November 26th, 2008
Definitely in Greatest Hits mode at the moment, repackaging old tat to get ready for Christmas. 2.5% less VAT. Catastrophes averted by less.
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?
A big, fat ‘no’. Moving, however, to:
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.
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?
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.
DEVELOPMENT. The maiden
Is given in marriage.
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?
DECREASE combined with sincerity
Brings about supreme good fortune
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?
I mean, it’s not Alfred, is it? ‘The Butler did it?’ Do me a favour.
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?
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 ??
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?
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?
PUSHING UPWARD has supreme success.
One must see the great man.
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?
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.
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!