Robot 6

Morrison sets the stage for Batman Inc. with ‘startling revelation’ in Batman & Robin

Batman & Robin #16

This week Grant Morrison wraps up his run on Batman & Robin with a “startling revelation” that sets the stage for the upcoming Batman Inc. title … and that’s popping up in the media. So if you haven’t read issue #16 yet and would like to do it spoiler free, don’t click the “Continue Reading” button below. You might also want to just avoid the internet completely.

SPOILERS WARNING!

*****

As you can see in the pages below, courtesy of DC’s The Source blog, Batman & Robin #16 ends with a returned Bruce Wayne holding an end-of-Iron Man type press conference to announce the new venture Wayne Enterprises is backing — Batman Inc. Wayne confesses to the world that he’s been financing Batman’s activities over the years, and now he’s going global.

“Some of you may have wondered…How does a man like Batman afford to constantly update his crime-fighting technology? Where does his money come from?

“Well, the answer is me,” Wayne says.

from Batman & Robin #16

Batman & Robin #16

The Associated Press spoke with Morrison about the admission:

Morrison told The Associated Press that the decision was made to protect Wayne’s secret identity by deflecting attention away from speculation it was he who wore the cape.

“We’ve sidetracked the media that he has actually been financing Batman all these years,” Morrison explained of the long arc he’s written that has seen the Dark Knight plunge through time and space and have his mantle taken up by former Robin Dick Grayson. “He is the man behind the Batman, but he is not Batman.”

In doing so, Wayne is free to take his crime fighting international by building what Morrison calls a “global, international army of Batmen. Batman in China, Batman in Japan, Batman in Russia. Expanding the Batman brand to areas where he really hasn’t been before.”

While CBR’s Kiel Phegley spoke with new DC e-i-c Bob Harras. “Let me tell you how I reacted when I saw the pages, which was around the same time: I felt again like a 12-year-old kid reading comics,” Harras said. “It was totally amazing, totally unexpected and was one of those things where I couldn’t wait to see what happens next. It made me feel like superheroes were full of possibilities. It was a totally unexpected direction, but that’s what I loved about it.”

So what do you guys think?

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Comments

17 Comments

Ditto, I think it’s a great idea.

Hell, even if you think it sucks, at least it changes the status quo a bit, and that’s always welcome, especially in DC these days.

The Ugly American

November 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Those open black mouth-pits that artist keeps drawing look horrible.

So it is basically Batman: The Initiative? Instead of placing a super team in 50 states, it places a Batman in every country? Meh. Glad I dropped B&R.

@Alemander: I’m pretty sure that Batman was first. You’ve heard of “Batmen of All Nations,” right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batmen_of_All_Nations

@ El Santo : So? Who cares who was first? Doesn’t make my analogy that far off.

Marvel just did the same basic thing for 3 years and it was mildly interesting because of the Skrulls. Other than that, it wasn’t anything great.

I am supposed to get geeked out because there will be 100 Batmen all over the globe. Hard enough to get interested in two Batmen, let along all these other ones. I just don’t see the great appeal. My loss, I am sure.

I eagerly await the raft of lawsuits that are now heading directly towards Wayne Enterprises.

Feel it’s a bad idea – Almost a JLA of Batman. The character is unique in his individuality and setting
(Gotham) change that and you weaken the overall proposition for the reader, though let’s DC publish a
multitude of Bat books – Could be wrong, but dropping all the titles apart from ‘tec and Batwoman

By embracing the “Batmen of all Nations” concept from way back when, this is simply another modern rehash of a classic Batman concept, not unlike Batwoman, the earlier “Batmen of All Nations” (who met as the “Club of Heroes” at the Black Glove’s castle), Batman of Zur en Arrh, the Batman Sci-Fi Closet, the sensory deprivation tank simulating Silver Age experiences, and various other items.

That’s all this is, and it’s fine with me.

Now bring on a modern “The Outsider” or modern “Rainbow Batman” (yeah, I know they just did it in the cartoon), or Aunt Agatha.

It has a lot of potential, and it really is the sort of thing you wonder why it took so long for Bruce to come up with it.

I just wonder if he is going to get grief for privatizing the war on crime. He should.

I think it sucks, but it does give a ton of potential stories, particularly when Batmen go rogue and turn into villains.

This is the way Batman has been going since Morrison’s JLA. Bruce Wayne is much more useful sitting at a computer. Let him train other people to do the Batmen stuff.

Iron Man

Let me state up front that I dig Morrison’s Batman work in general, Damian Wayne and the upcoming Batman, Inc. Truly taking the franchise in new and unexpected directions, and the books are all the better for it.

But: this feels like a great idea done only halfway right. For one thing, anyone in the DCU who can’t figure out that Batman and Bruce Wayne are one and the same now is obviously a huge idiot. Lazy, shiftless, layabout socialite billionaire Bruce Wayne suddenly revealing himself as competent, driven philantropist Batman-backer is an open invite for the press to pour over Wayne’s past activities and whereabouts. Even with non-Wayne Batmen Dick Grayson and Jean-Paul Valley and Bruce Wayne-imitator Hush running around, Batman and Bruce Wayne’s (dis)appearances, itinerary and activities still overlap like 90% of the time. Bruce Wayne was at an art show in London – and so was Batman when the Man-Bats showed up! JLA captured by white Martians – Bruce Wayne’s office regrets to inform you he will not be attending the Wayne Foundation’s annual fund raising gala. And so on. If 14 year old Tim Drake could figure out Batman’s secret identity by recognizing a one of a kind circus move and linking Dick Grayson to Bruce Wayne, surely there must be tons of detectives, journalists, law enforcement agencies, crazy super-villains and the like who could construe the full truth now that Bruce Wayne has confessed to a connection. For that matter, the history of his wards/adopted sons (who are standing right behind him on the dais! Like an row of exhibited evidence!) neatly corresponds with the history of Batman’s Robins. “Also, now I would like to introduce you to my heretofore unknown lovechild son, who coincidentally resembles the height, build and hairstyle of the new sidekick of the vigilante I am funding but so totally am not myself.”

So, unless they’re going for one of those ‘Matt Murdock is Daredevil’ open-secret kind of deals, I think they should’ve just gone all the way. The target Batman painted on all his friends, families and associates’ backs with this move wouldn’t have been that much bigger (“Hey boss, there’s this guy on tv sez he’s been financing Batman all these years.” “Get me Sniper Sal, Letter Bomb Lenny, Carl the Kidnapper and Deathstroke on the horn, now!”), and it would’ve made for a better story, I think.

Still, cautiously optimistic. Morrison is pretty dope, after all.

funkygreenjerusalem

November 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Best issue of the best run of superhero comics in the 21st century.

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