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  1. #106
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Restingvoice View Post
    There's no Holly in New 52
    Well, that makes sense why King made the decision he did. It's somewhat similar to what he did with Helena in Grayson.
    "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    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date."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
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
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  2. #107
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    For me, personally, "Rooftops" is where King takes his Batman run to the next level and it never lets up from there. I recently re-read THE VISION and King truly excels with romantic relationships, whether the angle is tragic or redemptive.

    As far as Holly goes, I'm not very familiar with the character beyond Year One. I did recently read a four part Catwoman mini-series from the late 80s that expands a little bit on their relationship, and by the end of the series Holly is staying in a church where Selina's sister is a nun. So the implication is that Selina is destined for criminal life while there's hope for Holly of getting out of that life altogether. (The mini-series also has Ted Grant being Selina's mentor.)

    As far as reading older material that's not in trade, I highly recommend DC Universe subscription service, which doesn't have as large a back issue catalogue as Marvel Unlimited but it's still pretty impressive.

  3. #108
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Rooftops was a beautiful read, and had some things to say about Batman's emotions that we rarely see in the book. Its a little radical in that Catwoman is clearly leading the relationship, and Batman is put squarely in the position of the pursuer. Complete turnaround from what we normally see in a hero book. Overall, I found that it seamlessly integrates with the entire Bat-Cat arc and serves as a great opening chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Thomas thought he was so clever and fell for the same trick than Bane did, I loved that haha. My big problem with Bruce willingly receiving a beat down in I Am Suicide (that I could even take as him also being pretty exhausted after fighting through so many soldiers, but I think in I Am Bane "Martha" mentions that he let himself be beaten, playing with the theme of making his parents proud by having a "good" death) is that after Catwoman deals with Bane, Batman stands up like he hasn't received a single hit. He's just there seeing naked Bane. I would have liked that Janín drew him in such a way that we see a consequence of Bane's punches.
    Yah, and Bane probably would have let Thomas know what was coming if he could have. But alas Bane wasn't around at that point. Thomas's pride did him in, just the same as Bane's pride did him in.

    As far as the physical appearance of Batman, the same thing happens in the final confrontation with Thomas. I'll always wonder if both of those instances were a Janin thing or a King thing.
    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 01-21-2020 at 11:03 AM.
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  4. #109
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Rooftops was a beautiful read, and had some things to say about Batman's emotions that we rarely see in the book. Its a little radical in that Catwoman is clearly leading the relationship, and Batman is put squarely in the position of the pursuer. Complete turnaround from what we normally see in a hero book. Overall, I found that it seamlessly integrates with the entire Bat-Cat arc and serves as a great opening chapter.



    Yah, and Bane probably would have let Thomas know what was coming if he could have. But alas Bane wasn't around at that point. Thomas's pride did him in, just the same as Bane's pride did him in.

    As far as the physical appearance of Batman, the same thing happens in the final confrontation with Thomas. I'll always wonder if both of those instances were a Janin thing or a King thing.
    At least against Thomas, he only received a punch to the face (and healed of two gunshots because he is the goddamn Batman). Bane whipped the floor with Batman but it was to no use, as he recovered between panels.

    Back to Rooftops, through that charming scene of Bruce and Selina defeating different villains, we see how Batman is completely dedicated to his war against crime where he is preparing or fighting, every night. It's interesting how at the end Bruce mentions to Alfred that Selina stole the night. What meaning do you give to that phrase? I take it as Bruce stating that, now that he knows what it's to be in love and fighting alongside the woman he loves, he will feel more lonely every night he goes out to war on crime alone. She will always be present in his mind from there on. She made the night, the ambient where Batman thrives and lurks, hers.
    "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

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  5. #110
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    At least against Thomas, he only received a punch to the face (and healed of two gunshots because he is the goddamn Batman). Bane whipped the floor with Batman but it was to no use, as he recovered between panels.

    Back to Rooftops, through that charming scene of Bruce and Selina defeating different villains, we see how Batman is completely dedicated to his war against crime where he is preparing or fighting, every night. It's interesting how at the end Bruce mentions to Alfred that Selina stole the night. What meaning do you give to that phrase? I take it as Bruce stating that, now that he knows what it's to be in love and fighting alongside the woman he loves, he will feel more lonely every night he goes out to war on crime alone. She will always be present in his mind from there on. She made the night, the ambient where Batman thrives and lurks, hers.
    That's a really good interpretation. I think it has to do with Batman's identification with the night/knight - he's always felt himself to be alone in the night, but Selina stealing it means he can never be alone in it again - or at least he can never fool himself into being content while alone in the night again.
    "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
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
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  6. #111
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    I noticed at some point (much later) during King's run it stopped being "DC Comics Proudly Presents" to just being "DC Comics Presents", minus the proudly — anyone know why that is?

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I noticed at some point (much later) during King's run it stopped being "DC Comics Proudly Presents" to just being "DC Comics Presents", minus the proudly — anyone know why that is?
    I think it was just how King felt - 85 put the "proudly" back.
    "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
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
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  8. #113
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    The line about Catwoman stealing the night makes me think of Kevin Conroy screaming, "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!" on B:TAS. Not to mention it's a triple "I am" statement, which is exactly how King defined his first three arcs.

    On another note, "I Am" has religious implications as well. It's the name God gave to Moses at the burning bush when he asked whom he should tell the Israelites had sent him, and it was also used by Jesus Christ to claim divinity ("Before Abraham was, I am!"). I'm not sure if that would have been on King's mind, but he does dive into some deep philosophical/religious themes in his work.
    Last edited by David Walton; 01-22-2020 at 06:40 AM.

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    The line about Catwoman stealing the night makes me think of Kevin Conroy screaming, "I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!" on B:TAS. Not to mention it's a triple "I am" statement, which is exactly how King defined his first three arcs.

    On another note, "I Am" has religious implications as well. It's the name God gave to Moses at the burning bush when he asked whom he should tell the Israelites had sent him, and it was also used by Jesus Christ to claim divinity ("Before Abraham was, I am!"). I'm not sure if that would have been on King's mind, but he does dive into some deep philosophical/religious themes in his work.
    Given where we went in "The Best Man," "Cold Days," and Annual #4, I think it's very much a possibility that King was thinking of the name of God.
    "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
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  10. #115
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Given where we went in "The Best Man," "Cold Days," and Annual #4, I think it's very much a possibility that King was thinking of the name of God.
    Definitely. God comes up a lot in King's work, and "The Best Man" and "Cold Days" were at the front of my mind when I made the connection.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    Definitely. God comes up a lot in King's work, and "The Best Man" and "Cold Days" were at the front of my mind when I made the connection.
    Such good arcs. I'm so glad we're doing this reread!

    Speaking of which, it's I Am Bane week! While I don't like David Finch's work quite as much as Mikel Janin's, I did really love the way King and Finch worked to get the parallels between Batman and Bane here. It was very cool. And I always like it when King structures his narratives around something external, like 5 days/5 issues (though I do wonder if it completely maps).

    This arc is so rich with setup - the gauntlet in Arkham is repeated not just once, but twice (I argue that City of Bane's Western Showdown issue where Batman takes down the villains one by one is also an echo of this, alongside The Fall and The Fallen). It was also, on a personal note, one of the first issues I covered on the podcast I host now (I was just a guest then), so it has special resonance.
    "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
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  12. #117
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    I Am Bane

    Scriptwise, I love how this storyline starts. It's such an atypical way to kick off a big action arc with a mostly chit-chat issue, that it inmediatly catched my attention. Sure, the first issue does begin with an action sequence, and one that I think could have benefited for being more clear. Did Bronze Tiger think to betray Bruce? Was always his intention to stop the assesination attempt? But once we pass that first scene, the issue gains a better foot and I think it's great that in the conversation at the Batburger restaurant, the many deaths the Robins had received is acknowledged. Writers and editors constantly are playing on with the "next big death", but I, at least, have become kinda indifferent towards it, as I know it's most probable that they will be reverted and back to how thing were before (ironically, the last arc of King's run suffered from this). So that we see this characters conscient of how death works in their world is important. I think this can also be used to some dramatic effect in other scenarios, e.g when Daredevil didn't believe Elektra was dead in Frank Miller's run. Death works different in DC and Marvel that it does in real life and so characters should react differently when confronted to it.

    The rest of the arc I think is great, with first a Bane more familiar with the terror genre than with action, and later becoming this unstoppable force and a battle of wills that Bruce has to face, putting a reverse Knightfall against the man who broke him. I particularly love the last two issues of I Am Bane.

    #19 makes Batman seem like the bad guy, taking what Bane needed to live a peaceful life. Now we are aware that Bane always planned to start his revenge against Bruce, but I don't think his speech is less honest because of that. I think Bane knows Bruce so well, that he knew not only that Batman would reject his option of being able to stop, but that he would also take the Pirate at all cost. So Bane's rage is just as true.

    #20 could have been a simple savage fight between both contenders, so I love that King chose to give it that Gaimanian twist, with Bruce talking to his mother. It also introduces Bruce's middle name, which looking back at the last few arcs of the run, gains an important meaning.

    David Finch was no second to King in this arc, except for #16 in my opinion. He does fit perfectly fight sequences, especially the more brutal they are, but the calm dialogue does seem odd, especially with how Finch draws faces. It's not a thing of how he handles sequencial storytelling, I think he did great with the playful brother-like teasing between Damian and Jason, but it wasn't as solid a job as he did in the rest of I Am Bane.

    #18 is the most controversial issue. As I explained before, there are changes that I do like and others that I don't. I think it's particularly great that the same kick Bane used to escape his imprisonment is the one that he later gives to the doors of Arkham to enter the prison Batman has made accommodations to receive him with a "welcome" committee.

    I think from the bunch of inkers we got in I Am Gotham and I Am Bane, Danny Miki is the best inker for David Finch's pencils, at least in this type of story. Jordie Bellaire does a solid job and she is one of the most constant and great parts of the whole run.
    "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

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  13. #118
    Incredible Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Such good arcs. I'm so glad we're doing this reread!

    Speaking of which, it's I Am Bane week! While I don't like David Finch's work quite as much as Mikel Janin's, I did really love the way King and Finch worked to get the parallels between Batman and Bane here. It was very cool. And I always like it when King structures his narratives around something external, like 5 days/5 issues (though I do wonder if it completely maps).

    This arc is so rich with setup - the gauntlet in Arkham is repeated not just once, but twice (I argue that City of Bane's Western Showdown issue where Batman takes down the villains one by one is also an echo of this, alongside The Fall and The Fallen). It was also, on a personal note, one of the first issues I covered on the podcast I host now (I was just a guest then), so it has special resonance.
    I remember an error in the floppies, where in #18 it said Day Four instead of Day Three, that was later corrected in the collected editions. And I guess we have to asume that Bruce managed to take Claire to the Pirate after finding the hanging Robins and he later came up with the solution of having Alfred, Claire and the Pirate safe inside Arkham, going on with the therapy. The Robins situation between issues #16 and #17 should have been made more clear, but at least in #19 we get some clarification. I do like the 5 issues/5 days structure too.
    "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

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  14. #119
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Such good arcs. I'm so glad we're doing this reread!
    Indeed!

    Speaking of which, it's I Am Bane week! While I don't like David Finch's work quite as much as Mikel Janin's, I did really love the way King and Finch worked to get the parallels between Batman and Bane here. It was very cool. And I always like it when King structures his narratives around something external, like 5 days/5 issues (though I do wonder if it completely maps).
    For me, personally, "I Am Bane" is King's weakest Batman arc, keeping in mind that still puts it at around a 7 out of 10 for me. Maybe a 6.5 depending on my mood.

    The Good:

    --I also love the parallels between Bruce and Bane, especially the way they both speak to their dead mothers (a point King first brought up with regard to Bruce in the "I Am Gotham" epilogue). All leading to Bruce's wonderful conversation with Martha at the story's conclusion.

    --It's great to see Zombie, Bird and Trogg get something to do, and "I AM CAT" is one of my favorite moments.

    --The "Bat Burger" scene is one of King's best. A perfect balance of comedy, humanity and approaching dread.

    The Bad

    --The magical head-butt. Seriously, this is the worst stratagem possible for a man who just woke from a concussion-induced chat with his dead mother. And it sticks out even worse because of the thoughtfulness that went into that conversation. A nearly perfect moment marred by what follows.

    --Bane getting a full twenty-four hours to run the Arkham gauntlet without, I don't know, the Gotham police or the National Guard surrounding the place. What, he's too lazy to pull the old "I've got multiple bombs hidden around the city and I'll detonate them if you breach the perimeter" thing?

    --Dick, Jason and Damian surviving their hanging without too much damage to show for it. If he was looking to make a point instead of killing them, wouldn't hanging them by their feet have been better? One jaywalker and Batman gets home thirty seconds later and they're all dead and Bane's like, "Well, $#%, that escalated quickly!"

    This arc is so rich with setup - the gauntlet in Arkham is repeated not just once, but twice (I argue that City of Bane's Western Showdown issue where Batman takes down the villains one by one is also an echo of this, alongside The Fall and The Fallen). It was also, on a personal note, one of the first issues I covered on the podcast I host now (I was just a guest then), so it has special resonance.
    I do think there's a lot of setup here and most of the concepts are executed better as they're further developed. So "I Am Bane" almost feels like a proto-story in some ways.

  15. #120
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    #19 makes Batman seem like the bad guy, taking what Bane needed to live a peaceful life. Now we are aware that Bane always planned to start his revenge against Bruce, but I don't think his speech is less honest because of that. I think Bane knows Bruce so well, that he knew not only that Batman would reject his option of being able to stop, but that he would also take the Pirate at all cost. So Bane's rage is just as true.
    This is one of my favorite aspects of King's run. I love that King's Batman is honest about what's he willing to do to achieve his goals, going back to his speech to Catwoman in Arkham. Agreed that Bane's rage is sincere--even if we argue it was an act on his part, he'd still be pissed that Batman would have taken his only chance at peace without a second thought. And King further exploits one of Bane's most appealing traits, his tragic origin. From birth his only options were to die or become a monster. Batman still has to stop him but there's a sadness about the whole thing.

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