Sunday, 9 February 2014

On Batman, Grant Morrison, The JLA & Mark Millar - This Week's Instalment Of "Shameless? The US Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar"

panel by Morrison, Millar, Porter et al from 1997'S JLA Secret Files & Origins

Having recently discussed the serious problems with Mark Millar's first stab at writing the Batman, this week's Shameless? turns to more successful endeavours. Admittedly - as is often case with Millar - controversy is rarely very far away. Yet his uses of the Batman in the second half of the Nineties show how quickly and impressively he improved as a writer over the period. Of course, many of these tales were written in collaboration with Grant Morrison, which raises a whole host of mysteries and debates. How anyone could write a book about Millar's work and sidestep confusion and dispute while doing so is quite beyond me ..

You can, if you choose, reach the latest post in the Shameless? series over at Sequart via here.


  1. I've not read that Superman Adventures you mention, so I downloaded it. It's fun, and I enjoyed the idea of Jack Motel, and Superman taking him for coffee. I was less impressed with Batgirl acting like a mini-Batman, all grumpy and defensive. And the idea that beating info out of crooks is basically the norm for all Gotham crimefighters doesn't sit well with me - oh well, at least Superman 'just' used psychological threats.

    Plus, a couple of plotholes - when did Hatter get Gordon and Bullock, and why didn't Superman try the twice-mentioned heat vision to find Bruce?

    I'm probably overthinking, it's a fun comic with - horrible TV tiny-Batgirl-with-Proty-for-hair apart - lovely art.

    Off now to find Superman's Seventies team-ups with Babs!

    1. Hello Martin:- I'm glad you enjoyed Superman Adventures #25. While not the best of Millar's SA tales, it's a smart, fast-moving adventure and I'm absolutely at a loss to know why it isn't currently collected in print. Given that Millar's name would undoubtedly shift copies, it's something of a mystery. I can only conclude that his name must REALLY be mud over there. A daft business.

      I will agree that Batgirl does seem hyper-intense. I've always put it down to the responsibility that's suddenly devolved upon her shoulders; not only Batman but Nightwing are out of action and she's stepping up to fulfil a particular role. But I've been collecting other issues of the BAS comic from the period as well as the later animated episodes, so I'll be in a position to make a better judgement when the time comes to discuss the SA run as a whole. I hope they'll tell me how convincing Millar's portrayal was in comparison with the cartoon's canon.

      I will certainly admit that I can at times be ... uncomfortable with certain aspects of Bruce Timm's designs when it comes to women. As brilliant an artist as he is, his female characters can seem inappropriately petite at times.

      I recall a Superman/Batgirl team-up from the 70s in a Supes book with a Nick Cardy cover. Set in Washington, if I remember rightly. Of all the daft secret identities, THAT one of Babs' really took the biscuit ....