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Cover to 1998’s JLA Paradise Lost #3, by Ariel Olivetti“Forgive me, Superman. I’m not very good at losing.” – The American Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar, Part 14

Continued from last week Some in the UK fan community saw Millar as Morrison’s heir apparent on the JLA. But despite later claiming that he’d once turned down the chance to write the Justice League,… [more]

Batman Year OneSuperhero Accessories: Part Three: Mo Bat-Money, Mo Bat-Problems

…continued from here. It’s worth noting that the original Klan and the fictional KKK seen in The Birth of a Nation were both begun by young rich white guys who lived in mansions. The hero… [more]

Panel from 1997’s JLA #4, By Morrison, Porter, Dell et al“An Arrogant, Aristocratic Batman?”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 13

Continued from last week. But how were Morrison and Millar to explain away the Batman’s aloof and frequently contemptuous attitude towards even his fellow super-heroes? If the Dark Knight was to be cut away from the… [more]

By Morrison, Porter, Dell et al, from 1996/7’s JLA #1The Secret Origin of the JLA, and of “Mark Millar” Too: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 11

Continued from last week. It would be another seven months until Morrison and Millar’s next public collaboration on the Batman. In that time, the new JLA title would establish itself as a remarkably successful reboot. Its… [more]

2.1Superhero Accessories: Part Two: Truth, Justice, All That Stuff

…continued from here. DC have long had a problem fitting Superman into the grimmer world the DC Universe has become now its readership mostly consists of adults. It’s clear that senior editors feel the ‘big… [more]

Cover from the 2008 Aztek TPB – and before it the comic’s 1st issue in 1996 -  by N Steve Harris & Keith ChampagneThe Batman As Father Figure: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar Part 10

Continued from here. DC’s post-crisis, Dark Age portrayal of the Batman had long been a source of aggravation for both Morrison and Millar. Years before Morrison landed the job of scripting the JLA, the two men… [more]

magic-words-vis-1Building an Altar to the Super-Hero Holy Trinity

As I was reading Lance Parkin’s Magic Words, a biography of Alan Moore, I looked to my right at the nightstand against my wall and came to the realization that it is, in fact, an altar.… [more]

the-dark-knight-returns-on-a-horseSuperhero Accessories: Part One: Masked Vigilantes

Perhaps the most damning criticism Alan Moore made about superheroes has been overlooked in all the controversy around the ‘Last interview’: ‘the origin of capes and masks as ubiquitous superhero accessories can be deduced from… [more]

from 1997’s JLA #9, by Morrison, Oscar Jimenez et al“A Semi-Unhinged, Essentially Humourless Loner Struggling with Rage and Guilt”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 9

Continued from last week. Grant Morrison’s ambition was, it appears, to free the DCU from the constraints of both wonder-killing editorial dictats and the conventions of the Dark Age. Yet unregulated creative anarchy doesn’t seem to… [more]

From 1997’s JLA Secret Files #1, by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Howard Porter et alA Thousand Batmen Blooming: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 8

Continued from last week. The superhero genre had become more and more susceptible to the myth of the definitive version. It was a fan-consuming fallacy which presumed that each character possessed an irreducible core of utterly… [more]

CARPENTER Batman Odyssey CoverIn Praise of Bad Batman

“Bless me Father Jack, for I have sinned.  It’s been . . . well, this is my first confession.  Actually, I’m not even Catholic.” Father Jack puffed on a cigar and squinted.  “Well, this ain’t… [more]

From LOTDK #79 by Millar, Yeowell, Giordano“Just Don’t Do It Again”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 4

Continued from last week. How was it possible for Millar to show so much respect for Bruce Wayne’s back story while portraying such a deeply unconvincing Dark Knight? Though the writer’s take on Wayne was ludicrously… [more]

Batman SupermanWhat Batman vs. Superman Could Get Right (And Wrong)

Last year when Man of Steel came out, I was reminded of the line uttered by Chastity (Gabrielle Union) in 10 Things I Hate About You: “I know you can be overwhelmed… and you can… [more]

Cover to December 1971’s Batman #239, in which lay O’Neil, Novick & Giordano’s Silent Night, Deadly Night“There are Some Things in Life It’s Best not to See”: The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar, Part 3

Continued from last week. The suspicion that Millar idled his way through his years at 2000AD is at least in part countered by the contents of Favourite Things. For it seems unlikely that he would have… [more]

cover to 1996’s LOTDK #79 by Steve Yeowell and Dick Giordano“Yes, Alfred. Time for Bed.”: The American Comics of Mark Millar, Part 2

Continued from last week. Favourite Things was the first mainstream superhero tale that Millar had ever sold. Previously, he’d depicted the costumed crimefighter as a horror-hybridised symbol of corruption and cruelty, as with The Saviour and… [more]

batman-inc-1-variantBill Finger’s Quest for a Google Doodle

This February 8th is an historic date in the comics history: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Finger (and coincidentally, this year marks the 40th anniversary of his death and the 75th anniversary… [more]

photo 1Batman: Noël — The Redemptive Dickensian Drama

It’s not uncommon this time of year to hear the phrase “holiday cheer” being thrown around. It’s a nebulous saying, undefined, and passed around like an offering plate collecting alms for the poor. In our… [more]

Beware-the-Batman-logoBeware the Batman Episode 1 Review

As much as I love Batman, I’ve always found it a bit hard to keep up with his various animated adventures. I mean, I grew up with the Bruce Timm and Paul Dini animated series,… [more]

tumbler golf cartBatman’s Tumbler Available in a Golf Cart Version

Just in time for the Christmas buying season, a golf cart version of Batman’s Tumbler has been put up on eBay. Unfortunately for holiday shoppers, the cart was purchased today, just after midnight, once word… [more]

Killing Joke ImageOriginal, More Explicit Artwork for The Killing Joke Surfaces

As originally reported by Bleeding Cool, Billy Hynes, a former employee of London’s Gosh Comics, tweeted a photo on Sunday that appeared to be a page of original art from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s… [more]

Batkid Saves CityReflections on Batkid

It’s easy to be cynical. Especially about super-heroes, in an era when they dominate the box office and opening weekends are debated for years before they happen. And then something like this happens. On Friday… [more]

batman joker silhouettes 08Right, Wrong, and In Between: The Killing Joke

I don’t believe in right and wrong. That may sound strange, from a Batman fan; especially strange in the context of The Killing Joke, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s prestige-format, psychological and physical showdown between… [more]

1Scott Snyder: Then and Now

I was slow to the Scott Snyder game, I’ll admit it. Back when the hyper popular writer started Batman I was only vaguely aware of his existence. As his run continued I started to read… [more]

Fatman on BatmanKevin Smith Discusses Sequart’s And the Universe So Big

On Kevin Smith’s new episode of his Fatman on Batman podcast, he opens by recapping the controversy over the previous episode’s discussion with Grant Morrison on Batman: The Killing Joke‘s ending. Smith also discusses Julian Darius’s… [more]

killing joke -- hand pageOn Interpreting The Killing Joke’s Ending (and Authorial Intent)

For his podcast Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith interviewed Grant Morrison, and Grant talked about how Batman kills the Joker at the end of Batman: The Killing Joke. Grant makes a good argument, citing textual… [more]