Friday, March 21, 2008

Here's what I love about comics

Every few years, some lunatic ties Batman to a chair for an entire issue and taunts him relentlessly. In my spotty memory, the lunatic role has been performed by Scarecrow (multiple times, not always limiting himself to a mere chair), one of several Clayfaces (that whole thing is way too complicated for me to sort out), and someone called the Obeah Man (and the Batman was actually Dick Grayson, if you want to get technical). Now comes Batman issue 674, which I believe is currently on newsstands, if you can find an actual newsstand anywhere.

The intentions are crystal clear on the cover:

That's right: the one and only Grant Morrison is behind this one! The story, which as far as I can tell is more or less self-contained, is a typically trippy Morrisonesque tale of hallucinations and false flashbacks and other twists of the sort that always get me going. But of course what really gets me going about the issue is imagery like this splash page--

--which, you will note, features one of my favorite bat-fetishes, the desecration (in this case, the absolute removal) of the chest emblem. The empty space allows some nice hair to poke through the hole, but that pales in comparison to what happens later. I'm cropping the next panel so as not to spoil anything, but then if you're reading a blog like this and you don't know that our hero is about to do something heroic, you are probably too young and/or innocent to be here at all:

Hooray to Mr. Morrison, and a big thank you to my Anonymous Donor for continuing to slip me the images that make my heart beat so.

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