All-Star Batman and Robin #3 and 4
April 4, 2011
So basically by Frank Miller's own admission here Batman is a rude, murderous child abductor who cares what twelve year-olds think about his toys and eats rats when not mourning the loss of the bloody, incestuous affair he had with his mother.
Linkara: Hello and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. (looks up in thought) Say... (takes out and examines a pocket watch) it's Miller Time!
("Miller Time" title is shown)
Linkara: Welcome once again to "Miller Time", the segment where we try to unscramble the mad writings of comic book writer and artist Frank Miller.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of "The Dark Knight Strikes Again Part 2")
Linkara (v/o): I've gotten a ton of requests from people to resume looking at "All-Star Batman and Robin". Fair enough. It's just that since I've already done text reviews of the first six issues, I want to look at where his descent into mediocrity started for many; hence, why I reviewed "The Dark Knight Strikes Again" before we came back here.
Linkara: And here's where I have to bring another disappointment for people. See, issue 3 of "ASBAR" does not have much of our gritty protagonist.
(Cut to a recap of "All-Star Batman and Robin #1 and 2")
Linkara (v/o): Fortunately, issue 4 will more than make for it, but I guess I should get people caught up. "All-Star Batman and Robin" is the tale of a psychotic, deranged Batman who kidnaps Dick Grayson, aged 12, after his parents are brutally murdered at long distance by a handgun. Vicki Vale talked in her underwear for a while before getting into a car crash. And then Batman asks Dick Grayson, age 12, if he was retarded or something. Wonderful. Hence, why it's perfectly clear that the cop-killing, ablest-language-spewing man before is actually a drunken hobo who has somehow knocked Batman out and stolen all of his gadgets. I call him Steve.
Linkara: So let's dig into (holds up comics of review) "All-Star Batman and Robin #3" and "#4", and boy, is this not gonna be fun! (scowls)
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has "I Am Superman" by R.E.M. playing in the background; cut to a closeup of the comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Since I'm reading from the trade, we once again ignore the covers, though if you're interested in what I had to say about them, you can check my blog for the original reviews.
(Cut to the end of the last issue)
Linkara (v/o): When we last left off, Dick Grayson, aged 12, had been convinced to join the fantabulous world of superheroes after Crazy Steve gave a soliloquy worthy of Shakespeare – if Shakespeare had been a murderous pedophile whose plays had been performed not before the Queen of England but the Queens Bar and Grill down the road. So, of course, one would think we'd be returning to that, right? Of course not...
(Cut to the first page of this new comic)
Linkara (v/o): ...because now we are "six months ago". It's a full-page shot of a fat, drunken loser walking out of a bar called the Black Canary and mumbling to himself in full, Frank Miller-styled repeating dialogue.
Drunkard: Who's that little piece of sass think she is? Cuttin' me off. Me.
Linkara: (as drunkard) Don't you know who I am? You should know who I am! (as bartender) I'm sorry, Senator, but you just haven't paid your tab in a month.
Linkara (v/o) Here are the first words of the comic...
Narrator: A rotten joint. It sits there like something that came out of the back end of a horse.
Linkara: Which is precisely where this script came from, too.
Linkara (v/o): Two figures emerge from off-panel, talking about the place.
Figure 1: You're not gonna believe this, Dipstick. You're not gonna believe your eyes.
Figure 2: It better be fine, Dorothy. She better be fine.
Linkara: What, haven't you heard of the Wizard of Oz book, "Dorothy and the Prostitute Village of Oz"?
Figure 2: We been riding since midnight and my shorts are crawling up my backside...
Linkara: (disgusted and confused at the same time) Um... eww?
Linkara (v/o): The narration box lets us know.
Narrator: The only people with any reason to be out this late are hookers and cops-- and losers.
Linkara: Well, you'd know all three of those, wouldn't you, Frank?
Linkara (v/o): When the two "gentlemen" enter, we can tell what kind of place this is. Essentially, it's a Hooters bar, but with the waitresses wearing the Black Canary costume instead of tight T-shirts and short, orange hot pants. That's right, Frank has reduced a legacy character like the Black Canary, known as an eternal ass-kicker, extraordinarily competent superhero, and one of the stars of Gale Simone's series "Birds of Prey", into a bartender at Hooters!
Linkara: Now, of course, there's nothing wrong with Hooters or the people who work there. I'm just saying, Frank Miller has reduced an awesome superheroine into eye candy! (scowls)
Linkara (v/o): And, of course, the dialogue shows that she's getting hit on from all sides along with normal drink orders. Surprisingly, there are even a few women at the bar who seem to be getting drinks, but knowing Frank, they're probably hitting on Black Canary, too. "Humorously", as Frank continues to talk about the people who are out this late, he brings up Black Canary herself, along with a cartoon image of a stick of dynamite.
Narrator: This particular bartender's fuse is getting shorter by the moment.
Linkara: She's not the only one.
Linkara (v/o): We get a full shot of who I can only presume is Dinah Lance, given the costume, and she asks the two morons what their order is amidst all the flirtations of the other people at the bar. The narration doesn't help.
Narrator: ...Maybe she's having a bad night. Or maybe it's something somebody said. Or maybe it's something someone's about to say. Something in her gut is just aching to break out. Something unpleasant.
Linkara: (alarmed) Oh, God! She's got a Chestbuster alien! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Linkara (v/o): The two losers push aside other people at the bar and ask for some drinks and then, in some censored scribbles, ask Dinah to do something that I'm sure is sexual in nature. In a legitimately funny moment, Dinah responds with...
Dinah: (with an Irish accent) As for that other service you gents requested of me, I'll leave it to you two boys to provide for each other.
Linkara (v/o): Zing. Oh, and Black Canary's Irish now, too. Honestly, what IS the point of this sequence to the series? Oh, and I do compliment Frank on a little more subtle satire here in the fact that one of the two idiots looks like Dinah's on-and-off boyfriend/husband, Green Arrow. Of course, this could actually just be the awesomeness of Jim Lee at work. We may never know. And yeah, I could comment on all the narration, because there's plenty to make fun of, but if we did that, this episode would be the length of all three Lord of the Rings movies, uncut, and feature several essays and notes in how stupid everything here is!
Linkara: All I will comment on is this: in a bar with this kind of environment and the potential for something to happen, there's no bouncer nearby to keep things in line??
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, the other moron reaches over and grabs Black Canary's ass, and as such, you can pretty much figure out what happens next. Yeah, the cartoon dynamite fuse runs out and Dinah does an aerial kick to both of the morons, and– wait, huh?! (she is seen kicking one of the morons in the face so hard, it sends his teeth flying) Okay, nothing of what we've seen so far of Black Canary indicates she has the training to pull off a move like that. In fact, the dialogue says she left Monaghan and her mother, brothers and sisters to come here. There's no trace of the normal Dinah Lance we know and love, the one who was trained by Wildcat and the Justice Society of America, against her mother's wishes to become the next Black Canary. How can she do this?? If she's just some regular Irish woman who came over, how the hell could she pull off this kind of martial arts crap?!
Linkara: Do the Irish have secret Irish ninja powers that they haven't told anybody about?
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Dinah continues to go nuts as she attacks some random patron in the bar and performs another unbelievable move by doing a flip across the room and over several people and landing gracefully – on high heels, no less. And all throughout her sudden freak-out, Frank Miller subjects us to all the names Black Canary gets called on the job from the previous pages, only now in the narration boxes. And for some unknown reason, "Hot Momma" is used three times. Once more. I have to compliment Jim Lee's pencils, since on the next page, we see Black Canary standing with her arms crossed, combining sexy and strong as she smiles at the bar patrons and announces...
Dinah: It isn't near closing time, gents.
Linkara (v/o): And yes, I do apologize to my Irish fans because I do a crappy Irish accent. She then kicks some random bystander and says...
Dinah: We're still open for business.
Linkara: Yeah, let's condone violence against assholes– Wait, are we even sure some of them actually called you names? Because, as I said, there were women in the bar, too.
Linkara (v/o): While it's one thing for Black Canary to legitimately punch the guy who grabbed her rear, maybe even yell at or hit the people who objectified her with their name-calling, she has gone completely whacko-jacko by attacking everyone in the bar. But you know what the worst of it is? This...
Narrator: It's not that what set her off. It’s not the insults that these vermin pass off as flirtation. That's not what set her off.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, goody, so she doesn't even have a legitimate reason for her ass-kickery.
Narrator: It's a man. That's what set her off. A single, solitary man. A man who's got her thinking all different. A man she's never met. A man who's stood up and said "Enough."
Linkara: Because, you know, she couldn't be inspired to action out of a "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore" moment. Nooooo, she needed a man to do it for her. (scowls)
Linkara (v/o): Also, I'm pretty sure this guy's spine is broken. Nice. The boss of the bar suddenly comes in because of the commotion and sees Black Canary stealing wallets off the unconscious patrons. Yes, not only is Black Canary in this comic someone who just randomly attacks with her secret ninja powers and can only take action when inspired by men, even if that action is complete overkill, but she's also a thief. Thanks, Frank! Dinah tenders her resignation and sees that the Oliver Queen lookalike is even wearing a wedding ring. So, what does our heroic Black Canary do? She force-feeds him his own wedding ring! Folks, words fail me at the sheer level of unheroic behavior all of the "heroes" have exhibited here.
Linkara: This isn't even a "Cry For Justice" thing, where there's an ethical debate one could have about the necessity for extreme measures against supervillains or the like. This is just being a cruel jerk!
Linkara (v/o): And what was it that got into Dinah's head, anyway? What made her throw off the chains of the job she could've just, you know, quit and practically kill everyone in a bar? What man was it that inspired such behavior?
Linkara: And this, my friends, is the sound of (holds up his hand) my palm hitting my forehead. (does so in frustration)
Bar owner: Sweet chunks, the man is insane!
Dinah: What did you just call me?
(Cut to a clip of the movie Barb Wire)
Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson): (aiming gun) Don't... call me babe.
(Cut back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): So, splash page of guy getting thrown out a window, and then splash page of Dinah stealing a motorcycle that belonged to one of the bar patrons. Frank helpfully informs us that it is "a roaring lion between her legs." Ah, and now our little segue into six months ago ends, and we're in the now. Oh, and that excursion lasted FOURTEEN FRIGGIN' PAGES! Over half the comic was devoted to a sequence that made no sense in the context of the greater story and depicted Black Canary as being just as psychotic and unheroic as Crazy Steve. This is supposed to be "All-Star Batman and Robin", Frank! When we want "All-Star Black Canary", we'll call Gail Simone! In any case, we finally return to the flying Batmobile, where Steve's ever-deranged narrative boxes give us a keen insight into the Dark Knight Detective's mind...
Batman: (narrating) I've KIDNAPPED a traumatized YOUNGSTER and DRAFTED him into my HOLY WAR.
Linkara: And from that, I just have to ask: Do you worship crimefighting? Is there some sort of "god of vigilantism" that you pray to? No? THEN IT'S NOT A HOLY WAR, YOU MORON!!
Linkara (v/o): And now it's time for "This Is Complete Bullcrap". Here's Dick Grayson, age twelve,'s biography...
Batman: (narrating) Top of his CLASS in just about every SCHOOL his roving circus life TOOK him to. Made BLACK BELT a few weeks before he turned NINE.
Linkara (v/o): Really? Age nine? And he says he studied Dick before deciding to recruit him. Seriously, I'm starting to think Steve is the one who orchestrated Dick's parents' murder just so he could kidnap this kid!
Linkara: What?! A Jethro Tull song?! Now we know that Frank doesn't get anymore. Batman hates rock 'n' roll!
Linkara (v/o): The Batmo-plane suddenly dives straight down into the water and transforms into a submarine. (Transformers sound effect is heard) Dick Grayson, age twelve, asks him what he calls the vehicle. Steve grins, and we get this colorful dialog...
Batman: The Batmobile.
Dick Grayson: That is totally queer.
Linkara (v/o): Steve scowls, downtrodden since the twelve-year-old isn't impressed with his stellar naming skills, and promptly tells Dick to shut up.
Linkara: (as Batman) My mom thinks it's cool! Oh, wait, NO, SHE DOESN'T! (Linkara, as Dick Grayson, looks sad as Batman rants on) BECAUSE MY PARENTS ARE DEAD! JUST LIKE YOUR PARENTS ARE DEAD!! (normal again) Oh, what? You know he'd do it if he thought of it.
Linkara (v/o): But enough of that scene; let's switch over to Metropolis, fifteen hours ago. On a carton of milk is a "missing" photo with Dick Grayson's picture on it. At no point does it mention Batman, but we see that it's Clark Kent holding the carton, and he summarily crushes it! Wow, he must be Superman if he has the strength to crush liquid encased in cardboard! But anyway, my shock isn't that, but the fact that this is FIFTEEN HOURS AGO. Think for a minute – that would've meant that Clark bought a carton of milk sometime between the time of the early morning and a few days prior during grocery shopping that featured Dick Grayson's picture on it, even though Crazy Steve only kidnapped him roughly an hour ago. And for the milk to have gotten to the grocery store to begin with would've taken a few days, which means the printing of that picture took place before then and– AAAARRRGH! The non-logic is killing my puny human brain! I need some milk!
(Cut to a clip of Batman Forever)
Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer): It just raises too many questions.
(Back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): A copy of the Daily Planet is pushed under Clark's door for some reason, which has the words "BAT-NAPPED" written across the headline, and Clark, getting unnecessarily angry, uses his heat vision, shattering his glasses and burning the newspaper. And the logic centers of my brain once again go nuts, since if this was "fifteen hours ago", that means that Crazy Steve and Dick Grayson, age twelve, have been driving for FIFTEEN HOURS, since Dick's kidnapping would've taken some time for them to write an article about it that took up so much of the front page!
Linkara: On top of that, if Clark didn't know about the kidnapping until he read the paper, then why did he crush the milk carton?!?
Linkara (v/o): I can't even begin to think how this is supposed to make sense unless the criminals that were responsible for this had so much pull in Gotham and Metropolis as to manipulate policemen, newspapers, and milk companies to report about a kidnapping that had occurred before it ever happened! It's especially odd since they had planned on killing Dick for some unknown reason. The only other explanation is that Steve and Dick have been driving around for hours, which would explain why Dick went from, "I'll be brave" to "That is totally queer," but it makes my feeble brain even more confused. Okay, let’s move on with the story and– What the hell?! After the panel of Clark proclaiming...
Linkara (v/o): Jim Lee is wasted on this tripe. ...we flip the page only to discover the Superman symbol! WHAT IS EVEN THE HELL?!?!?! Fourteen pages of Black Canary, two pages of Clark Kent, and only FOUR PAGES of Steve?! Admittedly, this means less of the bizarre hobo that calls itself Batman, but still, did Frank even understand what it was he was supposed to be writing?!
Linkara: As an interlude before we continue, this series began around 2005, stopped in 2008, and was supposed to continue again in February of this year as "Dark Knight: Boy Wonder". Still hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it ever will. (smiles smugly)
(Cut to a closeup of the cover of the fourth issue)
Linkara (v/o): Issue 4 begins with a Batman symbol engulfed in flames, an apt metaphor for this series. (the comic opens to the first page) We check up on Vicki Vale, who's apparently now in a hospital, and she's dying pretty rapidly. Dialogue informs us that her left ventricle's been punctured by a bone. We see Vicki flailing about on her bed. Now, I'm not a doctor, but it seems to me that in cases like this, a flailing patient is probably the last thing you want if you're going to be performing surgery to remove bones from hearts. Shouldn't they be giving her a sedative or at least restraining her while they work? Vicki's eyes roll into the back of her head and the heart monitor flatlines – hey, another metaphor for this series – revealing that it seems she's died. But enough of that scene; it's time to check back in with the guy Frank didn't care about in the last issue. What, no interludes with The Flash, who in this I'm sure is a drug-crazed extortionist? No checking in with Green Lantern, who is no doubt a KKK member who devours the hearts of young girls after molesting them?! In any case, Dick Grayson brings us up to speed.
Dick Grayson: (narrating) BATMAN'S completely NUTS.
Linkara: (exaggerated tone) NOOOOOO! What gave you that idea?
Linkara (v/o): Dick tells him about how he's about to drive into a bunch of rocks, but Steve just smiles that whiskey smile of his and tells him he doesn't know anything. Turns out there's a hologram hiding the entrance to the Batcave, and the Batsub flies in.
Batman: (narrating) I've had my EYE on this Grayson for MONTHS. He's the most promising CANDIDATE for the job I've SEEN.
Linkara: (looking up in thought) I wonder if he hired a temp while he waited for someone to fill the position?
Batman: (narrating) Still, I'd have waited YEARS before RECRUITING him. At least until he's old enough to SHAVE. I'd have waited YEARS. But some soulless SLOB with a GUN changed the whole EQUATION.
Linkara (v/o): Well, you heard it from the guy himself, folks: he would've killed Dick's parents himself in a few years so he could draft Dick into his war. The Batmosub rises up and Dick yells...
Dick: When are you going to let me out of this thing? It feels like it's been days!
Linkara (v/o): Well, considering the whole milk carton thing from the previous issue, it wouldn't surprise me if he was in there for days. What we have next is something really gratuitous and unnecessary, highlighting Frank's laziness as a writer: a six, count 'em, SIX-PAGE SPREAD OF THE BATCAVE. In my original review of this, I praised Jim Lee for saving us from six more pages of dialogue, but this is just stupid! There's no reason this needs to be here, and it comes off as an attempt at spectacle instead of proper sequential art. Dick Grayson is, of course, stunned silent by the grandeur of it all, and once again, Frank Miller embarrasses us all when he gives us Steve's child-molester grin and asks Dick...
Batman: Is this cool or what?
Linkara (v/o): Dick, trying to play it smooth, replies...
Dick: Yeah, I guess it's okay. I mean, I've seen better, but I guess this is okay.
Linkara: (appalled) How often do you find yourself in superhero caves? No, I don't care how smooth you're trying to play it, THAT WAS A STUPID THING TO SAY!
Linkara (v/o): Crazy Steve clamps up, obviously put down because the twelve year-old boy isn't impressed with his crib. Yup, he's the Goddamn Batman, but dang it, he put a lot of work into this! Steve gets a call from Alfred at the hospital, who reports that Vicki Vale isn't in good shape, but she is alive. During this, we see in the background that robot lasers are shooting the dinosaur prop in the cave for some reason. Crazy Steve orders Alfred to...
Batman: Get* Ekhart. In Paris. Get him there. He can do anything.
- NOTE: It's actually "Call Ekhart", not "Get Ekhart".
Linkara (v/o): Alfred informs him that Ekhart wouldn't be able to get there in time, but Steve tells him to...
Batman: Get that clown in Metropolis to fetch him.
Linkara: (depressed) Oh, Lord, what I wouldn't give for some clowns right now.
Linkara (v/o): Steve takes a moment to talk about how much better he is than Superman. Yes, a woman is about to die from bones puncturing her organs, you’ve kidnapped a twelve-year-old child whose parents were just killed in front of them, but now is the time to compare sizes with the Man of Steel.
Linkara: And by the way, Crazy Steve, I don't know who this Ekhart guy is, but R.E.M. taught us that Superman can do anything.
Batman: (narrating) That's RIGHT Kent. You're BUSTED. I know who you ARE. And you've got NO damn idea who I am.
Linkara (v/o): X-ray vision, anyone?
Batman: (narrating) I'm a DETECTIVE.
Linkara (v/o): No, Sherlock Holmes is a detective. Encyclopedia Brown is a detective. You're a loser who kidnapped a young boy and creepily referred to him as your "ward"! You haven't done one friggin' bit of detective work since you started this comic!
Batman: (narrating) I can't LEAP TALL BUILDINGS with a single BOUND. But I'm SMART. One HELL of a lot smarter than YOU'LL ever be.
Linkara: In "All-Star Batman and Robin", Batman kills, maims, kidnaps, and extorts. In "All-Star Superman", Superman cures cancer. Yeah, point goes to the Man of Tomorrow.
Linkara (v/o): Dick asks if he can get a change of clothes.
Dick: I mean, tights really blow chunks.
Linkara (v/o): Steve gives him a look that makes me think he's about to slap Dick, once again showing that he gives a rat’s ass about whether or not the little kid thinks he's cool or not. But Dick continues with...
Dick: Sorry. It's just I'm all sweaty and dirty...
Linkara: (worried) NO, DICK, YOU'LL JUST MAKE HIM WANT TO MOLEST YOU MORE!
Dick: ...and I've still got Mom and Dad's blood and stuff all over me.
Linkara (v/o): Steve's narration caption gives us another example of disgust, shock, and horror – for the reader, anyway – with this line...
Batman: (narrating) I touched my mother's breast. It BLED on me.
(Linkara looks utterly disgusted by that phrase)
Linkara: (calling offscreen) CAPTAIN PICARD, I NEED YOU AGAIN!
(Cut to a clip of Star Trek: The Next Generation, showing that well-worn shot of Captain Picard facepalming himself)
Linkara: Thank you!
Batman: (narrating) I heard her cough her last and I pressed my hand against my mother's breast just in case there was any hope at all and there wasn't any heartbeat.
Linkara (v/o): (audibly disgusted) So not only is he a pedophile, but he was involved in an incestuous relationship with his mother?! Anyone think that aspect of the origin story is going to be used by future writers?! Dick's narration caption continues...
Dick: (narrating) His HAND lands on my SHOULDER, weightless as a falling leaf.
Linkara: Dammit, Frank, this is no time for your blasted haikus!
Dick: (narrating) Those bigass FINGERS of his SQUEEZE like a gentle CARESS.
Linkara: (REALLY grossed out now) OH, MY GOD! Dick WANTS to be molested as much as Steve wants to do it!! I think I'm gonna be sick! (looks down, looking sick)
Linkara (v/o): Steve says he'll get him some new clothes and tells Dick he's leaving to go work. Dick Grayson, age twelve, asks what he's supposed to do now and Crazy Steve says he can do whatever he wants. Maybe this is why the Batcave has all the laser things shooting out: Steve routinely kidnaps young boys and lets them play in the Batcave until they get killed and the machines have to clean it all up. Dick asks what he's supposed to do for food and he replies that there's plenty of food around him and that it'll present itself to him. At that moment, we get shots of a bat and a rat, clearly telling Dick that he's meant to be eating the animals in the cave! The Goddamn Batman wants his "ward" to eat cave rats!! Thanks, Steve, eating the stringy, rabies-infected, living-in-its-own-filth rodent will do wonders for Dick's health and agility! The artwork, possibly the most symbolic so far, shows us Dick sitting in a fetal position with his shadow coming out and the rat about a foot away from him.
Dick: (narrating) Then I guess I doze. BATMAN is a CREEP. I hate his GUTS.
Linkara: Personally, I don't like his personality, but I guess any part of him is really unlikable.
Linkara (v/o): We switch back briefly to Superman as he, for some unknown reason, is now carrying the car across the water as he continues to run across it. He also gives off his trademark catchphrase of "Damn!" And scene! Brilliant, we really needed to see that. We switch over to a confusing shot of Steven punching a police officer in the company of who I presume to be a prostitute. Yes, all of four women have been shown in this series. The first was Vicki Vale, whom we've seen to be obsessed with superhero penises and is now dying; the second was Dick Grayson's mom, who was murdered; the third was an Irish ninja who beat up an entire bar full of people and stole a bunch of stuff; and now the fourth is just some background prostitute. Make your own conclusions. Anywho, Crazy Steve is punching the guy and proclaims for no logical reason...
Batman: Hah! So what's the story on Jocko-Boy, officer?
Linkara (v/o): Who is this guy?! Who's Jocko-Boy?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?! The officer responds that the...
Officer: ...whole thing is rigged. He walks tomorrow. Lack of evidence. That's all I know.
Linkara (v/o): Steve says...
Linkara (v/o): ...and we see a "KRUNCH" sound effect while his arm is extending down off the panel, leading me to conclude that he just crushed a human skull with his own hands. Dick wakes up to discover he's now in pajamas... Oh, God, Alfred's just as sick as Steve! ...and discovers a tray of food nearby. He gobbles it up happily and thinks that...
Dick: (narrating) ...there must be SOMEBODY nice around here...
Linkara (v/o): Yeah, somebody nice who had no problem stripping you naked while you slept. I feel dirty just having read this stuff! Crazy Steve assaults Alfred, slamming him against the cave wall and yelling...
Batman: What the hell do you think you're doing, Alfred?
Linkara: And if you had any lingering doubts about this not being Batman, this scene should clinch it. Batman has gotten angry at Alfred before in moments of sudden emotion, but nothing like this.
Linkara (v/o): Knocking Alfred around, the man who raised him as a surrogate father, because he showed some compassion to a little kid?! This comic can go straight to Hell! Alfred says that he won't allow Dick to eat rats and Steve tells him that he himself was reduced to it?? At what point in Batman's training around the world did he ever get sent into a cave and was forced to eat a whole bunch of rats to survive?! I think we might've missed that issue. Alfred proclaims that he is not Steve and will do what he wants. And so, our comic ends with Steve walking away grumbling, with the narration boxes saying...
Batman: (narrating) ALFRED just told me to take a FLYING LEAP.
Linkara (v/o): Uh, I thought he said he wasn't your slave. Were you the impression that he was? There's so much not to like about this guy.
Batman: (narrating) This little BRAT is going to ruin EVERYTHING.
Linkara: Hey, you're the one who kidnapped him, asshole. (closes comic and holds it up) These comics are horrible! The only joy you could possibly have is laughing at how atrocious they are. How this ever made it past the editors, I may never know. (throws down comic, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Yes, I'm sure I mispronounced "Monaghan" and for that I am sorry.
I'd love to see some of Frank's script pages for Jim Lee. "Okay, now just have a big Superman logo. That ought to fill up a whole page and I don't even need to put in any dialogue. The symbol speaks for itself."
(Stinger: A panel of the comic is shown again)
Batman: (narrating) I touched my mother's breast. It BLED on me.
(Cut through black to Linkara)
Linkara: Say... (takes out and looks at pocket watch) I dropped my watch.