Friday, September 15, 2006

Novelization: Inheritance _ Devin Grayson

I returned "Inheritance' by Devin Grayson on Thursday. I'd borrowed it from the library after coming across a blog or two that discussed it. The snippets seemed interesting. I kept hearing about Devin's start in fanfiction and how far she'd come and how much this novel seemed to read like fanfiction with all of it's subtext-almost-text.

I couldn't finish reading the book. I enjoyed Gotham Knights. I enjoyed 'Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu'. I'm fairly certain that any hand Devin had in the graphic novels of No Man's Land I'm likely to enjoy. But the only people I could get into in 'Inheritance' were the original characters.

Ow. Just, OW!!

I'm not an Aquaman fan, I basically know him from the cartoons: Superman in the 90's and JL / JLU in the 00's. But the person in the book I was reading didn't seem like either of the Aquamen I knew. And Green Arrow! Maybe Kevin Smith spoiled me on who he was supposed to be and how I was supposed to see him.

But Ollie was... Ollie was empty headed, glib. He wasn't the man I'd seen in the arc where he comes back to life and deals with his mistakes and his anger and bitterness and owns his maturity. I could understand the way the book's Roy treated him. Because I'd have hated a mofo like Ollie too, if he was as he was presented in the book. It was more than carefree and footloose and I kept wondering how come Batman didn't snap his neck.

Dick was.... the gayest thing I've ever seen! It was like in that universe if you looked up the word 'Twink', there'd be a picture of Dick Grayson's ass, followed by a picture of his side profile. The whole eagerness to please older men/need for affection/open walking wound/open mouth.... Dick was like if Greg Land drew men the way he traces women. It was perverse and scary in ways that have a lot to do with the depths of my Batman love and likely not a whole lot to do with anything else.

The original characters on the other hand felt like people. And Harvey Bullock seemed real as well. Whereas Jim Gordan felt like a shadow of himself and a fearful shadow at that.

I'm currently having difficulties reading Dennis O'Neil's novelization of Knightfall. But the problem there has more to do with me finding inside of Bane's head to be extremely boring and monochromatic and the fact that I don't like someone else getting inside of Batman's head for me. I very much like bringing my 'own' Batman to a Batman novel. The dissonance between the two makes for difficult reading and as much as I'd like a novelization approach to the tale I might have to just hunt down the graphic novels and trades.

But Devin Grayson and Inheritance was something painful. And I'm keenly disappointed. Because I'd hoped people who talked about it were exaggerating and that there was built up and context to those snippets they showed. But there wasn't. It was one long love letter to Dick's neediness, Batman's cryptic nature, Ollie as 'The Blonde Bombshell in Green' and Arthur as some kind of Atlantean English Nobleman with thought patterns mere humans could never understand.

Painful and sad.

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