Lights Out for Batman!!

French the Llama, its Sunday, August 29, 2010 and once again, its really all about Batman. I felt like I had a bit of a Bat-drought lately, but now it seems all is normal again.

At least as normal as it typically is around here.


Starting off with DETECTIVE COMICS #868 which was pretty disappointing. We're still not sure if this is supposed to be Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson as Batman. The Costume looks like its supposed to be Bruce, and if that is the case, is this a flashback to before the Morrison epic, or a flash forward to after. Continuity quibbling aside, this issue is an interesting idea that just crashes and burns. I found the scene of Batman dosing himself with the Joker Juice because he needs "to know how it feels" to be amazingly stupid. It's incredibly out of character for him. He fights crackheads too, but I seriously doubt batman smoked crack because he needed "to know how it feels". Pushing aside that horrible hurdle, we get the origin of the impostor Joker as a victim of Joker Venom who survived it. Its also so blatantly obvious that he's also the impostor Batman playing both sides that the story is rendered pointless. Skip it.

On to BATMAN #702 which is continuing the Morrison epic which GAMEINFORMER magazine called "stupid". But then the reviewer also still thinks Bruce Wayne died, so now we know that if you're going to review a book it helps to actually read it and pay attention. Now this storyline has been running literally for years. If this is the first issue of this storyline that you are picking up, I guarantee that you will be completely lost. If you have been following this storyline and are confused, which is OK to admit because this is a very complex story, this issue is the one that snaps everything into place.

For months I have been pondering the possible connection between The Black Glove and Darkseid. At the time of publication DC gave us the vague impression that "R.I.P." was a tie-in story to FINAL CRISIS. But the truth is exactly the opposite. FINAL CRISIS was a chapter to Morrison's "The Once and Future Batman" story. A chapter to a narrative cleverly disguised as a major event which featured the hero hardly at all. The subtle elegance of the execution of this leaves me in awe.

And not only does Morrison knock this out of the park, but Tony Daniel his best work to date. This does not look like the same artist that did "R.I.P.". He has improved dramatically. I have criticized his work harshly in the past, but I am damn impressed with his work here.

There's so much going on here. The previous issue moved us from the "R.I.P." story to FINAL CRISIS. This story takes us through FINAL CRISIS and brings us right to "The Return of Bruce Wayne" from Wayne's POV. This book would be positively chilling if not for my steadfast faith that Batman can overcome this. Its a nearly unimaginable trap the scope of which I'm still figuring out. We are told that everything the New Gods touch "becomes myth". This is weaponized mythmaking targeting one person. And in the midst of of just sheer horror, we have Batman, his very mind under a hideous assault, giving one of those lines in comics that is going to resonate through the entire genre.

I have said in the past that Batman is the genre's representation of humanity, and I swear this issue is like Grant Morrison grasping me firmly by the shoulders, looking me straight in the eye, and telling me "You're right."


My prediction was 2:22. Two minutes, twenty-two second. That was the average time fighters spent in the Octagon in the first few Ultimate Fighting Championships. That was how long I said it would take Randy Couture to beat James Toney. James Toney is a professional boxer, and a champion. He had spent month stalking UFC president Dana White claiming he could a beat a number of the top UFC fighters. His list included Couture, who is fresh off of being in one of the top movies of the summer THE EXPENDABLES. White finally agreed to let the 42 year old boxer into the ring. The 47 year old UFC hall of famer happily stepped up to welcome Toney to the sport.

The fight took three minutes and seventeen second, so I was off by under a minute. Despite a lot of trash talk, most of which required subtitles since Toney beat up the English language worse than most of his boxing opponents, it became obvious quickly that the boxing champ was not prepared for Couture at all. It played out just like an early UFC bout in that the grappler immediately took down the striker and kept him down until the striker was submitted.

Toney is the first ranked professional boxer to get into the ring since Milton Bowen in UFC 4. After this, I doubt we'll be seeing an influx of boxers looking to make the transition with only a few months of preparation like Toney did. We certainly won't see as much trash talking.


While grabbing a drink and snack the woman in front of me in texted a message on her Blackberry. Directly afterward she received a phone call on her iPhone. I suspect she had a wireless router implanted in her.

The Dominoes where I went to pick up dinner had one of the windows boarded up. Seems a drunk drive hi the building. I suspect he was aiming for the 7-11 and missed. If he was sober, I'm sure he would have actually hit the 7-11.

Dojo quote: "I hate this kata with a passion of 1,000 Naihanchin Ni Dans." Naihanchin Ni Dan seems to be the new barometer of kata disdain. For those who don't know what Naihanchin Ni Dan is:

After spending all morning working on top of a building in Downtown Norfolk I was questioned as to how I got into the building when I was leaving. My response: "I'm Batman."

Cleaned a counter top on a rental house this week. This involved me scraping a layer on nasty off the top. That was probably the cleanest room in the house. And I seriously hope that appliance that we found under the bathroom sink was a back massager, but somehow I doubt it.


Its Sunday, so its time to listen to the Reverend, and continue our cartoon theme songs theme.

That all, y'all. See you Wednesday.

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