And I have one overwhelming, virulent response:
Kurt Busiek teased a fight between Batroc and Batman. Batroc even kicked Batman in the face, which I think gives it an 11 and “Greatest Panel Ever” on the Chris Sims objective critical scale and certainly gives anyone who follows that metric many boners in their heart. Objectively, of course.
But the rest of this battle for the ages happened off panel. And that is unforgivable, devaluing the rest of the comic and cementing Busiek and Perez as untalented hacks of the highest (lowest) order. They are worse than Composite Rob Liefeld (who is half Rob Liefeld, half Chuck Austen, and talks like Chris Claremont and his purpliest prose).
Sure, the rest of the pages between the face kick and Batroc being laid out by the Batman (RIP) are filled with trademark George Perez “every character I can squeeze in to a page” cosmic spectacle, and Busiek does a great job juggling all of these characters, making the story work while still packing it with as many “fuck yeah” moments as he can, and it’s a fun story that provides fan service without devolving in to the worst cliches of this sort of thing. It even has something to say about both fictional shared universes in the process, and it worked better as an epic superhero crossover than any of the bloated mega events that followed it in the subsequent years have.
But no multi page Batroc/Batman fight? Most epic of epic fails, Busiek and Perez! Why do you hate comics so much, you black holes of talent and humanity?
I also picked up the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier trade, just to balance out my comic book nerd porn with some English literature/pop culture porn. I’ll be sure to find something to have mock outrage in that once I read Jess Nevins annotations and figure out what the hell’s going on.