Grading the Bat Books: Fall 2012 Part 1

Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

Class, Come to Order

To see this article with images, Click Here.

We have all experienced the dread and fear of having several months worth of work be either praised and condemned by a single grade letter, and I have no doubt that many of you have just finished your finals and are trying to unwind from the stress. You know what always made me feel better back in my college days? Judging, condemning, and grading others.

Professor BatWatch is here to give the Bat series their due by grading them over the Fall semester. Let’s call in the class and begin handing out grades.

Note: These grades are compiled from all issues from August until last week.

Batgirl: B

Miss Gordon, your work last year left something to be desired, but I am very glad to say that your work has greatly improved this semseter. Your Joker project in particular was quite exquisite, and I look forward to seeing you complete it in the Spring. Still, I cannot help but feel that you could be doing more. I know you have had a tough life, but you have played your victim card for over a year now, and I am tired of it. It is time for you to take responsibility and embrace your opportunities. If you buckle down, I expect I will be giving you an A in the Spring.

Batman: B+

Well, this is awkward. I know that everybody expects the world of you, Mr. Wayne, and you are both popular and respected among students and teachers. Though I do believe you are doing your best effort, I cannot help but notice that your Joker project has gone off the rails a bit. You have put a lot of effort into this, and it shows, but in creating an excellent presentation, you seem to have forgotten to take care of the most basic elements…like how Joker can possibly kill scores of people without apparent effort. Keep in mind, B+ is a good grade; if you can just ground Joker a little more, you will earn a great grade in the Spring.

Batman: Arkham Unhinged: C-

Mr. Unhinged, your name well befits your personality for the quality of your work has changed vastly over time. I thought I was going to have the pleasure of giving you an F when you were sleeping through all your early assignments at the beginning of the semester, but things have gradually turned around of recent. It seems your tutoring with Miss Traviss is helping, so I strongly suggest you continue seeing her. If you can keep up your current level of quality, then I believe you will earn much more than a C- next semester.

Batman Beyond: B+

Mr. McGinnis! Nice of you to join me today. I see you so infrequently that I barely recognized you. As you can see, you have passed with flying colors. Despite your attendance issues, the quality of your work has been quite high. My only complaint is that I wish you would show up a little more often.

Batman: The Dark Knight: D-

Your name, Mr. Knight, bespeaks a beautiful and wonderful heritage made up of hard working students who strove to do their best and succeeded. You are a shame to that name. Oh sure, you might look cool and managed to be popular due to your name alone, but it seems your brain is full of mush for your plots have never made any sense! Your Zero project was a mind numbing disaster, and your interpretation of Scarecrow is strained, rushed, and poorly conceived. You disappoint me.

Batman Incorporated: B-

First, Mr. Incorporated, let me compliment you on your excellent work. You have been an exceptionally consistent student over the past eight years, and your work has improved as this semester has continued. The only problem was your first grade on the Zero project. I’m sorry to say it, but it was clear you were not really trying on that one. I understand that the Zero project might not have been your ideal assignment, but it was still an assignment, and you cannot simply coast and expect your grade to remain unblemished. Other than that one assignment, you have done great work, and I look forward to seeing you after the Christmas break.

Batman and Robin: D+

Give me your attention, Damian. I know this grade displeases you, but being angry with me will not change anything. You have great potential; your Zero project was excellent, but ever since then, you seem to be paying no attention to either instructions or assignments. This…nonsense with zombies is a crass, obscene and juvenile display. You may be more known for your athleticism than your intellect, but I know you can do much better than this.

Put down the sword, Mr. Wayne, unless you would like me to call your father.

Batwing: C-

I know you are new here, Mr. Zavimbe, and this rather eccentric and elitist school can take its pound of flesh from freshman. With that in mind, I want you to know that I believe you have what it takes to be among this school’s intellectual elite. However, you do have some improving to do before you get there. Your Zero project was strong, and I felt that you grew a lot with that assignment, but since then, it has felt as if you have not been giving your school work your full attention. You have been improving a little since consulting with Mr. Nicieza, so I suggest you continue to go to tutoring. With a little luck and hard work, I will be giving you an A in a few months.

Batwoman: A-

Every once in a while, Ms. Kane, a teacher gets an opportunity to teach a student who really makes it all worthwhile. You are just such a student Kate. All your projects were created with the utmost care, and it showed in every panel. You have been spending a long time working on your Medusa project, but it is clear that you are thriving with it, so take as long as you need. My only complaint is that I do not have more students like you.

Class Dismissed

It is time to close our books and go home. The rest of grades will be given out next Friday. In the mean time, do you feel I was too harsh or too lenient? How would you grade the greats?

Keep an eye out for Monday’s article, “ Appreciating Williams the Third.”

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

#1 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

Very nice review!!

Although...i like them all very much except B. Beyond.

#2 Edited by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman B+!? Is this supposed to be controversial? I have to say, Batman should be getting an A, or an A+. The story and the art have been beyond "proficient." They should be in the advanced category (90% and above). And how can the appearances in other books take down the main book's grade? If you grade each book individually, especially since the Death of the Family can be read solely through Batman, the other Bat-family books shouldn't be a factor. And the Joker's power? He might now train or workout on panel, but we rarely see Batman doing so either. Plus, he's had a year to be preparing for this. I doubt he spent it eating junk food, or watching T.V.

And I don't think Batman and Robin deserves a D-. I think Tomasi's development of Damian has been wonderful, and that's the focus of the book (not really the people they're fighting). Surely that book is at least as good as Batman Incorporated.

#3 Posted by havoc1201 (522 posts) - - Show Bio

i hate bat inc, it draws way to much attention to bruce and makes a huge connection to bruce wayne and batman and i dont think that batman would ever do that, and the code names are so bad. C+ for bat inc. A+ for Batman

#4 Posted by SupBatz (1849 posts) - - Show Bio

You, sir, are my hero XD. I may not agree with all of the grades but I definitely see the points made and they definitely make me laugh.

The way I'd do it...

Batman A- (the book has its flaws; I do like the characterization of nearly everyone but I feel Joker is a bit too on the insane end of the spectrum and not fun enough and Batman just isn't skilled enough....he always seems uncertain and afraid; nevertheless, it's a good book with interesting stories)

Detective Comics B (hard to tell so far since the writer change but so far so good with Layman)

Batman: The Dark Knight C+ (since Hurwitz took ovr the title has definitely improved. Though I must say that from what I read of Hurwitz's story it was well written but not a story I really wanted to keep coming back to read)

Batman and Robin C+ (pretty much same points as BatWatch; loved the first arc and the zero issue; everything else is disappointing)

Batgirl C (honestly, I'm trying to keep the bias I have towards Babs going back to being Batgirl out of this. The fact is that I feel like this title is repetitive and that Simone is portraying Barbara in a very annoying and uninteresting way)

Batwoman A (once again, everything BatWatch said; my favorite series).

#5 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

Why are they even maiking a Batwoman comic?

#6 Posted by SupBatz (1849 posts) - - Show Bio

@FatihBATMAN said:

Why are they even maiking a Batwoman comic?

:O Blasphemy!

...

But seriously, it's really just a spin-off from the Detective Comics story arc which starred Batwoman a few years back.

Honestly, I think it's the best title out atm. What is it about it that you don't like if you don't mind my asking?

#7 Posted by arnoldoaad (1007 posts) - - Show Bio

Batgirl is way overrated

but this

I know you have had a tough life, but you have played your victim card for over a year now, and I am tired of it. It is time for you to take responsibility and embrace your opportunities.

this is beautiful, this is pure poetry right here

#8 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@FatihBATMAN said:

Very nice review!!

Although...i like them all very much except B. Beyond.

Thanks.

Do you not like Batman Beyond or do you not agree with my rating on Batman Beyond?

@gotwillpower said:

Batman B+!? Is this supposed to be controversial? I have to say, Batman should be getting an A, or an A+. The story and the art have been beyond "proficient." They should be in the advanced category (90% and above). And how can the appearances in other books take down the main book's grade? If you grade each book individually, especially since the Death of the Family can be read solely through Batman, the other Bat-family books shouldn't be a factor. And the Joker's power? He might now train or workout on panel, but we rarely see Batman doing so either. Plus, he's had a year to be preparing for this. I doubt he spent it eating junk food, or watching T.V.

And I don't think Batman and Robin deserves a D-. I think Tomasi's development of Damian has been wonderful, and that's the focus of the book (not really the people they're fighting). Surely that book is at least as good as Batman Incorporated.

Keep in mind that I was only grading the Bat books for the last three months, and I wrote this article at the beginning of the week, and both Batman and Batman and Robin would have received a higher grade after this weeks' issues.

Regarding Batman and Robin, I found issues 13 and 14 to be really bad. I agree with you that Tomasi did some great stuff early on, but a nonsensical plot line regarding a Bat Rocket launching unnecessarily during an eclipse (which lasted too long) and zombies who are never explained that are somehow being manipulated by Joker? It is kind to call it a mess.

I knew my rating of Batman would be controversial, but I gave it that rating because that is what I felt it deserved not to create a stir. If I were grading the books just on the art, then I would agree that it fully deserves an A, but I have to take the plot into consideration as well. It is true that it is not Snyder's fault about Joker being everywhere at once since that is more a problem of the tie ins, but I am not just grading the writing either. I'm judging the final product, and as the editors are dropping the ball on Death of the Family which is rooted in Batman, I feel it is fair to reflect that in this score.

Joker may have had a year to plan things, and I agree that he is a physical threat, but it is ridiculous to act as if Joker could take out a half dozen armed police officers without a weapon by merely turning off the lights and walking up to them. I explain why in more detail in my review if you are interested. It is also ridiculous for Joker to single handedly take out several dozen mobsters with an umbrella gun. I do not feel like that needs elaboration. It is even more ridiculous to think he could kidnap an entire apartment complex without anybody getting the word out even if he had two dozen thugs working with him. All those scenes are poorly scripted.

Still, B+ is a very good rating. It is well above average, and if this latest issue were added to the score, it would have had an A.

Thank you for your thoughts.

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

#9 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

@SupBatz said:

@FatihBATMAN said:

Why are they even maiking a Batwoman comic?

:O Blasphemy!

...

But seriously, it's really just a spin-off from the Detective Comics story arc which starred Batwoman a few years back.

Honestly, I think it's the best title out atm. What is it about it that you don't like if you don't mind my asking?

havent read any Batwoman comics yet, so im not dissing or anything i just asked :D

#10 Posted by FatihBATMAN (1389 posts) - - Show Bio

I do not like Batman Beyond in general... ;)

#11 Posted by SupBatz (1849 posts) - - Show Bio

@FatihBATMAN: Ah, I see. My bad! XP

#12 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@havoc1201 said:

i hate bat inc, it draws way to much attention to bruce and makes a huge connection to bruce wayne and batman and i dont think that batman would ever do that, and the code names are so bad. C+ for bat inc. A+ for Batman

I enjoy Batman Inc., but you bring up a very legitimate point with the whole bringing attention to Bruce thing. I agree, somebody would surely figure that out. I don't have a problem wit the code name though. Which ones do you hate?

@SupBatz:

Thank you. That is very kind. I'm glad the delivery worked for you; I was concerned it might sound too prideful on my end, but I was trying to take the air of a snooty teacher.

If I had taken Batman #15 into consideration, Batman would have earned an A-.

The Dark Knight has been a massive disappointment. The scarecrow arc would be okay if it were only half as long as it actually is.

I cannot say I've particularly connected to this version of Barbara either. I think she just feels like a regressed character at this point, and that makes it hard for me to connect to her. However, I have enjoyed the events of the last few stories even though I did not feel a huge connection to Babs.

@FatihBATMAN said:

Why are they even maiking a Batwoman comic?

Have you read it, and if so, what do you not like about it? I think it is amazing.

@arnoldoaad said:

Batgirl is way overrated

but this

I know you have had a tough life, but you have played your victim card for over a year now, and I am tired of it. It is time for you to take responsibility and embrace your opportunities.

this is beautiful, this is pure poetry right here

We've talked about your criticism of Batgirl before, and I agree that the early issues were pretty bad, but I like the more recent stuff. I'm glad we can agree that Batgirl's victim card has been played out though. Somebody pointed out the other day that not only is Barbara a victim, but everybody in this series, including the villains, is a victim. I think Simone has taken the theme of victimization way too far. Besides, who wants to see a story about a victim? We want to see someone who has overcome their struggles. Batgirl has that aspect to her stories, but her victim hood is what is being emphasized.

@FatihBATMAN said:

@SupBatz said:

@FatihBATMAN said:

Why are they even maiking a Batwoman comic?

:O Blasphemy!

...

But seriously, it's really just a spin-off from the Detective Comics story arc which starred Batwoman a few years back.

Honestly, I think it's the best title out atm. What is it about it that you don't like if you don't mind my asking?

havent read any Batwoman comics yet, so im not dissing or anything i just asked :D

Ah, so you are asking why is there a second red-haired Bat female? Good question.

I'm not sure why DC decided to go this way with the character, but she has been very well written at least in the DCNU. In addition to gorgeous art, she has a unique operating style working to take out threats of a mystical nature. The story draws heavily from a lot of modern day myths such as Bloody Mary which I think is pretty awesome. Next time you are in a book store, check out Batwoman: Hydrology, and see what you think.

@FatihBATMAN said:

I do not like Batman Beyond in general... ;)

I never watched much Batman Beyond, so I did not expect much when I saw the comic, but I have been very pleased. Beechen is a good writer in my opinion.

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

#13 Posted by arnoldoaad (1007 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch said:

@arnoldoaad said:

Batgirl is way overrated

but this

I know you have had a tough life, but you have played your victim card for over a year now, and I am tired of it. It is time for you to take responsibility and embrace your opportunities.

this is beautiful, this is pure poetry right here

We've talked about your criticism of Batgirl before, and I agree that the early issues were pretty bad, but I like the more recent stuff. I'm glad we can agree that Batgirl's victim card has been played out though. Somebody pointed out the other day that not only is Barbara a victim, but everybody in this series, including the villains, is a victim. I think Simone has taken the theme of victimization way too far. Besides, who wants to see a story about a victim? We want to see someone who has overcome their struggles. Batgirl has that aspect to her stories, but her victim hood is what is being emphasized.

That was me, I said that all the time, and if it wasnt me i want to know who else said it for kudos, and is cause is one of the aspects that are more jarring in the entire series, just victim, victim, victim, victim, is just ridiculous

#14 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@arnoldoaad:

Yeah, it probably was you that got me thinking. You were right. Move on from the victim hood.

#15 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (35022 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice, I mostly agree but I would have gave Bats an A

Online
#16 Posted by TDK_1997 (15075 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman I think should get an A.It's a really good book.The way the Joker story started was really awesome and indeed the second part was a little bit too much and wasn't that good but I think that Snyder's work should get an A.

#17 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch said:

Class, Come to Order

Note: These grades are compiled from all issues from August until last week.

Whoops, totally missed that. In that case, I have to agree. The plot (with the zombies and especially the rocket) takes away from Batman and Robin.

I've kind of changed my opinion of The Death of the Family after reading some of your reviews. Batman on its own is fine, but the other books seem to take away from Scott's idea. In Batman, like it was said on this week's podcast, the Joker only alludes to killing Batman's allies in an effort to make him stronger. In the other books, he outright tells everyone, and the Joker's appearances in other books has--perhaps subliminally--influenced my view of him in Batman. Ironically, reading the other books takes away from the main story rather than adding to it.

And to the point where Joker is over-powered, maybe it's because Batman is as well. We did see him single-handedly (well, with the help of Dick) take out everyone in Arkham in Batman #1.

#18 Edited by JoeEddie (484 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch said:

@FatihBATMAN said:

Very nice review!!

Although...i like them all very much except B. Beyond.


Joker may have had a year to plan things, and I agree that he is a physical threat, but it is ridiculous to act as if Joker could take out a half dozen armed police officers without a weapon by merely turning off the lights and walking up to them. I explain why in more detail in my review if you are interested. It is also ridiculous for Joker to single handedly take out several dozen mobsters with an umbrella gun. I do not feel like that needs elaboration. It is even more ridiculous to think he could kidnap an entire apartment complex without anybody getting the word out even if he had two dozen thugs working with him. All those scenes are poorly scripted.

I agree. Joker is not some super stealth assassin. The idea that Joker can cut the power supply and snap the necks of 30 police officers, I think Gordon said it was 30 in the following issue, is completely out of character. When has Jokers fighting skills every been good? He shoots, stabs, or poisons. Most of the offense that I have seen from him against Batman have been cheap shots.People just don't want to find any faults in Snyder's writing or Cappullo's art.

#19 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

Nice, I mostly agree but I would have gave Bats an A

That seems to be the popular opinion, but I cannot get over the supernatural Joker.

@TDK_1997 said:

Batman I think should get an A.It's a really good book.The way the Joker story started was really awesome and indeed the second part was a little bit too much and wasn't that good but I think that Snyder's work should get an A.

Yeah, if it were not for Joker and Batman's supernatural feats, I would be right there with you. I might see it as an A arc by the time it finishes, but I do not at the moment.

@gotwillpower said:

@BatWatch said:

Class, Come to Order

Note: These grades are compiled from all issues from August until last week.

Whoops, totally missed that. In that case, I have to agree. The plot (with the zombies and especially the rocket) takes away from Batman and Robin.

I've kind of changed my opinion of The Death of the Family after reading some of your reviews. Batman on its own is fine, but the other books seem to take away from Scott's idea. In Batman, like it was said on this week's podcast, the Joker only alludes to killing Batman's allies in an effort to make him stronger. In the other books, he outright tells everyone, and the Joker's appearances in other books has--perhaps subliminally--influenced my view of him in Batman. Ironically, reading the other books takes away from the main story rather than adding to it.

And to the point where Joker is over-powered, maybe it's because Batman is as well. We did see him single-handedly (well, with the help of Dick) take out everyone in Arkham in Batman #1.

No big deal on the three month rating. It's easy to miss stuff.

Yeah, I have mixed feelings on the tie ins to "Death of the Family." Right now, I feel like Batgirl and Batman and Robin added to it, Catwoman definitely detracted from it, and Suicide Squad was just kind of a wash. The timing is the only thing that is really frustrating. If they would just say, "This happens in the course of three months" or add a scene where Joker has his thugs taking care of some of the business, it would help.

Batman's overpowered nature is a fair point. In terms of fighting ability, I would like to see Bruce toned down just a tad. In terms of gadgets, I would like to see Bruce toned down a lot!

Still, Batman is an excellent fighter where Joker's only real strength is his unpredictably in hand to hand. Joker was facing people with guns; Bruce was not. Batman has armor; Joker does not. Batman blends in with the night; Joker is an albino in a blue coverall. Just doesn't work for me. Still, I was willing to forgive it once. It was the next issue with the gangsters and the apartment complex that really irked me.

@JoeEddie:

True, people love Snyder and for a good cause for the most part, but many have difficulty seeing his writing flaws.

Joker has actually been a formidable threat for a long time in comics. In DC Firsts, Joker nearly took out Cassandra Caine in hand to hand combat because his movements were so unpredictable. Sure, strip away his gadgets, and Joker is never going to beat a martial arts master, but give him a few knickknacks to play with, and I wouldn't want to face him in a dark alley no matter what my training.

The problem is that the cops were armed and they had flashlights; its standard police gear. If they had been without one or another, then I could buy it, but they were not.

I missed Gordon saying it was thirty. If so, that is even worse. There were only about a half dozen pictured.

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

#20 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch: This review format is f**king genius. I love it. Keep it up, dude.

#21 Posted by TDK_1997 (15075 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch: I also don't dig that much the supernatural Batman and the fact that Joker is putting them down that easily.

#22 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

@BatWatch: This review format is f**king genius. I love it. Keep it up, dude.

Thank you Inner. I'll have Part 2 up on BatWatch.net Friday, and I will post it here as soon as I have time. Since I've had a good response to this, I will probably continue this throughout the year by giving Spring and Summer grades as well.

#23 Posted by tomlikesfries (4869 posts) - - Show Bio

Brilliant reviews man. So much fun to read, due to the whole "class" format.

But c'mon... Batwoman better than Batman?!

#24 Posted by BatWatch (3038 posts) - - Show Bio

@tomlikesfries said:

Brilliant reviews man. So much fun to read, due to the whole "class" format.

But c'mon... Batwoman better than Batman?!

I can only speak for myself, but the art is breathtaking. It's a completely different style than Capullo, but I would say its just as good...better in some ways. The plot has not been as...ambitious as Batman, but it also hasn't had any mistakes.

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