Graphic Novels Digest #1

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Batman and Son (2007) by Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert & Jesse Delperdang

Batman discovers he has a son called Damian. And Commissioner Gordon has been poisoned by the Joker!  Could this be a bad omen for the Dark Knight?

Wow, is it already 11 years since this first came out? I was still buying the Batman comic book back then and I remember Grant Morrison taking over the writing duties. Love him or not, his writing is rarely ordinary and never dull.

 

I enjoyed this back in 2006~2007 and I’ve really enjoyed re-reading it. It’s exciting, clever and laced with black humour. The ninja man-bats are a brilliant idea! I also respect Morrison for writing Damian the way he did. His initial interactions with Alfred and Tim Drake’s Robin are priceless. Hate him or love him, he’s a compelling character. I’ll leave you to enjoy this story without spoiling any more.

This comes highly recommended.


 

Batman: The Black Glove (2008) by Grant Morrison, J.H. Williams III & Tony S. Daniel

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Re-reading this second collection of Morrison’s Batman run was a total blast! I loved it and it has made me extremely curious to read his upcoming take on Green Lantern.

The Black Glove storyline opens with Batman and Robin reuniting with the International Club of Heroes on a mysterious island. It all turns a bit Agatha Christie-esque as they realize a killer lurks among them and is intent on picking them off one by one. Can they discover the murderer’s identity in time to save themselves?

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This is a great murder-mystery with some compelling backstory revealing why the Club fell apart. The characters have distinct personalities and J.H. Williams III’s artwork is beautifully moody.

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The second part of the book continues the ‘Three Batmen’ story-line that kicked off Morrison’s run on the title. You need to pay attention as you read because it’s Grant Morrison and he is liable to take the story into new areas of strangeness. Some reviewers have complained about this, but I appreciated the weirdness. Hey, it’s better than bland and formulaic.

Recommended!


 

Batman: The Man Who Laughs (2008) by Ed Brubaker & Doug Mahkne

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Clown-faced maniac the Joker is threatening to kill some of Gotham City’s high-profile citizens on a daily basis. He announces the name and time of death of his target(s) on live TV. How will he get to his heavily-guarded victims? Can Batman, Jim Gordon and the GCPD prevent the murders in time?

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Good writing and great, atmospheric artwork. Brubaker pens a detective story showing us the Joker’s early crimes as seen from both Batman and Jim Gordons’ perspectives. It’s a solid companion piece to Alan Moore’s critically-acclaimed The Killing Joke. I liked the way it portrays a younger, inexperienced Batman attempting to solve the mystery as well as deal with the added danger of criminal insanity. Also good was the focus on Batman’s detective skills. Brubaker’s version of Jim Gordon is notable, too.

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Recommended for fans of the Dark Knight along with fans of a good graphic novel.


 

Joker (2008) by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo

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I liked this for Lee Bermejo’s artwork. I’m not sure about the story. Azzarello seems to be attempting to humanize the Joker, focusing more on the criminal side of him, rather than the madman. Joker comes across more as a sadistic gangster with some feelings. I finished it yesterday and I’m trying to remember the second half of the story… It hasn’t stayed with me like some of the best Joker tales.

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If you are looking for a good Joker story try Ed Brubaker’s ‘The Man Who Laughs‘, Scott Snyder’s ‘Death of the Family‘, and of course Alan Moore’s ‘The Killing Joke‘.

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4 thoughts on “Graphic Novels Digest #1

  1. Given that I consider myself something of a Batman/JLA fan, it’s to my shame that I’ve read virtually none of Morrison’s stuff — these sound right up my alley, so thanks for inspiring me to track them down.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s…possible. To be perfectly honest, when writers change so much on a series as happens with these “hero” titles I tend to get a little vague on who wrote what — not helped by the fact that I borrow these from the library rather than own them myself. I know I’m less enamoured of Alan Moore’s Batman stuff purely because they’re the ones everyone goes on about, and I loved Joseph Loeb’s Hush, but apart from that I’m infuriatingly vague when it comes to authors.

        Did Morrison do the White Martians thing with JLA? I liked that one…

        Liked by 1 person

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