Definitely in Greatest Hits mode at the moment, repackaging old tat to get ready for Christmas. 2.5% less VAT. Catastrophes averted by less.

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So – if you’ve avoided the comments in the latest Cape Killer post -  the Black Glove will be revealed in Batman #681, out this Wednesday in North America, and widdled across the internet almost instantaneously thereafter by those lovely colonials, with help from the evil shitrag the Daily Telegraph. If you’re keeping it real back here in the Old World, you can pick it up from your friendly neighbourhood geek-crack vendor on Thursday. If like me you have to wait until Saturday before you can hit the shop, the whole goddam internet is basically a no-go zone of Tarkovskian intensity from about lunchtime Wednesday UK time. Cheers. Cheers Telegraph. I will endeavour not to let my fresh-spoiled self influence the readings I give to these here jing-casts. Maybe the Telegraph was wrong. I’m really, really unhappy about this by the way. Maybe the paper’s wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time the bastard shitting fucks have told an outright lie.

We, and no doubt Messrs. T. Callahan, F.B. Babylon et al. will dig over the coals of this revelatory inferno with some enthusiasm in the coming times. But even at this bright and optimistic end of the week it would be shit-thick not to plan for the chance that the BatRIP storyline could well collapse under the weight of its own expectations in the final telling. Already, no denying, the delays and the odd shonky panel have dne their bit to erode that really rather wonderful sense of anticipation we all had at the end of summer, over the moons of Zur-En-Arrh,  all high on Bat-bats, Heath Ledger and weaponised Bat-hype… Necessary caveats aside – if you’re not wringing bells for finding out who The Black Glove, then you’re dead in your Bat-guts, and we have nothing more to say to one another. Me, I’m probably spoiled. Sad.

So to play, or pretend to play, with the mystery for just a few more hours, me and a mate, the almighty Yijing, sage of sages, wise and good Book of Changes, will have one last look at who we think the likely suspects are, and using a hot mod combo of ancient Chinese divination magic and bat-geek guesswork, we’re finally going to stick the neck out and tell you, definitively, sort-of, who the Black Glove is, mere minutes before everyone finds out for real.

Forget what came before – let’s go.

[Mindless Note: all previous Bat-Ching posts had been accomplished proper old-school, that is with pencil, paper, coins and Billy-Baines all in the hand. Now, with time at a bit of a premium we're using that new-fashioned type-click thing, supplied free by those lovely people at Deoxy.]

1. Jezebel Jet.

What really? No, because then the revelation would have been last issue, wouldn’t it? She’s another stooge of TBG, not the real deal, right O book?


12. P’I. Standstill [Stagnation].

A big, fat ‘no’. Moving, however, to:


45. Ts’ui. Gathering Together. [Massing.]

The king approaches his temple.
It furthers one to see the great man.
This brings success. Perseverance furthers.
To bring great offerings creates good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.

The book can tell I’m a bit sad at this whole game, and is telling me to go on, describing the piling-up of eliminated suspects. It read Batman #681 thousands of years ago, and appreciates how unimportant the whole damn thing is, but also how joyous and big it all seems when you’re stuck in the middle of the moment like I am now. Wise book. Clever book. Kind book.

2. Robin.

I’ve been pretty Robin all week. Been finding lots of pictures of him looking stupid for the Cape Killer thing – wouldn’t his being revealed as ultimate bat nemesis be quite fitting, after my mocking ways?  And, to go outside things for a bit, hasn’t, since Jason’s day or even before, Batman’s whole problem been Robin? The laughing, tumbling daredevil has been the primary coloured-shard of comicbook weird that has punctured any bubble of ‘respectable’ outer-media awareness – the gritty, realistic genius dark knight shitkicker thing works – the kid in the green pants doesn’t. People are still saying that Robin is going to be politely sidestepped/stalinised for the third Nolan movie.  Isn’t he Batman’s real problem?

What say you, ‘jing? Robin?

42. I / Increase.

GATHERING TOGETHER. Success.
INCREASE. It furthers one
To undertake something.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

Wind and thunder: the image of INCREASE.
Thus the superior man:
If he sees good, he imitates it;
If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

Moving to:


53. Chien / Development (Gradual Progress).

DEVELOPMENT. The maiden
Is given in marriage.
Good fortune.
Perseverance furthers.

On the mountain, a tree:
The image of DEVELOPMENT.
Thus the superior man abides in dignity and virtue,
In order to improve the mores.

So this is really saying that Robin is going places – that place, of course is Batman. Nightwing, the original and according to someone I have a healthy fear/respect for, best Robin is about to get the promotion he’s been waiting seventy years a for. Crucially for this reading too, Tim v. Damian is yet to be resolved as well, so loads of movement on the Robin front.

3. Bruce Wayne.

Still got to like Bruce as a candidate. There’s such a whiff of deus ex about the whole story, and Our Writer’s interest in MPD is well-known. Bruce is such a convincing loon in this run, but maybe it’s a layer of personality too far: Bruce + Bats + Zur-En-Arrh + TBG is a heady mix, one that could overload the story and push it into bat-hos.  That’s not to say it’s not going to happen though, is it? One thing this theory has in its favour is that it would explain Bruce’s removal from the Bat-job, without him having to be dead. Come on book, don’t just sit there like a pile of ancient sticks – tell me – is Bruce Wayne The Black Glove?

41. Sun. Decrease.

DECREASE combined with sincerity
Brings about supreme good fortune
Without blame.
One may be persevering in this.    It furthers one to undertake something.
How is this to be carried out?
One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice.

NO. Not Bruce. B ut this line: One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice. Isn’t that chilling?

3. Alfred.

I mean, it’s not Alfred, is it? ‘The Butler did it?’ Do me a favour.


60. Chieh. Limitation.

LIMITATION. Success.
Galling limitation must not be persevered in.

I’m glad you agree with me.

4. A.N Other Wayne.

Like Bruce’s dad or long lost brother Thomas. As I said before, though the book was less than convinced, this theory has Morrison’s previous Earth 2 story behind it – he clearly likes the chord. I like the theory because it is proper old-school daft – too old school perhaps – where would the twist be? Hello? I’m talking to you?


44. Kou. Coming to Meet.

COMING TO MEET. The maiden is powerful.
One should not marry such a maiden.

Under heaven, wind:
The image of COMING TO MEET.
Thus does the prince act when disseminating his commands
And proclaiming them to the four quarters of heaven.

Holy shit – MRS. Wayne ??

bette

Oh Bruuucie! Come give Mommy her pearl necklace…’

OK book, point taken – sorry for talking to you out of turn. Let’s get serious again, shall we?

5. The Joker.

Why not the Joker? He’s Batman’s archenemy, full stop. In the last issue his specific beef, for the moment, seemed to be a reaction against Bruce’s Holmesian habits, the desire to put everything in categories, categories in boxes, boxes in Batcaves. So it would be fitting, no, for him to be the real baddie, even though he’s already ‘revealed’ himself as just another understooge? ‘There’s always another mystery’ kinda thing… Oh wise and brilliant book – is the Joker TBG?


48. Ching. The Well.

THE WELL. The town may be changed,
But the well cannot be changed.
It neither decreases nor increases.
They come and go and draw from the well.
If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune.

Water over wood: the image of THE WELL.
Thus the superior man encourages the people at their work,
And exhorts them to help one another.

That’s quite ambivalent isn’t it? Being also TBG doesn’t change his Joker-ness, enhances it maybe.  A willing and aware co-conspirator?

Changes to:

46. Sheng. Pushing Upward.

PUSHING UPWARD has supreme success.
One must see the great man.
Fear not.
Departure toward the south
Brings good fortune.

Within the earth, wood grows:
The image of PUSHING UPWARD.
Thus the superior man of devoted character
Heaps up small things
In order to achieve something high and great.

Oh I see. No, the Joker is maybe in on it to a degree, but he’s happy to be a pawn, for now, in order to work out just what the hell is going on with Bruce and TBG. Really, despite Dr. Hurt patronising him in #680, The Joker is just itching to work it all out and kill him good.

6. Satan/Darkseid/a general cosmic demiurge big-bad.

The Angel Heart Theory has many of the same effective resonances This category, of course, also includes ‘new metaphor for comicbook writers/readers/editors’ type new characters always a possibility, I’m sure you’ll agree.  It also includes, sort of Ras Al Ghul, who, as ‘The Demon’, and Bruce’s surrogate bad-father, could be the thing behind the Satan hints. (But I don’t think so.) Book! What say ye?


21. Shih Ho. Biting Through.

BITING THROUGH has success.
It is favorable to let justice be administered.

Thunder and lighting:
The image of BITING THROUGH.
Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws
Through clearly defined penalties.

Wow – evocative, suggestive, nasty stuff eh? the closest marriage of subject and Hexagram yet, in fact.

Changes to:


55. Feng. Abundance [Fullness.]

ABUNDANCE has success.
The king attains abundance.
Be not sad.
Be like the sun at midday.

Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of ABUNDANCE.
Thus the superior man decides lawsuits
And carries out punishments.

You know what? That’s it. The lawsuit thing – lawyers are totally devils, right? The apocalyptic thunder and lightning imagery? The King (of this world)? This is the closest yet, and it’s totally Morrison to have a Wizard of Oz character waiting behind the mask of the Dr. Hurt chappy, who we’re probably going to end up feeling sorry for. There have been so many TBG walk-ins already – Mayhew, Hurt, Jet, The Club of Villains – it makes sense for it to be turtles all the way down, right? And even past the source wall of comic book heaven and out into our world, where Batman’s ultimate villain, his biggest threat, is the weird readership he’s saddled with plus the big buck audience so happy to watch him flap across movie screens multiplied by the exec. editors keen to mess up any semblance of anything good in the world he lives in, minus the bloggers spending their lives idly speculating, and clicking ancient Chines internet sites, wanting it all to mean something? Let’s face it folks – The Black Glove is YOU!

Yeah, and me too. Happy reading, sincerely – I’m only trying to sound cool, detached like… you all know I CARNT FUCKING WAIT! COME ON YOU BATS!

37 Responses to “I Ching – Black Glove – final countdown – fanticipation doomed”

  1. manvstrees Says:

    great work. although i think the reading for bruce wayne still needs more attention.
    but a wild desaad appearance would be pretty damned twisted….he’s notoriously absent from FC so far. and in rock of ages he and batman share a relationship. and driving bruce insane via the black glove is nothing but torture.

    but it’s still bruce. he’s to get shipped to arkham as insane, only to rise up in a few years as his ritual finally (sortof) ends. the entire run so far, and even 52, has been a start/stop of bruce “getting over it”, having some fun and getting laid…….but we’re told again and again that the problem is much much deeper. i think morrison ran into wall after wall in his attempt to give the guy a break, saw how naive that idea was, and decided that well, this is going to take a few years. thogul ends when he says it does.

  2. Zom Says:

    PLEASE DON’T POST SPOILERS HERE UNTIL THURSDAY!!!!!!!

    RESPECT OUR IMPOVERISHED BRITISH STATUS!!!!!!!!

  3. lord nuneaton savage Says:

    I’m want to be put on record as believing TBG to be Brooce’s mammy. She’s the only (up ’til now) blank screen in the whole mythos.

  4. The Satrap Says:

    Yup, that clicked with me after #680, and I immediately fell in love with Jezebel as Surrogate Evil Mommy/Sister. Which is with 99,99% certainty utter bollocks as a theory but, then again, the fun is all in the bollocks.

    Concerning the numinous spoilers in the Torygraph, linked to in the other thread…Isn’t that article pure filler pap? Simply telling the readers that Something Big is going down in the comics? Let’s see:

    “There are rumours that…”

    “Others speculate that Wayne may…”

    “His fate will be revealed in the latest issue of DC Comic’s Batman, published on 26 November.”

    And the article’s headline strikes me as a wilfully stupid misreading of George’s words:

    “‘What I am doing is a fate **CENSORED**, things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all,’ Mr Morrison told Comic Book Resources.”

    Then the article goes on to make it glaringly obvious, even to civilians*, that one should indeed expect that thing to happen to “these guys” all the fucking time, basically.

    False alarm. Fahren Sie bitte weiter.

    *: Civilians. It’s vicious and sort of rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? And there are people who say that Byrne Robotics does not make useful contributions to the comics community.

  5. Duncan Says:

    Buggers, I think I may have spoiled myself somewhere else.

  6. David Uzumeri Says:

    Look, here’s my spoiler-free review:

    It reads like Dan DiDio demanded rewrites.

  7. Zom Says:

    Dave, you’re being a downer…

  8. David Uzumeri Says:

    Sorry :(

  9. Zom Says:

    Not to worry. I’m just hoping that I’m going to strongly disagree with you

  10. Dan K Says:

    Could it not, in fact, be the 0800 killers who offed Jason Todd all those years ago? Grown up and now writers themselves, they continue to ‘phone in’ death for sales and cheap sensation.

  11. The Satrap Says:

    PLEASE DON’T POST SPOILERS HERE UNTIL THURSDAY!!!!!!!

    RESPECT OUR IMPOVERISHED BRITISH STATUS!!!!!!!!

    Aw, c’mon. If a little temptation is thrown your way and you resist it, you’ll be proud. You’ll make us proud.

    Make us proud, Zom, for…

    THIS BE SPOILERS.

    I mean, probably…

  12. The Satrap Says:

    Shit, the link does not work. It must be a sign or something, so I won’t re-post.

    For the easily tempted, it’s in the so-called “ArtsBeat” section of the New York Times.

  13. Zom Says:

    There’s a very good reason why I don’t want spoilers here, and it has to do with the WordPress dashboard displaying the latest comment in nice big unavoidable text.

    So, please, in all seriousness, I, and others, would be grateful if people could hold off.

  14. The Satrap Says:

    Or you can google “Holy Caskets!”

  15. The Satrap Says:

    Sorry, crosspost. Apologies. I’ll hold off.

  16. Thrilltone Says:

    Jings! I’ll pure have to avoid the internet AND newspapers for ages, as I cannae get to a comic shop until goddamn saturday.

    Incidentally, I think the Black Glove represents the weight of reader expectation, and will ultimately be thwarted a good deal before they thought they would be (to represent spoilers).

    Nah, I don’t believe that at all. I’m erring on the side of Black Glove being perhaps yet another Batman backup personality, that came into play after Batman had no villains left to fight, to keep him on his toes. Except I don’t believe that, as Batman would never advocate killing. Which I feel rules out Alfred and the entire bat family, also.

    Doggggzy, saturday is far away.

  17. David Uzumeri Says:

    Alright, I’ve kind of turned around – it’s really a totally excellent comic, but they really mismarketed it as the do-all end-all of this Black Glove story. I overreacted, but after reading it a few more times my complaints had more to do with my expectations regarding the story (however fair those complaints may be about how those expectations were aroused) than the actual issue itself, which is a shitload of fun and has some truly beautiful moments.

  18. Zom Says:

    Right, that’s put me in a good mood, then.

    I intend to read it after gunning through GM’s entire run, so hopefully I’ll be in the zone and have left expectation at the door

  19. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    If any Mindlesses want t’use their Mindless accts, I am sending you prezzies which will hopefully work… it’s frankly a hard ish to spoil, but I’d suggest not reading FBB or ADD Too Flat atm.

  20. Zom Says:

    I think I might already have acquired said prezzy

    Will be assuaging my guilt by passing real money over a counter tomorrow

  21. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    Yeah obvs. These moments without the physical artifact are sheerest agony of the soul.

  22. Gunderic Mollusk Says:

    See, I was hoping for some weird cross-copyright thing, where we’d find out that the Black Glove was Forbush Man, with the whole thing ending up a flashback to one of the unpublished run-ins during the oft ridiculous Marvel/DC crossovers.

    Until Final Crisis: Resist managed to reinvent him as an “Awsomm dewd,” I was also hoping that Snapper Carr was the real civilian identity of the Red Hulk.

  23. Christian Otholm Says:

    I wish I cared. I really do. But putting the stuff in trade over a year after it’s been published, has really killed my interest.

  24. Linkblogging for 26/11/08 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] bobsy at the Mindless Ones does one last check of the I Ching to see who the Big Bad is in Batman before we get the comic over here [...]

  25. Jamaal Says:

    Zom,

    I think it works best after you’ve revisited Morrison’s entire run. Personally, I like it a lot more after I’ve taken a step back from the relentless internet hype machine. It’s not brilliant, but it reminded me that Morrison always remembers the genre and the medium that he’s working in, even if we sometimes forget.

  26. Tucker Stone Says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to go spend Thanksgiving with my wife’s family and I’m going to have to take a break and say “Hey, you mind if I set up that old computer you have running Windows 95? The one with the dial up modem? I need to use your AOL account to find out what some British dudes I don’t really know have to say about a Batman comic book, and I just can’t wait until Sunday.”

    I may be a nerd, sure. But your fucking country is a prick for making me have to show it off in public. Jesus Christ.

  27. Zom Says:

    I think the Poodle is probably planning to say something – might be a few days away, though.

  28. The Satrap Says:

    It appears, and do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, that some folks (including one of the most stalwart Funnybook Babylonians and fellow commenter hereabouts) were sort of invested in the storyline being a proper detective mystery. But it seemed clear from the start that this was GM in a Gothic, not a whodunnit mode. We’re in Arkham Asylum, where intuition reigns supreme, the Joker is the creepy tour guide, et cetera et cetera.

    Which raises the only question worth asking: do we, who have been cheering for You-Know-Who all along, get Teh Bragging Rights? I mean, I know I made a last-minute volte face in favour of Jezebel, but…do I get a ticket to GM’s arctic fastness? Will I be shown the sleeping room? Will Descartes’s Evil Genius be mentioned in the prologue to the absolute edition of RIP?

  29. Zom Says:

    I wasn’t sure whether we were getting gothic (or should I say more Gothic (caps intended)) or a detective story. I had my money on a bit of both, a genre mash-up, which is what I think we got. Looking forward to the prologue.

    By the way, the spoilery floodgates are now open.

    And on that note, nice of the Joker to do Le Bossu such a kind service, and I’m so pleased that the new improved hunchback has decided to base himself in Gotham – favourite new bat-baddie. Does not need a rogue’s review.

  30. David Uzumeri Says:

    I’m *sure* the answer was originally Alfred before Dan Didio demanded rewrites! Any e-mails, scripts, interviews or deathbed confessions you may produce to prove the contrary are clearly just forgeries created at great expense by the Black Glove.

    Joking aside, I probably wouldn’t have had such an immediately adverse reaction if Morrison hadn’t basically sold the story as a detective mystery when he was pimping it at NYCC. And I still don’t think “Hurt=Devil” as a simple answer lines up with a great deal of the clues in the text itself, but… ah well. I’m going to reread the run this weekend and see what I think of it after that.

  31. Zom Says:

    Spoiler space to ensure that what I’m about to write doesn’t get plastered all over the dashboard…

    Spoilerage alert

    Spoilerage alert

    Here it comes… Hurt=Devil lines up very well with issue 680, imo. It’s a fucking descent into hell. That Batman then wakes up underground in the next ish …

  32. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    It also lines up with #666 rather bloody well, I thinky

    S

    P

    O

    I

    L

    space

    But it’s not that simple is it? It’s really a bit like Sublime in New X, maybe inverted – I think if you laid on T. Wayne, Sr., Jr., Bruce, Darkseid, even Prometheus or even bloody Mangrove bastard Pierce (no-one did this) you can take it to the Gotham bookies. Martha’s begloved in the last panel too – I laid on half of the above and a goody or two, so will be megarich in DC dollar$$ imminently.

    “Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name.”

    Additionally, it is the fucking bomb that, like Robert Johnson, the Bat had the Beast of Revelations brick it.

  33. sean witzke Says:

    Spoiler dealie for Zom

    Spoiler dealie

    Spoiler dealie

    Spoiler dealie

    Spoiler dealie

    Spoiler… I think the clincher of Hurt=devil is the satanic Batman in the helicopter. At the very least it lines up with #666 and #674 pretty well. Also, there are two more issues left in Morrison’s run, so I’m hoping that there’s more to this.

  34. Zom Says:

    No, I don’t think it’s so easily reduced, either, Dunc, but…

    Spoilery

    Sp oi ler y stuh uh ffuh … the Devil kind of works, in the way that explanations of Lost Highway and Mullholland Drive kinda work.

    Also, in terms of genre, this seems to be cutting across the same territory as Angel Heart, so well done the Bobsy

    Sean, as am I

  35. Marc Says:

    But you’re not asking the most important question…

    WHO IS THE WHITE GLOVE?

    (note the antepenultimate page)

    And if Morrison were only doing another year on this title, I might have some confidence that we’d get an answer.

  36. Zom Says:

    I live in hope

  37. Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Bruce Wayne: A Man of Wealth and Taste (Batmannotations Gaiden) Says:

    [...] about halfway through Batman R.I.P., and our esteemed British colleagues the Mindless Ones were divining hints from ancient Chinese wisdom, and I was still rambling on and on and on about goddammit no seriously they WILL reveal Alfred as [...]

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