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Batman: Broken City (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

I can’t help but feel like Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso were massively unfortunate when they were asked to write Batman: Broken City. The story was placed immediately following the breakout sales sensation that was Hush, a massive blockbuster epic written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee, offering a whistlestop tour of Batman’s iconic selection of villains. Azzarello and Risso inherited the title from them with considerable hype. These were, after all, the two creators of the celebrated neo-noir comic book 100 Bullets, so they’d work their magic on the title, right? More than that, though, their arc seemed to consciously play up its similarities to Hush, revolving around Batman’s attempts to solve a central mystery while taking a trip through his rogues gallery. Understandably, fans and critics were taken by surprise when they got a seedy detective vibe instead of an action epic. I can’t help but wonder if time has been kind to this six-issue storyline.

The Devil in the Pale Moonlight?

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Wednesday Comics: Batman

Earlier this week I reviewed Wednesday Comics, a rather spanking anthology from DC Comics. I kinda figured, however, it might be worth my while to break out some of those fifteen stories on their own (but not all of them) and discuss them, as it’s easy to lose sight of a particular writer/artist’s work in an anthology. And I thought that the opening strip deserved a bit of discussion, as it’s perhaps come under a bit of fire for a lot of flaws that are present through a lot of the stories collected.

Batman is the story arc which opens Wednesday Comics. Indeed, it was the story which would find itself peering out at the reader week-on-week. Perhaps it was unfortunate that Brian Azzarello’s take on the Caped Crusader went first, because it’s typically drawn a lot of criticism that the stories told failed to take advantage of the format. A lot of the criticism of the story can also be directed at a lot of the subsequence serials, but the Dark Knight draws the brunt of the negativity. Which is a shame, because – despite its conventional nature – Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso offer a pretty effective snapshot of the Caped Crusader.

Go with a bang...

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Wednesday Comics

Hawkman unsheathes his knife and crawls into the gasping T-Rex’s jaws, thinking “Sadly, this is not the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

– Hawkman

Wednesday Comics is an amazing little experiment, a bit of comic book nostalgia delivered by some of the most talented people in the business with a smile on their face and a skip in their step. For those who don’t know, DC Comics – always the more boldly experimental of the two major companies – ran a twelve-week collection of newspaper comic strips. Fifteen strips bundled together, the reader was offered one page of a given comic at a time on a super-sized newspaper sheet, with a full story told week-on-week. It was a bold little experiment and while the whole is almost certainly greater than the sum of its parts, there’s much to love here.

There in a Flash...

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