Sunday, March 23, 2008

It doesn't seem that long. Quite.

But apparently it really was about 20 days and 8 books ago that I last posted any book reviews. This really is the downside of reading so many new books this year instead of making half my books re-reads. I have to do so many of these book review posts.

Though I read another book in between them, Batman: A Complete History and Superman: A Complete History were very similar, as you might expect and I'll talk about them together here. They were written by the same author and covered the same ground with two different fictional characters. Both tried to be a little overly psychological in order to give themselves some seriousness that discussions of comics often lack.

One of my biggest kicks against comics as a medium is that the desire to make money off of these creations utterly dominates all other concerns. The story for these characters, after 50, 60, 70 years has become so convoluted and complex that one pretty much needs a wall-chart and a small encyclopedia just to keep it all straight. And that's without even bringing up all the problems caused by a distinct lack of interest in continuity for the first 3 or 4 decades. This, to me, is why Batman: The Animated Series (B:TAS) and Justice League Unlimited (and all their various predecessors and incarnations) were so successful. They took the basic elements for the lives of these two characters and made a set of stories about them that were not unending and not directly tied to the stories told in the comic books.

These books are about as serious a treatment of comic books that you'll read while dealing specifically with a single character. They're short anyway and filled with pictures (In a book about comics? Go figure.) so they are somewhat lacking in comprehensive detail and tend more towards trivia in the details that are included. If you're a dedicated fan, you might want to take a look, but if you're not a big comics fan, or fan of these particular characters, give them a miss.

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Listening to: Seatbelts - Forever Broke
via FoxyTunes