Friday, April 08, 2022

INTERLUDE: For Chip Zdarsky

 How To Make Me Not Read Your Batman Comics:

"When DC approached me to write Batman, I immediately thought about things that could really challenge the character mentally, physically, and in terms of his relationships," Zdarsky said in an interview with ComicBook. "Failsafe is his Doomsday.”

Doomsday.  Lovechild of the Hulk and Porcupine Pete. Solomon Grundy's less articulate cousin.  Blockbuster without motivation.  The Living Plot Device.  The Monstrum Ex Machina.  Compound-Noun. Literally, the most-lazily-created character created in my lifetime (certainly in proportion to its role).

That was your immediate thought of what to do? For BATMAN?  

DC. Or DISCOVERY, if necessary. A word, if you will.

Please hire an adult to write Batman (have any of you seen his latest film?).

Rather than

Chip Zdarksy



John C said...

Even ignoring that his idea of a necessary story is a character to come out of nowhere to unceremoniously kill the hero--which is a legitimate teaser for a more substantial story, at least--naming the guy "Failsafe" exposes this for what it is: Yet another anti-Batman, that fans are supposed to pretend is an innovative idea filling an empty niche.

Also, like...isn't all of this "really challenge the character mentally, physically, and in terms of his relationships" nonsense just Bane?

I used to say that DC should make its writers fill out an application, where one of the questions is to fill in "I want this gig, because ever since childhood, I have always wanted to [insert change to make] [insert character to change]." If they write anything there, don't hire them. That policy would've saved us from Grant Morrison's "I don't have a plan other than to find an excuse to put a military brain into the Shaggy Man to give him a crewcut" Justice League run, and it would save us from an anti-Batman who forces Batman to Batman even harder than he has ever Batmanned before.

Scipio said...

naming the guy "Failsafe"

Naming ANY villain "CompoundNoun" at this point means your imagination is imprisoned in the 1990s.

Dave said...

That the Superman and Batman books have been so terribly written for the last few years is proof that, not only does DC/Warners/Discovery have no idea what to do with them, neither do the writers they hire.

This is why I was so shocked when they let Waid -- who gets both of them on a fundamental level -- do "World's Finest" (or whatever it's called); he knows why and how they both work.


Anonymous said...

"Naming ANY villain "CompoundNoun" at this point means your imagination is imprisoned in the 1990s."

Do you remember a Marvel villain from the 1970s / 1980s named Turner D. Century? He was really into the world as it was in the late 1800s, and he was absurd. Eventually he got murdered by Scourge and has remained dead.

BUT - we are now in the 21st century, and I see no reason why we shouldn't see the rise of Turnah Dee Century, who's obsessed with the late 1900s. He'd dress with lots of belts and pouches and holsters, he'd have grossly deformed muscles, and oh yes he would have strong opinions about the Spice Girls.

I think John C is right on the money about that questionnaire. For those who aren't tripped up by his question, I would then ask them, what are three things you should see in a good story about suchandsuch hero? If they have answers that are not hopelessly generic ("heroic" / "competent" / "virtuous" tells us nothing) and sound like they have a feel for the character, that's a good sign.