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  1. #61
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I'd have to read those two back to back. I know King reread Vengeance of Bane before writing I Am Suicide, so maybe he's just trying to give a different mood - there are ways I think I could explain those inconsistencies without it being a full retcon.
    It's not a full retcon but it definitely tweaks Bane's origin. And I assume the New 52 gave more license to do so than otherwise would have been afforded.

    I will say that I love how he approaches the cell where Bane was kept, with the aging and de-aging as the years pass in his mind as he talks with Psycho-Pirate. Just brilliant stuff.

    King also puts Bruce at being ten when his parents were murdered, and for some reason I thought the official number had always been eight?
    Last edited by David Walton; 01-15-2020 at 10:16 AM.

  2. #62
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I don't know that the headbutt was intentionally silly, but even if it was, Batman should have been the first to realize it since he wasn't emotionally compromised until Catwoman's departure. But I do think you're right that King hadn't worked out his approach to the physical conflicts yet. The fight with KGBeast is much more in keeping with his thoughtfulness. There is still a touch of over-the-top badassery, but it works because the outcome essentially comes down to a bit of luck and a dirty trick rather than sheer willpower.
    Silly was perhaps not the best choice of words. I meant to say "implausible."

    As for Batman not noticing...I actually have been saying since #50 that he was emotionally compromised before the entire run started, because he had to take Selina in (as we see in some of the flashbacks).

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    It's not a full retcon but it definitely tweaks Bane's origin. And I assume the New 52 gave more license to do so than otherwise would have been afforded.

    King also puts Bruce at being ten when his parents were murdered, and for some reason I thought the official number had always been eight?
    I think the combination of Rebirth and the n52 means that stuff gets filtered through a lot of stuff. And even before Flashpoint, stuff got retconned a lot with all the Crises.

    I don't think I ever really knew the exact age of Crime Alley for Bruce - and since Batman will never actually have his age nailed down by DC, I don't think it's super crucial, honestly.
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  3. #63
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Silly was perhaps not the best choice of words. I meant to say "implausible."

    As for Batman not noticing...I actually have been saying since #50 that he was emotionally compromised before the entire run started, because he had to take Selina in (as we see in some of the flashbacks).
    Ah, great point!

    I think the combination of Rebirth and the n52 means that stuff gets filtered through a lot of stuff. And even before Flashpoint, stuff got retconned a lot with all the Crises.

    I don't think I ever really knew the exact age of Crime Alley for Bruce - and since Batman will never actually have his age nailed down by DC, I don't think it's super crucial, honestly.
    Clearly, it changes everything! (Kidding, it doesn't matter to me one way or the other, but I could swear that it's been stated multiple times that Bruce was eight. But I could me mixing up film influences too.)

  4. #64
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    It's not a full retcon but it definitely tweaks Bane's origin. And I assume the New 52 gave more license to do so than otherwise would have been afforded.

    I will say that I love how he approaches the cell where Bane was kept, with the aging and de-aging as the years pass in his mind as he talks with Psycho-Pirate. Just brilliant stuff.

    King also puts Bruce at being ten when his parents were murdered, and for some reason I thought the official number had always been eight?
    I've seen it fluctuate between eight and ten, though don't ask me about especific sources, because it is a mixed recollection of years reading Batman instead of comics I can particularly point out.

    I think the meddling with Bane's origin in I Am Bane was mostly to establish more parallels between Bruce and Bane. There're things I don't like (the new reason why Bane goes to the cell), but others I think work pretty well, like Bane escaping the cell by sheer strenght and will and then conquering the prison. I really like Bane's origin, but I have never been a fan of him talking to his future selve while in coma.

    I like that as the run goes on, Bruce's feats aren't as crazy as they were at first, because I tend to prefer a Batman more in the level of his version in TAS and in the O'neil/Adams and Englehart/Rogers's runs. Though the first time Bruce appears more like a well trained human instead of something closer to the BatGod concept is when he's catched by surprise by Holly in Rooftops
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

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  5. #65
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    I've seen it fluctuate between eight and ten, though don't ask me about especific sources, because it is a mixed recollection of years reading Batman instead of comics I can particularly point out.
    Maybe it actually happened when Bruce was nine and a half years old, but he hates odd numbers, so he rounds up or down depending on his mood..

    I think the meddling with Bane's origin in I Am Bane was mostly to establish more parallels between Bruce and Bane. There're things I don't like (the new reason why Bane goes to the cell), but others I think work pretty well, like Bane escaping the cell by sheer strenght and will and then conquering the prison. I really like Bane's origin, but I have never been a fan of him talking to his future selve while in coma.
    I like the idea that Bruce takes outside inspiration in the form of the bat, while Bane only looks inward. So the scene with Bane communing with his future self is an important contrast for me.

    I like that as the run goes on, Bruce's feats aren't as crazy as they were at first, because I tend to prefer a Batman more in the level of his version in TAS and in the O'neil/Adams and Englehart/Rogers's runs. Though the first time Bruce appears more like a well trained human instead of something closer to the BatGod concept is when he's catched by surprise by Holly in Rooftops
    Agreed! I think Batman should be capable of being taken by surprise. No one can be ready for every possible contingency 100% of the time.

  6. #66
    Reader of Stuff Hilden B. Lade's Avatar
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    https://twitter.com/cameronMstewart/...02728676659201

    Tom King just retweeted this - could Cameron Stewart possibly be the artist for Catwoman Special?

  7. #67
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilden B. Lade View Post
    https://twitter.com/cameronMstewart/...02728676659201

    Tom King just retweeted this - could Cameron Stewart possibly be the artist for Catwoman Special?
    I thought that too. Or it's a Catwoman 85 year special for April, with a celebration anthology 100 page giant?
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  8. #68
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    So the Helena thing isn't part of the Bat/Cat series? I thought it would be.

  9. #69
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyrose View Post
    So the Helena thing isn't part of the Bat/Cat series? I thought it would be.
    No, I think it's most likely part of the April 100 page Catwoman special that I'm predicting right here and now.
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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    So on to "I Am Suicide"!

    So let me just go on record as saying I tend to think "I Am Suicide" and "I Am Bane" are King's weakest arcs, in terms of execution, and a re-read didn't change my opinion. That said, 'weak' is a relative term when I'm talking King's Batman, and I still love it, warts and all.

    The Good:

    --The heist concept.

    --Batman's interesting picks for the team.

    --Bruce palling around with Bronze Tiger. Their banter reminded me of the good-natured sparring matches Bruce had with Dick Grayson in the 70s and 80s comics.

    --The Killing Joke homage with the Catwoman twist.

    --Bruce's admission to Catwoman that he will break whatever laws he needs to break and use whomever he needs to use. One of the things I love the most about King's Batman is that he's refreshingly honest and self-aware.

    --Bane's dialogue about how him and Bruce both go seeking monsters to kill them.

    The Bad:

    --I've never quite understood why Arkham is housing a death row inmate instead of Blackgate? Maybe they have better facilities for 'problem prisoners' but it would be helpful if their specific arrangement was mentioned?

    --Arkham treating Catwoman like she's the worst inmate he's ever had when she's been accused of killing terrorists, not innocent citizens like the other criminals. Unless we're to assume it's not public knowledge the victims were terrorists? It seems like even if her guilt is presumed it puts her more on level with someone like Deathstroke than Joker? Scary dude but not treated like the plague by people who know Zsasz.

    --Batman's plan is...not good. At all. Things just fall into place for him at key points because Bane is either incompetent or Batman's 'victory' was part of Bane's long-term plan.

    --Batman's over-the-top physical feats lack any dramatic consequence to ground them. Batman recovers from a devastating fight with Bane by popping his back, seemingly none the worse for wear. Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend had a supernatural rationale for Bruce's healing and Kindra Kinsolving paid a price for doing so. Compare this with the jetliner scene from "I Am Gotham," where Batman's incredible feat would have killed him if not for Gotham and Gotham Girl's intervention. Or Batman's later fight with KGBeast, which has a bit more grounded rationale for the way things play out.
    I agree with these Good and Bad, although I'm much higher on the Good and less bothered by the Bad, I think. The main "bad" for this arc is also true for the whole run — King takes a lot of liberties to construct a plot, and it never seems to add up to make complete sense, practically. In the end, the smaller moments make it all worthwhile.

    So I love I Am Suicide. This was the story that got me back into reading Batman and DC regularly again.

    —Batman leading a heist caper is a slam dunk for me. I want so much more of this, there's not enough Mission Impossible style stories for Batman. Another good example would be the Hong Kong scene in "The Dark Knight" film; beyond that I can't think of too many other similar stories that go this route.... only other one I can think of is the beginning of the "Legacy" storyline where Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Selina are infiltrating Ra's al Ghul/Bane's desert hideaway. Even "No Man's Land" entirely skips over how the heroes were able to get in and out of the city, multiple times (it's not only "Dark Knight Rises" that cheats this). So even though the plan is ridiculous, I still love the overall shape of a "sneaky espionage snatch-and-grab" mission for Batman.

    —The acknowledgment of suicide!! A lot of fans hated this, it seems, but I adore it. It's such an emotionally intelligent read on the origin, such a small incisive addition that is so revealing and reverberant through everything. Batman's always had a lot of stories about his capability for self destruction, and his willingness to sacrifice his life for his mission/his vow, but it's never been acknowledged emotionally in a way this human before. The issue of his letter (12, iirc) is one of the highlight issues for whole run.

    I love the over-the-top absurdity of him Arkham-video-game style just brawling through a hundred armed guys, and how it juxtaposes with the very human letter to Catwoman.

    I love that it's a letter, and not an internal monologue. I love that Batman is talking emotionally instead of logistically walking us through the plan, or how the bones are breaking... The letter lets us into Bruce's head in a way where I felt Bruce was truly relatable, which is almost never the case. Usually it's that Bruce is interesting, he's like a case study, and is sometimes in relatable dynamics, but I don't think I'd ever connected to Bruce emotionally like that since maybe Mask Of The Phantasm.

    —"I Am Suicide" also reveals that this is a romantic epic, which I find to be just as exciting and fresh as the humanistic take on Bruce's vow. Even just looking at this arc out of the context of the larger run, I think this is instantly one of the Top 3 best Batman / Catwoman stories ever told. We're introduced to "Bat / Cat" banter for the first time, which works well for me so that's a big plus in my book. There's some killer dialogue moments of tenderness between them -- "What am I supposed to do?"

    —Naked Bane is simultaneously bizarre and also works so well for the character. Another example of an original take that I just find to be so refreshing, in part because it's at least doing something different and has something to say.

    —This arc, moreso than I Am Gotham, flagged to me that King has something new to say about the character. And while the rest of the arc expands his thoughts, all of them are present and accounted for in I Am Suicide.

    —The art! It's the first pairing of Janin with King, and they're a great combo.
    Last edited by gregpersons; 01-15-2020 at 10:56 PM.

  11. #71
    VEGETATIVE INJUSTICE! Kurisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    No, I think it's most likely part of the April 100 page Catwoman special that I'm predicting right here and now.
    https://www.newsarama.com/48636-dc-c...ectacular.html

  12. #72
    Reader of Stuff Hilden B. Lade's Avatar
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    So Tom King's Helena story likely is part of that special, but it won't be drawn by Cameron Stewart as I theorized.

    Still, that Cameron Stewart is drawing a story written by Ed Brubaker, who's writing for DC Comics again for the first time in who knows how many years is welcome news as well.

  13. #73
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I agree with these Good and Bad, although I'm much higher on the Good and less bothered by the Bad, I think. The main "bad" for this arc is also true for the whole run — King takes a lot of liberties to construct a plot, and it never seems to add up to make complete sense, practically. In the end, the smaller moments make it all worthwhile.

    So I love I Am Suicide. This was the story that got me back into reading Batman and DC regularly again.

    —Batman leading a heist caper is a slam dunk for me. I want so much more of this, there's not enough Mission Impossible style stories for Batman. Another good example would be the Hong Kong scene in "The Dark Knight" film; beyond that I can't think of too many other similar stories that go this route.... only other one I can think of is the beginning of the "Legacy" storyline where Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Selina are infiltrating Ra's al Ghul/Bane's desert hideaway. Even "No Man's Land" entirely skips over how the heroes were able to get in and out of the city, multiple times (it's not only "Dark Knight Rises" that cheats this). So even though the plan is ridiculous, I still love the overall shape of a "sneaky espionage snatch-and-grab" mission for Batman.

    —The acknowledgment of suicide!! A lot of fans hated this, it seems, but I adore it. It's such an emotionally intelligent read on the origin, such a small incisive addition that is so revealing and reverberant through everything. Batman's always had a lot of stories about his capability for self destruction, and his willingness to sacrifice his life for his mission/his vow, but it's never been acknowledged emotionally in a way this human before. The issue of his letter (12, iirc) is one of the highlight issues for whole run.

    I love the over-the-top absurdity of him Arkham-video-game style just brawling through a hundred armed guys, and how it juxtaposes with the very human letter to Catwoman.

    I love that it's a letter, and not an internal monologue. I love that Batman is talking emotionally instead of logistically walking us through the plan, or how the bones are breaking... The letter lets us into Bruce's head in a way where I felt Bruce was truly relatable, which is almost never the case. Usually it's that Bruce is interesting, he's like a case study, and is sometimes in relatable dynamics, but I don't think I'd ever connected to Bruce emotionally like that since maybe Mask Of The Phantasm.

    —"I Am Suicide" also reveals that this is a romantic epic, which I find to be just as exciting and fresh as the humanistic take on Bruce's vow. Even just looking at this arc out of the context of the larger run, I think this is instantly one of the Top 3 best Batman / Catwoman stories ever told. We're introduced to "Bat / Cat" banter for the first time, which works well for me so that's a big plus in my book. There's some killer dialogue moments of tenderness between them -- "What am I supposed to do?"

    —Naked Bane is simultaneously bizarre and also works so well for the character. Another example of an original take that I just find to be so refreshing, in part because it's at least doing something different and has something to say.

    —This arc, moreso than I Am Gotham, flagged to me that King has something new to say about the character. And while the rest of the arc expands his thoughts, all of them are present and accounted for in I Am Suicide.

    —The art! It's the first pairing of Janin with King, and they're a great combo.
    Awesome thoughts! For me, the first issue of I Am Suicide works like gangbusters, the rest of it doesn't quite hit home to me. But I've never been one who really hated the "Bruce is suicidal as a kid" thing - I don't recall similar outrage over the Zero Year revelation that Bruce almost destroyed his brain to forget, and it's basically the same concept.

    I do wonder if King's entire run is a romance in genre, and I just have difficulty seeing it because the main character is a man rather than a woman. I'll have to think on that - but I think there's no question that a large proportion of the run is devoted to developing and enjoying the romantic relationship between Bruce and Selina. And I would tend to agree it's one of the best Bat/Cat stories yet written. #32 (which I know we're not on yet, but it's just such a pivotal issue for me) is full of amazing lines. "I have to love you. But you don't have to love me." "Who cares." So much meaning packed into all these lines.

    I would agree that I Am Suicide shows King's intentions - but I don't think we could see his thesis quite yet. Because it's the starting place of despair, working towards the ending of hope.

    I BLOODY CALLED IT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilden B. Lade View Post
    So Tom King's Helena story likely is part of that special, but it won't be drawn by Cameron Stewart as I theorized.

    Still, that Cameron Stewart is drawing a story written by Ed Brubaker, who's writing for DC Comics again for the first time in who knows how many years is welcome news as well.
    I am very curious who it WILL be drawn by. If it will be the Weeks special, pared down savagely (hope not). If it will be Clay Mann (hope not, too, since I want Bat/Cat sooner rather than later). If it will be Mikel Janin or Jorge Fornes (I hope the latter, as I'm a huge fan of that collaboration).
    "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, Aaron Allston
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I do wonder if King's entire run is a romance in genre, and I just have difficulty seeing it because the main character is a man rather than a woman. I'll have to think on that - but I think there's no question that a large proportion of the run is devoted to developing and enjoying the romantic relationship between Bruce and Selina. And I would tend to agree it's one of the best Bat/Cat stories yet written. #32 (which I know we're not on yet, but it's just such a pivotal issue for me) is full of amazing lines. "I have to love you. But you don't have to love me." "Who cares." So much meaning packed into all these lines.
    Honestly, it has all the hallmarks of a certain type of romance story (you see it a bit in steampunk, regency romances, and I'm sure other places) - man and woman from different upbringings, fierce attraction, societal pressures suggest they should be apart, one of them pushes the other away because of those pressures, they come back together in a time of great need, and live happily ever after. I think that's the overall structure of King's run (or the meta-arc, if you'd prefer). Individual arcs have different genres - I Am Suicide is a heist, War of Jokes and Riddles is a gang story, etc.
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  15. #75
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob.schoonover View Post
    Honestly, it has all the hallmarks of a certain type of romance story (you see it a bit in steampunk, regency romances, and I'm sure other places) - man and woman from different upbringings, fierce attraction, societal pressures suggest they should be apart, one of them pushes the other away because of those pressures, they come back together in a time of great need, and live happily ever after. I think that's the overall structure of King's run (or the meta-arc, if you'd prefer). Individual arcs have different genres - I Am Suicide is a heist, War of Jokes and Riddles is a gang story, etc.
    Well, the type of romance story I'm most used to is the fairly formulaic romance novel you'll see in grocery store checkout lanes - boy meets girl, they fall in love/bed, wacky hijinks ensue, they breakup at precisely the 3/4th mark, misery ensues, and they get back together in some grand gesture in the last few chapters, then live happily ever after.

    King's structure is: boy is very sad, boy meets back up with girl he put in jail before the story starts, they fall into rooftops (because they're already in love), hijinks ensue, girl is innocent (spoilers), they get engaged, more hijinks, they break up at what originally was the halfway point but turns out to be about the 2/3rds point, misery ensues super hard, they get back together in the last 7 issues, and live happily ever after.

    I guess it maps. It's just crisscrossed with all the other genres, and as I said, the sex of the MC is male, as opposed to the typical MC of a romance novel, who is female.
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