Kudos to James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder for providing adequate infodump for new readers – that, after all, is one of the things these “Zero Issues” are supposed to be for. What they’ve sadly failed to do is make us care about the subject of all this data.
Against the standards Nolan has set himself, Dark Knight Rises doesn’t rise far enough, and must be considered the least of the trilogy, and the worst of all of Nolan’s movies. The problem is that he has said everything he wants to say about Batman in Batman Begins and Dark Knight, and, especially in the latter movie, set the bar very high for himself, and left himself with nowhere to go. Dark Knight redefined what could be achieved in the superhero genre. Dark Knight Rises is merely a good example of that genre, and that’s no longer really good enough.
For those who favour soundbite explanations, this final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes across as a mash-up of David Fincher’s Fight Club and Brecht’s anti-Nazi allegory The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. (Contains spoilers.)
Next month, we go to the comic shop, and Marvel has one comic on the shelf. It’s by Ty Templeton. It’s called Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man. Next to it is Superman Family Adventures by Art Baltazar, published by DC. And we all lived happily ever after.
Our heroine is a hybrid of humanity and the Daemonites, who sent her to Earth to gather Intel on the superhero community, and circumvent the obstacles said heroes would present to a Daemonite invasion. And of course the most practical, least obtrusive way to achieve this is to make your sleeper agent a shapeshifting supermodel stripper who telepathically plucks secrets from denizens of the nearby New Orleans military base while she gives them private dances. Hey, don’t look like that; it could work …
For more than a decade, Aquaman has been the joke of DC Comics. Although mentions in TV shows such as Entourage and Big Bang Theory have helped keep him in the public consciousness, it’s been as a figure of ridicule, universally derided as the most useless hero in DC’s pantheon. Geoff Johns takes all the major Aquaman jokes and slaps each one soundly round the face as he dismisses it, hopefully forever.
Can we get a little more face time? No, seriously, it’s around page 4 before we get a good look at our heroine’s face, though we see plenty of the rest of her, predominantly boobs and butt as she throws together a few valued possessions before fleeing her home pursued by criminals whom she’s managed to piss off.
I was blindsided by this. Wonder Woman was the comic I fully expected to hate this week. But Red Hood I didn’t expect much of, and demanded less; I could handle Roy Harper being without a daughter as long as he had both arms and didn’t have the stupid and implausible relationship with the murderess, and this promised that, so I went in with low expectations.
Presumably whatever DC was hoping for with this slightly demented line-wide relaunch, it wasn’t to instil a feeling of dread in the reader. Yet that’s exactly what welled up within when gazing upon the first page of Hawk and Dove 1. In fact I had to put it down, make a cup of tea and try again later.