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Tag Archives: criticism

My Review of Wayne of Gotham, by Tracy Hickman

27 Dec

December 27, 2018

I guess there is only one Batman story possible, because in Wayne of Gotham we’ve seen it all before. Batman reopens the Wayne murder case. Again. Thomas Wayne may have been mixed up with criminals, or been one himself. Again. A rift between Bruce and Alfred. Again. The writing was good enough to keep me reading but the plot? Nah. And the characterization? Since when does millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne disguise himself as an invalid and have Alfred push him around in a wheelchair, in the privacy of his own estate, in the hopes that a paparazzi will jump a fence and snap his picture a ‘la Howard Hughes? When was Alfred promoted from butler to Bruce Wayne’s public relations flack and a high level Waynecorp officer? To be fair, this book suffers from coming out within just a few short years of Grant Morrison’s amazing Batman run, which dealt with the Wayne murder and Bruce’s backstory in a much more interesting way. (DC is once again dealing with this in their current comics.) It is just a shame that Hickman felt that the same ground had to be covered yet again. Where is the originality?

Now that I have finished the book, I have a few questions. When did this take place? It claims to be Batman’s final case but there is no sense of where this occurs in his career. Where were Dick Grayson or any of the regular supporting Bat-cast? And worse- did Tracy Hickman know anything at all about Batman before starting the book? Batman has always been about the man inside the suit, not about the Batsuit, yet Hickman seemed enamored of the technology. Tons of words were wasted on the gyros in the Batsuit, the power cells in the utility belt, the way the Batmobile connects to the power grid. Is this Iron Man or Batman? In Iron Man the technology is a vital part, in Batman it is merely there. The Joker’s quote from the 1989 movie had it right- “where does he get those wonderful toys?” They are just toys, tools, nothing more; yet to read this book, you’d think it was Tony Stark in the Batman outfit.

This Batman was full of doubts and paranoia. He had none of the confidence of the Batman we have known for years. I found myself not caring about him.

The Joker had a tiny, bit part, probably because Hickman assumed the Joker turns up in every single Bat story. He was used to zero effect here. And again, does Hickman know anything about the Batman universe? The Joker was described as wearing old, cracked white greasepaint. No, the Joker’s face is white already, no paint needed. How did an editor let that slip by?

By the end, the plot had grown confusing and uninteresting, the characters were either unlikable or poorly characterized, and the writing average. I give the book one star because aside from all my criticism, the real problem with the book is that the plot was horrible and not only did not hold my interest, it seemed designed to confuse and annoy the reader.

 

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One Day in Metropolis (JLA Blog 1)

9 Nov

November 9, 2017

With the impending release of the Justice League movie, which I fully expect to be mediocre at best, I re-present my better, and more realistic, take on Superman. 

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August 15, 2014

Tourist: Look!

Man: Wha?

Tourist: Look! Up in the sky!

Man: Get outta my way, I’m walkin’ here.

Tourist: Seriously, look in the sky!

Woman: I think it’s a bird or something, I dunno, like an owl.

Man: That guy’s nuts.

Tourist: Look! In the sky!

Woman: Now it kinda looks like a plane. It’s just a plane.

Man: Jeez, I’m supposed to get all excited over a bird? This is Metropolis, try to not see a bird or a plane.

Tourist: It’s Superman!

Woman: That’s all? I’m late for my appointment.

Tourist: But it’s Superman!

Man: Let me tell you something about this Superman, pal. Maybe you wazzn’t here back then, but when Brainiac got a mad on and wanted to kill Supes he didn’t go to no Pittsburgh. He showed up right here and stood right in Shuster Square, daring Supes to hit him right in the kisser. Traffic was tied up for miles. Think I got to work that day? No I did not. Lost my job over that. And unemployment don’t take “lost my job cuz of Brainiac” and pay off a jackpot.

Tourist: But what about Lex Luthor, huh? Superman kept him from destroying the Boring Building.

Man: Yeah, but not before Luthor ripped up half the block. Yeah, Superman saved the Boring Building, but what about the Good Chops Diner down the block? They’ve been closed for three weeks tryin’ ta fix it up. My wife used to work there. Let me tell you, there ain’t no work there now.

Tourist: Well, ok, I’m sorry, but wow, look at him. Don’t you wish you could fly like him?

Man: Yeah, I’d fly away to a place where I ain’t got no bills. MetroBank don’t let you pay off your credit cards with Daily Planet coupons.

Tourist: Oh, yeah, I see…

Man: Yeah, great, now you see. You think about that while I’m on line for food stamps. See ya around, I’m late already.

 

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