From a thread in Moving Pictures that was originally about The Death and Return of Superman:
Concise Locket wrote:
I push detractors to explain what they hate and I typically get generic "He's a hack/he ruined Batman!" responses. The most interesting one I got was "Batman made Jason Todd dye his hair black!" which I thought was... an unusual thing to complain about.
I guess I'm not seeing what he's doing with Batman that's so terribly different from what previous writers have done. If the major complaint is he nudged Bruce Wayne away from being a broody anti-hero, readers should pick up pre-Frank Miller Batman books. He used to smile then.
Anyone want to enlighten me here?
Many long-standing Batman fans just cry out "He's a hack/He Ruined Batman" because the changes he made across his two times writing Batman as a character were bad on SO MANY levels, the fandom that rejects him, asked to highlight what he didn't like, would take the highlighter and rub it over THE ENTIRE COMIC. In the way that Alan Moore's Watchmen is perfect in almost every single choice it made, Grant Morrisson's All Star Batman & Robin and later on main-line Batman story arc that hit a mad crescendo in Final Crisis just kept making bad choice after bad choice that turned a lot of fans off.
I could sit and write out a breakdown of how rotten All Star Batman & Robin was for you, but Linkara already has two great videos where he does just that. Issues 1 and 2
and then Issues 3 and 4.
The long and the short of it is, this series was such an awful version that the publishers later backpedaled and said it was a parody
of Batman and Robin. Note: The original intention of the All-Star line of titles was a modernized reboot, akin to Marvel's Ultimate Universe line of comics. But GM made so very many missteps in ASB&R that the publishers had to apologize to the fans
and state that it was not to be taken seriously.
Now, let's go on to a more recent GM Batman work: The Black Glove. This was the lead-in to Batman: R.I.P., which in itself was a lead-in to Batman's part of the storyline in Final Crisis.
The Black Glove was a confusing mess. He chucked the known canon of Batman's past out the window and created his own, where there was a whole cast of Bat-Men around the globe, who were inspired by Bruce Wayne and had taken up their own version of the mantle in their homelands. The most memorable of these versions was a British pair called Knight and Squire, which looked like Batman and Robin dressed to infiltrate a Ren Faire. The storyline was constantly and erratically jumping between the present and the past, taking place on this tropical island that had never been mentioned in the comics before or since, and had a "And Then There Were None" trope where various members were being killed off each time everyone split up. The culprits? The Black Glove, a new group of villains that worked in the shadows and apparently had rich people betting on who would die next, and who would escape with their lives. Why? For the profits, and to fuck with Batman. Actually, a great deal of what the Black Glove did and said was incredibly confusing, the plot was incredibly difficult to follow, especially spread out the way it was, and GM wasn't giving anyone any hints as to what was true or false about them and their motivations. In Batman R.I.P., Bruce Wayne actually went mad, and became Zurr-En-Arrgh or something like that, a batshit crazy version of Batman that wore a psychadelic purple suit and was getting tips on where to go and what to do from a hallucinatory Bat-Mite. Why? Because Dr. Hurt (who may or may not have been part of The Black Glove, and some people claim was Darkseid in disguise but I don't see it) tried to mind-control Batman, and Batman was so damn crazy prepared that he had set up this alternate personality as an override if anyone pulled something like that. When did he set that up? It was never mentioned before. Fuck, it wasn't even explained at first WHY Zurr-En-Arrgh was now running around Gotham being crazy in Bruce Wayne's body at first. The explanation came towards the end of that part of things. But anyway...
...moving on. The head of The Black Glove reveals himself, and claims to be Thomas Wayne, which is either a blatant lie stated to fuck with Bruce more or else GM REALLY decided to piss all over established canon. Either way, we never get an explanation for the statement because the helicopter that The Black Glove and Batman is in explodes in a fiery crash, and that's it, Batman is dead. Only no he's not, because...
...In Final Crisis, we see Batman in a laboratory on Apokalips, the war machine planet of Darkseid. He's in a glass cylinder with a breathing tube and electrodes attached to his head over his cowl. How did he get from the exploding helicopter to here? No explanation is ever given.
Why is he in this tank? They're trying to clone him, and they're trying to extract all his skills and copy them into the clones. Only because this is The Goddamn Batman, the clones look at the memories Bruce had up until his capture and just die from the overwhelming awesome of it. (No, really.) Then Batman wakes up and breaks free, rejoining the Justice League to figure out WTF he's been missing. He's been missing Darkseid killing off New Gods left and right, and taking over the mere mortals of Earth with something called the Anti-Life Equation. Batman stages a plan to stop it all, and this where GM did something that truly drove home the point he doesn't understand Batman:He has Batman shoot Darkseid to death.
See, there was this magic bullet that Darkseid made to kill one of the New Gods. Batman found it, re-shelled it, and fired it from a special pistol to kill Darkseid. And right before firing, he had Batman say "Congratulations, you're making me break my one rule. No villain has ever done that."
For the second time in his career, GM has totally missed what Batman's core values are. The first time was in All Star, where Batman kidnaps a small boy whose parents were just killed in front of him, calls the boy retarded, and swears at him. Why did he act out like that? Because the boy asks why he's being kidnapped. Having Batman smile sometimes is fine by me. There were points in several great Batman stories (including recent ones) where he smiled, and a couple where he even laughed. But having Batman use crude language and curse, having him act like an insensitive prick to someone who was just a victim of the same crime that made him who he is... that was unacceptable. Then in Final Crisis, Batman uses a gun, and takes a life. Yes, I know, Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns had Batman turned into a killer, or at least a man who trains others to kill. But Batman hadn't picked up any firearms to do it. Batman wielding a gun is supposed to be one of those "never gonna happen" scenarios in comics, like Spider-Man being on time for a date and no villains interrupting it, or Jimmy Olsen doing something useful. But GM decided to ignore that, and the editing staff let him get away with it. Batman "dies" at the end of Final Crisis, being burned to death by Darkseid's Omega Beams. Only, the editors decide they CAN'T have that happen, and so they throw in a contradictory (and unexplained) final set of panels where Bruce Wayne is painting the JLA team logos on a cave wall in the prehistoric past. This leads into:
The Return of Bruce Wayne, which like the other GM titles, was a confusing mess with gaping plot holes that made no sense and actively conflicted a lot of things that went before it, up to and INCLUDING the conclusion to Final Crisis. I still don't understand what happenned here and/or how it fits, but it hardly matters because as soon as Flashpoint threw the Retcon switch again, it looks like all of that got edited away and we were returned to Bruce being the one and only Batman, Dick being Nightwing, Tim being Red Robin, and Damien being Robin.
So, the major problems with GM over his takes on Batman are: He radically changes core aspects/key values of the character. His stories made no damn sense and crammed in a bunch of characters that were never used before OR after because they were never properly explained and in most cases entirely pointless. He threw in an arc motif (red and black checkered pattern) just to further confuse the readers, and intentionally had it go nowhere. He threw in an arc phrase about a hole that no pieces fit into or some shit, and then slapped in a last-minute explanation that made everyone go back and say, "WTF? Is this asshole telling us now that the whole insane thing is because of Darkseid? That doesn't make any damn sense!" He actively BROKE the character, tried to kill him, and then when the editors FINALLY said "No" to him on that one aspect of the story, he created something to change the character's fate that was even more of a crappy ass pull than the preceding plot that led to his death(s).
I dislike Quesada for having magic retconned Spidey revealing his identity publicly, in the process erasing his marriage to Mary Jane to resurrect Aunt May. I hated it even MORE when "One Moment in Time" retconned the retcon by saying laying out just HOW the wedding to MJ never happened. But I still read Spidey, because those are two bumps in some otherwise good stories.
I dislike Morrisson to the point where if he's writing it, I don't pick it up now. I made ONE exception from this with the New 52... I picked up Action Comics to see how he'd reboot Superman. Surprise (not)! He made him an arrogant prick who abused his powers to do whatever he saw as the right thing. Took him from the ultimate example of Lawful Good to a character riding the line between Neutral Good and Chaotic Neutral. I chose not to keep reading it after the first two, and it confirmed what I already had decided about GM... that he's not interested in making characters as we all know and love them, he wants to make characters HE identifies with, and then put them in the established character's role and fuck anyone who notices the differences and disapproves.