Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Here, on the other hand, the bleeped-out F-bomb works just fine. (this'll make sense if you're scrolling up.)

For the first half, I laughed myself sick in spite of myself. Because, really. It was funny, but in a way that made me feel vaguely twelve. Or a Wizard reader.

The second half was action drama instead of comedy and worked surprisingly well because Judd Winick laid off the angst. Jason and Bruce, this Jason and Bruce, have a fantastically complicated relationship. Batman, the eternal party pooper, is a not-so-secret optimist at heart and he has faith that he can win Jason over even though every indication is that Jason is too far gone -- hell, he was too far gone the moment he tried to swipe the hubcaps off the Batmobile.

As they face off against the Society's three thugs, Bruce doesn't consider that he has enabled a miscreant by training Jason, he only sees the son he let down. And when they act by muscle memory and shared history, that view is reinforced -- Batman is prepared to Jason to double-cross him, but doesn't think he will. The betrayal comes later, after a clever-for-Winick action sequence that gets unqualified praise for not relying on either a deus ex machina or Batgadgets.

The issue ends with Bruce vowing to take Jason down. (Again.) Whether he will or not... Alfred speaks of Batman's resolve. What Alfred knows and doesn't say is that that resolve has always gotten distorted around family.

Winick's strong work on this book continues. Fast-paced and not undone by Winick's love of banter steering him off course. Still no love for Doug Mahnke's art, but...


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