After reading way too much Grant Morrison Batman earlier this summer, I needed a break. I was genuinely surprised that there was hundreds of themes and ideas in those books. I'm sure that after reading these books and the other series, I will find a lot more. From a long-time comic readers standpoint, Grant Morrison's Batman run is thoroughly entertaining. However it is fair to say that these are almost comics for the fanboy connoisseur. These are not books that can be read in the bath, slightly pissed Stella Artois 4%.
So, denied the opportunity to re-read Batman and Robin (or indeed the other GM Batman works, as they, indeed 95% of the comic collection, are in storage), I ordered and read 'Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero in three days last week. This, to me, was great stuff. There is the right mix of Comic Book (and more specifically Superhero) History and writers biography. Indeed, I was genuinely surprised to not remember him burying anybody. And the three page review of Joel Schumachers' 'Batman & Robin' made me laugh out load. So, if you haven't bought it yet, it is wholeheartedly recommended.
One thing, that came out of it that made me think: Whoa. And not in a good way.
This was Morrison's take on the outrage that 'Batman RIP' provoked. Now, I was only really starting to re-take an interest in Batman around this time, and I do remember there truly was a lot of mainstream publicity of Batman being killed off. I remember saying to a civilian friend when he asked me if I was going to buy the last ever Batman. I surprised him with my response: that there was no way in hell DC Comics would permanently kill off one of their biggest cash cows! I'm old enough to remember how Superman died, it took over a year, but he did eventually recover from being dead.
Most comic fans 'get this'. We're a cynical bunch, really. We get it that the publishers will use a lot of ruses to get us to put our hands in our pockets and pay a couple of quid for their books. We fall for the marketing campaigns hook, line and sinker. I'll even admit, that even after a proper rant about the DC Re-Thingy, that I'm excited to know what happens in Action Comics #1. But in short, I get it. It's just a comic.
Sadly, not everyone gets it. According to Grant Morrison he actually received Death Threats over RIP.
Death Threats? Just take a minute to let that one settle in...
Death Threats. Maybe this is not news to anyone, maybe I missed this original news thread about this. It is certainly news to me. What the Hell?
In the name of all that is holy, this is only a comic book character.
I enjoy Batman, I love the world creation of Gotham City. So much so, that the Batman Quest, if ever finished, will be quite an excellent thing. Yes, it will take years, and a lot of money. But I am not, nor will ever be, a zealot for this thing. And I sure as hell won't be threatening to kill anyone over the plight of this creation. I think that there is more important things to worry about on Planet Earth. And more pressing concerns that need to be, and can be, addressed on Plane Earth than Batman.
It is this context that I thoroughly understand Grant Morrison's views about leaving the internet fan community, so the lunatics can run their own asylum. And he's right, I see this lunacy all over comic book forums. Occasionally, a holier-than-thou attitude appears and anger erupts over the smallest statement or opinion. For example, I've lost count about how many times CBR have had to end a thread about Miller & Lee's 'All Star Batman and Robin', because it degenerates into outrageous insults and libellous slurs. This is an attitude I have no patience for, and do everything I can avoid to get involved with.
And over what? A fictional character.