Monday, March 06, 2006

Detective Comics #817: Peace on Earth

Ever read Superman: Peace on Earth by Paul Dini and Alex Ross? Anyhow, it's one of those stories about how you really can't just give people everything they want, for some reason or another (the reason varies from story to story). Anyhow, I thought of that type of story when I read Detective Comics #817, as it was really quite almost discomforting to suddenly be given everything I wanted in a Batman comic book.

As you folks may or may not know, I am a pretty big Harvey Bullock fan. Here is a bit I wrote where I wrote about my displeasure at how the writers of the time handled him. So, when I opened up Detective Comics #817, and saw early on that Bullock was back on the Gotham police force, my first response was a laugh/smile hybrid. Smile, because I was glad to have him back, but a laugh because there really WAS no way for Bullock to come back from what happened to him, and yet, here he was, back to normal.

And then, later on, I got to see Commissioner Gordon back to work and Batman and Robin back, acting normally (or at least as normal as a dude dressed a bat hanging out with a teenager gets).

Yeah, the story was a bit short, but everything in it was just note perfect what I think of when I think of a Batman comic book.

Almost too perfect. I feel like the people in those Peace on Earth stories. Just everything given to me without any effort exerted. It's fun, but at the same time, it seems too easy. I guess, though, that this is the point of 52, to let Geoff Johns explain away the minutae of each one of these triplicate, probably.

I almost look forward to that. That, and Andy Kubert drawing Morrison's Batman are the only things making all these wonderful Batman changes seem like it is actually happening, and not a cool peace on Earth..

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Blogger ninjawookie said...

but i liked atkins!!
okay he was an ass, but gordon just keeps on getting owned (hasn;t he suffered enough?), i guess he's got no more family to lose now or be maimed, unless they bring back his first wife and his son...

3/06/2006 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

Morrison on Batman may force me to buy and Andy Kubert book. I'm not happy about that.

3/06/2006 03:11:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

I dunno, this issue kinda bored me. Suddenly, it's 1996 again, and absolutely nothing happens.

3/06/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger --Greg Hatcher said...

I'm reserving judgement till we see if this is really going to stick. This was supposed to be where we ended up after "Knightfall," after "Prodigal," after "Contagion," after "No Man's Land," after "Murderer/Fugitive"... etc. After each one of those we were told that the mission statement was to get Batman back to the basics and get his relationships with his supporting cast squared away. And it never lasted, because some writer went for the cheap conflict subplot of Batman vs. Alfred or Batman vs. Robin or Batman vs. everybody.

But it was very promising, yes. I've always liked Robinson on Batman ever since that Cavalier story he did with Tim Sale way back when. And I have to admit I was intrigued by the hints everyone dropped, although I really don't want to buy "52" to find out what it's all about. I was just happy to see Batman and Robin acting like Batman and Robin. And I like seeing Gordon back. To me, Gordon is as integral to the series as Bruce or Alfred or the cave or any of the other elements; losing him is a novelty plot that can work short-term, but keeping him gone is a mistake. It helps the strip to have a character who is a confidante of Batman that DOESN'T know his identity or motives, it's an interesting angle on the character that you don't get to see otherwise. That's Gordon's best story function and with him gone we don't get that.

Truthfully? This particular issue struck me as actually BEING what All-Star Batman was marketed as. If a kid waked into a comics shop all excited about having seen Batman Begins or one of the cartoons or something and wanted more, he could pick up that issue of Detective and I think he'd be hooked. Although I'm not crazy about the story being eight installments over two books, I really don't understand why publishers think that is a helpful ploy. It just annoys those of us who depend on a reserve subscription system, especially if we have shops that only will pull books for you by title.

3/06/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I dunno, Greg, I remember those previous changes, and they never seemed to have the same level of committment to them.

In addition, they didn't have Paul Dini and Grant Morrison lined up to write the books POST-changes!!

That being said, I get your concern.

3/06/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

There has to be a less self-conscious way to show the "One Year Later" gimmick than constantly mentioning in-story "wow, isn't it crazy what happened 12 months ago?" "Yeah, but not as crazy as what happened to you 9 months ago!" "what's it been, 3 months since you came back?" I just found that clumsy.

Other than that, it was good.

3/06/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Agreed, T, but I presume that that was editorially mandated.

That may be wishful thinking, though...hehe.

3/06/2006 08:57:00 PM  

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