Today in why I can’t take comic books seriously anymore

Exhibit A:

What in the Hell is this thing?

I mean. It’s just.

I’m stunned. Fucking speechless.

This just might be the LAMEST cover of a comic book I have seen in my life. I just can’t even describe how awful I felt when I first looked on this monstrosity. Like Crap! That’s how I felt! Like fucking crap! This is a medium I take, or rather took, seriously for most of my life. This is an art form I grew up on and that shaped me into the nerd I am today. This is a character that I have spent countless nights reading after, following, sharing in the highs and lows. This is my nightmare.

Enter: The Flamingo!

What the Hell is wrong with your face?

For starters, all you need to know right now is that everything is wrong with Batman.  Bruce Wayne is dead.  Buried and Gone. In his place the original Robin and current Nightwing, Dick Grayson stepped in to preserve the Batman mythos. He knew that Batman could never “die.”

But Grayson is a poor substitute, and the current Robin, who is supposed to be Bruce Wayne’s flesh and blood child(!) is a complete jerk off. We also still have the Robin who was so universally disliked back in the 80’s, Jason Todd, that Bat fans voted TO KILL HIM.

So we have this “definitive” Batman stroy, sans Batman of course, following Dick Grayson and this kid fighting off even older throwback characters like the Red Hood (who originally appeared in motherfucking 1951) and these new henchemen who look like Wind in the Willows rejects.

Now you must be asking yourself, WTF? What’s the deal? Well, we can all thank Grant Morrison, the writer and ring leader in this freak show of a series. Morrison has been fucking with the dark knight proper ever since his seminal Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth graphic novel.

With that becoming a best seller and launching Morrison’s now prolific career, the creative mind in him keeps taking things in weirder and weirder directions. I already talked about him in my All Star Superman post, but here it just needs to be reinforced that this guy has a “do whatever the Hell you want ” pass at DC comics and he is fucking going for it.

But that brings me back to the Flamingo. Whips, tassles, pink jackets and all, this is one of the worst characters ever to pop up in a Batman comic. We’re talking 1960’s retro Adam West lunacy here. This overly colorful and flamboyant bore poses a threat to Batman, even a stand in?

I seriously could not stop gawking just at the cover. And then it hit me. Oh God. I have seen this man before. I know who this is supposed to be. It’s  so clear to me now! It’s him! It’s him!

Even down to the smoke in the background. The Flamingo is … Prince!?!?

This is why I can’t take comic books seriously anymore. Here’s the most telling thing. When Annie looked at the cover featuring the Flamingo, she immediately asked, “Is that Alfred?” She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.  It’s an embarrassment.

But Wait! There’s more.

Exhibit B:

Now, wait a minute. Just wait. Stop and look at this picture. I will explain.

That’s Bruce Wayne as a Cave Man.

He’s coming back, people. Bruce Wayne wasn’t dead at all! And that’s not even a spoiler because DC has been telling us this almost since Bruce bought it earlier this year.

In the move that proves NO ONE DIES IN COMIC BOOKS, Bruce Wayne is simply “Lost in the timestream.”

Please, DC could you expand on that nugget for just a sec?

“Blasted by the mysterious and powerful Omega Effect in the pages of FINAL CRISIS during a deadly battle with the malevolent New God Darkseid, Bruce Wayne must battle back through the waves of time to reclaim what was his – his city, his life…his cowl?”

His cowl? His cowl? Why is the cowl part a question? Is Dick Grayson seriously not going to give it back? Is Bruce really going to get back to his own time, fighting throughout history, to give up the cowl? Fuck are you talking about DC? You don’t really think we’re hanging on to every one of these little clues do you?

We know how these stories work. We’ve seen it. Superman died, remember? How did that go? He came back. Even Marvel knows this formula. They killed Captain America a few years back. Get how this worked. He died, his sidekick Bucky took over as Captain America for some time, and then Cap came back. It’s pretty played out by now guys.

And guess who’s helming this return of Wayne? Why, it’s Morrison, the man who brought us the Flamingo is also the man who will be giving us Cave Batman, and this guy!

That’s a pirate Batman. I know. I know.

Some of you might be thinking, wait, this is kinda cool. Batman as a pirate? I like it! I want to see this! Yea, this could work.

No people, this does not work. I will tell you why. The most bankrupt period in Batman’s history occurred in the late 50’s and 60’s where the character had gone from a dark crusader to a kid friendly stooge. The writers constantly had Batman turn into a number of mutations or characters. You may not know it, but there were issues featuring Bruce Wayne turned into a super smart baby, or a zebra, or a martian. This really happened.

And now, it’s happening again. Pirates and cave men are cooler than babies and zebras, but still. It kinda kills the mood for me. Bruce Wayne is a detective, a crusader, he’s not Bill and Ted’ excellent adventure. He’s not H. G. Wells. He’s not Jack fucking Sparrow over here!

I don’t really know how to end this ramble except to say I am really sad to see my Bats in such a state. Please stop destroying my Batman DC. Now when the dust settles and Bruce is back, I will start to pick up the book again. Until then, take your Flamingos and pirates and shove ’em. I wash my hands of you.

-Charlie

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1 Comment

Filed under Comic Books Are Awesome

One response to “Today in why I can’t take comic books seriously anymore

  1. even before I scrolled down and saw your reaction to that (indeed) monstrous cover, I had already voiced a loud: “wtf is this?!” but never did Purple Rain cross my mind ’til you put them side to side and then I couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it all.

    I don’t know if you saw “Gentlemen Broncos” (crappy film) but when the main guy’s story gets revamped as a flamboyant-space-odyssey? that’s what popped into my head after I saw that cover art.

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