Customer Review

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another dip in the Frank Miller collection, April 16, 2011
This review is from: All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder (Paperback)
There's no question that Frank Miller is a creative genius. Unfortunately, Miller's gift is never a sure thing. For every "Dark Knight Returns," there is a "Dark Knight Strikes Again." And for every "Batman: Year One," there is an "All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder."

This could, I suppose, be titled "Robin: Year One," except that Chuck Dixon beat Miller to the punch several years prior, and he did a great job with it, too. This effort, which takes us from just before the murder of Dick Grayson's parents through his early days of training in the Batcave and first few outings as Robin, is a story only a sadist could love. "All-Star" gives us a Batman who is brutal, maniacal and without conscience. He doesn't rescue Grayson: he abducts him, then subjects him to mental, emotional and physical torture. He doesn't work with Gotham City's police department in any capacity; figuring the cops are all corrupt anyway, he beats them or kills them if they get in his way. And Jim Gordon, Batman's only ally on the force, doesn't seem to mind too much if a few cops get wasted on his watch. Meanwhile, Miller continues to show his disdain for the other DC heroes: Superman is a pompous oaf, Green Lantern is a talentless idiot, Wonder Woman is a raging man-hater. Other characters are rewritten to suit Miller's whims: Black Canary is now an Irish bartender who goes on a rampage after one too many customers called her "sweet chunks," Jimmy Olsen now works in Gotham, Vicki Vale is a hard-hitting columnist who goes damp at the mere mention of Bruce Wayne's name and Batgirl is just an eager girl with a gimmick.

The text -- both the dialogue and Batman's, Robin's and everyone else's inner monologues -- is endlessly repetitive and needlessly profane. The plot is simple and shallow, lacking any real direction beyond Miller's attempt to shock his readers. But, after so many stories that have actually shocked us with some purpose, this bland and witless parody falls flat. It's not edgy, Frank, it's just violent. On the plus side, Jim Lee's art is simply fantastic.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(net) editor
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 12, 2013 9:05:14 AM PST
I'm not sensitive by any means, but your description of Vicki Vale--as you perceive her portrayed by Miller, not necessarily how her character truly behaves--is offensive and shocking. You have no business being a Vine Reviewer with such a desensitized wit.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 9:17:38 AM PST
Tom Knapp says:
Since this IS how her character behaves, you should probably be glad you were warned -- if this review offended and shocked you, the book itself would make your toes curl.
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