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Monday, July 07, 2008

This pair of scans_daily posts are by themselves a nearly complete lesson in just what superhero comics have become in the so-called Dark Age—incredibly dark, yes, but also deeply layered and remarkably postmodern. Grant Morrison's current story on the Batbooks requires at least a passing familiarity with the entire sixty-nine-year history of the franchise to make much sense, including long-abandoned plot points like the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and Bat-Mite and a rather advanced understanding of meta-concepts like continuity and canonicity.

These features, to varying degrees, dominate the major creative output of both DC and Marvel, and have for at least a decade, though Grant Morrison's comics are certainly near the top of the curve.

Personally I think this sort of labyrinthine narrative complexity is always unequivocably wonderful, but opinions on this point definitely vary.