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Thursday, March 24, 2011

THE NERD WITHIN - Batman: Broken City (2003)

I recently went back and read Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee's geekeriffic run on Batman (issues 608-619) where EVERYTHING happens! The only thing their run was missing was Joe Mauer and Barrack Obama (circa 2008, not the present day Fraggle Barrack, whose delusional worshippers are slowly planning off ways to drink the kool-aid).

EVERYTHING happens, but it wasn't necessarily a believable story in the realm of the Batman mythos and I never had the urge to keep reading the monthly comic.

However, I finally bucked down and read the following issues dubbed BROKEN CITY.

Broken City was written by Brian Azzarello with art by Eduardo Risso, the team behind the acclaimed series 100 Bullets which I have yet to read a single issue. Perhaps some day.

I loved Azzarello's JOKER tpb, where he painted the clown prince of crime as a truly horrific character due to his "reasoned" insanity.



Now, I also love his Broken City storyline.

It's a detective tale soaked in noir.

It's a murder mystery marinated in mayhem.

It adds depth to Batman's habitually recanted origin tale and, in my opinion, gives a sustainable motivation to Bruce Wayne's obsession to dress up like a bat and beat up bad men all night and bad girls some nights.


If you haven't read the tale, pick it up and be swept away into gritty juiciness.

6 comments:

  1. Got turned off by your obama bashing and couldn't concentrate on the rest of your post. Sorry

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  2. Did you read "Broken City" in trade or singles? I read it in singles, as they were published, and don't love it as much as a lot of people. I think, because of the gap between issues (and all the other stuff I was reading between them) I wasn't quite as perceptive /appreciative of some of the thematic stuff going on. And coming on the heels of the tonally opposite "Hush" (which I certainly didn't love but enjoyed in a Bruckheimer/Bay kind of way), I might have been ill-prepared for a more reasoned, thoughtful approach.

    I dunno. It might be something I should go back and read in trade/one sitting. I just remember not being as wowed by it as everyone else.

    I recently went back and read Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee's geekeriffic run on Batman (issues 608-619) where EVERYTHING happens!

    Man, ain't that the truth? Also, I love the "mystery" that Loeb writes, wherein the most obvious suspect is the villain. Note to Loeb: that's not clever, or surprising, or, frankly, good writing at all.

    It all sure looked purtty, though, didn't it?

    the team behind the acclaimed series 100 Bullets which I have yet to read a single issue. Perhaps some day.

    Nor I. I've got a couple trades I picked up cheap stashed, I think. Someday, as you say...

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  3. I liked Obama since I became aware of him. I still like him even though I didn't vote for him.

    I wasn't trying to emit "Obama bashing".

    It was a joke.

    For comic fans, the pairing of Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee on a Batman storyline was an inner child's wet dream times 100. There was an expectation that their pairing was going to part the heavens and create holy bliss for all. They did a good job, but it was blown way out of proportion.

    Just as Joe Mauer is often referred to as "baby Jesus".

    Just as many people thought Obama being elected would ensure 1000 years of heavenly bliss.

    We sometimes let our expectations outshine reality.

    I for one think he's doing as good a job as president as anyone before him.

    I also know the President really doesn't affect my day to day life too much.

    Many Americans think who's in the oval office can be a life or death situation for their personal being.

    I chuckle at those people.

    I apologize if you were annoyed. I hope this clarifies it a bit.

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  4. Teebore-

    I read two issues at a time over the past two days. I couldn't sleep last night and found myself itching to read the final two issues after finishing the 4th about an hour earlier.

    I did read another blog entry after hearing so many bad things about and wondering why I liked it while other's didn't.

    http://secondprinting.blogspot.com/2009/01/brian-azzarellos-batman-broken-city.html

    I guess it's one of those cases where "artsy" independent film was shown after blockbuster.

    The blog writer above pointed out that it should have been in Detective Comics rather than Batman's main title.

    BTW - I'm really on a DC kick right now after avoiding them for, well, a lifetime.

    I'm through the first three tpb of Geoff John's Green Lantern, starting his second JSA, and thinking about picking up some Secret Six since all I hear is endless praise.

    Have you read any Secret Six or how about Scalped by Jason Aaron?

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  5. I'm through the first three tpb of Geoff John's Green Lantern, starting his second JSA.

    Johns gets a bad rap online (mostly due to his penchant for over-the-top gore and involvement in linewide crossovers, the bane of the comic internet's existence) but on the right book, I quite like a lot of his stuff.

    I've dug Green Lantern and JSA for awhile now, and loved his older run on Flash. And I hear his latest Flash book, now starring Barry Allen (again) is pretty good, even though it's Barry Allen.

    I'd also recommend Booster Gold (which Johns co-wrote for awhile) and Blue Beetle (which Johns had nothing to do with, but is awesome). Blue Beetle, especially, has a great early Spider-Man vibe to it. It lasted around 36 issues, and is definitely worth your time.

    Have you read any Secret Six or how about Scalped by Jason Aaron?

    Yeah, Secret Six is a lot of fun too. I mean, deranged and messed-up fun, but fun nonetheless.

    Scalped I haven't read. I flipped through a trade at B&N after hearing repeated good things about it, but was turned off by the art.

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  6. I also read this as it was coming out and being a little underwhelmed by it, especially since I was also reading 100 Bullets and liking it. Maybe I also need to revisit it and see what I think.

    Regarding 100 Bullets though, I read it for a while monthly and then switched to trades. After a little bit of reading it in trades I found it was a little tough to keep track of all of the players and plot threads during the long breaks that you inevitably have with trades. I never finished reading it but currently have all of the trades for it now that it is done being collected. It is sitting on my shelves calling me to finish it up every time I walk past it.

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