Philip Tan takes over the reigns of penciller from Frank Quitely in this Grant Morrison-scribed tale of Gotham. Does he fail or succeed?
Now, I’m no big Grant Morrison fan (aside from Animal Man). Nor, am I a big Frank Quitely fan. For the longest time, I didn’t like either of them, but they’ve grown on me. What they had going from Batman and Robin #1-3 was something that was pure magic. Writer and Artist in perfect harmony. Hell, I gave the last issue a near perfect score!
I’m not saying that I hate Philip Tan’s work in this issue. There’s some interesting framing and layouts that he does that I really enjoy. His pencils just cause a completely different tone to develop than what Quitely had going. Before, the series was highly stylized in a sort of graphic, broken down, but beautiful way.
There’s just too much color… too many lines, and not the same connection between the people in this issue. Plus, I really disliked The Penguin’s look in here.
I believe that Quitely and Morrison working together had a perfect ring and harmony to it, and with Tan and Morrison working together on this script, it just completely changes the writing. No longer does it seem chilling or frightful. It’s rather plain and just Morrison-abstract. Frankly, Morrison’s writing suffers from the art. I think it’s a bad script because the art’s that bad. I saw what Morrison’s capable of just last month for this series, and now I just can’t separate the writing from the art. They’re molded on this series…
and right now, that mold’s like when you mix too many different colors of clay and end up with a puke, brown, lumpish piece of something.