And Then I Read: ALL-STAR BATMAN & ROBIN 5 & 6

All-Star Batman & Robin 6 cover
©DC Comics, Inc.

There’s something about Frank Miller’s writing, especially in recent years, that pushes my buttons, making it both attractive and off-putting at the same time. Frank’s characters are always in a high emotional state: angry, exhilarated, sorrowful, lustful, and so on, but rarely on an even emotional keel. I know there’s always been a lot of that in Frank’s work, but I think it’s more now than in, say, the days of Batman: Year One. There the emotional tide built more gradually to a crescendo. With this book, it’s full on from page one. Sort of like an action movie, which is probably why his books are so popular.

Jim Lee’s art is terrific, as always, adding attractive drawing and great layouts to the mix. Alex Sinclair’s moody coloring helps, too. I have to say I enjoyed reading these issues, though at times they’re so over the top I stop believing these are the real characters from the Bat universe. Batman especially feels like someone other than his usual self is acting out his part here, someone with hair-trigger emotions and knee-jerk reactions to just about everything. Someone who never stops to think. That’s not the Batman I know. Yet, all this turmoil does make for page-turning reading.

If you’re a Miller fan, you’ll enjoy these. If you’re a long-time Batman fan, you might not. That’s the best way I can think to put it.

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