The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

Batman Four of a Kind

Batman Four of a Kind - 'Alan Grant',  'Chuck Dixon',  'Doug Moench' The book consists for four separate sections, each focused on a different antagonist (Poison Ivy, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, and Man-Bat). This is clearly an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One (which itself was, I believe, the inspiration for the very good Batman Begins movie). The artwork of the first section is either by the Year One artist, or is a well-done imitation. Clearly they were going for high-concept Batman.Nonetheless, it somehow all falls flat. It's not awful - certainly a better read than the average DC graphic novel - but it never quite jells. And it's just not that much fun to read. I like the character of Riddler in general, but in this book he's just a pathetic loser. That sort of storyline can work, of course, but in this case it doesn't. We get it; he's a loser, he's crazy. What's the point? There isn't one, really.The other sections aren't particularly memorable, although the Poison Ivy one has a huge plot hole: Poison Ivy is supposed to be fairly intelligent, but she misses an enormous, totally OBVIOUS clue to Batman's identity. I happen to intensely dislike the "stupidity" school of writing, so that's a down-grade in my book.Also, Alfred is just too annoying. I normally like the character, or at least can stand him, but for some reason the writers seem to have all decided that he'd be better with a raging case of PMS. If I were Bruce Wayne and he kept bitching at me like that, I'd fire him in about three seconds flat. And then make it clear that if he said ONE WORD about my secret identity, I'd beat the living fertilizer out of him to boot!

Currently reading

Basic Roleplaying: The Chaosium d100 system (Basic Roleplaying)
Sam Johnson, Charlie Krank
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Rebecca Solnit