Friday, May 21, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batman & Robin #12

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Penciled by Andy Clarke
Colored by Alex Sinclair
Inked by Scott Hanna
Lettered by Patrick Brosseau
Cover by Andy Clarke

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I’m constantly asked by my Facebook cohorts, “How can you not like Grant Morrison?  He’s one of the best writers in comics to date!”  I just want to make it perfectly clear that I think Morrison is good with words, putting sentences together in a poetic fashion, and overall uses intelligent phrasings within character dialogue.  Morrison’s writing, however, becomes so convoluted and complex that his stories loose themselves midway and become a junk pile of confusing narrative.  And while I absolutely hate what Morrison is currently doing in Batman, I think this issue is very well written and put together.

My biggest criticism about modern superhero comics within the last few years is how little dialogue we get in comparison with the number of ads spread throughout the comics.  B&R #12 is nothing but wonderful dialogue driven by a fast-paced story giving you no time to breathe.  Morrison pumps through the events involving the return of Bruce Wayne incredibly fast while keeping it coherent and enjoyable.  This issue is packed with so much important information that I don’t see how those who are following Batman could skip out on #12 and know what’s going on.  While I hated Final Crisis and most everything else Morrison put together afterwards, what he wrote is starting to make sense and gel…which helps me to appreciate the writing prior to this comic.  (I still hate it though, just FYI)

Andy Clarke did a good job at creating that dark and epic feel with Morrison’s script, but I don’t like his style.  (It’s better than the crap Cameron Stewart was feeding us however.)  I feel like I’m staring at an old sketch portrait when simply “lining” out the bodily shadows was satisfactory.  Frank Quietly uses this approach as well, but was not as timid about it.  Clarke’s artistic talents seem quite weak and unworthy of the Batman signature of quality.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
I’m pleasantly surprised by Morrison’s 12th (one year later) issue in this series.  I’m glad to see the Joker back after a very long vacation and I appreciate how well he is finally bringing the story all together and helping it to make sense.  However, the art was a poorly delivered addition to this book which will bring the ranking down drastically.

Writing: 10
Themes: 9
Art: 2
Overall: 7 out of 10

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