High Five! Comics

So, Is “Widening Gyre” a Euphemism?

Posted on: August 28, 2009

Rob: Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of Kevin Smith’s work. Chasing Amy and Mallrats are two of my top 50 movies. I subscribe to SModcast and love it. And, I mean, both his runs on Daredevil and Green Arrow were critically acclaimed, right? Hell, I’ll give Widening Gyre a shot. Why not? It’s Maggie’s copy.

I hate to say it, but this book is such a fucking mixed bag.

Quick note, spoilers abound.

The premise of this issue that Batman (Bruce Wayne! Awww, we miss you!) gets an emergency call from Arkham after busting up the convenience store-based (GROAN) front for a bunch of Neo-Nazis with Nightwing. He shows up at Arkham and sees the place overgrown with flora, immediately making him assume Ivy’s taken the joint over. Not so! Turns out she’s just trying to protect herself from a crazed Etrigan, who is running around eating the inmates’ faces. Yes.

Faces! They're magically delicious!

Faces! They're magically delicious!

OK, I did like the subtle reference to Swamp Thing’s Gotham City rampage during Alan Moore’s tenure (fuck yeah, “unbeatable god”). I did like that it showed Ivy being powerful enough that even the Joker was at the mercy of her vines (which raises the question of how powerful she really is). I did like the fact that Etrigan actually spoke in rhyme and it was actually pretty well done (take a note, Wednesday Comics). Walt Flanagan’s art wasn’t spectacular, but it was all right (if you didn’t mind the fact that at times it looked like he ripped flashback-Robin straight out of All-Star Batman and Robin).

Why didn't she doe this DECADES ago?

Why didn't she do this DECADES ago?

Also, I am actually interested in who this new vigilante is, which surprises me. See, we just went through wondering who Batman and Robin were going to end up being in “Battle for the Cowl,” and then who Batgirl was going to be in the months leading up to the eponymous series, and NOW who this new Red Hood is in Morrison’s Batman and Robin. I figured I would be SO OVER this game of “Guess Who: DC Universe Edition” they’ve got us playing, but I guess I’m not.

It’s a total bummer because there’s also all this shit I sooo wasn’t into.

First off, the mindless banter between Bruce and Dick Grayson. Talking about Baron Blitzkreig’s assault as “I don’t sweat it?” Saying that Nightwing has “pulled a me?” Kevin Smith should know that Bruce Wayne’s Batman is supposed to be extremely to the point. Writing him as Dick Grayson’s best buddy sort of takes away from the fear he’s supposed to strike in people. Seriously, it makes it read like next time Bruce and Dick cross paths, they’re going to have some bro grabs, hop in the Batmobile, and split an 18 pack of Bud Light while talking about all the Barbara Gordon tang they SHOULD be getting.

Where's the speculum?

Where's the speculum?

Speaking of fictional vag, problem number two. Ivy spends the whole issue in a set of gynecological stirrups made of vines. She seriously spends the entire thing naked and spread eagle. And, because Kevin Smith is writing this, her vagina shoots out THC and toooootally gets Batman high. Kevin Smith has taken something Brodie and T.S. probably talked about in a deleted scene from Mallrats and said, “Fuck it, let’s just write it into the book.” At least we can finally ask Bruce if Ivy’s junk actually DOES look like a Georgia O’Keefe painting (come for the reviews, stay for the plant-genitalia jokes).

Whatever, I’m tired and it’s WAY hotter in here than it should be so I might as well wrap this up. Kevin Smith? Buddy. Dude. I will read issue two, OK? I promise. I just really hope that you stop writing this like it’s one of your movies. I don’t want to see Azrael showing up and looking like Jason Lee. [But- I’m a fucking demon!! -M]. I don’t want to see Solomon Grundy working at RST Video. Kevin, I guess what I’m trying to say is, well, I don’t want this to be your comic book Jersey Girl.

Maggie: OK, everything Rob hated about this book, I loved. I went into this hoping it would read like a Kevin Smith movie. Except, you know, with Batman. Ivy made me uncomfortable, but she’s supposed to. The lighter Golden Age cheese tone in the Dick & Bruce scenes was a nice departure from everything else going on in the DCU right now, which makes me need an entire room of Prozac. Also, I was never, ever afraid of Adam West.

The Ivy-gets-Batman high bit was hilarious. Particularly his reaction to it. Bruce Wayne probably NEEDS to go ahead, unclench, and partake every now and then.

You should buy the book for the Joker’s dialogue alone. He’s got like three panels but he kills it. What a fuckin’ psycho he is.

Also? NOTHING involving Bruce Wayne Batman could come close to sucking as hard as Jersey Girl. Not even an Austrian bodybuilder as Mr. Freeze.

Dude. Duuuuuuuude!

Dude. Duuuuuuuude!

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3 Responses to "So, Is “Widening Gyre” a Euphemism?"

I’m with Maggie, this was an amazing comic and it was one of the most entertaining Batman reads I’ve laid eyes on.

I think sometimes boys forget we’re talking about a dude dressed up as a Bat.

Why so serious, Rob? – amirite?

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