(Alternate post title: "Who is Batman groping now?")
I talked a bit about my disappointment with last week's Batman/Doc Savage Special #1 at Blog@Newsarama earlier this week, noting that I wasn't very happy with Phil Noto's art.
Noto is a pretty talented comics artist, and the major problem with his work on the comic was that it was simply not great work, merely pretty good work. He didn't engage in the sort of world-building the project called for, or tried to come up with a new style or match his own to the tone writer Brian Azzarello seemed to be going for in the world of "First Wave" (As Azzarello himself articulates it in the back-matter). Panels three and four are just terrible.
There were two scenes in the book that really confused me, and I wanted to draw attention to them here. The first is just an incredibly badly done sequence by Noto.
Check it out:
Let's ignore the fact that Noto seemed to have used the exact same image of a head in two consecutive panels (Damn you, computers! When I was growing up, comics artist had to draw every head with their own hands!)
Did that dude with the dark hair just stare with his blank, dead eyes at Doc Savage as he walked all the way across the room and to the door, without ever turning around to look at it?
Shouldn't there really have been another panel between those two, in which he's silent and walking toward the door?
I get the impression that he just glided across the floor without moving his legs or even blinking. That is either one creepy-ass dude, or a pretty shoddy sequence of panels.
The other odd scene is actually much, much odder, and doesn't have anything to do with Noto's execution. It has more to do with the scripting, which I'm not even sure I'm reading right.
Batman has broken into Savage's hotel room and started rifling around for some Maguffin-y documents or something, and Savage returns with a reporter who wants to interview him. The orange-colored narration boxes are Savage's, and the blue one's are Bamtan's:
Did...did they really just have Batman grope a woman to distract Savage? That...that's a really weird plan there, Batman. I...I can't even make sense of this sequence, but Azzarello and Noto expended more panels on Batman touching that woman and her reacting then they did on the drama of the dark haired dude in the previous scene's two lines of dialogue.