Thoughts on Comics, Week 2

Posted: June 1, 2012 by Jon Erik Christianson in Comicology - Comic Books, DC Comics

During the second week of each month, I’m simply batty for my comics. Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

Batgirl, written by Gail Simone with art by Ardian Syaf

Cover courtesy of DC Comics

If I’ve learned anything in my time scouring the Internet for people’s opinions on the comics that I read, it’s that this is one of the most polarizing comics. People either love this comic or despise it (and keep reading it in order to crap on other people’s opinions, oh Internet). I, shockingly enough, belong to the former group. Read more by clicking “read the rest of this entry.”

It’s different from the other comics I read. Simone’s style of writing is utterly drenched in characterization, subtlety, and nuance, and I absolutely love that. She spends a healthy amount of time in the heads of her characters, and she treats all of them with care (even the villains, 3 of which who’ve had touching backstories).

It’s also important to pay attention to detail. Sometimes, when I’m dealing with a freshly printed stack of comics, I rush through them. I did that with Batgirl #9 and finished the issue a bit confused. I went back and re-read a few words that I missed and inspected a few panels I overlooked and got chills immediately.

In short, it’s not a Michael Bay film. Which apparently makes some people angry.

Cover courtesy of DC Comics

Batman, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo

My approach to Batman (the character, not the comics) has always been that the Batverse is what’s truly interesting in Batman stories, not the character. His epic rogues gallery, Gotham City, and his legion of unique and quirky allies are far more interesting than Bruce Wayne. Whoopie doo, he’s a playboy billionaire who lost his parents and parades around in a tricked-out suit.
Snyder’s take on Batman has reinforced my opinions on the former (that the Batverse is amazing) and challenged them on the latter. Batman, as a person, has had the crap beaten out of him in his storyline in a way that I’ve never seen before. And he shows weakness and emotional depth.

It’s like a Batman I’ve never seen before! Really.

I’m not going to belabor how stunning this series is. Every comic book news organization/comics-fan-with-access-to-the-Internet has already done that.

Just do it.

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