Sunday, September 18, 2011

Batman and Robin #1

At what point did DC decide to make all the Batman comics into horror titles?

I know, I'm old-fashioned, out of touch, a geezer - but so far I've read two of the "New 52" Batman comics (Detective Comics and Batman and Robin), and both are loaded with gory images and horrific deaths.

I'll grant that Batman lends himself to almost any kind of story, and the emphasis often changes - he's been depicted as a superhero, a detective, an adventurer, the world's most dangerous man, and a madman (to name just a few).

The focus in this title is on the relationship between Bruce (Batman) Wayne and his son Damian (Robin), and it looks like Bruce has a job on his hands. Damian is rude, disrespectful and not much of a team player. DC would be well advised to remember that these are the same qualities that encouraged fans to vote for an earlier Robin's demise.

There are three different stories at work here - the fight to stop a heist of some deadly materials, observing an important event, and a vicious attack on one of the Batman, Inc. heroes.

It's the latter story that has the most horrific elements (though there are other deaths in the comic), as an invisible foe commits a brutal and bloody murder, makes a vicious attack and then follows it up with a scene out of one of the Saw movies.

I don't expect Batman to be a comic for kids, but it is a character that young readers would gravitate to - but I'd hate to think that young readers were being exposed to this kind of graphic violence.

Look, the art by Patrick Gleason is very good, the story by Peter Tomasi is fine - I just wish the title that included Robin could be more of an "All Ages" comic.

Is that too much to ask?

Grade: B-


1 comment:

Brian said...

The extreme brutality and graphic violence in many of these New DC 52 titles is ridiculous. Suicide Squad and Red Lanterns are other titles that pour on the violence and sadism.

Batgirl #1 wasn't quite as disgusting as some of its gross competition, but the darkness of that title turned me off to that book as well.

I won't continue to read these new DC titles that showcase such brutality. And I won't recommend them to others. I think DC is doing much more harm than good by embracing such extreme violence in this way.