Saturday, 26 March 2011

An open letter to DC editorial

Dear DC Comics,

         To say that I have been a Batman fan all my life is barely hyperbole, as some of my earliest memories involve watching my heroes Batman and Robin on the TV and then pretending to be them with my friends at playgroup (preschool). Anyone who knows me closely knows of the time that I tried to go to school with my Superman costume (including cape) on under my normal clothes, they know how traumatised I was when my sister sat on Batman, breaking off his leg, and more recently, they see my array of DC Comics t-shirts on a nearly daily basis (my wife now recognises the Sinestro Corps symbol).
        Unfortunately, I am writing with a complaint. Since the end of Batman RIP we have been suffering with a group of books that work really well with each other and a lead book that feels disjointed and distant from the rest. This separation felt small at first, but has grown larger month by month. Batman & Robin started out well, but by the time we got to the Blackest Knight arc, it had moved to the bottom of my reading pile. When Bruce's Batman turned up to save the day in B&R#16, I groaned. This should have been great, but Dick and Damian needed saving by a character who had been external to that story arc because no thought had gone into how they could have solved the problem themselves. How is that going to make any sense to people who just read trades? Printing a message like "Oh, by the way, you also need to go and buy Return of Bruce Wayne for this book to make sense." just doesn't cut it.
         Whilst I understand that changes need to be made to push a series forward and provide new challenges, I think that the Batman Inc idea would have worked fine without Grant ripping off the end of Ironman. Bruce Wayne is too careful to let such an obvious link to Batman be made (especially not by himself!). Now we have a fairly obvious Bat family/Wayne family connection that even the slowest fictional journalist could surely put together.
         Yesterday, I actually put my copy of Batman, Inc. #4 down in disgust without finishing it. I have never done this with a comic before, so I waited until I could stomach it and finished it off. Awful, truly awful. What was the point of getting rid of all these things that didn't work in Crisis on Infinite Earths, only to have one man drag them back into continuity? Honestly, I've had all I can take from Grant Morrison. I could put up with messing continuity, as well as other writers and artists, around if the stories were full formed and coherent. Instead we are treated to half-baked ideas and segues that lead nowhere. Sticking prefixes like 'hyper-' or 'meta-' onto words doesn't make one a genius; lets make sure that it works as a story before trying to show how clever we think we are.
         I suppose what I am trying to say is, please edit Grant Morrison. If he turns in his work late, then dock his fee. If it's late then he isn't giving you or the artists time to do your jobs. I'm sure that all it would take sometimes is someone asking "Where is this going?", saying "I don't think that ____ would do that." or pointing out "Grant, this doesn't make sense." for the stories to find a more natural flow. This then results in a much lower quality product and less satisfying stories. Most of all, it makes the readers feel like they are being jerked around. If he can't take the criticism, then that is his problem. If the stories don't make sense, then that is yours.  He may produce strong sales, but if things continue to spiral out of control they way they are then not even Batman will be able to save the title.

Chris, a concerned fan, aged 26


  1. I agree to everything here. I read Return Of Bruce Wayne and Bruce Wayne The Road GHome before starting to read Batman INc. and I have to say that the alck of a checklist that tells you what to read and in what order (like Marvels Civil War for example) makes it completely a waste. I stood there and wondered how Bruce made the insider suit, then, after the Road Home storyline, I started to ask myself when did he announce he is back in Gotham, when did he announce the big comeback. These, along with Gran MOrrisons recently crappy writing make the Batman title go down the drain. If this continues, I think the only thing that will save the title from being canceled is Nolan "The Dark Knight Rises", just like the TV show saved the title's cancellation some 40 years ago. Please take your fans more seriously. Lowering the price of a comic book is not enough to prove you care about the fans, but it is a good start.

  2. I've only read the first two issues of Batman Inc, but the whole idea disgusts me so much I couldn't bear to go on with it. Even my non-Bats friends think it's stupid.

  3. really? like the batman books are gonna get canned. Seriously? You really think that dc is going to do that? Batman has gone through so many bad stories, but, dc keeps him going. And morrison is doing a really good job. Maybe you should try writting someone like Batman, and make it live up to everything that you want it to be, and guess what, there will always be someone like you who will say that this is the worst story ever.