Frank Miller’s All Star Batman & Robin Is So Bad, It’s Actually Awesome

In 2005, DC teamed legendary Batman amusing writer Frank Miller and evenly legendary artist Jim Lee for what they clearly hoped would be the ultimate Batman comedian. What they got was a comedian in which Batman called Robin “ retarded. ” In short, they got the worst Batman amusing ever made. And I love it. Let me be perfectly clear here : As a representation of Batman, All Star Batman & Robin is a monumental failure. As the “ ultimate ” version of the Dark Knight, well, All Star ’ s Batman is so bad, it ’ south as if Miller was secretly trolling DC, trying to create the least ultimate Batman of all meter. But the results, while atrocious on many levels, are besides massively, massively entertaining. It ’ s so spectacularly wrong that it ’ second kind of brilliant. In fact, if you can wrap your promontory around the estimate that Miller is trying to indulge all the worst instincts of superhero comics ’ primarily male, adolescent audience, and thus satirize the atrocious excesses mainstream comics have gone to in order to ingratiate themselves to these readers, All Star Batman could be considered brilliant. Of course, as Frank Miller ’ randomness lineage into lunacy and crankiness over the years has irrefutably proven, this could not have been his intention, but the comedian still works on this degree anyhow.

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Take, for case, the very beginning of topic # 1, in which journalist Vicki Vale dictates notes about some hard-hitting story while lounging in vastly impractical lingerie in her own apartment. As Lee draws photograph after picture of Vale ’ sulfur fuck, the book much shouts the absurdity of its incredible sexism and superhero comics ’ hope to give adolescent boy boners. And that ’ s just for starters. All Star Batman & Robin wants to explore the basest of its primary audience ’ sulfur desires by fulfilling them all to excess. In effect, All Star ’ sulfur Batman is practically a adolescent male child in Batman ’ s body—how else could you possibly explain the scenes of Batman cackling in hilarity as he ran along the rooftops of Gotham City at night, because it ’ s good indeed amazing being Batman ? All Star Batman knows that being a super-buff, super-handsome, super-rich badass who is unfettered by all social obligation, including the jurisprudence, would be wholly rad, and thus there ’ s no room for an iota of Batman ’ s traditional brood or tragic underpinnings. rather, this Batman takes all of his traditional behaviors to their logical—and illogical—extremes. He beats up bad guys in gloat. He kidnaps an orphan against his will to join his brainsick crusade. He says “ Goddamn ” constantly. He berates Robin for talking back to him. He calls people names while he beats them up ! He has sexual activity with Black Canary on a cruddy Gotham pier in the pour rain—not because these are the things that make Batman cool, just gone wholly out of control. Batman ’ s a badass ! He takes no sass ! Ladies love him ! ad

There ’ s no better exercise of this than how All Star Batman deals with his fellow superheroes. In Miller ’ s The Dark Knight Returns, Batman uses his intelligence and readiness to fight and defeat Superman, in a confrontation that has influenced his relationships with his DC counterparts for decades. Again, All Star takes this to its most absurd extreme as Batman arranges to have Green Lantern meet him in a room he has forced Robin to paint wholly yellow—including Batman and Robin themselves—in order to negate Green Lantern ’ randomness powers then Hal knows precisely who ’ s in charge. And, for kicks, Batman is besides drinking lemonade during this meeting, because All Star Batman is such a brilliant arse. even if you somehow don ’ thyroxine buy that Batman ’ sulfur arrested exploitation can be seen as a feral indictment of what a traditional, teenaged male audience like more about the Dark Knight, the sight of Batman going so far out of his way just to be a cock to Green Lantern is goddamned hilarious. The book is amusing, if entirely because you know how badly Miller took it all. Another perfect exercise : When Wonder Woman makes her debut by telling a random dandy to “ Get out of my means, sperm bank. ” Wonder Woman referring to a guy as the total of his generative capability is profoundly entertain. It ’ second barely that I would argue it ’ s so spectacularly amiss that it ends up being kind of bright. ad

actually, that ’ s All Star Batman & Robin in its entirety—so misguided, it becomes a solve of genius. Hey, fair because you watched your parents gets murdered as a 12-year-old and dedicated your entire life to fighting crime and avenging their deaths doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate mean you can ’ thyroxine look at the light side of things, correctly ? ad

That ’ sulfur right, Batman. Sometimes life is good. Contact the author at rob @ io9.com .

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