In response to Sean T. Collins' review of Batman: Knightfall Part I: Broken Bat. Please read before continuing for fuller context. I thought this first volume was great as well. The build up was terrific, as best I can remember, which does seem pretty vivid now that I've read your review, as I've not read this since 1994 or so.
I thought the remainder of Knightfall was lacking, didn't read much of Knightquest and Knightsearch, but Knightsend, Prodigal, and Troika were great and it seemed Batman and Detective Comics were on this great high for years (Dixon, Moench, Rucka, Brubaker) until around War Games. It seems that around the time of Identity Crisis, things got dark.
Yes, in the nineties Batman had his back broken, but it didn't have the uncomfortable feel that I got from War Games and many other stories from the Big Two over the past five or six years. It's like there's no more heart (maybe those dumb monkey moments) in storytelling and it's all about topping the previous writer's over the top ultraviolence. I don't care anymore, with few exceptions, like Bendis and then Bru's Daredevil. That works for me.
I'm wondering if post-modern has taken over the mainstream of the Big Two and is as far as superhero stories can develop, stories constantly regurgitated, each time a little more nasty and that much less satisfying.
It's like beginning with Alien, heading into Aliens, then the first Predator, and Alien 3 to end up with AVP: Requiem and being throat-raped a lot more violently and being aware while it's happening by the Alien/Predator hybrid instead of the unconsciousness-inducing facehugger, which by name alone doesn't sound so bad.
This is something I think David Wolk, in Reading Comics discusses some (Only about half way through myself). Where is the fun? Marvel's G.I.Joe series is one of my favorite and is so fun, but Casey's America's Elite... Not fun. A few characters, some favorites died in Hama's original stories, but when Casey or others kill Joes or Cobras...it's not fun. Why is this?
Is comics violence becoming hyper real, and therefore taking away from the fantasy element in regard to the violence?