Pop Culture Showdown Side 1

By Brayton Cameron

The most recent new release of a Batman series is “All Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder” by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. The “All Star” name is a new idea by DC comics to bring in the most popular writer/artist team to redo story lines for their comic characters.

For those unfamiliar, Miller has been in the comic business for about 20 years. He has written for three major Batman story lines in the process, including “The Dark Knight Returns.” He is also the creator of “Sin City.”

Miller writes Batman in a very different way from the average writer. There is nothing cute or nice about Miller’s Batman. He is cold, mean and all about his war against crime. In this comic alone, he poisons someone with snake venom, drives through an occupied police car and summons bats to devour his enemies.

Jim Lee is definitely in charge of displaying the softer side of the Batman world, giving the comic a nice balance. Even on the first page, Lee’s skills as an artist can be seen with a scene of a young Dick Grayson soaring through the air at the circus.

It doesn’t stop there either. Turning the page, one is greeted with the overly sexual Vicki Vale in her underwear. Considering the audience of most comics, this was not a bad move. Indeed, the female presence in the art work, as well as the date setting between Vale and Bruce Wayne are excellent artistic contrasts to the gritty writing style of Miller. In the end, “All Star Batman & Robin” is a fast paced comic with an excellent writer and a terrific artist that has room only to improve as the series progresses.