Do you think Frank Miller originally intended “the goddamn Batman” to be a recurring phrase in All Star Batman and Robin, or do you think it was in response to the reaction from readers?
Eh, it was just a running gag to amuse him between movies. ASB&R still comes out?
The massive delays could not have been all Jim Lee’s fault, so it was most assuredly due to reader reaction.
Don’t get me wrong, Miller has done some amazing work, but he’s so concerned with amusing himself when he writes now (yes, that is a generalization) that I’m sure the fever that is “The Goddamn Batman” gives him a chuckle every time.
It gives me a chuckle too.
“What, are you retarded? I’m the goddam Batman” has become one of my favorite expressions, along with “Right in the lumber yard” and “I can do anything; I’m the chief of police.”
I don’t think Miller planned it. I think he is rubbing our noses in it. And I’m fine with that.
I think if the story hadn’t appeared as part of the All Star line, but had been presented as an Elseworlds or a one-shot, fewer people would have had a problem with it.
Once I got over the initial shock, I started enjoying the comic. But it is absolutely NOT what it was advertised to be.
It may have been fan response, but it’s also a terrific line. It’s the writers call on if a line is used or not. At least we’d HOPE it’s the writer’s call! If you take into consideration that writers are fans as well, then yes, it’s a response from the fans.
Curious Cat was so curious he forgot to change the date before asking his question.
“The massive delays could not have been all Jim Leeâ€™s fault”
Really? Honestly, I can’t believe that anybody could spend more than a day writing the scripts to the issues we’ve read so far.
Being generous, I’ll say one day per issue.
Do you think he is spending weeks deliberating over which page to have a big splashpage on? And then, he can’t decide, so he says, “Let’s just do all of them that way!”
I heard that one of millers biggest pet peeves is lateness and that the delays were all jim lee’s fault. miller has a bunch of scripts in the can already.
As I have said before about late books, no publish on schedule…no money for anyone involved. Turn two straight issues in late…get a new team. Besides, we’ve seen Miller and Lee’s Batman…now Dave Sim and Mike Allred…that might worth a read. Sorry…ASB&R get no more of my $$ until a new team comes on. “I’m the GD Batman” was funny the first time…now it’s a cliche…besides doesn’t anyone remember when super-heroes fought super-villans, not each other, cos the setup for ASB&R seems to be leading to yet another Batman vs. the JLA fight. Miller needs to stick to movies. He’s lost his touch for the comics.
Isn’t it possible to assume that Miller just had massive writer’s block for a while and couldn’t come up with a “good” story. He knew the first few issues were crap, so he held out until he got something he liked. That may be one of the appeals of the “All Star” line, in that you can tell the story you want within your own timeframe. Admitedly, I stopped reading it after the GIGANTIC delay, but I’ve heard the issues that have come out since then have been improved.
From the notes I’ve read from the Director’s Cut of issue #1, Miller seemed to derive pleasure from drving the “fanboys” into a fever, so it’s entirely possible he’d recycle “The Goddamn Batman” after the reaction it got.
I think it’s pretty obvious Miller kept throwing the line in there to piss off the whiny fanboys. I would have done the exact same thing, the backlash against the book is mind-boggling. It seems some people buy and or read the book just so they can go cry on messageboards about it later. Save your $3 and your time and go read something else. I like the book because everyone is sh!!-house crazy, which if real people were running around in costumes beating each other up they would have to be nuts. I’m glad it’s not just yet another plain old Batman story, there’s already plenty of those to go around.
Prepare for sacrilege – I love the Goddam Batman. I think the stories are great, the dialogue is hysterical, the art is fantastic…and I love Robin being called out. The Ultimate (whoops, I mean All-Star) line is supposed to be reboots. That’s the goal; rebooting. What exactly was it advertised to be? Something that slums in the years and years of continuity garbage? Who cares about continuity? I mean, shouldn’t comics stand on their own ground? Shouldn’t comics be good? Oh, and to answer Curious Cat, I think Miller stuck in all the GDB’s on purpose; basically giving the finger to continuity/canon freaks.
I mean, shouldnâ€™t comics stand on their own ground? Shouldnâ€™t comics be good?
Those are two separate matters entirely. I don’t think anybody would be complaining about continuity stuff if the books were something more substantial. Look at All-Star Superman. That book doesn’t make any attempt to stick to mainstream DC continuity, and it’s praiseed across the board. Why?
Because it’s good.
ASB&R, though… It’s the trainwreck of comic books. You just can’t help but look.
I think Miller probably continues to include it because of the response it got. The whole project, from the start, has seemed to be geared towards whipping fanboys into a frenzy, whether it be from rage or glee.
Although, Miller does have a lot of repetition in his style.
I can believe that Miller now uses it deliberately. It doesn’t bother me anymore (Although I’m still amused by it, and use it to express my displeasure with Miller working on the Spirit movie), because I don’t buy the book. Despite what we all thought 20 years ago, Miller obviously does not understand the character of Batman.
It’s an AWESOME response to the readers.
surely there’s more than one way to understand the character of a fictional character? miller is credited with making Batman ‘dark’ again after Adam West et al, and now he’s doing the same, just in the other direction. there’s no right or wrong way portray a fictional character, just different interpretations. everyone cheered when miller showed superman to be a dick, so whats wrong with having one batman story where he’s dick for a change, especially if there’s loads of other comics/movies/cartoons showing the now cliched version of batman
I’m the Goddamn Sikkbone.
Miller’s only credited with making Batman dark again after Adam West by people who’ve forgotten Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil.
In the text piece at the back of the Batman: Year 100 trade, Paul Pope writes about a conversation he had with Miller, and Miller was talking about how tough Batman is as a concept, as no matter how hard you throw him at the wall, it doesn’t shatter.
So ASSBAR is just him throwing the concept at the wall again – Year One worked well, Dark Knight worked well.
This maybe not so well.
But yeah, it gotta be a poke at the fanboys.
It’s definitely a response, but I don’t think it’s necessarily aimed at people who dislike the book. I think it’s more like fan service, for lack of a better term, aimed at people who love to quote the line endlessly like something from a Dave Chapelle sketch.
Oh, and Wil, I apologize if my response above came out as snarky — it wasn’t intentional. If you’re enjoying Miller’s work, than good for you. I just find that it goes too far afield from what I think of when I see the Batman name and costume for me to enjoy it. I recognize that not everyone shares my tastes, though, as witness how many folks are still buying it.
(However, I do need to clarify that not everyone loved Miller’s treatment of Superman, either.)
The whole project, from the start, has seemed to be geared towards whipping fanboys into a frenzy, whether it be from rage or glee.
Mm. That’s what kind of weirds me out about ASB&R generally; it’s so very unmistakeably contemptuous of it’s audience, to the point where it’s not fun and it’s not funny.
Please note that I am neither whiny nor a fanboy (although I admit to some affection for Batman the Goshdarned, or whatever the original is now considered); and I can still tell that this is a comic-book catastrophe.
From that POV, watching comics fans try to justify it takes on serious overtones of people afraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes…
itâ€™s so very unmistakeably contemptuous of itâ€™s audience, to the point where itâ€™s not fun and itâ€™s not funny.
Funny, I don’t feel its contempt for me.
And it’s ironic that you (intentionally or not) use the Billy Crystal critique, “It’s not funny, it’s not fun.” Because he was wrong too.
Nope. I don’t feel contempted at, either.
Although if Frank Miller is trying to show his contempt for km specifically, he IS kind of a dick.
Miller doesn’t understand Batman? He has proven that he is one of the creators who knows him best. That’s why he can approach him in a variety of ways and still make it work.
When did comic readers get so uptight?
I’ve come to look at ASB&RTBW as a sort of “what would a campy-assed Batman TV show look like in 2007?”
It’s helped me understand its place in the comic book world somewhat…I’m still not buying it, but still.
When did comic readers get so uptight?
Umm… The 90s?
Punch, read my later post. If you enjoy the book, great, but I can’t make the guy in All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder match the minimum requirements for “Batman” that I have. As a parody, maybe, but not a particularly clever one.
AS for me getting uptight, it happened on May 13th, 1989, at 2:47 pm, Pacific time. Not sure when it happened to everyone else.
I’m guessing that was either your birthday, wedding day, or 1st kid’s birthday.
Actually, just a made up date, but you made me laugh. Thanks.
“…I canâ€™t make the guy in All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder match the minimum requirements for â€œBatmanâ€ that I have.”
I think Jeff sums up the problem people have with ASBAR better than any review I’ve read.
Ha ha ha. OK, so it was late, I was tired, and I shouldn’t have phrased a comic book critique as a New York Times editorial.
Still, though…I don’t know about me personally, unless you count an absolute loathing of plain lousy writing trying to pass itself off as ‘edgy’ and/or ‘intense’. But it is very possible that being female alters your perspective on Miller’s ‘genius’ quite a lot.
And itâ€™s ironic that you (intentionally or not) use the Billy Crystal critique, â€œItâ€™s not funny, itâ€™s not fun.â€ Because he was wrong too.
Actually, that was completely unintentional. I have no idea to what Crystal was referring.
Look, once again, I have no protective feelings toward Batman. As twenty-odd MST3K DVDs on a shelf at home will attest, I have absolutely no problem with the so-bad-it’s-good school of funnie.
I’m just at a complete loss to understand how graceless, incoherent violence and virulent misogyny are the adorably satiric laff riot I’ve heard ASB&R described as.
I think it’s a response – and it’s more awesome for that!
Man, I’m so angry to have decided to buy the Goddamn Batman on TPB. I want it now!
Hunter (Pedro BouÃ§a)
If you enjoy the book, great, but I canâ€™t make the guy in All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder match the minimum requirements for â€œBatmanâ€ that I have.
God knows there’s plenty about the book to dislike, but I can’t really get behind that critique of it. Mainly because I think the minimal requirements for Batman should be “a guy who dresses like a bat and fights crime.” So in that sense, even the Dracula Batman and the Elliot Ness Batman from Elseworlds are recognizable as Batman.
I flipped through an issue, I thought it was really sad that Frank Miller had descended that far into a lamentable self-parody and that DC was enabling it, then I put it back on the shelf. Everything bad everyone has said about the series since has been greeted, in my head, with the mental phrase, “Well, duh…it’s ‘All-Star Batman’! What were you expecting, something good?”
And for the record, I don’t think Frank Miller ever did understand Batman. I think that his work has been the worst thing that ever happened to the character. Frank Miller’s Batman, the elemental force of nature immune to human considerations, is such a limiting take on the character, and yet one with such a superficial appeal, that it locked the character for the next 15 years into, “I’m Batman. I don’t smile, I don’t love, I don’t joke, I don’t care about my friends, I’m nothing but a meat machine that punishes criminals.” Some writers have kicked against that stereotype, but it’s hard to escape. The line to Brother Eye and the OMACs stretches right back to Frank Miller.
Sean, If that works for you, great. My minimum requirements include that he be heroic, and if the story includes a young boy who has just lost his parents, compassionate and comforting. The Frank Robbins “Batman Nobody Knows” story comes to mind as a good encapsulation.
John, I never got that impression from Miller’s ’80s Batman work. If anything, I thought Batman was more human than ever when Miller was writing him.
And I agree with Sean Whitmore that Miller’s writing in this issue was obviously a response to fan reaction, but more to the fans that are enjoying the book than the ones that hate it. I wasn’t so sure about the first few issues, but the last three have been gold, and I think the book has gotten more entertaining with each new issue.
“Eat glass, lawman!”
I don’t know, but some crappy indy or punk band definitely has to come up with a song called “Goddamn Batman”.
i seriously doubt it was intended to be a runnnig gag but you know what? it made me chuckle at first, then i laughed and then, unexpectedly, it made me GET IT. i’ve never been a hater of all-star bats, perfect creative team a little too decompressed but otherwise i think it is delivering. this is miller doing the world between year one and dkr, bats isn’t newly driven by his parents death on needing to put the cape back on – he’s at the point in his life where ENJOYING himself. grant morisson wanted to write a more lighthearted batman during his run who actually enjoyed what he was doing and miller’s doing the same and that means batman enjoys bringing justice to criminals cos that is his raison d’etre. stop feeling frustrated because the title SURPRISED you and go with the goddamn flow – this’ll read excellent in absolute edition
He’s goddamn having fun.
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