Frank Miller’s new take on the Boy Wonder’s origins takes a few chapters to get used to. Maybe because it takes the story a few chapters to actually begin. But mainly because you’ve never seen the caped crusader like this. We all know he’s crazy. That’s his shtick. A crazy crimefighter chasing crazy criminals. But in this extravagant epic, he’s just weird. He constantly refers to himself as the “goddamn Batman,” has outdoor sex with other sexy vigilantes (with masks on) and he laughs, yes, he actually laughs, out loud – while he beats his victims to a bloody pulp. Isn’t that supposed to be the M.O. of another certain Gotham psycho? Maybe he’s just trying to out-flake the other flawed superheroes in the book (including a sexist Wonder Woman, Superman the control freak and Green Lantern, the douchebag).
Robin is kidnapped by Batman on the night of his parents’ murder, thrown into the bowels of the batcave and made to stay there for days without bread and water. That’s child abuse, isn’t it? Well, it’s for his own good. The boy needs to be toughened up if he’s gonna spend his next years running around the big city, fighting the scum of the earth in his undies.
Miller’s Sin City-esque dialogue sounds a bit strange up against Jim Lee’s Image-esque artwork (which is flippin’ gorgeous, by the way, and makes the whole purchase worthwhile, whether you like the story or not). But that too, will grow on you. Some hardcore batfans will hate this thing. Others will realise that it’s actually a dark comedy, and as such, quite entertaining.
- What: All Star Batman & Robin: The Boy Wonder
- By: Frank Miller and Jim Lee