Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Battle For The Cowl - Aftermath

Battle For The Cowl - Aftermath

Batman is dead. Batman will live forever.

That is to say that Bruce Wayne is dead.. or stuck in the past depending on what you read into Final Crisis. What happens now? I mean, Batman can't die. Gotham will go to total shit, right?

Thus Battle for the Cowl started up. It was a series of comics that was to keep the reader guessing as to who would pick up the Batman mantle and be the caped crusader. The only problem with this is that it had no suspension. Everyone who had the shred of common sense knew that it was going to be Dick Grayson to be the next Batman. So while I was excited about it a couple of months ago

This is howI feel about Battle for the Cowl now that it's over - Nothing fucking happened! I realize it's comics where the status quo always gets put back into place. But not even that happened here. Not a god damn thing happened.

Remember Countdown? We didn't know it at the time, but Countdown came about because Grant Morrison turned in his big Final Crisis idea and Didio & co. looked at it and decided to, rather than let a story build on its own, they could publish a few dozen comics and cash in on the idea before it even went live. They could use the pre-release hype to drive sales of another work.

They handed off the story to a team that varied from capable to awful and we got an awful series out of someone attempting to create the "origin" of someone else's story. "Why is Mary Marvel evil? Here's the story! Never mind that the actual author is going to get around to it, here it is! We're publishing comics!"

Countdown blew, hands-down. It was comics by committee, more so than all corporate comics are comics by committee, and it showed. The quality wavered from terrible to awful, plot points were poorly thought out and dropped mid-arc, and at the end of the series, nothing changed. If you chopped Countdown out of the 52-Final Crisis equation, you'd have a story that still worked perfectly fine on its own. Countdown was the very definition of water-treading. Worse of all it took the weekly comic idea and beat it into the ground.

This is Battle for the Cowl. If you go from the last issue of Grant Morrison's Batman run to the first issue of Batman & Robin, I'm willing to bet that you'll have the whole story. "After Bruce Wayne died, his first and last son team up to carry on his legacy as Batman and Robin!" Remember "Batman and Robin will NEVER die!" from a few months back?

Battle for the Cowl, however, tells the in-between story and pretends to set up new arcs. And the quality shows. Things are set up and knocked down, so at the end of the series, Dick Grayson has a reason to become Batman... except, why wouldn't he become Batman? Oh, right, Batman told him not to in some issue of another comic that has fuck-all to do with Morrison's run. Glad we solved that problem! It's like when Mary Marvel went evil because of Black Adam's powers, only wait! It was due to Darkseid and Desaad! OOPS! ^_^

BftC is hollow. It's a story that was made because DC didn't want to not publish a comic called Batman for any period of time, and the quality of the work reflects that. Tony Daniel has been drawing comics for 10-15 years and still can't choreograph a fight scene or actually nail an iconic shot. He's garbage.

Fuck this comic book, and fuck DC for going for the cash grab instead of letting a story evolve on its own. Tucker Stone said it better than I did:
This time though, I guess I have to admit that it's kind of true. Marvel did the right thing by Captain America. It let a writer and a team of artists work together to create a strong, smart story, and when it came time for the requisite capitalization spin-off--those moronic "Fallen Son" comics--they didn't force them into the main narrative. DC's mistakes with Batman were legion, and they went far and beyond the basic "get the comic books out on time" complaints. Whereas Marvel played things tight, DC vomited out comic books with no eye for longevity, with no concern for whether or not the non-Morrison writers had any idea what was going on, and they're still pumping out new spin-off titles at a rate of 2-3 a week. Whereas the Captain America issues screamed with consistency, the quality barometer for the Batman titles was set at a level where the only thing that mattered was that a salable product was created. There's really no other way to put it: they screwed this one up.
Though even with that said, I'm sure I'm going to like the rest of the Batman arcs. Mainly because, today of all days, Batman and Robin 32 comes out. As well as news of the new Batgirl cames out soon. With Detective comics being as awesome as it is using Batwoman, I'm just going to gloss over this BftC bullshit and look to the future of Batman comics.

Now this is pretty interesting. Every row corresponding with it's Ongoing name is filled with characters who will be making appearances in that title.

-The Club of Heroes showing up in Batman and Robin has me giddy.
-According to Marts, the new Batgirl is one of the 5 people in that row. I'm personally rooting for Calculator.
-Apparently Commissioner Gordon and his twin Commissioner Gordon will be in Batman.
-Azrael will be showing up in Azrael
-There will be a Raccoon in Gotham City Sirens.

Let's hope DC doesn't fuck things up again.

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