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Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (Review)

March is Superman month here at the m0vie blog, what with the release of the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison’s superb All-Star Superman. We’ll be reviewing a Superman-related book/story arc every Wednesday this month, so check on back – and we might have a surprise or two along the way. In honour of the Scottish scribe, I thought I’d review the latest chapter in his on-going Batman epic.

It’s a testament to writer Grant Morrison how much I enjoyed his weird and fantastical six-chapter “Batman lost in time” adventure epic. Between this and his superb run on Batman & Robin, Morrison might have redeemed himself for the mess that was Batman R.I.P. That said, the collection isn’t for everyone, but it marks a rich exploration of the evolution of the Batman archetype through his various iterations – a meta-textual look at the elements which make Batman who he is, and why those elements are important to him. It also, of course, features Batman in a sword fight with Cthulhu.

You know you’re reading Grant Morrison’s Batman when something like this happens…

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Justice League – Twilight, Parts 1 & 2 (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Earlier today, I looked at Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, so I thought I might explore a Justice League episode which was heavy on Superman, Darkseid and Batman…

One of the things that Bruce Timm and his talented bunch of writers found when producing Superman: The Animated Series was that the Man of Steel simply didn’t have as strong a supporting cast of bad guys as Batman had. Without such a recognisable and eclectic collection of rogues to act as foils to their lead, the guys at the DC Animated Universe decided to co-opt in some outside help. In particular the creations of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. Sure, these characters had been related to the Superman mythos all along (first appearing in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen of all places), so it wasn’t a stretch. Although Twilight certainly isn’t the last appearance of the New Gods (as Kirby named them) within the DC Animated Universe, it is perhaps the climax. And, quite possibly, the best.

You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

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Non-Review Review: Superman/Batman – Apocalypse

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. This is one of the “stand-alone” animated movies produced by the creative team that gave us the television shows. 

Prompted by the massive success of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is the first direct sequel in this line of animated films. It adapts the second arc of Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman run, and contains several direct references to the first film (including a news report covering “President Luthor’s impeachment”). While the first film worked on the sheer fun of a super-powered buddy cop film, there’s admittedly less to endear this particular movie to an audience – most notably because this same production team had already animated it as Little Girl Lost, an episode of Superman: The Animated Series.

Some looks CAN kill…

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Final Crisis (Review/Retrospective)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Later on today, we’ll be reviewing Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, so I thought I might take a look at a comic book tale which was heavy on Superman, Darkseid and Batman…

This epic elegy for a doomed civilisation, declining from splendor to squalor. This Final Crisis. This last ditch attempt to save creation itself from a loathing and greed beyond measure.

– Grant Morrison outlines the whole point of the book, in case you weren’t paying attention… in a narration which deserves to be read in the most pompously ridiculous style possible

Look, I could hitch a ride back with you. I have a real talent for gritty drama no one’s ever thought to exploit.

– Merryman makes a pitch for “relevance” in the hopes of escaping comic book “limbo”

Destruction or creation. Everything or nothing. A universe full or a universe empty. Life or anti-life. Grant Morrison certainly lives up to his reputation as a frustrating and challenging author – is Final Crisis the statement of a genre looking to make peace with itself, or nonsensical Silver Age surrealism repackaged for a modern world? Is it pretentious or profound? Insightful or devoid of interest? Can’t it be both, or are these mutually exclusive states?

We all knew Obama was Superman…

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Grant Morrison’s Run on Justice League of America: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 1-2 (Review/Retrospective)

“Never underestimate the sentimentality of a Scotsman, Clark.”

– Batman knows how much Morrison likes comics

‘Tis the season for ever-so-slightly oversized hardback editions, what with DC reissuing the entire run of Starman and this re-release of the relaunch of the original superteam. The fact that they can put creator extraordinaire Grant Morrison’s name on the cover surely isn’t a problem either. Nor is the fact that the book (under his stewardship) was one of the best selling comic books of the nineties. So, what aren’t I getting here? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly adequate book (that isn’t necessarily as smart as it thinks it is), but it’s not gold. It moves at the speed of the Flash and seems intent to throw ideas at the reader at headache-inducing speed. It’s solid, reliable and it manages to recreate the zany madness that defined the group, but it never seems to completely transcend it. And it just keeps trying.

Rocking your world...

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