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  1. #1
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Default King Batman Run: Analysis and Enjoyment Thread

    So, I'm pretty sure we can't setup an Appreciation thread for King's Batman run, but I'd like to try to get a conversation thread for fans who are generally enjoying the run. Obviously, we can't enforce Appreciation thread rules, but I would counsel that if a wholly negative post is entered into the thread, that instead of getting derailed, the conversation just part around it and continue to discuss the things we think are interesting and enjoyable.

    I don't intend this as a wholly appreciative thread, either. There are some stuff in King's run which I haven't enjoyed, some plots which I think have holes, some art that I didn't respond to. But on the whole, I think there should be a place for people to talk about the book which isn't just a bunch of "King is a hack" "I hate this" "A new low for this book" etc.

    This would also be a pretty cool place to post variants for #50 that's coming out, since we don't have a thread for that yet.

    Middleton Batman 50.jpg

    Arcs to this point:

    I Am Gotham - Rebirth + 1-6
    Night of the Monster Men
    I Am Suicide - 9-13
    Annual #1 - Good Boy,
    Rooftops - 14-15
    I Am Bane - 16-20
    The Button - 21-22
    Brave and the Mold - 23
    Aftermath - 24
    War of Jokes and Riddles - 25-32
    Rules of Engagement - 33-35
    Annual #2 - Date Nights/Last Rites
    Superfriends - 36-37
    The Origin of Bruce Wayne - 38
    Superfriends part 2 - 39-40
    Everyone Loves Ivy - 41-43
    Bride or Burglar - 44
    The Gift - 45-47
    The Best Man - 48-49
    The Wedding - 50

    As we get going, I'll probably try to post some thoughts and analysis for these arcs as I think of them. I'll probably also link some of the video essays or articles, like Strip Panel Naked, which I think illuminate some of what King's doing.

    Hope to see people in here soon!
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
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  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Excellent idea for a thread. I too would not be interested in a total appreciation thread, because there should be room for constructive criticism. I dropped the single issues so any in depth discussion for the issues not yet in trade I won't be able to participate in, but I will check this out from time to time, especially when the arcs in the first five trades are being discussed.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Excellent idea for a thread. I too would not be interested in a total appreciation thread, because there should be room for constructive criticism. I dropped the single issues so any in depth discussion for the issues not yet in trade I won't be able to participate in, but I will check this out from time to time, especially when the arcs in the first five trades are being discussed.
    Constructive criticism, sure. Of course. But it's wonderful to have a thread here where 75% of the posters in it aren't on a campaign to destroy any love anyone might have for King's series. The other threads about his run are so venomous I avoid them as much as I can.

    The posts about King's run have really made me empathize with those that loved Zach Snyder's take on the DCEU. Personally, I hated it and thought it a disaster but, while I was vocal about my dislike of his work, I never posted anywhere to tell others they were wrong for liking or loving it. The difference is that this board has a lot of vocal Zach Snyder supporters. Posters that hate King's Batman have made this forum an unpleasant place to talk about King's outstanding run so fans of it are reticent to poke their heads up, knowing they'll be told to explain their love of such a horrible series. It takes all the fun out of it.

    And I'm not sure why this thread couldn't have "appreciation thread" rules, but I'll take what I can get. A place on the best comics forum in the world where it's safe to love King's Batman? Finally. And thank you.

  5. #5
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Excellent idea for a thread. I too would not be interested in a total appreciation thread, because there should be room for constructive criticism. I dropped the single issues so any in depth discussion for the issues not yet in trade I won't be able to participate in, but I will check this out from time to time, especially when the arcs in the first five trades are being discussed.
    Yes! I want to go through the issues, old and new, and talk about the things that moved us, and stuff that didn't. The stuff that didn't is a weakness, but in general, I think there's plenty of excellent stuff here. Hopefully enough other people feel the same way!

    I hadn't thought about the spoiler issues - I think generally assuming that for the first week of release, we'll be having spoiler-tagged discussions about the current issue, but after the first week, maybe just be sure to include a note about the issue number you're talking about early in the post, so people who aren't caught up can make the decision to skip.

    Quote Originally Posted by BatmanJones View Post
    Constructive criticism, sure. Of course. But it's wonderful to have a thread here where 75% of the posters in it aren't on a campaign to destroy any love anyone might have for King's series. The other threads about his run are so venomous I avoid them as much as I can.

    The posts about King's run have really made me empathize with those that loved Zach Snyder's take on the DCEU. Personally, I hated it and thought it a disaster but, while I was vocal about my dislike of his work, I never posted anywhere to tell others they were wrong for liking or loving it. The difference is that this board has a lot of vocal Zach Snyder supporters. Posters that hate King's Batman have made this forum an unpleasant place to talk about King's outstanding run so fans of it are reticent to poke their heads up, knowing they'll be told to explain their love of such a horrible series. It takes all the fun out of it.

    And I'm not sure why this thread couldn't have "appreciation thread" rules, but I'll take what I can get. A place on the best comics forum in the world where it's safe to love King's Batman? Finally. And thank you.
    Yeah, I was just reassigned from reviewing Detective Comics to Batman, so I am moving from a more casual enjoyment to more analytical, and I would love to have more conversation about about what's going on to inform my reviews. And when I peeked into the most recent issue's thread, it's was really distressing.

    I don't want to push for appreciation rules because I do want to be able to express constructive criticism, and also because I haven't seen anyone doing a non-character-based appreciation thread.

    Please, come in and love it! I've really appreciated your essays on what the series means to you!

    I think I'll try to reread I Am Gotham in the next day or so, and post about it soon. We've got about a week and a half before the next new issue comes out, so plenty of time to get the thread started.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  6. #6
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    I really enjoy how much he has put into the Bruce/Selina relationship. They've have so much on-again, off-again over the years its nice to see a level of commitment between the characters and the writer. I think the last time they had anything that was long term was during Loeb's Hush run. I've re-read that one recently and enjoy their current relationship much more because I feel King 's run does a better job of showing the relationship while Loeb's run relied more on telling. I remember some quote from Loeb's run about "If we're going to be in each other's lives, then we need to be in each others lives," and being dissapointed that you didn't see the little things that come from being in each others lives. Now, we get that. We got a great issue about going to a fair with Clark and Lois. There a a few things I could nit-pick about, but for me the positives outweigh the negatives.

  7. #7
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    I only manage to grab somewhere along three to six trades a year, and not all of them are Batman, and I am still kind of early in my collection so I am mostly focused on the classics and must reads, so I can't keep up with any one writer's run or any one title...but I do make exceptions for origin stories and early in his career Batman stories, so I did recently read The War of Jokes and Riddles! Spoilers ahead.

    I really rather enjoyed this one. Now, I don't think it will ever be considered a classic on the same level as Year One or The Long Halloween, nor did I like it as much as the first part of Zero Year (the Red Hood arc), but they can't all be that big, and it was still a fun read. The dialogue between Joker and Riddler was one of the highlights, nailing their personalities as they used jokes and riddles to cut each other down verbally, and the reveal at the end that the Riddler had orchestrated the whole war and was the smartest man in the room was one of the best Riddler moments I have read to date. He felt much more like the grand mastermind here than in his half of Zero Year. And perhaps the best part of the whole story was the origin of Kite Man! He kept his status as a joke villain, but one with tragic pathos that you truly felt for, hell yeah! And Batman tried to kill Riddler because of what he did to create Kite Man, and the Joker stopped him! And it was actually believable! So, maybe not a classic, it was a very fun read and a worthy addition to Batman's early years. If I can make some complaints, I would have liked to have seen more of the war between the villains and the collateral damage (especially more of the fight between Deadshot and Deathstroke) since so much of it happened off panel.

    I could definitely go for more stories like this one, especially if they give secondary characters like Kite Man such good parts and make Riddler feel like the A list villain he is. Very much would recommend this book.

  8. #8
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    I only manage to grab somewhere along three to six trades a year, and not all of them are Batman, and I am still kind of early in my collection so I am mostly focused on the classics and must reads, so I can't keep up with any one writer's run or any one title...but I do make exceptions for origin stories and early in his career Batman stories, so I did recently read The War of Jokes and Riddles! Spoilers ahead.

    I really rather enjoyed this one. Now, I don't think it will ever be considered a classic on the same level as Year One or The Long Halloween, nor did I like it as much as the first part of Zero Year (the Red Hood arc), but they can't all be that big, and it was still a fun read. The dialogue between Joker and Riddler was one of the highlights, nailing their personalities as they used jokes and riddles to cut each other down verbally, and the reveal at the end that the Riddler had orchestrated the whole war and was the smartest man in the room was one of the best Riddler moments I have read to date. He felt much more like the grand mastermind here than in his half of Zero Year. And perhaps the best part of the whole story was the origin of Kite Man! He kept his status as a joke villain, but one with tragic pathos that you truly felt for, hell yeah! And Batman tried to kill Riddler because of what he did to create Kite Man, and the Joker stopped him! And it was actually believable! So, maybe not a classic, it was a very fun read and a worthy addition to Batman's early years. If I can make some complaints, I would have liked to have seen more of the war between the villains and the collateral damage (especially more of the fight between Deadshot and Deathstroke) since so much of it happened off panel.

    I could definitely go for more stories like this one, especially if they give secondary characters like Kite Man such good parts and make Riddler feel like the A list villain he is. Very much would recommend this book.
    The Kite Man interludes, and the way that tied into the conclusion, were definitely the highlight of War of Jokes and Riddles for me! I think it's about the same level as Zero Year for me, maybe a bit more, because it's less grandiose and makes fewer changes to the way I think about Batman's origin.

    I also appreciate the prominence of Clay Mann in the art - really cool guy, and King seems to work very well with him!
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Yes! I want to go through the issues, old and new, and talk about the things that moved us, and stuff that didn't. The stuff that didn't is a weakness, but in general, I think there's plenty of excellent stuff here. Hopefully enough other people feel the same way!

    I hadn't thought about the spoiler issues - I think generally assuming that for the first week of release, we'll be having spoiler-tagged discussions about the current issue, but after the first week, maybe just be sure to include a note about the issue number you're talking about early in the post, so people who aren't caught up can make the decision to skip.
    I personally don't care about spoilers, but this might be a good idea.

    Anyway, brief thoughts on positives and negatives:

    Main Positives: I love moving the Bat/Cat relationship forward. They've been doing this dance since before most of us were born, and it seems like something is actually happening for a change. I've shipped them since I was like 3 lol, and I love how he writes them as two damaged individuals who view each other as kindred spirits and want to help each other find happiness. The War of Jokes and Riddles was essentially Bruce laying himself bare to Selina and saying he's not the hero everyone views him as, which is honestly just him him being too hard of himself and not something we are meant to agree with (IMO), and I love that Selina accepts him anyway.

    Utilizing pre-Crisis lore in fun and interesting ways. Seeing the parade of Selina's various costumes through the years was great (wish they could have worked the Batman Returns and B:TAS ones in there somewhere). And I love the cameos by Captain Stingaree, Col. Blimp, the Monk and of course Kite-Man. Making me care about the latter was a Herculean feat. And bringing back Ace to continuity in an awesome and touching way.

    Strong characterization for certain characters: Bruce and Selina, Alfred, Dick and Damian (especially when they are in scenes together), Superman and Lois, Bane, a surprisingly awesome take on the Ventriloquist and Swamp Ting spring to mind.


    Main Negatives: I think he misses the mark with some characters. I'm not terribly invested in Holly or Booster Gold at all, so the uses here don't bother me personally to much but I can see why their fans would be upset. Holly's story at least doesn't appear to be over so maybe things will turn around. She's one of the bridesmaids on one of the alternate covers for #50, so if that reflects what will be in the issue, what's going on there? The use of Wonder Woman was also a big letdown. She deserves far better than that, especially now. Still, that seems to be the one controversy where King took to social media and seemed willing to learn from his mistakes. I'd be more than willing to let him have another shot at her, particularly as he referenced Jumpa (yay!) and after dealing with Robinson, I'll take anything I can get.

    The characterizations for some of the rogues gallery are a bit iffy. The Joker worked fine in TWoJaR due to the context of where he was at, but jury's still out on the present day one. I read the DC Nation 0 story in the store and that was great, but I'm on the fence from what I've seen/heard of the latest issue. The Riddler is more brutal than I typically like; I was actually fine with Ivy killing those thugs, and am not thrilled with him back tracking as I like my Ivy with a bit more teeth, but he would be lining up with the current anti-heroic take on her I guess. Eager/cautious to see Mr. Freeze.

    The dialogue can be annoying at times, but complaints about it are overblown IMO. Every writer has their quircks. You can tell a Grant Morrison script, a Geoff Johns script, a Greg Rucka script, a Gail Simone script and Scott Synder script apart from each other by the way the characters speak.

  10. #10
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    The Kite Man interludes, and the way that tied into the conclusion, were definitely the highlight of War of Jokes and Riddles for me! I think it's about the same level as Zero Year for me, maybe a bit more, because it's less grandiose and makes fewer changes to the way I think about Batman's origin.

    I also appreciate the prominence of Clay Mann in the art - really cool guy, and King seems to work very well with him!
    Kite Man was a joke you wound up caring about, proving you don't need a villain to be super psycho or serious to be a memorable character. Like I said I prefer the first part of Zero Year to this, but this story definitely does the Riddler better than the second and third parts of Zero Year. It might also help that since I am a bit newer to comics and didn't grow up on Year One I'm not as set in thinking about Batman's origin a certain way, so I don't mind the changes (plus Year One always felt more like a Gordon origin, Zero Year feels more like a Batman origin to me). I also really like the Earth One stuff.

    Is Clay Mann the artist for this? I really liked the art in this, it was very fitting for the story. The bit with Poison Ivy early on and the villain dinner at Wayne Manor really stood out for me for some reason.

  11. #11
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Kite Man was a joke you wound up caring about, proving you don't need a villain to be super psycho or serious to be a memorable character. Like I said I prefer the first part of Zero Year to this, but this story definitely does the Riddler better than the second and third parts of Zero Year. It might also help that since I am a bit newer to comics and didn't grow up on Year One I'm not as set in thinking about Batman's origin a certain way, so I don't mind the changes (plus Year One always felt more like a Gordon origin, Zero Year feels more like a Batman origin to me). I also really like the Earth One stuff.

    Is Clay Mann the artist for this? I really liked the art in this, it was very fitting for the story. The bit with Poison Ivy early on and the villain dinner at Wayne Manor really stood out for me for some reason.
    Clay Mann did the Kite Man sections. Mikel Janin was the main artist.

    The Wayne Manor issue was really, really good. That was my turning point from being kinda meh to being engaged.

    I feel you on Year One being Gordon's origin, but there's enough stuff for Bruce that I still can't dislodge it in my heart.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
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  12. #12
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Clay Mann did the Kite Man sections. Mikel Janin was the main artist.

    The Wayne Manor issue was really, really good. That was my turning point from being kinda meh to being engaged.

    I feel you on Year One being Gordon's origin, but there's enough stuff for Bruce that I still can't dislodge it in my heart.
    I can understand your love for Year One, it is easily one of the best stories I've collected so far. In my own personal head canon I use both origin stories for Batman since the bulk of each story doesn't particularly contradict the other, and the one or two places where they do (like the "I will become a bat" moments) I just squint and go with the Year One version typically.

  13. #13
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I personally don't care about spoilers, but this might be a good idea.

    Anyway, brief thoughts on positives and negatives:

    Main Positives: I love moving the Bat/Cat relationship forward. They've been doing this dance since before most of us were born, and it seems like something is actually happening for a change. I've shipped them since I was like 3 lol, and I love how he writes them as two damaged individuals who view each other as kindred spirits and want to help each other find happiness. The War of Jokes and Riddles was essentially Bruce laying himself bare to Selina and saying he's not the hero everyone views him as, which is honestly just him him being too hard of himself and not something we are meant to agree with (IMO), and I love that Selina accepts him anyway.

    Utilizing pre-Crisis lore in fun and interesting ways. Seeing the parade of Selina's various costumes through the years was great (wish they could have worked the Batman Returns and B:TAS ones in there somewhere). And I love the cameos by Captain Stingaree, Col. Blimp, the Monk and of course Kite-Man. Making me care about the latter was a Herculean feat. And bringing back Ace to continuity in an awesome and touching way.

    Strong characterization for certain characters: Bruce and Selina, Alfred, Dick and Damian (especially when they are in scenes together), Superman and Lois, Bane, a surprisingly awesome take on the Ventriloquist and Swamp Ting spring to mind.


    Main Negatives: I think he misses the mark with some characters. I'm not terribly invested in Holly or Booster Gold at all, so the uses here don't bother me personally to much but I can see why their fans would be upset. Holly's story at least doesn't appear to be over so maybe things will turn around. She's one of the bridesmaids on one of the alternate covers for #50, so if that reflects what will be in the issue, what's going on there? The use of Wonder Woman was also a big letdown. She deserves far better than that, especially now. Still, that seems to be the one controversy where King took to social media and seemed willing to learn from his mistakes. I'd be more than willing to let him have another shot at her, particularly as he referenced Jumpa (yay!) and after dealing with Robinson, I'll take anything I can get.

    The characterizations for some of the rogues gallery are a bit iffy. The Joker worked fine in TWoJaR due to the context of where he was at, but jury's still out on the present day one. I read the DC Nation 0 story in the store and that was great, but I'm on the fence from what I've seen/heard of the latest issue. The Riddler is more brutal than I typically like; I was actually fine with Ivy killing those thugs, and am not thrilled with him back tracking as I like my Ivy with a bit more teeth, but he would be lining up with the current anti-heroic take on her I guess. Eager/cautious to see Mr. Freeze.

    The dialogue can be annoying at times, but complaints about it are overblown IMO. Every writer has their quircks. You can tell a Grant Morrison script, a Geoff Johns script, a Greg Rucka script, a Gail Simone script and Scott Synder script apart from each other by the way the characters speak.
    We'll have to play it by ear on spoilers, but I do want to be respectful (since that's the whole goal of the thread. )

    Totally agree that BatCat progress is a big incentive for me. Though...if they screw the pooch at 50, I'm going to be very skeptical, I think. I'm sure there's a point, but soliciting a Wedding Album and then not having them married seems like a bad move. I think Selina's answer to Bruce's revelation in War of Jokes and Riddles is exactly what you say - "Who cares" - and it's dual layered. First, "It's not as big a deal as you think, Bruce - don't beat yourself up for it." AND it's "Who cares about YOU?" Implying that Selina loves Bruce, so she can help him move on.

    I do love how much of a continuity nerd King is. Nothing's quite hit the level of Grayson #12 for me yet, but it's really great to see his reimagining of old scenes and such in #44. Not to mention winning an Eisner for Ace!

    Your point about characters is well made - I don't care that much about Holly or Booster, either, but the use of Deathstroke in War of Jokes and Riddles, just being a random assassin to fight with Deadshot - that really annoyed me.

    (The Bridesmaids cover is not reflective of the interior of the comic, per the commissioning comic shop. Which is probably good. )

    And yes, the Wonder Woman story didn't hit the way it should have, especially after the Superman issue. King has acknowledged that his cliffhanger shouldn't have gone the way it did. And I love that King is frequently willing to change and acknowledge mistakes, without letting it paralyze him (with the potential exception of what he did with Poison Ivy in Everyone Loves Ivy, which felt a bit too much like a retcon to me.) And I completely agree that King's voice for Diana is much better than Robinson's.

    Interesting that you're on the fence with #48's Joker. I really liked this use of Joker - he's horrific, and I hate him (as I always hate the Joker), but he's interesting. Too often, he's just a ridiculous plot device, and here, it feels very much like an actual agent of chaos.

    I do think that the dialogue isn't always effective, but it's not bad. It's artificial for a poetic purpose. And I like that kind of thing. But I'm an English major, so of course I would.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  14. #14
    Mighty Member WontonGirl's Avatar
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    Thanks! I will also variants here as well

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    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WontonGirl View Post
    Thanks! I will also variants here as well
    Let's do it!
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