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Thursday, March 5, 2009

This Will Be Horrible #2: Kevin Smith's "Batman" Miniseries

Okay, maybe this technically shouldn't count as a "This Will Be Horrible" inductee since, well, it's already over. But forget that.

Kevin Smith's series, Batman: Cacophony, is something I passed on as soon as I picked it up and saw his name on the cover. The reason: everything Kevin Smith does is terrible (since Chasing Amy, anyways). (Jersey Girl and Clerks 2 take special honors as two of the worst movies I've ever paid to see.) But now I've decided that I WILL read it, and it WILL be horrible, because IGN's eviscerating review is tantalizing:

Smith's script hinges on a number of exceedingly stupid ideas, the chief of which being the notion that any number of medications could make the Joker rational for any amount of time. Accepting this impossible to swallow plot device is fairly critical to accepting the ridiculous conversation that acts as this story's conclusion, which is obviously a problem. More problematic is the fact that every emotional and intellectual beat that Smith attempts - and for the most part, fails - to hit is a dumbed down version of questions asked far more effectively in works like The Dark Knight and The Killing Joke, among many others.

But as stupid as this story may be, its complete lack of logic isn't even its biggest flaw. That honor would go to Smith's handling of the Joker, which is by far the single most painful take on the character I've ever encountered. Seriously. Ever. Every last word that comes out of the Joker's mouth in this issue made me cringe, and I can't ever remember wanting this particular character to disappear from a comic more. For a comedy writer who has made a career writing dysfunctional characters, Smith's complete inability to write an effective Joker is rather baffling. Nearly everything about his Joker is wrong, from the way he acts to the painfully unfunny dialogue he spouts to the way he looks.

But I'm curious...anyone out there read this heap 'a trash? What'd you think? Going further, does anyone out there actually still like Kevin Smith?

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