September 22nd, 2009
Before the sun sets on the comics week.
Batman and Robin #4
Published by DC Comics
Story – Grant Morrison
Art – Philip Tan, Jonathan Glapion
This was always going to be a let down from where I’m sitting. Batman and Robin under the pen of Quitely was without a doubt my favourite Superhero comic of the year, and very possibly my favourite superhero comic since the last time those two collaborated. Scratch that, truth be told I preferred those three issues to All Star Superman, because not only were Morrison and Quitely producing fabulous work, they were producing fabulous work on a Batman comic, and I do so love a bit of Batman. So, yes, I always knew this was going to be a letdown and that I would have to struggle to give it a fair hearing.
When he woke up he thought he’d dreamed about a movie he’d seen the other day. But everything was different. The characters were black, so the movie in the dream was like a negative of the real movie. And different things happened, too. The plot was the same, what happened was the same, but the ending was different or at some moment things took an unexpected turn and became something completely different. Most terrible of all, though, was that as he was dreaming he knew it didn’t necessarily have to be that way, he noticed the resemblance to the movie, he thought he understood that both were based on the same premise, and that if the movie he’d see was the real movie, then the other one, the one he had dreamed, might be a reasoned response, a reasoned critique, and not necessarily a nightmare. All criticism is ultimately a nightmare, he thought as he washed his face in the apartment where his mother’s body no longer was.
- Roberto Bolaño, ’The part about Fate’, p.234, 2666
This was originally notionally a piece called ‘Justify yr pull-list’, but I can’t seem to think of a more absurd enterprise than that, on reflection.