel like it was all that fun to watch. For a comic serious as tedious as ASBAR and a writer like Frank Miller were theres very little he can do to really shock or surprise anymore, I feel like this video really needed to less "commenting" and more "comedy".

Really, I bailed after the "washing his thights" clip because that was a fantastic gag! So I left on a high note. But I could have done with more jokes and less annoyed reactions about the events since this mini-series has descended into nothing but dragging its own heels, which is hard enough to read, its even harder to watch someone else read it.

Like the bit about Crazy Steve fighting thugs "With Chemistry!" Thats a scene that is just begging for a joke like "A good man descends into homicidal madness thanks to chemistry. Maybe this was Frank Miller's pitch for a new AMC drama series, Breaking Bats!"

(Yeah, I know Breaking Bad is far outside your reference sphere, but I'm really looking for some quips rather than just saying whats happening.)

Just my two cents, take it for what its worth, which isn't all that much in this economy.

Mattia Garavini said...

THere are acually people who defend Franky and this comic.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Linkara know that issue 10 of ASBAR is considered one of the more controversial issues, because Batman uses the C word(the word that rhymes with can't) and the F word. DC in fact stopped printing that issue off.

Gabriel Godinho said...

The random emphases on the narration always remind of Mr. DeMartino from Daria.

Matt Stembridge said...

Just a note for you, Linkara, Bottle bleach is 90% water (quick google search) and the active compound isn't flammable either, thus a giant bottle of Napalm does not Bleach and thermite make.

VegetaMichael said...

Just an aside, I'm really tired of superhero deconstructions...

..."Defendor", "Super", "Hancock", "My Super Ex-Girlfriend", "Kick Ass", the movie versions of "The Green Hornet" and "The Lone Ranger"...

...here's a question I've been meaning to ask you, Lewis: what do you think of the webcomic "Spinnerette"? Personally, I think it's one of the best superhero I've ever seen, up there with the likes of "Astro City", "Tom Strong", "The Incredibles" and the Alan Moore run on "Supreme". But I'd really like your opinion on it. Do you like "Spinnerette", or not? And why?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if LInkara knows about the controversial issue of ASBAR #10 due to a mistake allowing Crazy Steve to say the C word(the word that rhymes with cant) and the F word. DC stopped printing that issue and was going to destroy the rest.

Anonymous said...

Well DUH!

Of course women are turned on by murder!

Serial-killers have entire legions of fangirls waiting in line for them!

It's in their blood!
http://lovearthistory.hubpages.com/hub/psyhparaphilia

Anonymous said...

I feel a bit ashamed to asking this. I love your show I watch it every time. But since I have bought my new PC I'm not able to listen to you show. I believe is a codec issue. So I'd like to know what sound codecs you use. My current OS is Debian and my Audio card is : Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller. Thanks in advance

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"What's with the "know from screwed" and "know from hurt"? Why is "from" being used here?

The fact that Linkara didn't point it out as poor literacy makes me think it may be a dialect / colloquial thing, but I'm not sure."

It is indeed a slang/colloquial thing. It makes it even more bizarre since it's not one that's very commonly used, but I didn't want to be that pedantic in this review.

ThePuppyTurtle said...

Let me just say this, there's nothing in "Orson Scott Card holds views I dislike for justifiable reasons, and is vocal about them" that ought to lead one to the conclusion "I ought to boycott him and anything associated with him."

It seems to me the reason is either:

1: Spite, which I regard as an intrinsically invalid motivation for any action.

2: A desire to show that his views are not welcome in our society. This is wrongheaded because it's just not how we should be trying to convince people to agree with us. "Agree with me and the rest of the majority or we'll start fucking you over in any reasonably legal and moral way we can think of."

3: The fear that by buying from him you support his views. In which case: How? By possibly paying for the food he eats and converts into energy with which he thinks his evil thoughts? By giving him more exposure? I don't think that's much to worry about. It's not like his is the sort of arguments by which anyone will be convinced who doesn't already agree with him, and even if he does win a few more extra people over it won't be enough to matter, especially since in the end, the courts will always decide in favor of gay rights because they regard the constitution as supporting them.

or 4: The idea that you will change his mind, as though he'll somehow come to the conclusion that he was wrong because his views were met with people screaming at him that the opposite conclusion is self evident and that he only rejects it because he is a bad person, which is all that is happening from his perspective. As though he feels free to just disregard what he views as divinely revealed truth and decide to believe what's popular instead so that people will like him again. If that was going to happen, it probably would have happened already, because I doubt he's hearing anything he didn't hear within the first three months of people screaming at him.

Maybe someone who supports these boycotts could explain this to me?

Anonymous said...

April's gonna be a great month! We'll have Captain America, Game of Thrones, and your next storyline!

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"D'OH!! What movie is that quote from? "Violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness." That's a good one."

Camelot, my favorite movie. ^_^

Adam said...

Today, I decided to get out of the house after being cooped up indoors for too long. Despite some setbacks, this day turned out pretty good. Shame I had to spoil it by enduring another issue of one of the worst adaptations of Batman. I must be a sadist.

I dunno why I should be upset over this book. Miller pretty much killed his own career with his insane douche-bag antics. The only ones I feel sorry for are the people who bought this book thinking it would get better (myself included) and Jim Lee. I'm not a big fan of Lee but no one should have to work on a book that is this horrid. I could even count John Romita Jr. as a victim since he's stuck drawing the Kick Ass comics for Mark Millar, another piss-poor excuse for a human being/writer.

Funny thing though. Alan Moore, another writer who helped usher in the "grim & gritty" era of comics has also become a deranged asshole who has pissed off his fans and fellow creators in the comic book industry (although that is mostly due to his bad experience with the business side of comics). Maybe its some sort of karmic payback for dragging the industry into a route that it desperately needs to get out of. But that's how I see it.

Also, in regards to the stinger, I would have also excepted House of Pain's Jump Around.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I feel a bit ashamed to asking this. I love your show I watch it every time. But since I have bought my new PC I'm not able to listen to you show. I believe is a codec issue. So I'd like to know what sound codecs you use. My current OS is Debian and my Audio card is : Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller. Thanks in advance"

Anyone out there who can help with this? I am unfortunately not very tech-inclined, so anyone who can offer some advice would be appreciated. ^_^

Matt Stembridge said...

I did a quick look on google for the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) of household bleach. The MSDS is a government mandated product safety thing that must be available for public knowledge anywhere it's going to be used (an abbreviated version is on the labels of cleaner bottles you buy at the store). If you ever want the know the properties of a household chemical without throwing up red flags, "[chemical name] MSDS" is a perfectly safe way to search, because you are looking for safety information, not using any bomb-like terms.
http://www.thecloroxcompany.com/downloads/msds/bleach/cloroxregularbleach0809_.pdf
Rant over... On another note, Chlorox household bleach is ~89-95% water, 5-10% Sodium Hypochlorite, and 1% Sodium Hydroxide.

None of those chemicals are flammable or explosive (except for the water if you break it into Hydrogen and Oxygen, then it just explodes... thank you 8th grade chemistry). but the way they depict it, the water should just boil out of the bottle rapidly, the thermite burning right through the bottom is no time at all.

Arg, that was much longer winded than I expected.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Lewis(linkara) is psychologically is preparing for the 10th issue of ASBAR, because that is sue is one of the more controversial issues. Depending if Lewis has that issue, there was an error where Batman says the C word( the word, in my opinion, is the ultimate insult to women) and the f word. DC has stopped publishing that issue as I was informed..

Megan said...

Oh Frank, you crazy POS.

This series just keeps getting more and more insane as it goes on. Nobody in it acts like rational human beings. I think this is like Marat/Sade, with the inmates of Arkham actually taking over the roles. Crazy Steve is one of the inmates.

What's SOI doing on your shelf? Is he a spy for his Dad?

FugueforFrog said...

Let's start with this: the "black head" scene was hilarious.

Yeah, Miller just keeps making Batman so reckless and just doesn't really know what he's doing. Let alone the stuff with Black Canary and Dick Grayson (age 12) proves how nuts they are too. But hey, I guess I know less about Batman than Frank, so perhaps they are right...or maybe its not my fault I end up watching more about Batman from good animated series and movies than from terrible comics.

Anonymous said...

I am going to say sorry I may have accidentally retyped my same post. The one about issue 10 and its extreme language. I acknowledge that Lewis has read all of them and told us to look through them. I just didn't look to careful enough. Sorry, sir. Actually, this is my first time blogging outside a school assignment.

Anonymous said...

"I really don't get the whole "superheroes should never ever kill" thing. It's not a matter of deciding whether criminels deserve life or death, but rather which ones deserve what. The fact that Batman keeps letting the Joker live means that he'll keep on killing and making more orphans like Bruce is. And it's very likely that they won't have a butler or family fortune to become crimefighters like he did. All I'm saying is that a distinction should be made between the Joker and someone like Captain Cold."

I see your point, but here's the problem: superheroes in the real world would not be tolerated unless they could be held accountable for their actions to some degree. Even when it's supposedly justified, killing someone is a pretty extreme action. If we say that these independent superheroes should be allowed to kill criminals when they "deserve" it, it's the superheroes who'll be calling the shots of how dangerous a villain has to be before they deserve it. But the problem with that is, not everyone is going to agree where that line is drawn, and you're going to have a lot of superheroes that don't answer to anyone killing in situations where it wasn't necessary. Regardless of body count, all villains represent a threat to the average civilian, and some people would draw the line of when lethal force is acceptable to stop them much sooner. Consequently, independent superheroes would be tolerated much less by the government, because you have all these people killing according to their own definition of when it's acceptable with no one to answer to for it. The only way that superheroes could conceivably act independently without reporting to the government is if they willingly limit themselves and set clear lines that they do not cross. It's much easier to say, "No killing, ever" than it is to say, "I'll only kill when it's necessary", because then you open up the can of worms of when it's necessary.

Rue Ryuzaki said...

How did DC let this series get published?? How??

I just facepalmed for the whole Black canary section. Why do I keep seeing these heroines get their dignity destroyed??

But I did enjoy the Mr. T, and the Kriss Cross clips that was unexpected & worth seeing lol.

Cat C said...

Okay, Marville hurt, a LOT, but there wasn't a personal connection like I have to Batman. I grew up reading Batman (and Catwoman) with my dad).

It is rare at this point where things are so stupid I actually get a headache from the dumb. This did that to me. It wasn't 'MST 3K: Crash of the Moons' level but it was up there.

The 'time and a place' thought you'd put in a clip from Doctor Who when the Doctor kept telling that to Jack.

Thank you for tweeting about the Son of Insano on your bookshelf. Was wondering if Linkara was having to babysit.

The more I delve into the history of Black Widow the more her original costume and Black Canary's look similar. No, I am not trying to say anyone copied anyone (since I don't know when Black Canary was created or when that costume showed up) just found it interesting.

And that's all I've got. Ep was quite funny just this comic needs to go the hell away.

@dragons_dusk

Shanethefilmmaker said...

"You have Dr Insano's son on your shelf." Maybe he's babysitting. It wouldn't be a surprise for a hero to be on good terms with his Arch-Enemy's kid.

Cat C said...

Oh, forgot to mention. Anyone using the Chrome browser and has Avast as an Add-on for it, they recently updated it and it defaults on pages to block ad tracking. Remove the block and it should restore the ads for here.

9ansean said...

Maybe someone who supports these boycotts could explain this to me?

The answer is very simple. There is a difference between holding unpopular views and working against other peoples livelihood. Orson Scott Card is not merely against gay marriage. He has actively funded groups that work to prevent same-sex couples form getting ANY kind of level rights. In other words, the money that comes from the sales of his work potentially weakens the well being of LGBT people and there families. How much of his money goes to this cause: I have no idea, but it seems perfectly reasonable to say I'm going to let my money contribute to actions that I feel are unjust when that's where he's putting it. Is he still popular enough that he can make a lot of money for this cause sure? Absolutly. Does he have a right to spend it how he wants and speak in favor of cause he supports? Definitely, but by the same token I have the right to divest myself from causes I oppose

Evan Carden said...

@ThePuppyTurtle

I won't speak for anyone else and this isn't really the place for it, but I'd argue that a perfectly reasonable reason is exactly (2), except that the goal is not to convince Mr. Card, or even the folks who generally agree with him, but rather to shape public discourse.

Again, not speaking for anyone else, but I don't care what Mr. Card feels in his heart, or thinks in his mind, or even says in the solitude of his home. I do care what he says in public and the effect that can have on others and think that there are things which people can do, or say, which are such that, in my opinion, they should be exiled from public discourse.

More on topic:
I actually usually like deconstructionist stuff, but here...I don't think that argument works, though we aren't at the end yet, usually for it to be a deconstruction, we (or at least I) need to see consequences. Here there are no consequences. He acts like a criminal and, thus far at least, completely gets away with it.

Also, I've been trying to figure out how Steve could know superman could fly if superman didn't and the only answer I could come up with involves superman flying by reflex at some point and not realizing it (taking a punch or something and stopping without touching the ground), which I guess makes sense, but is me really reaching for an explanation.

Anonymous said...

And here I was expecting to see Jambi.

Tia Wheeler said...

At this point, I can't even make any more comments about Frank Miller and his insane work. It seems that it would be shorter to list the things that is right with him rather than to talk about all of the negatives.

On to the review...

What was the point of this series again? Okay, Crazy Steve goes and kidnaps a circus performing boy who had just witnessed his parents getting murdered-- why? The boy was never a lead for the case at the time and the information could have been obtained without him (I'm sorry, Bruce/Batman would have gotten the information without him). What is just ridiculous is that we have had 6 issues of "the GODDAMN Batman is AWESOME" and are only now getting a possible culprit to the murders (aka remembering there's supposed to be a plot).

How do you tolerate this insanity, Mr. Linkara?

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with superheroes being a power fantasy
Or rather, that it's a power fantasy people actually have.

It's more like a fantasy they want you to THINK they have, as it is more socially acceptable.

In reality, super villains are the TRUE power fantasy.
Heroes are limited by morals, responsibility, and duties.
Things no-one really wants.
Villains on the other hand are pure power, with no strings attached.
Pure, unadulterated freedom to fulfill you'r every desire, with nothing an no-one able to stop you.
I do think DC's villains month managed to demonstrate this pretty well.

Also, there's an awesome "Crazy Steve" franchise out there.
It's called "Axe Cop."
It started out as an indie comic, and was recently adapted into a TV show on fox.
The main protagonist is an axe wielding cop, who acts, talks, and think EXACTLY like the God Damn Batman, and gets away with it, because he's just that awesome!
(that's the official explanation)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vlx4RfZ9xK4

Anonymous said...

" I'm starting to think this is less of Batman Story, and more of a story of Miller's every day life, as he sees it."

That would make Miller the biggest BAMF of them all

(Salutes in front of a waving American flag. Single tear running down the cheek, while the Frank Miller anthem plays)

This world just isn't worthy of someone this MANLY!

Anonymous said...

"The fact that Batman keeps letting the Joker live means that he'll keep on killing and making more orphans like Bruce is. And it's very likely that they won't have a butler or family fortune to become crimefighters like he did."

Actually, this is something that was implied in Deadshot's issue of Villain Month

His origin story was pretty much identical to Batman's, but because he was poor, the experience lead him into becoming an assassin (he saw is as an opportunity to take vengeance), rather than a crime-fighter

Anonymous said...

To Linkara:
I have a suggestion for your next Miller Time review:
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot comic (written By Frank miller in 1995), which the cartoon was based on.

13th Doctor said...

Lewis, I think you finally hit the nail on the head as to why I am not nuts about superhero deconstructions. There was someone on your TGWTG comments who talk about said that superheros have an "inherent wrongness" to them and it is a fantasy people (especially children) should avoid. (one wonder what he doing reading comic books in the first place if those are his feelings on it but whatever). He was also keen on bringing up how socioeconomic problems are oversimplified and Bruce could have used all his money to fix Gotham and UGH. Next he is going to say The Incredibles has a fascist subtext. A video posted on TGWTG about how supposedly morally wrong the Dark Knight Trilogy is also got this reaction from me.

Point is, SF Debris said it best when he said that superheroes are not about glorifying vigilantism; it is about devoting yourself to a greater good. If you have the money and the resources to do so like Bruce and Tony Stark, it is a moral imperative.If you want to do a story exploring their darker implication, fine. Just do so without tarnishing their heroism. Books such as these tarnish an icon, paragon of heroism which has endured for 70 years for the sake of acting out Miller's FUBARed outlook on morality and the law. Kudos also for you bringing up how children look up to these symbols which is another reason One More Day sucks ass.

Rue Ryuzaki said...

@ 13th Doctor Thank you.

Hilden B. Lade said...

When you are finally done with all this Miller madness, have you given any consideration to tackling Kevin Smith's Batman comics?

Granted, they are closer to mediocre rather than the level of pure evil offensiveness that ASBAR had provided us all, but still there were many horrible moments in those two series.

Like Joker being into "second-grade level humor"

KKDW said...

Can we have a nickname for Irish Ninja Lady as well? Because we REFUSE to call her Black Canary!

Anonymous said...

"Next he is going to say The Incredibles has a fascist subtext."

Not fascism, objectivism.

There's a difference in those.

13th Doctor said...

@ Rue Ryuzaki. Thanks for the compliment. Sorry about the grammatical and spelling errors. I tend to write these in a hurry.

Mattia Garavini said...

''I have to disagree with superheroes being a power fantasy
Or rather, that it's a power fantasy people actually have.

It's more like a fantasy they want you to THINK they have, as it is more socially acceptable.

In reality, super villains are the TRUE power fantasy.
Heroes are limited by morals, responsibility, and duties.
Things no-one really wants.
Villains on the other hand are pure power, with no strings attached.
Pure, unadulterated freedom to fulfill you'r every desire, with nothing an no-one able to stop you.
I do think DC's villains month managed to demonstrate this pretty well.''

So, you are basically saying that the Joker was right? That every human is, deep down, an asshole?

Katherine said...

It's Miller Time again! This is going to be good (the review, not the comic).

I’ve heard the “it’s all a parody/deconstruction” excuse too. And while that may explain how ridiculous Crazy Steve is, it doesn’t explain the notes that Frank Miller sent to the artist regarding Vicki Vale, in which he clearly stated that he wanted Vicki to be randomly strutting around in her underwear so that she could “make [male readers] drool.” That’s not parody. That’s no different from all of the other blatantly sexualized images of female characters in comics, drawn by other artists and envisioned by other writers.

“Boy of mine?” This is the same guy who “had his eye on Dick” before Dick’s parents were killed. And whose younger self was romanticized by Alfred (“dark-eyed angel”). You combine Crazy Steve’s treatment of Dick, Alfred’s creepy comments about the young Bruce, and now Crazy Steve calling a grown man “boy of mine” and this just conjures up all kinds of Unfortunate Implications.

I mean, you want to talk about a deconstruction? Based on all of the insane stuff that’s happening and how Crazy Steve is characterized…this is one possible interpretation that I can’t help but think of, one that I doubt that Frank Miller intended. Which is: Alfred abused Bruce. He took advantage of Bruce when he was young and vulnerable and that’s why Crazy Steve is so messed-up. That’s why he bristles when anybody dares to insinuate that he’s gay, that’s why he tries to overcompensate for any perceived “weakness” by beating up everyone in sight and bragging about how rough and tough he is, that’s why he has all of these skeevy thoughts and comments about Dick, and that’s why, for all of his macho attitude, he’s an immature teenager trapped in a grown man’s body. Which is really depressing.

And that’s why it’s bleakly funny that you mentioned Orson Scott Card in the beginning, because Orson Scott Card actually wrote a fanfic of “Hamlet” where Hamlet’s father was a pedophile. No, I am not joking.

Yeah, have Black Canary randomly make out with Batman, why not. I mean, Vicki Vale hasn’t shown up to wax poetic about Bruce Wayne lately, so why not have another woman drool over him so that we don’t forget how “manly” and “attractive” Crazy Steve is supposed to be? After he’s done brutally murdering dozens of people, no less. See, YA paranormal romances aren’t the only areas of fiction where female characters inexplicably swoon over psychopaths!

His “other half” is fine? So, is Crazy Steve supposed to be like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Because all we’ve seen is Hyde.

Oh, no, now Dick is becoming as insane as Crazy Steve! D:

Dick’s flying kick makes him look as if he’s auditioning for a martial arts film.

“Violence is not strength and compassion is not weakness.” That’s a great quote. :)

Anonymous said...

And to think, Zack Synder a few months ago stated that he was going to consult (or was thinking of doing so) Frank Miller regarding the Superman/Batman movie...the more exposure I get to Frank's work, the more I just get ill over that.

Always enjoy your reviews, Lewis. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Frank miller has often hinted at ASBAR being a parody of batman as a whole the way someone who's never read a batman comic in their life might view him and only knows batman from a few clips or scenes from the nolan/burton films, and some of his "fans" and in a few cases miller himself has said that he's actually grown tired of writing batman (its one reason why we don't see him writing the main series batman anymore either) and didn't want to write the all star book, but DC offered him a big salary for it and when that didn't move him almost (allegedly) threatening to sue him for a breach of contract going back to the 80's..so he intentionality wrote the book so bad and pitched holy terror as a batman story so DC would stop hounding him and leave him to be crazy with his own writing and stories.


also the book being canned before its 12th issue AND the delays it suffered for 5 years isn't millers fault it was Jim Lee's. Lee was caught up in the workload DC has put on him in the past few years that he asked miller if it would be better to just can the series as an all star book since the imprint failed anyway.

you can kinda see this in the 9th issue which honestly feels like THAT was supposed to be the final issue but because All star superman was a success with a 12 issue run editorial mandate forced miller to write a 10 issue before they finally gave up on any hope of the book being salvaged.

Anonymous said...

As to why the comic took so long, I imagine because whoever killed it failed to cut of it's head and bury it at the crossroads after sprinkling the Earth in holy water.

Ming said...

I keep expecting DC to actually finish All Star Batman and Robin, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon, especially with Jim Lee running DC.

Anyway, great beatdown on this comic. This isn't a deconstruction of superheroes. This is a complete insult to the superhero mythos. Not even Arrow and Canary from the Arrow TV show ever acted like Crazy Steve.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Batman state in TDKR that the name "Batmobile" was Robin's idea? Did Miller just forget that this crap was supposed to be set in the same continuity?

Doresh said...

If Frankie wanted to deconstruct Batman, why include the Justice League? An insane vigilante with dangerous gadgets can be quite scary in a setting without superpowered beings, but here? I don't think Crazy Steve stands a chance against the alien demigod, the Greek heroine and the space cop.

And what the heck is ASBAR even about? You've reviewed seven issues so far, and I still have no clue what Frankie is trying to accomplish, or where this whole mess is heading. What is the point of all this madness o_O ?!

Dunno if I noticed that before or not, but why does Black Canary have a Huntress-ish mask? Did Frankie got the two characters confused?

Anonymous said...

"I see your point, but here's the problem: superheroes in the real world would not be tolerated unless they could be held accountable for their actions to some degree. Even when it's supposedly justified, killing someone is a pretty extreme action. If we say that these independent superheroes should be allowed to kill criminals when they "deserve" it, it's the superheroes who'll be calling the shots of how dangerous a villain has to be before they deserve it. But the problem with that is, not everyone is going to agree where that line is drawn, and you're going to have a lot of superheroes that don't answer to anyone killing in situations where it wasn't necessary. Regardless of body count, all villains represent a threat to the average civilian, and some people would draw the line of when lethal force is acceptable to stop them much sooner. Consequently, independent superheroes would be tolerated much less by the government, because you have all these people killing according to their own definition of when it's acceptable with no one to answer to for it. The only way that superheroes could conceivably act independently without reporting to the government is if they willingly limit themselves and set clear lines that they do not cross. It's much easier to say, "No killing, ever" than it is to say, "I'll only kill when it's necessary", because then you open up the can of worms of when it's necessary."

True, but there's also the fact that not all superheroes should have to play by the same rules. I honestly can't see someone like Spider-Man or Superman killing someone, even if it would be the best solution, because that's just not what they would do. I can see Batman doing it because he's a much darker character than the aforementioned two, but he shouldn't do it indiscriminately, because that'll be Az-Bats all over again.

I just think that superheroes should be allowed to set their own rules and morals, as should villains. Flash's Rogues didn't become villains to cause pain and destruction like the Joker, they just did to get easy money, not to hurt anyone. Some bad guys put on tights and a mask because they think that being a villain is more exciting than being a good guy.

Needless to say, the question of how much force should applied to the murders, thrillseekers, and money-makers is pretty obvious.

Breno Ranyere said...

I found a place that has all the issues of the batgirl cassandra cain run from 01 to 73, are all the issues good or just parts of it?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"I found a place that has all the issues of the batgirl cassandra cain run from 01 to 73, are all the issues good or just parts of it?"

Obviously some issues are better than others, but it's worth it to read the whole series, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I'm just gonna say this, Man of Steel get's WAY too much hate.

A lot of complaints have centred on the destruction of Metropolis. But I think this is hypocritical. Why?
Because The Avengers was even more destructive than Man of Steel.
Keep in mind, I love The Avengers (who doesn't?), but I fail to see how people can get so infuriated by the collateral damage in one while ignoring it completely in the other. I can only think of 3 reasons why:

1. A lot of 2013's blockbusters featured wide scale destruction (Star Trek Into Darkness, Olympus Has Fallen, G.I. Joe, and many more). By the time Man of Steel came out at summer's end, people were sick of it, and focused on it more.

Anonymous said...

2. Fanboys will claim that the Avengers tried to save civilians as well as stop the Chitauri and that all Superman did was cause more damage, without saving anyone.
The problem with this argument comes from the difference between the heroes; the Avengers all have some degree of combat experience and/or SHEILD training. Plus, there are 6 of them. Superman has little to no combat experience, and there's only one of him, meaning he's even more outmatched by the Kryptonians (as Zod says, "Where did you train? On a farm?")
Now sure, he has some help from the military, and they are the ones who send the Krytonians back to the Phantom Zone, but Superman does everything else. he has to fight multiple Kryptonians in Smallville, stop the world engine, take down General Zod's scout ship, and fight Zod mano a mano. All by himself. He doesn't save the civilians in Metropolis simply because he can't.

3. People expect Superman to save everyone. Why? Because he is meant to be better than any other hero. Like it or not, Superman is the golden god of comic book heroes, and we expect him to be a shining example to us all.
Superman may not have dealt with the backlash of this yet, but its clear that it will be a major talking point in the sequel. What better way to introduce Lex Luthor than to show him holding Superman to account for the destruction he has wrought?
People may not like the destruction seen in Man of Steel, but the truth is that this is far more consequential than any other Superman film. In Superman: The Movie, he doesn't need to live with the repercussions of losing Lois; he can just turn back time. In Superman II, Lois doesn't have to come to grips with knowing Superman's true identity; he can just erase her memory with the mind-kiss. That is why I find it irritating when people claim that Man of Steel occupies a world without consequences.

Simply put, Man of Steel may have a few things wrong, but it also got a lot of things right.

Anonymous said...

"True, but there's also the fact that not all superheroes should have to play by the same rules. I honestly can't see someone like Spider-Man or Superman killing someone, even if it would be the best solution, because that's just not what they would do. I can see Batman doing it because he's a much darker character than the aforementioned two, but he shouldn't do it indiscriminately, because that'll be Az-Bats all over again."

I'm sorry, I think I may have been unclear with what point I was trying to make. I wasn't talking about how writers decide the morals of the characters (though you are right; obviously a character's morals should be decided on what fits for that character), I was pointing out that, as far as in-universe law goes, the government would be a lot less tolerant of vigilantes that said they get to call the shots on whether killing someone was necessary than vigilantes who just flat out say, "There are lines we will not cross".

"I just think that superheroes should be allowed to set their own rules and morals, as should villains. Flash's Rogues didn't become villains to cause pain and destruction like the Joker, they just did to get easy money, not to hurt anyone. Some bad guys put on tights and a mask because they think that being a villain is more exciting than being a good guy."

Regardless of intent, though, villains like that still represent a danger to the general public. Captain Cold may not be aiming to hurt anyone, but firing freeze rays indiscriminately during a robbery is still going to put people in danger, and he could easily kill someone without necessarily meaning to. And hell, he helped kill Bart Allen; you can't say a guy who participated in that is harmless. And like the Joker, he keeps coming back to cause more damage. One could easily say Captain Cold is dangerous enough to be worth killing, because he represents a danger period.

"Needless to say, the question of how much force should applied to the murders, thrillseekers, and money-makers is pretty obvious."

Well, obvious as far as an individual is concerned, but the problem is that moral limitations are not carved in stone. What exactly is the difference between a man who kills someone and a man who comes damn close? Explosions and property damage can easily injure civilians by proximity even if that wasn't the goal; hell, the simple act of a hero/villain fight can lead to casualties. There really aren't that many truly "harmless" villains out there, and some extreme minds (such as the Punisher) could make a case for killing anyone that represents a threat. That's why, from a practical standpoint, a universal "no-killing" policy is
going to be a lot easier for everyone to deal with rather than a "let the heroes call the shots on when to kill" policy, because there are going to be a lot of times when someone makes a bad call.

I don't necessarily disagree that snuffing out the Joker would be beneficial long-term, but I also think we should keep in mind the further implications of that decision instead of just the immediate good it would do.

le-messor said...

How can it be the black market with so much bleach around? Shouldn't it be white by now?

"In reality, super villains are the TRUE power fantasy."
Maybe for you, in which case I'm a little concerned. For me, I love seeing the bad person get their come-uppance.

"Rue Ryuzaki said...
@ 13th Doctor Thank you."
Seconded.

"I just think that superheroes should be allowed to set their own rules and morals"
Another scary thought. You've seen one good reason why superheroes don't (generally) kill - though there's the Punisher, for example.
Another is so that they aren't dragged down to the bad guys' level.
Another, that I'm pretty sure Batman has stated, is because it's too easy; what is harder is drawing that line you want.

One I haven't seen mentioned before is that, in the criminal justice system there are two divisions. One is about apprehending criminals, the other is about bringing them to justice. (I don't know the Law and Order opening, but you get the idea).
Superheroes are all on the 'apprehending criminals' side; they aren't the courts, they don't decide the punishments. If the Joker should be killed, that's up to the state, NOT Batman.

~ Mik

Nathaniel Towns said...

I read somewhere that Jim Lee finished all the issues of ASBAR, but DC refuses to release them because of the New 52.

le-messor said...

Anonymous defender of Man of Steel: if you're interested, find my answer to your comments here:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5809126056034906096&postID=7081885359830599808
That's the comment thread to Linkara's Man of Steel v-log, which is the appropriate place for this argument.

~ Mik

Anonymous said...

"Regardless of intent, though, villains like that still represent a danger to the general public. Captain Cold may not be aiming to hurt anyone, but firing freeze rays indiscriminately during a robbery is still going to put people in danger, and he could easily kill someone without necessarily meaning to. And hell, he helped kill Bart Allen; you can't say a guy who participated in that is harmless. And like the Joker, he keeps coming back to cause more damage. One could easily say Captain Cold is dangerous enough to be worth killing, because he represents a danger period."

Based on what I do know about the Flash mythos, Bart Allen's death at the hands of the Rogues was very much out of character as it was written by Mark Guggenheim and even gets lampshaded (among various other ones) in Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge, so I don't really consider it canon in the DCU. Still, you make some legitimate arguments, even though I stand by my own views

Shadows Rose said...

I can Only imagine how sore Linkara's Voice must be after doing an ASBM review. I also have to stop watching these before I go to bed. I usually end up passing out near the end, lol. Then I'll watch it again on the weekend to see what I missed.

Anonymous said...

Linkara, would you recommend Robin: Year One? I am new to comics and was curious about Robin. I saw it in a shop but wasn't sure if I should read it since ASBAR is horrible. I know its a different writer, but I don't want to waste money on an equally bad story.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Linkara, would you recommend Robin: Year One? I am new to comics and was curious about Robin. I saw it in a shop but wasn't sure if I should read it since ASBAR is horrible. I know its a different writer, but I don't want to waste money on an equally bad story."

If I recall correctly, it's a MUCH better story, though you may want to flip through it yourself to see.

Anonymous said...

To Linkara (again):
Have you considered reviewing "Hardboiled" (1990)and "Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot" (1995) comics for your next Miller Time reviews?

Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of Miller.






Or at least of mocking Miller.

Felix Brunschede said...

Yeah, how exactly did Frankie go from the Joker snapping his own neck to Crazy Steve setting people on fire? It doesn't seem like there could be any though process between the two, rather one brain replaced with another.

Also, that was a nice jab at Man of Steel, even if not fully intentional.

Sage Saria said...

Yeah, I'm sure they don't know from pain when they've been doused in THERMITE FIRE.

(Psssst. Thermite burns hotter than lava. Those guys should have freaking MELTED.)

Anonymous said...

Bat-priest. Trust me you would rather have a near omnicidal batman than one that cries a lot

Torbjörn Andersson said...

This video appears to be missing the "Miller Time" label.

(Sorry if this is a double post. I thought I posted it a week ago, but it didn't show up yet.)

Toby'c said...

Your comment about how deconstruction works better using expies instead of the actual characters leads me to wonder how people would have reacted to Watchmen had it been written using the original Charlton Comics characters.

William Ngo said...

Ha, I remember seeing that cover Detective Comics #27 cover. I was just so damn confused. The fuck was I looking at?

About taking the power fantasy beloved by children thing... Dick Grayson as Robin was supposed to be a self-insert for those children... So, yeah. Great job, Miller.