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The Funk of Forty Thousand Years: Diana is Back, 11/12

Brian Hibbs

Obligatory ‘splanation for my month-long imitation of Susan Richards: I’m writing my graduate thesis, which means less Ed Brubaker on my desk and more Jack Kerouac. And while there’s probably some merit to comparing ON THE ROAD to SECRET INVASION/FINAL CRISIS, I’d much rather keep my studies and my fun-time separate.

Anyway, I finally clawed my way out of Limbo, though it seems I may have accidentally unleashed a great evil back into the world:

So, you know, sorry about that.

And before I get to reviewing: House to Astonish. Why? Because Paul O’Brien and Alistair Kennedy, that’s why. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Katz.

Comics time!

There’s really no way I can talk about BATMAN: CACOPHONY #1 with anything even approaching a straight face, so without further ado:

Oh my GOD.
Becky, look at that dialogue.
It is so BAD.
It sounds like one of those Millar books.
But, you know, who understands those Millar books?
They only buy it because the women look like total prostitutes, ‘kay?
I mean, his dialogue is just so BAD.
I can’t believe it’s so dumb, it’s like, OUT THERE.
I mean, gross! Look!
It’s just so… CRAP!

Do us all a favor, Mr. Smith: get thee to a nunnery. Or at the very least go back to film so we can press the mute button and not have to watch Batman channel G.I. Rabbi. Honestly, I know it’s fashionable to dislike Kevin Smith these days, and the last thing I want to do is look like I’m jumping on the Hate Wagon just because I feel like it, but this comic… ye Gods, this comic. It’s tired, it’s cliched, it’s downright horrific (because there are some things in this life I never want to see, and the Joker getting bummed by another supervillain is way up near the top of that list). It’s the sort of thing that makes you stop and wonder: how the hell did this reach publication? Did no one, at any point in the long and complex process of creating a comic, stop to think that charging four dollars for this piece of dreck is not going to help DC or the comics industry?

And I realize this reaction may be a bit over-the-top for a book that isn’t Frank Miller-bad or Chuck-Austen bad, but dammit, we’ve allowed the mainstream to reach a point where quality and price aren’t just detached from one another, they’re inversely proportionate. $3.99 for mediocre tripe? Why?

This comic made me think of Kevin Smith as the pushing-40 dad asking today’s kids “what’s hip”. And unfortunately, these kids are precisely the type of idiot that thinks Mark Millar is a pinnacle of talent. So that’s exactly what we get: shallow “shock”-oriented scenes like Zsasz’s Final Frontier of Self-Mutilation, and dialogue that’s completely realistic if you happen to live next-door to a playground for psychotic toddlers.

My only consolation is that the Vegas odds have the rest of this comic disappearing into the night before Smith really gets his groove on. But in the meantime, Brian, I suggest you keep this comic far away from ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER. Together they could tear another hole in the universe, and next time it’ll be the Backstreet Boys making a comeback…


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