Batman, where art thou?

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1: I had somewhere between low and no expectations for this. Ultimately, it would seem to be a placeholder of a comic: it seems unlikely, given what we know, that the "battle" will end up with any other than Brucie-boy back in control.

Like many DC comics, this feels needlessly brutal -- people getting eaten and blown apart and Underage Jailbait Unattached Feet and all of that; and, like many DC comics, this feels oddly unattached from continuity -- the Birds of Prey are disbanded in their own comic, and together here; this wouldn't appear to be post-FINAL CRISIS (though I guess it could be), and so on.

It also repeats several Been There, Done That plot points: blah blah someone brings the b-list villains together; blah blah, warring gangs fight over the Batman-less pie (though I liked the pig mask guys, that was cute); blah blah Arkham explodes (how many times does that make?); blah blah someone who Gets It Wrong is usurping Batman's costume; and so on.

But despite that, the execution is perfectly adequate. There's a basic attempt to give different characters different personalities. And there's at least somewhat of a mounting urgency in the narrative.

This is journeyman work -- perfectly acceptable in all ways, if not especially thrilling. And while I could have lived without the $4 price tag, at least there are 30 story pages, so the math isn't completely heinous. But it is hard to work up any real feelings about it either way: a textbook example of an OK comic book.

But you know who really should be the next Batman? Jon Stewart.

No, no, not the Green Lantern. Sheesh.

I was just very impressed with Stewart's assault on CNBC and Jim Cramer this whole week, and the face-to-face interview last night was absolutely riveting television. Stewart just plain HAMMERED Cramer, but did it without screaming or ranting or using much else other than reason and a plea for ethical conduct.

Jon Stewart is an American treasure, and his sense of Justice is just a soaring stalwart thing.

I wish we had ten of him.