10 March 2006

LINK: Why Batman Annual #25 Sucked

Don't take my word for it, since I've hated the Jason Todd returns angle from the very beginning and was extremely biased going into this issue, which I read in the store and then put right back on the shelf, eyes completely glazed over and, for the first time ever, looking forward to reading a Grant Morrison story.

Instead, take One Guy's (no relation) word for it, as posted on Four Color Meat & Fish:

Is This the End of Zombie Jason?

I had been against the idea of Jason Todd’s return from the start... But Judd [Winick] went and did something that I never expected… he made it work. I found myself excited to read the latest chapter of the Jason Todd saga. He won me over by building on what had come before, rather than ignoring it. I realized I should have been less reactionary at first, and given the stories a chance before I spoke out against them. I was eating my words.

...

As we got closer to the final reveal of "how Jason returned" in the Batman Annual, I was confident that Judd would wow us with his explanation and cap off one of the most exciting years of Batman comics in memory.

I was dead wrong.

Judd has long stated that he was more interested in the "what effect would it have on Batman if Jason were alive" aspect of the story vs. the "how did it happen" details, and that is clearly evidenced in the muddled and badly executed explanation laid out for us in Batman Annual #25.
One Guy goes on to offer eight specific reasons "why it sucks", my favorite of which was #3...

3) The sensors Batman planted around the coffin to let him know if Jason's coffin was tampered with did not go off because THEY WERE ONLY SET TO GO OFF IF SOMEONE WAS BREAKING IN, NOT OUT.

I'm going to let that one sit with you as well. What kinds of sensors might those be, that don't pick up movement in and around the coffin? Hinge sensors? Nope... Motion detectors? Nope. Plot-hole bandaids? Getting closer.
I forget at which point in the issue this comes up, so I'm not sure if it was the final straw for me or not, but it definitely was one of the more amazingly stupid moments in an issue chock-full of them.

Grant Morrison will really have to go out of his way to not be hailed as the best thing to happen to Batman in years, following such "stellar" turns by the likes of Jeph Loeb, Brian Azzarello and Mr. Winick.

And by stellar, of course, I mean sucky.

4 comments:

oscar said...

and this is why VALIANT, for all its failed attempts to capitalize on the collectors boom of the late 90s, rocked.

one simple motto- when we kill em, they stay dead!

this policy makes the death of a B level character, ex. Torque in HARBINGERS, a real event and not just another tear jerker moment

waiting for jean grey to come back (again), ob

jason @ RIOT said...

heh...you said sucky.

Jim said...

I paused long enough in the comic shop to get the gyst of how Jason Todd came back, then promptly rolled my eyes and put the comic back. I don't like Infinite Crisis as an excuse for doing anything.

"Uh, sorry I'm late, boss. Infinite Crisis and all."

Kurt said...

I have no intention of reading the annual but I thought Winnick did a decent job with the main book's Red Hood/Jason storyline.

What I don't get is why they felt compelled to explore this at all. There aren't very many explanations that would hold up (although Morrison could probably come up with something whacked, but plausible; if they felt the need to do this they probably should have left it to him) so just don’t explain it, ever. It would drive people nuts, but in good way. Not knowing how Jason came back could have been a defining character trait. The possibilities of that are far more interesting than what they came up with. (Gauging solely on Four Color review.)