Return of Bruce Wayne and a Comics Manifesto

DC’s “Return of Bruce Wayne” was released yesterday. It exceeded my expectations, and expectations were high.

This is a difficult comic to write about. It’s something like the beginning of a new age for Grant Morrison’s Batman epic that began nearly four entire years ago with issue #655. (His run on that title went on for nearly 30 issues, then weaved into the “Final Crisis” mini-series, then onto the now 12-issue long “Batman & Robin.”) “Return of Bruce Wayne” is also kind of a pseudo-sequel to “Final Crisis,” which means it’s sort of a prequel to every story ever written (anywhere). It’s a story that takes place back in time, beginning with prehistory, that has its most immediate repercussions at exactly this point in time (being issues #10-12 of the ongoing “Batman & Robin”). It’s, you know, involved.

Here’s the problem with “involved”: comic books don’t really have a vanguard of critics like films do. Readers may look to niche figures like Douglas Wolk for intellectual input, but for every one of said figures, there are thousands of fanboys that post online and serve as a kind of governing body, excreting loud opinions en masse and muddying the discourse. Sometimes these fanboys find professional work and have their birdbrained critiques elevated on a major platform, but that never serves to develop their writing to anything more than kneejerk yammering.

To put this in a more direct perspective, one of the first things I came upon while Googling “Return of Bruce Wayne” was this review, posted on a blog I’ve never heard of but for all intents and purposes no different than those I know and respect as legitimate, smart institutions. The problem is this: the aforementioned review was genuinely stupid, in the most literal sense of the word. And sure, there’s a conflict of interest here, you might think (I liked the comic, Jay Galette didn’t), but that difference in taste is not what bothers me: it’s the utter inability for many who write about this medium to do much beyond taking a work at face value and panning it. (Or, by that token, taking a work at face value and blindly praising it; these are equally horrible and ubiquitous phenomena.) Though most of my ilk love to do things like write thousand-word blog essays about how “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Watchmen” legitimized the comic book to the American mainstream, we seem unable to advance our own thoughts to match the work on display. It’s why comics don’t really get a prominent place in our media, why seeing a story in The New York Times about “Seven Soldiers of Victory” is so wild; even when people do want to do journalistic work about the funny pages, the right people and the right stories are hard to find. Comic book fans cherish a medium that is niche to begin with, and we further bury it with our inanity.

Jay Galette, in the above-linked review, says things like “nothing happens” and “apparently getting hit by the Omega Beams leaves you all types of messed up because Bruce doesn’t really say anything intelligible the entire issue, all of his words just run together,” which is going to sound like complete mumbo jumbo to many of you, but bear with me as this is important. First, the assertion that “nothing happens” is completely idiotic. It’s false. It’s hard to even address. A lot of things happen in this comic, especially in reference to “Final Crisis” and “Batman & Robin,” both comics wherein a lot of things happen. In “Return of Bruce Wayne,” these things don’t happen in a lavish setting or over a great span of time. The story is simple. But this does not mean that “nothing happens.”

And now the “omega beams.” Brace yourselves: Mr. Galette is referencing the “Omega Sanction,” which Darkseid (the lord of all darkness and a literal evil god; just look at the bastard) used on Bruce Wayne in the pages of “Final Crisis.” Grant Morrison, the writer of most everything referenced in this post, has used this device in two of his major works: first in the “Mister Miracle” story in “Seven Soldiers of Victory,” then later in Crisis. It’s been used both times as an attack from Darkseid on a hero that inflicts “the death that is life,” a metaphysical journey through time and space that basically has the hero live an infinite number of lives. In “Mister Miracle,” the titular hero escaped this effect and came back out in his normal timeline and dimension a mere number of seconds after being exposed to it. (But of course, the clever twist is that Mister Miracle had the imprint of these infinite lived lives on his soul even if basically no “real” time passed; it’s sort of this Slaughterhouse-Five notion of becoming “unstuck in time” and totally vulnerable to the power of the abstract.)

The specifics of the Omega Sanction are hazy, but they deserve to be to keep things exciting. Certain comic book readers can’t handle this. They need precise “continuity” and explanations in what they read. They spurn metaphor and subtlety. Which is certainly their prerogative, but they find themselves with a Morrison-penned work and don’t know what to do with it. So they criticize. It strikes me as unjust. This is not to say that I think that Grant Morrison (and his contemporaries) should not ever have to endure scrutiny and criticism or that all of his work is perfect. He may be my favorite writer, but I have read several cogent arguments against pretty much every one of his works. These criticisms keep me engaged. They keep me interested. They further my thought.

Which is obviously the point of criticism to begin with, and why it’s so deplorable that comic book criticism, broadly speaking, just hasn’t arrived yet.

Galette, in talking about the “omega beams,” fails to look beyond the obvious. It is true that Bruce Wayne, after emerging from the primordial Batcave, has speech bubbles that are garbled nonsense. But it’s also true that the cavemen he encounters have speech bubbles that are comprised of perfect (if base) English. Might Morrison have made this deliberate choice to play upon the expectations of the reader and communicate how alien Bruce Wayne has become as a result of the Omega Sanction? Perhaps.

It’s not even that subtle: at one point in the comic, Superman comes out of the sky (for an assuredly elaborate reason that has yet to be fully explained but will be in the upcoming “Vanishing Point” series; not important) and basically flat out says “Bruce Wayne is fucked up because of this shit and doesn’t even know who he is anymore!” Grant Morrison does that to make the comic accessible and to develop plot, but the meat and potatoes here is the writing and art working in beautiful unison to create a distinct feeling of unease that puts the reader in the title character’s shoes. In a metaphorical sense. While a reader who doesn’t want to bother even considering these things might look at a panel of Bruce splayed out in front of a massive dead prehistoric bat and think “hur, nothing is happening here,” the fact of the matter is that panel terrified me. That is some freaky, good shit! But it might require some cognition to have impact.

At the end of the day, I don’t really care how people enjoy their comics. Certainly not everyone needs to pick up a Batman comic and approach it as literature. But those that are going to write about comics should at least take them seriously. “Return of Bruce Wayne” may be difficult to write about, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.


33 Responses to “Return of Bruce Wayne and a Comics Manifesto”

  1. You’re the man to do it right, clearly.

  2. Great Article! I also am frustrated by the lack of serious criticism on comic books. However I am also skeptical of anyone that would want to apply literary criticism to comic books. I don’t think comic books are literature. I am not trying to detract from the seriousness that i think the medium deserves. I just think it is asinine to transpose the tools of completely different medium and apply it whole sale. The work of Douglas Wolk resonates with so many people not only because he takes it seriously but because he analyses from the ground up. Measuring what it is from it isn’t. Right now I am really enthralled with the work of Comics Alliance. Yes they like most such hubs they are prone to fanboyism. However articles like the racial politics of regressive storytelling are fantastic and I am happy comic fans are thinking about it.

    Anyway to return to Batman: I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. However that’s mostly because I wasn’t expecting it to be so Final Crisis heavy. A lot of the details from final crisis has receded from memory. It wasn’t bad by any reasonable measure. It just a case of misplaced expectation.

    • Comics Alliance is great, shouldn’t have left that out.

      I think I particularly liked Return of Bruce Wayne BECAUSE of how it tied into Final Crisis, ha!

      • Yeah I love Final Crisis, I am glad its given me a reason to reread it. I am sure I will love RoBW once I am a little more regrounded in FC.

  3. AmyMad! Says:

    While I do agree with you, especially the final point (But those that are going to write about comics should at least take them seriously), would you please spell Galette’s name consistently?

    He’s a friend of mine. Ta.

  4. TheDarkshineKnight Says:

    In saying that “nothing happens,” it’s fairly obvious that he’s making a hyperbolic statement with regards to the overall plot of RoBW and not the issue itself. Here’s what was established:

    * The time capsule from Final Crisis landed in prehistoric times.
    * Bruce Wayne no longer knows who he is.
    * If Bruce manages to make it back to the present by means of his own power, very bad things will happen.

    That’s not very much. Most of what occurred in the comic was instead fairly self-contained. I thought it made for a good single issue, but clearly the reviewer was considerably more concerned about the overall plot.

    With regards to the quote about the omega beams, I don’t expect everyone to have read Seven Soldier of Victory and in particular the Mr. Miracle miniseries; professional reviews especially since I doubt they have time to read everything on the market. It was, after all, the least successful of the seven miniseries in terms of sales. It also happened to be my favorite of the seven, but, that’s beside the point.

    So, I’m not really sure why you bothered to rant about this. If you’re claiming that it’s unprofessional of the reviewer the say that “nothing happened” and the bit about the Omega Sanction, then I think you’re getting worked up about something extremely inconsequential as this wasn’t nearly as abstract or symbolic as other Morrison stories.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      I used Galette’s review to try to talk about something of a bigger issue, so I hope people realize that the overall point of this article isn’t just for me to rant about one reviewer’s “unprofessionalism.”

      And frankly, based even on your outline, it sounds like a lot happened in this issue to me. What, exactly, would constitute “a lot” happening in any given comic story?

      • TheDarkshineKnight Says:

        I suppose it would be silly to try and define “a lot” since it’s an entirely subjective quantity. However, if I were to attempt to define it, I would say that any issue of Final Crisis would suffice as an example. Every issue of Final Crisis was packed with interesting mysteries to follow and symbolism to analyze. I assume quite a few people were let down by RoBW as despite it being a pseudo-sequel to Final Crisis, it wasn’t nearly as dense a story.

    • Also, I wanted to say this earlier but had to run out the door: why, exactly, should anyone view “amount of stuff happening” as a worthwhile component of critique for a single comic book issue? This was a problem I constantly had with online commentators writing about the Final Crisis series as it was released. Yes, the format gives us little choice but to assess individual issues rather than an entire story at first, but so many people fail to account for the fact that they are viewing one sliver of what will ultimately be a complete narrative. It seems to me that we have quite a bit to look forward to with Return of Bruce Wayne, and even though I think the “nothing happened” complaint is faulty to begin with, it’s beyond absurd when you consider that this was a 48-page expository issue of what will end as a nearly 300-page graphic novel. The question should not be “did enough happen?” but rather, “did what happened occur in a significant, entertaining and successful fashion?”

      I mean, not to dig up too reductive an example, but “Seinfeld” is one of the most successful sitcoms of all time and its entire premise is “nothing happens.” This is really not a meaningful criterion to apply to literature or entertainment.

      Despite using Galette’s review as a clear example of what I’m talking about, I’m not really so mad about him in particular saying that “nothing happened” in one issue of Return of Bruce Wayne. I’m mad about the neglect that pervades comic book criticism as I’ve seen it. Certainly this problem isn’t the end of the world, but you saying “I’m not really sure why you bothered to rant about this” kind of tickles me; why did you bother to rant about MY rant? Perhaps because we both think this is a discourse worth having?

  5. I have to say, the last thing I thought I’d see when I went to check the comments on my Return of Bruce Wayne #1 review was a link to a manifesto. That’s the last thing I ever expect to see when I click a link.

    I could tell from the start that my opinion would differ from that of Mr. Beres as soon as I read “This is a difficult comic to write about.” That’s just the thing; it isn’t at all.

    Bruce exits the cave after finishing the carvings he began at the end of Final Crisis. He meets the cavemen and they are attacked by Vandal Savage’s tribe. Vandal chooses to wait until morning to kill Bruce who is having a fever dream about the giant bat carcass in front of him. He is saved by Boy. He dresses himself in the Bat-skin. He lays the smack-down on Vandal Savage and then leaps off into the future. Superman, Booster Gold and Green Lantern appear and Superman gives a vague little speech about how Batman returning to the 21st century without their help will doom everyone.

    That’s what happened in the issue and that’s what I judged it on. Batman fought cavemen and Superman told us something terrible is going to happen. As far as I’m concerned nothing happened and it bored me. Now if you were expecting me to go into some deep analysis about the parallels between this and Final Crisis (although I think it would be more apt to look at this story as sequel to Batman R.I.P. rather than one to Final Crisis,) or acknowledge the link between Bruce’s night terror about the bat and unraveling mystery of Barbatos which is being revealed in Batman & Robin, well I’m just not going to do that. Why? Well it certainly has nothing to do with me lacking “cognition.”

    Thank you, by the way, for tossing in that snide little insult. I’m glad to see that higher level of discourse you want for comics includes petty flaming.

    When it boils down, I didn’t write about any of the parallels and symbolism and groundwork because I didn’t give a damn about any of them. And I didn’t give a damn about any of them because the writer didn’t make me give a damn. This issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne might as well have been the latest episode of LOST. Yeah this stuff is important to the story as a whole, but good job presenting it in the most uninteresting way possible. Grant Morrison told us this story was supposed to show us why Batman was cool. I don’t think this part of the story did that and no amount of hypertextuality is going to change the way I feel.

    Don’t get me wrong though – just because I don’t think RoBW #1 is a good comic doesn’t mean I think Grant Morrison is telling a bad story, it’s just off to a slow, uninteresting start.

    What this really comes down to is the fact that you took a review that I barely took seriously (and only did as a companion to my I Hate You, Bruce Wayne column,) very seriously – enough so to write up a manifesto about the weakness of comics journalism and the stupidity of your fellow comic book fans.

    Do you really think comics don’t get a prominent place in our media because of the lack of respectable commentators? Maybe comics would benefit from having a Roger Ebert but that would not change the way they are perceived by the populace at large. Regardless of all the comics out there that can be regarded as pieces of art it’s impossible to deny the negative connotations that the average person thinks of when they hear the words “comic book.” Until a massive shift in consciousness occurs, comics will always be regarded as “Superhero kiddy stuff.”

    Even to speak in defense of the genre and tout examples of superhero work which push the boundaries of content and form the bias against it will remain. In the eyes of millions of people, the ideas of someone like Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis will always be worth less because they did not choose a more widely accepted medium such as film, television or even prose. There’s a part of me that thinks one would be more socially well-received if they were the writer of a cartoon rather than of a comic.

    What’s really hurting comics in regards to mainstream acceptance is the fact that they still haven’t been fully accepted within academia. I once had a professor who made sure to include a graphic novel on the syllabus of every course she taught. If only every English (or Philosophy, or Art or Psychology or Communications) professor could take the time to explore the passageways of America’s forgotten medium; we’d have a massive shift in the way people view comic books.

    Some comics have managed to break into the mainstream but they’re almost always the ones which fall outside superhero genre. Even worse is that often it seems these comics gain mainstream popularity simply because they aren’t about superheroes, as if their existence somehow legitimizes and de-stigmatizes the medium. It’s not a coincidence that once the film version of Persepolis was released Barnes & Nobles started shelving the graphic novel in the memoir section rather than with all the other comics. The slowly spreading mainstream acceptance of comics isn’t happening medium-wide the way I think most of us would hope and instead we’re seeing a polarization based around genre much in the same way it exists in other mainstream entertainment mediums.

    Superhero comics are the action movies of the comic book medium. Grant Morrison, god bless him, might as well be writing Rambo V: Rambo In Time, so forgive me if I don’t take that all too seriously. The flaw in your manifesto was that you thought there needed to be a change in the way we write about comics when really it’s that we need to change the way we write about superhero comics.

    Personally, I think if we take them too seriously no one else will. They’re just stories and it’s not a big deal if I didn’t like one (or that I didn’t express my dislike pretentiously enough.) I don’t get mad at people who tell me they don’t like The Catcher In The Rye because Holden is too whiny; you should be able to handle me writing a review where I don’t talk about how Grant Morrison did his Grant Morrison thing.

    I take a look at a blog like Rikdad’s and I definitely appreciate what that guy is doing and just the fact that he’s willing to sift through so many back-issues to find connections to the current story is commendable.

    But I don’t think it’s enough.

    It’s not enough for us as fans to only breakdown and discuss the significance of themes/ideas from a comic within just the context of that particular comic and comics that connect to it. Comics are a part of our culture and they carry with them the weight of our history and a shared set of values we’ve built up around the concept of hero.

    The Return of Bruce Wayne isn’t just a story about Batman testing himself through time, it’s about Batman being reborn and rebuilt through time. This is a man who we have seen do the impossible yet there are still fans who cry “Batman shouldn’t be time-traveling or fighting aliens! I like him more grounded!” So Grant Morrison is taking him and putting him through an impossible paradigm to give birth to a new Batman – one whose origins lie in Bat-demons, the spite of an evil fallen god and history itself.

    What does it mean for superhero comics as a whole, when the only way we can accept a man handling the impossible is by seeing him birthed through it? What does that mean for us as human beings and things we think mankind can handle?

    Morrison is trying to change the way we think about Batman so that we can take in all those crazy stories from the 50s that no one ever talks about. This epic sweeping story he’s writing is all about making us willing to accept any and all stories about the Dark Knight.

    He’s asking us to take superheroes less seriously.

    • Hey look, a fully-formed opinion that makes me question my own. Why wasn’t THIS your review? 😉

      In any case, I didn’t realize linking to your review would put a comment beneath it, and as such I (very ignorantly) figured you would probably not come across this. I should be more mindful of the insults or what have you in the future, so sorry about that but thank you for the thoughtful response. I genuinely appreciate you taking the time.

      One point I would like to address, though, is the notion of Morrison wanting us to take superheroes less seriously. I don’t get that from his wacky “EVERYTHING IS CANON” stance, but rather the opposite. He has an intense reverence for the mythology of these characters and universes. Otherwise, I can’t do much to respond to this other than admit that we obviously differ in opinion and have equally substantial reasons for doing so.

      Why you would ever admit that a bit of your published writing was a “review that I barely took seriously” as a defense is kind of beyond me, though, and seems to kind of communicate my point a bit, but whatever.

      • Also. I would never use the word “manifesto” seriously. Please appreciate from my tone that I am not about to slit my wrists about this or anything.

      • I’m going to work at that bottom up (or really, the bottom, then top, then middle) I don’t have a problem admitting I barely took the review seriously because I find the practice of reviewing individual issues somewhat distasteful. One-shots or whole story lines I can vibe with, though.

        The only real point I wanted to get across in my review that those who were expecting some sort of Earth-shattering/mind-blowing first issue weren’t going to get that. I found the issue boring, I put that across in my review and there were some people agreed with me and some didn’t.

        I didn’t write some big piece on the first issue, because, well, I knew someone else would come along and do that. I think it’s pretty clear I have no beef with Grant Morrison (in fact, I love Grant Morrison) but if I’m going to write something big and wanky about The Return of Bruce Wayne, I’ll wait until it’s done and say my real peace then.

        As to why this wasn’t my review, I think you can attest to the fact that us comics fans are an ornery lot. Whether I liked your posting or not, I cannot deny that it definitely rekindled a bit of that old self-righteous message-board warfare mode I haven’t engaged in since high school, coupled with the self-righteousness that comes along with being an English major.

        Onto Morrison again: You’re definitely right about the reverence he has for Batman and the DC Universe (hell, he had it for the Marvel Universe too) but when I say he wants us to take heroes less seriously I don’t really mean the heroes individually, I mean the concept of superhero all together. There’s been a lot of things built up around it and the worst ones are easily the notions of continuity and I guess what I’d have to term as being “genre-walls”

        And as for my actually seeing this posting: I’m actually pretty relieved that I saw it accidentally. I had been under the impression that my review had you so incensed that you absolutely felt the need to tell me how you felt about it, hahaha. Knowing what I know now definitely changes the way I feel about the use of the word manifesto.

        Had the editor ever got around to posting this at Nexus (it’s been sitting in the queue since Friday morning) I was actually going to call this my treatise, hahaha

      • “Onto Morrison again: You’re definitely right about the reverence he has for Batman and the DC Universe (hell, he had it for the Marvel Universe too) but when I say he wants us to take heroes less seriously I don’t really mean the heroes individually, I mean the concept of superhero all together. There’s been a lot of things built up around it and the worst ones are easily the notions of continuity and I guess what I’d have to term as being “genre-walls” ”

        This is actually kind of fascinating and totally on-target, I think.

    • Wow. This was a great comment. Its funny I think dberes wins here solely because he managed to get this out of you.

      A few thoughts I have about this. I got the impression that Dberes wasn’t advocating criticism of the type of Roger Ebert but perhaps someone like Robert Stam. In that case this has nothing to do with mainstream acceptance. This comes down to aesthetics and what importance you place on it in the western enterprise of thought. Moreover is has to do with demarcating exactly how and why comics are a vehicle for aesthetics and how it contributes to it. Dberes i think is trying to say people are interested in those questions should check out comics or if they already interested in them comics they should apply the rigour of that line of questioning to comics. Obviously this just goes to show an innate love and faith in comics(sequential art, graphic literature, illustrated narratives, whatever you want to call it) as a medium that is special enough to deserve its own unique discourse.

      My other thing i want to say is I vehemently disagree with your statement that morrison wants us to take superhero comics less seriously but only because I agree with everything else you said. I really like the rebirth analogy here. I think his project is a radical restructuring of what it means for a superhero comic to be serious. Since probably Moore deconstruction of superhero comics with the watch, the experience of what a serious superhero comic book has been basically applying a certain modernist literary technique to comics books: psychological realism. I think the grimm and gritty was only a secondary effect. I love the watchmen (and films like the darknights) but once you introduce that you can never go home again. Those stories just seem naive. Grant Morrison project is to construct a discourse not that returns to the sensibility of those stories but makes them admissible. Its a daunting project, no wonder it so sprawling and deals with life death and rebirth of gods. None-the-less like all authentic returns its not really a return, its completely new. A comic book medium where the zany 50’s stories are accepted after the watchmen is radical transformation of superhero comics as a literary genre.

  6. Being one of the people that at first read didn’t think “a lot” happened I think this issue is deceptively packed with symbols and mysteries to analyze. That is once you’re reimmersed with the narrative of final crisis.

    That being said although I don’t think one should “expect” for someone to read Mr. Miracle in that i think don’t think its likely they have, they really should. RoBW is a sequel to final crisis which is itself a sequel to seven soldiers, particularly miracle man. You can complain about how sprawling that may seem, that perhaps it should be more of a stand alone. Fine. However I personally love that aspect of it.

    • I would also like to say that I am by no means one of those people that annotates every issue of “Batman and Robin” and attempts to draw a tremendous bit of meaning from even the most incidental of symbols, though I do enjoy reading such work even if I sometimes feel it’s a bit far fetched. Everyone kind of has to decide what level of subtext they’re going to buy into (especially with Grant Morrison comics). I think there is something between a basic read through and a painstaking analysis, and I want THAT to be appreciated.

      Frankly, most people I know that read comic books would probably read this post and think, “man, chill, I just wanted to see caveman Batman pummel some dudes.” I do not think this is an incorrect way to enjoy comic books. (Or that there is an incorrect way, even.) I do think 90% of all comic book reviews I read, however, are too informed by this thought process to be of use to anyone or the evolution of the medium.

      • Your point about reviews is another reason I find them distasteful. I look at comic reviews (for individual issues) the same way I do ones for individual episodes of a TV show – I find them pointless. I read/watched the same thing you did, we both understand what’s going on.

        I much prefer reviews that take a completed work and analyze what it means rather than one which look at a part of a work and speculate what that means to the story as a whole.

        I think the reason many reviews are so simplistic is an effort to stay away from that message-board speculation mentality, I have no problem admitting that this is definitely part of the reason I did my review the way I did. The idea of spazzing out over something, either positively or negatively, in a very public forum seemed unprofessional (even though I am the farthest thing from a professional, I definitely strive towards it)

      • But… they’re not pointless if they further a discourse. We didn’t see the same thing the same way. Doesn’t this discussion kind of prove why this manner of writing is valuable?

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matty Jones and Matty Jones, Damon Beres. Damon Beres said: My Return of Bruce Wayne "MANIFESTO" is exploding. Retweet if you or your followers read comic books! #DCreader […]

  8. “But… they’re not pointless if they further a discourse. We didn’t see the same thing the same way. Doesn’t this discussion kind of prove why this manner of writing is valuable?”

    Honestly I’m really just hung up on the word ‘review.’ I absolutely understand why this type of writing is important, I just consider it going beyond the scope of what I’d consider a review.

    I’ll admit I’m being narrow in my definition of what a review should comprise.

    • I think your right. It does go beyond the scope of a “review”. I think Dberes point however is that reviews make up almost the exclusive majority of all commentary of comics. I think it we want to be anal nomenist about we can say Commentary is composed of reviews and criticism. His point i don’t see so much as reviews should expand its scope but rather that the other form of commentary which can be more properly labeled “criticism” doesn’t exist. It needs to be built from the ground up. And perhaps a call to arms for comics book fans of yourself capable of such criticism should stop doing reviews and do criticism. Not because its more important but because it doesn’t exist and if you don’t do it who will?

  9. […] Damon Beres usese the Return of Bruce Wayne as an opportunity to write nothing less than a Comics Manifesto. […]

  10. […] see when I went to check the comments on my Return of Bruce Wayne #1 review was a link to a manifesto. That’s the last thing I ever expect to see when I click a link. Porn? Wouldn’t mind […]

  11. Very well said. I hope you continue to write so eloquently and thoughtfully about comics.

  12. […] by Damon Beres’ Return of Bruce Wayne and a Comics Manifesto, Jay Galette had the following to say about Morrison’s run on […]

  13. […] by Damon Beres’ Return of Bruce Wayne and a Comics Manifesto, Jay Galette had the following to say about Morrison’s run on Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne […]

  14. J. Dimes Says:

    I enjoyed your review and the subsequent commentaries. I have been on the receiving end of a negative review on several occassions (!), which is par for the course. But there are reviewers out there who tend to be clever for the sake of being clever. Snide for the sake of being snide. They have a degree of power, and wield it ever so snobbily.

    Sure, there are some who let you know at the outset that they may not like something, chalking it up to plain old “it ain’t my thang.” But as I said, there are those who tend to devolve into a basement level self-entitlement, and jaded non-objectivity. These are the ones that enjoy meandering in and out of the professional, into the unnecessary territories of the snarkily overfamiliar.

    Please regard! (Hee!)

    Heck, my motto for most things, movies especially, is simply this: “There ain’t no such things as bad movies, only bad audiences!”

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