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Complete Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts, by Unpretty - M - Batman/DCU

Discussion in 'Anime, Cartoons, and Comics' started by Shinysavage, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

    Nov 16, 2009
    High Score:
    Series Title: Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts
    Author: Unpretty
    Rating: M (overall, individual entries run the full range)
    Genre: Humour/Fluff/Angst/Smut (again, individual entries vary, but that about sums it up)
    Status: Complete? (series is tagged as complete, at least three of the entries are marked as incomplete)
    Pairings: Batman/Catwoman, Batman/Wonder Woman, Bruce Wayne/Lois Lane, Superman (and Clark Kent)/Lois Lane, Batman/Harley Quinn
    Link: https://archiveofourown.org/series/440926
    Summary: A series of one-shots and longer entries casting glimpses into Unpretty's spin on the DC setting, primarily focused on Batman, ranging from before the Wayne murders to the Tim Drake as Robin period (so far).

    I've read this two or three times over the last month or so, and I've been weighing up whether to post it for review or not. I think it's definitely a strong YMMV series, but personally I'd put it down as one of the best fics I've read this year.

    I found it when I stumbled across a story about Martha Kent having to deal with the various time-travellers coming back to kill Superman as a baby, lingered to chuckle at some one-shots about social media in Gotham, and stuck around for some outstanding character work. I think this might genuinely be becoming my favourite take on Batman, apart from the animated series (obviously). It's not precisely lighthearted, despite the constant streak of dry humour (this Batman lives and breathes the Comically Serious trope) and occasional detours into broader comedy, but equally it's nowhere near as dark as a lot of recent interpretations (and possibly canon, these days? I'm a little out of touch tbh).

    The writing is really good, smooth and polished without being showy, and each of the many characters that crop up with any prominence have their own distinct voice. She's equally at home writing a dumb (if funny) bit about Batman not wanting to move because a duckling has sat on his feet and a longer, multi-chapter entry telling the first meeting of Batman and Superman from the perspective of Lois Lane.

    Personally, there's nothing I'd really cite as a negative, but I am conscious that there are elements which will probably not go over that well; some of the entries focusing on Tim are pitch perfect recreations of a teenager who spends too much time on Tumblr, which I found hilarious but I'm sure some will find irritating, and there's a certain...well, AO3-ness to the series (polyamory being a-ok with no obvious discussion or agreement, much being made of Bruce's privilege as an obscenely rich white man, characters randomly being transgender for no immediately obvious reason beyond yay, representation!). Plus there's an undeniably fluffy streak that I appreciate may not be what people want in a Batman fic.

    Standout entries are:

    Wayne Manor - Alfred starts his new job as the Waynes butler, multi-chapter, incomplete but hasn't been updated in nearly a year.
    Third Wheel - the aforementioned first meeting of Batman and Superman, multi-chapter, complete.
    Unfamiliar Faces - Zatanna wants to know why Batman is being weird around the Justice League's newest recruit.
    Office Meeting - Bruce has to deal with Harley and Ivy, who don't have an appointment.

    For me, 5/5
  2. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

    Sep 16, 2007
    Read through these awhile back and thought most of them were pretty hilarious and great--particularly the Excel spreadsheet one. Some of them fell pretty flat for me, too, including some of the Tim ones, but on the whole, I'll echo the 5/5.
  3. The.Snorting.Hat

    The.Snorting.Hat Second Year

    Jun 4, 2017
    It's under Fidelius.
    High Score:
    Oh my bloody god. Why had this not been in my life yet?

    Granted, I'm still going through the series, but with Wayne Manor and Empty Graves done, this author does not seem capable of doing wrong. I don't know if this style of writing will work with an environment that I don't already know (like, original fiction instead of familiar settings of DC universe) because the description of the places is not very detailed. But the characters are so well done I can literally feel like I'm standing there, listening to them talk. I don't even notice myself reading, which rarely happens while reading fanfiction, which is generally not so polished.

    Can't imagine going below 5/5
  4. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Feb 20, 2011
    Wayne Manor is pretty good, the rest tend towards bleh but I haven't gone through all of them.
  5. magglez

    magglez First Year

    May 12, 2011
    I loved the duckling one for some reason. It made me giggle. I wasn't a huge fan of the Tim stuff, it all felt very... yeah I guess tumblr is the best way to describe it. Actually all of it had undertones of that SJW preachy feel, but it was easy to overlook for the most part. Bruce calling Palmer to bitch about kale was pretty great though, and I enjoyed the trip to Walmart. The fluff is wonderful, gave me all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings. I think the one about Bruce in high school might have been my favorite. Wayne Manor felt unfinished, but I'm a sucker for Alfred as a spy so it gets a silver medal. Oh and all the stuff with Catwoman is worth a read. I wasn't a huge fan of the portrayal of Wonder Woman. I liked all the stuff she was in, but it just didn't fit my head-canon of how she would behave and speak. 5/5 just for not being overwhelmingly angsty while still feeling like DC.
  6. Nazgus

    Nazgus Chief Warlock

    Mar 16, 2011
    5/5 from me. A lot of them are marked as uncompleted (including the Wayne Manor one), I think the series is more as in they all take part in the same universe than anything else.

    ... I do kind of wish I'd found this after my midterms were over though...
  7. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

    Sep 1, 2010
    Germany occupied Greece
    High Score:
    I think this draws many good ratings because of the few gems in the collection. I'll admit that some of them were very good. For example, I really enjoyed the perspective on high-school Bruce.

    The rest of the stories are hit and miss, with many tipping over into the miss pile and many that didn't bogged down by the Tumblr feel of it.

    There is some good humor and occasional glimpses of great dialogue, but it's not the norm or consistent enough to judge based on that. Too many of them are complete misses to rate it based on the few gems, either. In the end this can be entertaining at times but fails to feel like a Batman (or even a DCU) story.