Man, superheroes have gone through the wringer lately. First, Italian artist Giuseppe Veneziano opened a controversial show that features superheroes behaving badly. Also, Kevin Smith wrote an in-canon comic of Batman peeing his pants. Yes, you read that right.
First off, Giuseppe Veneziano has been causing a stir with his recent pop art show in Pietrasanta, Italy. Granted, the hubbub has been over a painting of a baby Hitler cuddling up with the Virgin Mary, but his portrayals of superheroes have been none too flattering. Think Catwoman-Batman-Robin threesomes.
Meanwhile, Chris Sims' review of Batman: The Widening Gyre 6 over at Comics Alliance has been gaining some serious plaudits — Sims calls out DC for allowing Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith) to run roughshod over classic characters in ways other writers would be fired for:
"Widening Gyre" is the most compelling argument I've seen for the distinction between fan-fiction and "legitimate" comics writing being purely monetary, because there is no qualitative distinction whatsoever between what Smith's doing here and what JokerScarz666 puts up on his LiveJournal. Smith's writing on Batman is marked by nothing so much as a pervasive immaturity. He writes like a 13-year-old in every possible way.
How roughshod is roughshod? Let's just say that one of Batman's paramours reveals to Alfred the number of times Bats made her orgasm...
...and that Smith makes Batman piss himself.
Mind you, the above bladder spasm occurs in a scene in Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's seminal Batman: Year One. That's like going back to Fantastic Four 1 and rewriting Mr. Fantastic emerging from his downed spaceship waggling an eight-yard erection. You just don't do it.
I've been waiting eight years for Smith's second issue of Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target. I think I can wait a little longer.