All Star Batman and Robin: Boy Wonder #7 Review

The Revolution is having fun with Miller’s outrageous take on a young Batman in All Star Batman and Robin. Miller intentionally gives us an even more over the top Batman with each and every issue. Miller is clearly having fun with the fans, and I’m interesting in what he has in store next for the goddam batman. Let’s hit this review for All Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder #7.

Creative Team
Writer: Frank Miller
Penciler: Jim Lee
Inker: Scott Williams

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Batman viciously kicking ass on a bunch of thugs. Batman thinks how he loves to strike fear in their hearts. Batman sets the thugs on fire. The thugs cry out that it hurts. Batman responds that they don’t know what hurt is. Batman proceeds to lay a brutal beat down on the thugs. Batman claims that this is real hurt.

We see Black Canary watching the Batman kick ass. The Black Canary thinks how she is totally in love with the goddam Batman. Batman finishes off the last thug and Black Canary walks over to the Batman and tells him that he is totally hot. Black Canary then jumps the Batman and begins kissing him and grinding up on him.

The Batman and Black Canary proceed to have sex right there on the docks. Batman thinks how they keep their masks on, because it is better that way. And Black Canary evidently likes doing it with her boots on. (That is my kind of woman.)

After then finish doing the nasty, Batman calls over the Batmobile and offers Black Canary a ride since it is raining out. Black Canary jokes Batman that the name Batmobile is a totally queer name. Batman says he is the goddam Batman and can name his goddam car whatever the hell he wants to. Batman comments how he can’t fly like some other people. When Black Canary inquires just who can fly, Batman responds “Nobody. He’s nothing. Never mind.”

Batman picks up one of the thugs and throws him in the back of the Batmobile. We cut to Black Canary talking Batman’s ear off while they ride in the Batmobile. Black Canary mentions that Batman could benefit from talking to someone. Batman tells her to shut up. Black Canary continues on how Batman could really use some therapy and an attitude adjustment. Batman comments that Black Canary talks too damn much and once again tells her to shut the hell up.

We cut to Dick Grayson not having nearly as much fun as Batman who just finished nailing a hottie in a mask, fishnets and boots. We see Dick beginning to totally lose it after being locked in the Batcave. Dick ends up using an axe to kill a rat that kept hissing at him. This is the first time Dick has ever killed anything.

Batman then enters the Batcave and calls Dick over to him. Batman throws the thug that he took with him onto the ground. Batman tells Dick that this thug is the man who murdered Dick’s parents. That his fate is in Dick’s hands. That it is time for Dick to decide if he is going to be an avenger or a detective.

Dick picks up the battle axe and swings it at the thug. The axe cuts the thug’s mouth. Dick proceeds to beat the hell out of the thug. Batman sits back and enjoys the show. Batman thinks how Dick’s form is sloppy, but that Dick can jump and move well.

Dick then asks the thug the name of the person who hired him to kill Dick’s parents. The thug answers that it was the Joker. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: All Star Batman and Robin #7 was another wild and outrageous read. I’m probably in the minority, but I just can’t get enough of Miller’s completely over the top take on Batman. At no point do I feel that Miller is taking himself seriously on this title. I think Miller is clearly playing with the reader and needling critics by making sure we get plenty of the “goddam Batman” in every issue. Miller is having fun and the critics who aren’t getting the joke only encourage Miller to be more outrageous with each issue.

I dig Miller’s typical hard-boiled dime store detective novel dialogue. Yeah, it isn’t nuanced, lyrical or complex. And I am pretty sure that Miller is trying to deliver this type of pulp fiction dialogue on purpose. Now, if I thought that Miller was actually trying to write serious legitimate dialogue then I’d rip him for writing this type of dialogue.

I just can’t get enough of Miller’s goddman Batman. I dig how primal Miller’s Batman is. This Batman is nothing more than hate, anger and fury incarnate. Batman is exactly the type of sick puppy that I would expect from a person who saw his parents gunned down before him when he was just a child.

I love how Batman is a total sadist. He doesn’t want to just stop criminals. He wants to make them pay. And what is a fate worse than death? Being beaten to an inch of your life and left with horrible permanent injuries.

Miller has Batman dish out plenty of absolutely brutal justice. Seeing Batman light the criminals on fire and then claim that being on fire isn’t real pain was just sick. Batman’s definition of real pain is when he uses his flesh and bone to break the flesh and bone of the criminals. Miller’s Batman is a twisted bastard. And that is exactly how I like my Batman.

I absolutely loved the sex scene between Black Canary and Batman. This scene is what made me push this title from 8 Night Girls to 9. I just knew that Miller wasn’t going to be able to resist giving us a scene like this. And to be honest, this type of scene makes perfect sense. Super heroes are incredibly good looking people with huge egos. They run around in fetish styled outfits. They are physical creatures who engage in combat on a daily basis. I’m surprised that booty sessions don’t break out after brawls more often.

And Batman’s reaction to Black Canary after sex was classic. Batman is certainly not the kind of guy to cuddle and talk about his emotions. All Batman wants is for Black Canary to just shut the hell up. And he isn’t shy about telling her so. God knows that sometimes I have felt just like the Batman during this scene.

Miller’s Batman speaks in the appropriate short and gruff manner. Miller has Batman only employ just enough words to get his point across and no more. Batman has no real attachment to anyone and only lives for one reason: to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. This is exactly what I like to see in my Batman.

And of course, you know that whenever Miller is writing Batman that Miller is going to take a couple of shots at Superman. Miller just doesn’t like Superman and it shows. I actually liked how dismissive Batman is of Superman in this issue.

Batman is a proud and egotistical man. He has trained himself to the state of absolute perfection for a human being. It only makes sense that Batman would feel threatened by an alien who by sheer virtue of being under a yellow sun has powers that eclipse the Batman who has to work and train hard for every talent he possesses.

I enjoyed the ending of this issue when Batman gave Dick the choice between being an avenger or a detective. That was a pretty interesting proposition and reflects the true essence of Batman. Many critics assail Miller’s Batman as just a Neanderthal who is a brawler. In this scene, Miller shows that he understands the foundation of Batman’s character. And that is being the world’s greatest detective. Batman doesn’t solve crimes by breaking skulls. He solves them through brilliant detective work.

Miller’s Batman is young and just beginning his career. He is like a young James Bond who is still rough around the edges, has a temper and is more likely to settle issues with his fists rather than his mind. I think it is pretty cool to see how Batman started out and eventually grew into the cold, calculating detective who realizes that the mind is the most powerful weapon and not the fist.

In this scene Miller shows that even a young Batman just beginning his career views himself as a detective rather than an avenger. And Dick’s response was perfect. No doubt that Dick is full of anger and fury. And certainly, Dick wanted to cause the killer of his parents some pain. But, Dick is a detective and his immediate reaction was to go up the food chain and discover who paid the thug to kill his parents.

And that is when Miller dropped a bomb on the reader by ending the issue with the Joker being the man who commissioned the deaths of Dick’s parents. That is a great hook ending that gets me excited to see Miller’s take on the Joker. Miller’s Batman has been pretty wild and extreme. I can only imagine what Miller’s Joker is going to be like.

Jim Lee’s artwork is flat out incredible. Lee cranks out a gorgeous comic book. I love the intensity and emotion that Lee gives Batman. Lee’s artwork gives this comic book an incredibly dynamic feel as the action practically leaps off the page. Plus, Lee draws the best looking Black Canary I have ever seen.

The Bad: If you like your Batman more like he was written in the 1960’s and 1970’s then you will hate Miller’s Batman. If you can’t stomach Miller’s dialogue from Sin City then you will also dislike this title.

I have to admit, that even though I like the hard-boiled dialogue in this issue, it does seem like Miller now writes every single comic book like it is Sin City. All Star Batman could easily be entitled Batman: The Sin City Chronicles.

Overall: I appreciate what Miller is doing on All Star Batman and I find it to be a rather refreshing take on Batman’s character. Batman stars in seven other titles including Batman, Detective Comics, Batman Confidential, Batman and the Outsiders, Justice League of America and Superman/Batman and the Brave and the Bold.

That is a ton of comics. And Batman is largely written the same way in all seven titles. So, if DC is going to give us an eighth Batman title in All Star Batman, then at least make it a totally and radically different take on Batman’s character. And that is exactly what Miller is doing with All Star Batman. And I can appreciate that effort.

If you dig your Batman as a heartless son of a bitch who dishes out more ass-beatings than ever then you will probably get a big kick out of All Star Batman.

6 Comments

  1. I haven’t bought a batman issue since the John Byrne’s brief run (Many deaths of batman), and none before that. But this series is making me change my mind, and I’ve already bought the previous issue (where the cartoonish version of the JLA easily blows the conventional version out of the water). I’m all for realism and extremes in media, not tradition or any lip-service to orthodoxy.

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  3. At this point, this series is what it is. From the start, it’s been wildly entertaining in the way a train wreck is; that it’s an intentional train wreck is probably beyond debate at this point (it wasn’t clear at first, because Miller playing it straight is hard to distinguish from Miller-parodying-Miller at this point). Entertaining, although I’m really not sure I’d call it good. I’d really rather Jim Lee was using his considerable talents somewhere else.

    Since this is set in Miller’s DKR universe, the Dick here ends up as the Dick in “The Dark Knight Strikes Again,” which doesn’t bode well.

  4. That readers dulled by the pre-chewed pablum and weak tea of today’s comics can’t take the 180 proof whiskey, that is Goddamn Batman comes at no surprise.

    I love how it’s completely straight. Bad guys are made to have the crap beaten out of them. Is it moral or ethical? Who cares!

    No apologetic cushioning for readers embarrassed by their love of super hero comics.

  5. It’s time to start playing the All-Star Batman and Robin drinking game: do a shot whenever the word “goddamn” appears 🙂

  6. I’m not so sure that Frank Miller is doing this as a goof. If he really did intend to write a comic with the worst dialogue and the cheesiest, most cliched over-the-top characters, why would DC let him do it with their All-Star title, which is supposed to be the cream of the crop?

    I can understand why people like it, though. It is nice to have Batman as something other than the usual suspicious anti-social jerk that he is in every other comic. And All-Star Batman is in the “so bad it’s good” category. I just don’t think that its horribleness is intentional.

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