Monday, February 21, 2011

Batman R.I.P.

Have you ever read a graphic novel, finished, and thought what the heck happened.  I can tell you the last time it happened to me.  It was the final crisis graphic.  It happened again with Batman R.I.P.  Both of these titles were conceived and penned by the infamous Grant Morrison.

The idea behind RIP was fairly good and should have been interesting, but the narrative is severely lacking.  I read somewhere that Morrison isn't a fan of linear story telling.  I can understand that to a degree.  Telling a non linear story can be interesting every once in a while.  Every once in a while is the key.  It gets really old really fast, and isn't cutting edge if you do it every single time out.  Batman RIP is fairly linear, but it didn't help.  Because Morrison likes to jump around so much, it becomes confusing.  With Morrison I have a tendency to change issues, pages, and even panels and having to go back because I thought I missed something.  No, I didn't miss anything, there is just a giant hole in the narrative.

I have to wonder how he sends up his plot outlines to the artist, as the action and the story sometimes doesn't jive and holes in the narrative can usually be explained by the artwork.  I am not sure that the artist even understood what was going on enough to depict it correctly.

I am sure Morrison thought that referencing some ancient Batman story without actually explaining the reference  and making that a central plot point makes him smarter, or at least more knowledgeable about Batman, than me.  Really, I am okay with either of those as long as he doesn't rub my face in it with his comic book story.  Writers shouldn't try to exclude people from their audience, but it seems like that is Morrison's goal.

I am sure that he has written some amazing stuff, but it hasn't been anything I have read from him.  What I have read is so bad, that I don't really care to give him a third chance.  Comics can be smart without being elitist and confusing, ie Sandman. 

Comic Icons post that sums up why I don't like Morrison.

I can't really recommend Batman R.I.P.  I kept reading in false hope of the story eventually making more sense than it did and redeeming itself.  It didn't happen though.  I guess you might like it if you are a Morrison fan.  Everyone else, is probably going to be lost on this one.

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Kal said...

Don't get me started about Morrison. If he ONLY wrote crap I could forgive him. But ALL his Batman stuff recently was a joke - like he was laughing at all of us comic fans. He deliberately left half the story in his head and half on the paper. I am just glad he is onto something else now and I don't have to take the shovel to his head, yet.

Budd said...

I remember in the 90s, he was part of the Brittish invasion but I don't really remember reading of his stuff. He did that whole crappy zorn story line in x-men at some of the their lowest years. I liked JLA: One Million. He seems to jump around an awful lot though. In his stories and in his work.

Nick said...

I generally consider myself a Grant Morrison fan, but largely due to older works. The Invisibles is one of my all time favorite comics. It is trippy, but the entire nature of the series makes it very apropos.

I enjoyed All Star Superman a good deal. It was interesting.

I read some of his early runs on JLA which I found pretty good but not my favorite. The Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire run was my fave by far.

I've only dabbled in his mainstream superhero stuff because my collecting habits are moving away from mainstream superheroes, period. I avoid crossovers like the plague so I have no opinion on any of those.

Batman and Robin started out interesting and Batman Inc seems interesting to me for now.

Ah well. Wasn't going to read Batman R.I.P. anyway.