This is incredible. We’re on the last issue of Judd Winick’s run and it. Is. A. DOOZY. I mean that. I’m not just hyping it because I hoped it would be so spectacularly bad so to have justified my column thus far. That’s true, of course; if this was just mediocre, or even just regular bad, it would have taken a lot of the wind out of my sails going into Tony Daniel’s arc. But oh, no no no, this is a really special kind of bad.
LET’S DO THIS SHIT RIGHT.
Detective Comics #856
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by J.H. Williams III
Jeez, I wish I had more good stuff to say about this. Honestly, I liked the first issue a lot, my interest waned after the second, and now I’m just flipping through it to look at J.H. Williams’ stunning artwork. I generally think that Greg Rucka is a hell of a writer but there’s not much else to say about this than… it’s just really, really boring.
Art by John McRea and Keith Burns
The unmitigated gall. The brazen impudence. The cojones, if you will, of thinking you can have an issue of this book, Herogasm, without showing any heroes orgasming, or doing blow off of each other’s laughably giant breasts and cocks, or– you know what? I’m not even posting its cover here. I’m that offended. You think we’re here for story, Ennis? You think that’s why we’re here? We’re here for the suckin’ and fuckin’, boy. We’re here to point and laugh, and show our friends, and get weird looks on the train. This was the kind of comic I’d love when I was in high school and it still gets a chuckle out of that part of me today; the part of me that wishes it was still acceptable for me to do ecstasy on New Years and drive around Staten Island throwing cookies at the house of this kid we hated (fuck you, Ralph, you’re still a dick.) The scene where some guy is forced to put a condom on the Vice President– ok, that was kind of funny. But seriously: get your shit on lock, guys. This ain’t no Bendis comic. I ain’t payin’ you for exposition.
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely
And with this Frank Quitely’s run on Batman and Robin comes to a (hopefully temporary) end, as does most of my interest in this comic. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely keep reading; I like Morrison quite a bit, and even though he’s hardly ever paired with an appropriate artist I usually like his writing enough to enjoy his books. Come on, though– Philip Tan? He’s definitely competent but following Quitely is like being the guy who goes on after Eddie Murphy. How am I supposed to build up any sort of excitement for that?
Anyway, there’s so much to like about this issue, and really the entire series up to this point. Morrison’s Pyg is just disturbing, and the scene of him doing a striptease in front of Damian is near perfect comic-bookery when mixed with Quitely’s artwork. It’s generally a pretty ballsy move to add a new villain to Batman’s rogues gallery, and it usually brings disastrous results (see Blackest Night: Batman #1 for a veritable cornucopia of awful bat-villains literally brought back to life) but neither the Bat-books nor anything else D.C. puts out has this sort of deranged sociopath. That niche somehow hasn’t been filled until now. Joker, of course, almost fits the bill, but it’s different. Pyg is unhinged in the same way the bad guy in a slasher movie is unhinged. Every single time he’s on the page there’s a sort of apprehension one gets while reading him; it’s unnerving, really. Unpleasant. Morrison and Quitely just may have created the next great villain.
Morrison again proves why Damian should only be written by him. The annoying, immature brat in Batman proper is nowhere to be seen here; instead, we get a brash young daredevil, not too immature but rather too prideful to let Dick lead him in the field. For all of his faults he wants to do the right thing and honor his father’s legacy; he just doesn’t want to be following anyone else while he does it. His reaction when Dick saves his life sums up his character all at once:
…there was a girl… Did… Did you just save my life?
He’s young, he’s stubborn, and he may just be in a little over his head– but he’s ultimately good, and he’s doing it for the right reasons. At least, for now.
Dick is done crying and complaining after Alfred’s chat last issue. He’s got a job to do, and it demands a confidence that can not afford to be shaken. He’s a hero. Morrison writes him as one, and Quitely draws him as one. This is not the Dick Grayson from Judd Winick’s book, constantly doubting himself and questioning his role. He’s no longer a child or student. He’s a man, and he’s the teacher now. And he’s acting like it.
One last note on Quitely: I’m going to miss him dropping in those little sound effects within the art. At it’s least obvious it’s almost subliminal, as it was in this issue. The “BANG” effects spelled out in blood were something I definitely noticed, but not noticed, you know? Put it this way: I read a review by Caleb Mozzocco praising its use and had to go back and re-read it before saying “oh yeah, I remember that.” This is far from a slight; rather, it speaks volumes of Quitely’s mastery of pliability within the medium, having it work the way he wants it to.
Tucker Stone did a piece on deadlines and standards for ComiXology. The gist is that if these stories came out on their own time, in their own formats, not following any specific “house style” or rules we’d invariably be happier with the work that’s produced, and there may be no better example than Batman & Robin. Quitely’s work is just too good to be on time. I know, I’ve complained a little in the past about deadlines and why it’s important to fulfill expectations, and I still think that’s true. Hey, I’d be happy with DC extending the deadlines, if they told us, “listen, we’re not putting out Batman books for a few months but when we do it’ll be drawn by Frank
Fantastic Four #570
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham
Or… THE BEEFY ADVENTURES OF REED RICHARDS!
All kidding aside seeing Reed Richards looking like Thor is more than a little jarring. I think the rest of the book looks pretty nice; Eaglesham comes to us from working on JSA with Geoff Johns, and I think his neo-classic style works well for books like this. You know, books where the main characters all seem like they should be drinking milk and going to bed early. It’s an innocent style, pleasing to the eye while fitting the tone of the book. Ben Grimm looked great, and the fight and lab scenes looked almost Kirby-esque. Still, the mass of the figures is just large enough to be off-putting.
I hope the art is something that just takes getting a little used to because Jonathan Hickman absolutely killed it on this issue. Loved Reed’s brilliant self-assurance, loved Ben and Johnny’s interactions, and I thought the ending was dynamite. Every once in a while a new creator will come onto a book and make me excited for next month’s issue. Hickman and the Fantastic Four are now a pull list no-doubter.
“I believe Bruce would have ‘smoked’ the place… meaning he’d drop a few flash bang grenades, and the joint would have emptied in a panic. But he’d leave a Batarang in the wall to let them know he was there.”
Subtlety. The art of getting across information without beating the point over someone’s head like a knuckle dragging caveman. Some writers have it in spades (Ed Brubaker immediately comes to mind) while some writers seemingly have no understanding of it.
So apparently Ed Benes was only on the book for one issue? That was… what? A special gift to fans? Ed Benes? Really? What’s DC’s next special promotion, “free kicks in the balls” day?
The state of the Bat-books over the past year or so has been… let’s say “controversial”. Grant Morrison, after a critically acclaimed 4-issue fill-in where he introduced Bruce Wayne’s son Damian, started his Batman run proper with an all-text issue, followed by the memorable “Black Glove” storyline. Soon it was announced that he would be orchestrating an event called “BATMAN: R.I.P.”, in which, it was soon confirmed by DC top dog Dan DiDio, Batman would presumably die and pass on the mask and cape. BATMAN: R.I.P. was met with decidedly mixed reviews– some fans thought it was too confusing, with Morrison cheating the ending and relying on trippy plotlines based off of silver age stories he referred to as Batman’s “black casebook”; others were impressed with the new direction Batman was being taken and saw R.I.P. as a creative, exciting take on the character. Whatever the case it sold books, and Bruce Wayne was no longer Batman.
After Morrison’s run, and after the cancelling of Robin, Nightwing, and Birds of Prey (to some fanboy outrage), we were subjected to Battle For The Cowl. Say what you will about R.I.P.; at least that was a story that made you think. Tony Daniel, the artist on Morrison’s R.I.P. issues, took over the writing and drawing duties for three issues and boy I can not imagine what could have possibly been going through the minds of DC personnel when they greenlit this one. Hating Daniel’s awful artwork was the only thing about R.I.P. critics and fans alike could agree on. So a good idea would probably be to let him draw and write the book…? Needless to say it was awful, borderline contradicting some of the ideas Morrison and other writers had put into place, and all it did was verify what anyone with half a brain could see coming: Dick Grayson, a former Robin who gave up the cape to become Nightwing, was the new caped crusader.
Enter Grant Morrison again, writing Batman and Robin. This time he brought along a former collaborator with whom he worked on All-Star Superman and New X-Men: Frank Quitely. The new creative team, however temporary, has breathed some new life into the franchise with Morrison promising a return to more traditional superhero fare. The first issue has already been universally well-received.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about that other Batman book. The bastard child of Batman books. The retarded cousin of Batman books. The sexual deviant uncle of Batman books.
That would be Batman (proper), written by….
Welcome to HASBTHPITTIRTW. Each Thursday I’ll be reviewing some comics I bought the day before from my local comic shop, Bergen Street Comics.
Quick plug for Bergen Street this week. Saturday, May 2 is Free Comic Book Day across this great land of ours. Everybody should get out of the house to your local comic shop and pick up something you normally don’t read. If you live in Brooklyn, go to Bergen Street Comics for an awesome party hosted by the creators at Act-I-Vate. Here’s the flier:
I walked into Bergen this week a bit of a happy camper. Last Wednesday I couldn’t pick up every book I wanted because I was short on cash, and a skip week means double the books the next Wednesday. As I walked to the counter with my books, thinking about all the comics I’d get to read that night, I looked at my cover for last week’s Detective Comics and thought of all the nerd grumblings. Indeed, even Tom the owner (who, before I give the wrong impression, is decidedly UN-nerdy) expressed disappointment in the book. Now, before I get into my thoughts on the story itself, there were a lot of opinions posted on that great expanse known only as “the information superhighway” about it which had already given me an idea of what my feelings would probably be. The best I’ve seen is at the Savage Critic(s), where David Uzumeri uses the review as an opportunity to briefly comment on the comics business as a whole.
The most striking part of Uzumeri’s post, to me, is the opening quote by Neil Gaiman:
“Well, it definitely wasn’t going to be called Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? at that point. That was what some people at DC Comics started out calling it, and eventually it stuck, but the title did take me slightly by surprise.”
Uzumeri goes on to say what my immediate thoughts were after reading this quote: basically, they went out and got Neil Gaiman, fucking king shit of fuck mountain in the creator-driven comics industry, and told him to tow the line like he was “generic comics writer #28465″. And he did, he went out and he wrote a comic, chugged right along like the little engine that could, and this is what he churned out.
The story’s boring for sure, let’s just get that out of the way. I mean it’s ok, I think everyone is giving it a worse wrap than it deserves, but it’s just kind of boring. And I don’t mean there’s no action, because I can read a good character driven story– hell, in most cases I prefer it over a book where the only dialogue is “AGGGGH“ or some bullshit. But none of that is the point. What I mean is it looks like DC came to Neil Gaiman and said “write a story that seems good. Doesn’t have to actually be good, just have the appearance of good.” And, you know, Neil Gaiman can write that shit in his sleep, which is what it seemed like he did here. There’s no way Gaiman didn’t just throw this together out of necessity rather than tell a story he legitimately wanted to tell. Sure, I could be wrong; maybe DC told Gaiman to just do whatever he wanted, maybe all they did was change the story’s title, and this is actually a story he’s been itching to let loose for some time. Even the best have their bad days, right? But I really doubt it because this is a continuing problem with the Big Two, with DC as the main offender. When “the Sinestro Corps War” was going on they thought it would be just some Green Lantern storyline, and it blew up. It became the DC event of the year, even as they had another going on at the same time. So DiDio says “oh, sure, we knew it would be huge but Geoff Johns has a vision and we respect that and blah blah blah”. Fast forward to Blackest Night. It’s the ending to Johns’ epic Green Lantern “trilogy” starting with Rebirth, and continuing with Sinestro. Truly, this was Johns’ vision finally come to fruition. And what does D.C. do? What do they do to their star writer, who has never let them down in the ten years or so he’s worked there? They say, “hey kid, that’s great, but it’s our toys you’re playing with. Gimme back.” Now it’s not a Green Lantern book anymore, it’s a DC universe book. And now they’ll tie it in with every other book they have on the shelves, and they’ll create a few stories called “BLACKEST NIGHT: Dark Tides” starring Aquaboy or “BLACKEST NIGHT: Pet Sounds” starring the Pied Piper and his long dead family cat, and they’ll get Greg Rucka to write one and it might be good, but they’ll get Brad Meltzer to write another one and it will be dumb and then if we’re REALLY, REALLY LUCKY Judd Winick will write a Batman special where Batman comes back and beats the shit out of the Joker with a statue of an actual bat, because that’s the kind of ham-fisted shit we’ve come to expect these days. God bless comic books. They hardly ever make me feel like throwing myself through a window with dynamite strapped to my chest.
I told the girlfriend that there was no way I was reading this past page three. I swore up and down. Eventually I relented, but do you want to know what my reasoning was? Do you know what ridiculous, silly, embarrassing shit I saw on page three that got me to swear I would not read the rest of the comic? I saw this picture of the penguin:
Now I get that some artists photo reference but this shit is just laughable. It goes so far beyond a photo ref. It looks like the Batman Returns comic adaptation. Which I had. And it was better than this comic. This one right here, in the middle of the big Batman event. I would rather read the adaptation of Batman Returns than this comic.
Grant Morrison wrote “Batman R.I.P.” and it was polarizing. Some hated it, some loved it, everyone bought it. This… this filler, this stupid attempt at appeasing the fanboys with a one-shot that’s not really a one-shot because you have to buy TWO OTHER BOOKS to see where it goes after this issue– it can’t work, can it? Can people be buying this? I gotta see the numbers. It can’t be that people would rather read a shitty story than think. I understand the need for escapism in comics, and that a comic doesn’t always have to be the greatest piece of literature in order to enjoy it, but shouldn’t it have some merit?
Fanboys are a tricky species. On one hand the hero worship involved is understandable. A lot of fans are outcasts and like to be taken away with these fantastic stories, escape to other worlds where people have powers that are so amazing and spectacular that it doesn’t resemble our own in the slightest. It’s the reason you see so many old-timey comics fans who dislike the dark, gritty, “realism” of many modern comics. Comics are a way to vicariously relive your own childhood and not worry about your everyday problems, at least for a little while. On the other hand this kind of rabid fandom creates an unrealistic view of what comics should be, and that’s incredibly personal. So after reading a story your reaction is either “OH COME ON HOW COULD DAREDEVIL LOSE A FIGHT AGAINST SPIDER-MAN DAREDEVIL IS SUCH A BETTER PUNCHER” or, “this started, and then ended, and in the middle it continued a story.” There’s no honest critique of art or form. You don’t like stories, you like characters. And so, yeah– just because Batman’s name is on this book people did buy it. People bought this, and will buy the others. It’s a no-brainer, a proven formula, and DC and Marvel will continue to exploit it
I dunno. I don’t even know what can be done. I have literally no solution to this other than to hope one day it just stops. I’m at my wits end reading books like these. My hands are thrown up in the fucking air. And then- AND THEN! These are the fans who will talk shit. The internet trolls who will comment on someone’s blog, or column, or whatever. These nameless, faceless little assholes. The kind of guys who hate being made fun of for reading comics, but then dismiss someone for reading the comics they don’t like, or who scoff at the girl walking into the comic shop for the first time because she wants to buy Watchmen. Fuck, I have done everything to defend this medium but then I read something like this comic and it reminds me of everything wrong with comics, everything that bothers me. Those companies and the editors who patronize you just by putting out their shitty books; those fans who perpetuate this policy; the ugliness that comes with it.
That’s all I think of when I see that “Battle for the Cowl” banner. Do not buy these books.
Welcome to the second ever HASBTHPITTIRTW. Each Thursday I be review some comics I bought the day before from my local comic shop, Bergen Street Comics.
Here’s what you should or should not have bought (no bad reviews this week!):
Wonder Woman # 30
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan
This book shows just how little DC wants to market Wonder Woman as a character. Sure, they like her as an idea: one of their “trinity”, Diana is instantly recognizable and has immediate mainstream marketability. But here we have one of their supposed main characters in her supposed “big event”, and I’ll be damned if anybody even knows what “Rise of the Olympian” is. I have seen zero push throughout DC books for this event, while wading through numerous “New Krypton”, Battle for the Cowl, and two page Flash: Rebirth ads. I fail to understand why; Cowl is just awful (as I attested to last week) and as for those Geoff Johns helmed books… well, Simone is at least as good, if not better than Johns these days. I’ll take Secret Six over any of Johns’ books sans Lantern any day of the week (and that’s only because I have a soft spot for Hal; GL is my favorite character but even I’m starting to tire out from this Rainbow Lantern stuff). Likewise, her work on Wonder Woman has been some of the best mainstream comic book writing of the past year. Simone has spent a good deal of time over the last few issues playing up a helpless Diana, and does a great job here of transforming that helplessness into strength. She’s become so weakened by her compassion and morality that when it comes to facing off against an ultimate evil she’s forgotten that deep-down she’s a warrior, and it takes a push over the edge to snap her out of it. The Achilles back story is good, if not a little confusing, but this book shines when the W is front and center.
As for the penciling, I’m not really sure where Lopresti and Ryan’s art duties split (or if they do split at all– are they a pencils/colors team?) but upon my initial reading of the book I was never taken out of the moment, nor found myself saying “gah! art change!“– and in an age of superhero laziness that is definitely a plus. Oh you know the laziness I mean: that sort of “we can’t bother to draw backgrounds so here’s a big splotch of purple, oh and see this guy’s far away so we won’t give him any sort of detail at all” kind of laziness. As a matter of fact I’m nothing but impressed by looking at these pages. Diana’s pissed, for sure, but it starts as a calculated kind of pissed. You see her ripping open giant doors and destroying tanks and it looks effortless. Then as her anger escalates, when she can no longer hold it in, Lopresti/Ryan bring the house down (literally) and we’re left anxiously awaiting the chaos that’s sure to ensue next month.
But like I said, the real star here is Simone. I picked this title up because of her, to read solid, well-structured superhero stories, and have not once been disappointed. Just absolutely entertaining books. It’s not life changing or anything, sure, but… I mean come on DC, you pay so many shitty writers to take care of big books (I’m not specifically talking about Judd Winick here but come on let’s call a spade a spade) and then give Geoff Johns the rest of the work. Simone is in charge of one of your MAIN PROPERTIES and is absolutely CRUSHING it, and she still gets no love? Not even a half page ad saying “buy this book”? Get on the ball, gentlemen.
Captain America #48
Written by Ed Brubaker
Pencils by Steve Epting
Blah blah blah this is the best book Marvel puts out and you should be buying it already, let’s move on.
Waid is no stranger to team books (having written Justice League, Legion of Superheroes, and Fantastic Four) and treats this corporate property as he would one of Marvel or DC’s. It’s clearly an all-ages book, but he doesn’t dumb anything down, instead using grown-up language with age-appropriate themes. It’s the sort of comic I’d want my kid reading if I were a parent, but like Bone or the animated DC cartoons it’s compelling enough to keep an adult interested.
What’s most interesting about this book is how limitless the possibilities really are. The characters are such good archetypes that it feels like a universe you’re already immersed in, and yet it’s one that is completely untouched. Waid has room to create a multitude of heroes or villains, and even expand on the histories of the already created characters. This can lead to an ongoing, spinoffs, even a sort of Star Wars “expanded universe” feel with licensing of these new characters. Whatever happens with the future of this series I hope Waid continues to be involved because this was without a doubt my biggest surprise, and favorite book, of the week.
050 Watchmen wasn’t good and here are the reasons why, or at least some of the reasons, because I mean it was shitty for too many reasons to list here
Can I just be real with you right now? Hm? I’m just gonna be real with you guys, ok? One on one, me and the collective You, we’re just gonna rap here today. I think you guys know by now that I won’t bullshit you. I mean, at least that’s my hope. My hope is that, above all else, whether I’ve fooled you into thinking I’m clever or whether you realize I’m a terrible writer, that you come away with the sense that I will not bullshit you. Because in the end if something’s a real piece of shit I will tell you it is a real piece of shit. And Watchmen, my friends, was just a muddled, embarrassing piece of shit.
Wait, wait, wait, hold on. Come back. Just take it easy. I know. I know that was tough to read but don’t walk away just yet. It may seem like my words are too harsh. I know you’ve probably already seen it, too, and you’re saying to yourself “it wasn’t so bad.” You’re thinking I’m judging harshly on some comic book nerd basis of “Watchmen as unfilmable“, the Catcher in the Rye of comics, which could never and should never be adapted for the big screen. Right? That’s what you think is going through my head; that I was just going to hate it for the sake of hating it. And oh goodness, I wish I wasn’t so pessimistic before seeing it, because even I sometimes think maybe that’s the case. Maybe it really wasn’t all that bad and I am a nerd who just wanted so desperately for this movie to fail because damn the man for stealing my childhood and co-opting it! am I right?
But I start to think rationally about it and holy shit there were so many things that made this movie just plain bad.
Before we really get into a lot of the problems this film had, the overwhelming point I feel I need to get out of the way– the 400 pound gorilla in the room dressed in latex and a garter belt– is that Malin Ackerman is the worst thing to happen to movies in a really long time. I don’t want to actually put a date on it, because if I’m like, “oh, twenty years” and it turns out she’s really the worst thing to happen to movies in like fifty years I’m going to look like a dick with no credibility, so I’m just going to say a very long time. If you pick the lead actress in your “faithful” adaptation of one of the most iconic comics in history because she looks good in a slutty outfit– fuck, I’m not saying you need Meryl Streep but you’re shooting yourself in the foot from the get-go, boss. Every line seemed forced, every movement painful. I dunno, maybe she can sing or something? Maybe she’s like Beyonce, where she got the job because she’s a famous singer, or maybe she’s a popular model or something, and I’ve just never heard of her before? But I can guarantee that she was not chosen because she “best fit the role”. Of that I am 100% sure.
She wasn’t the only shitty actor in this flick (though she was clearly the worst.) Carla Gugino (Sally Jupiter): bad. Matthew Goode (Ozymandias): bad. Even Crudup didn’t wow me. Rorschach, played by Jackie Earle Haley, fucking nailed it, like really hit it out of the park. He was Rorschach. But even there I found problems– sometimes his mask was so distracting in its movement that it completely took me out of the movie. I like that they put in the effort to make the mask morph, but it was just too much. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian was watchable, but obviously not on screen for very long. Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl was good, but did not physically give the impression of a middle-aged out of shape ex-hero. The dude playing Nixon was more doing a funny impression than actual acting, which I’d be okay with if they hadn’t wedged him into the movie whenever possible.
But it wasn’t just performances; the aesthetics of the film were just horrendous. Ultra stylized. I mean ultra. It didn’t look gritty in the least, which they’re trying to sell you on the whole time. Maybe I’m not being clear enough… OK, so 300, right? The movie 300? It looked nice. Everybody was dirty and sweaty and gross but the film itself looked pretty. And that’s what I have to say about Watchmen. It’s supposed to be in this horrible, dystopian, on the brink of nuclear war, Nixon eighties but it just looks too nice. Everything was shiny. Sleek. The costumes looked like Joel Schumacher Batman costumes; the kind that in real life aren’t anything close to practical because not being able to move is an easy way to get killed in the superheroing business. (And I call bullshit on the people who say the costumes were supposed to be commentary on that Schumacher aesthetic because 1. why bother? and 2. if that is the case it failed and just ended up perpetuating a tired hero-movie motif.)
If you can get past all of this please, by all means, go see the movie on mute. Because when you get past shitty acting, bad casting, and inappropriate design you still have to listen to the soundtrack. The music choices ranged from the obvious to the out of place. I understand wanting to add the songs mentioned in the original material; that seems like a pretty good idea in theory but the execution was horrendous. Just absolutely shoehorned right in. Some guy on Twitter posted something I thought was funny before the movie came out: “My secret hope: Smashmouth’s All Star plays during the ending credits of Watchmen”. Yeah well
Fall Out Boy’s My Chemical Romance’s cover of “Desolation Row” was pretty fucking close.
And YEP I KNOW YOU’VE HEARD IT A MILLION TIMES BUT I THOUGHT I’D JUST REITERATE THAT THE SEX SCENE BETWEEN SILK SPECTRE AND NITE OWL IS CRINGE WORTHY AND THE USE OF LEONARD COHEN’S “HALLELUJAH” IS WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE, ESPECIALLY IN A SCENE THAT IS AS TACTFUL AND CINEMATICALLY PLEASING AS A LATE NIGHT CINEMAX SOFTCORE PORNO. I mean who in the world thought that was a good idea? I actually was at a loss for words. My jaw dropped. People were cracking up. And oh I get it the fire that shoots out of the flying owl is like when he cums lol how funny :-*
The storytelling– ack. The storytelling is the most interesting and innovative thing about Watchmen, the comic; and it’s the element most lacking in this film. The whole thing is so fucking ham fisted and in your face and HEY! HEY! LOOK! THIS IS WHAT WE MEAN! WERE WE TOO SUBTLE? OK THEN WE’LL JUST TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS WAY YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE YOUR FUCKING BRAIN FOR TWO SECONDS AND READ BETWEEN THE LINES, NO MATTER HOW THIN AND TRANSPARENT THOSE LINES ARE. I have never felt like such a fucking two year old in my life. This movie would imply something happens, then show you that it happened, and then just in case you STILL don’t get it, they tell you, in no uncertain words, that it happened. “Oh, I see, so those dogs probably ate that little g– ok, no they definitely ate her because they are showing it on screen gotcha.”; “Ah, so it looks like the Comedian was really Silk Spectre’s– oh, wait, no he definitely was because Dr. Manhattan just said it.” And here’s the thing: yeah the movie was very faithful to the original source material in a lot of ways. The problem there is that if you’re taking Watchmen: the comic and just putting it on screen without any sort of context as to what it is the story is trying to say– well, then you just didn’t do it right. And that goes for anything. If you adapt Catcher in the Rye and get Ryan Reynolds to play Holden Caufield and make it a romantic comedy you just don’t understand the work and you failed at making a film. And so instead of the deconstruction of superhero archetypes all that you have here is a step backwards; a movie that harks back to the pre-Batman Begins days when people still thought comics were stupid and were right in thinking so because all they saw was shit like this.
And I can go on: the gratuitous violence and the staged fight scenes capture everything the spirit of the book is against, and reinforce the fact that this movie was made just for the sake of being made. It was a mess, and if you hadn’t read the book I’m convinced you’d be confused because it was all over the damn place. There is no real artistry to this film, it was made completely for financial gain and notoriety. Which would be fine, except the bullshit we’re fed is that Zack Snyder loved the project so much, and that he fought to make it perfect, and blah blah blah. This is not just nerd whining, it’s obvious critique. These are problems. So maybe the issue isn’t all the people nitpicking about the movie’s flaws, but rather the people who are just accepting the flaws in a shitty movie just because they want it to be good. They think there’s some kind of justification in their being right in believing the movie would be good, and so will look at the positives and dismiss the negatives as “no big deal”. Well they are a big deal and that attitude does more harm than good, because when Watchmen 2: the Return of Dr. Manhattan comes out and DC has Judd Winick write the script and Hollywood says “ha ha remember Dark Knight? Who gives a shit anymore because this shit is dumb” you’re all going to whine and cry about how no one takes you seriously, and when that happens I want you to remember it’s because you didn’t have the balls to admit you were wrong.