batman-and-robin-3-batman-6113344-1107-1680

THE COVER

This is where Morrison confirms our suspicions and outs day-glo batman once and for all. The neon’s entirely up front this time, shouting BUY ME! BUY ME! not buried inside like in previous issues. Why has it taken so long for a Batman comic to emerge that recognizes tehdarquenight’s true pallette, that incorporates the colour schemes of streetlight, strip joint, ad hoarding and nightclub and the internal lightshow of psychotic states and hallucinogenics? We’ve observed many times that it’s always been a bit player in the bat-aesthetic, but it’s been 40 odd years since the sixties and since then it’s really only been used as a sartorial spotlight to highlight the real crazies like the Joker, and…

Look at the cover again: it’s all Joker isn’t it? Always haunting the fringes.

Here at Mindless Ones we laugh as the rest of the world sludges through the muted, swampy tones of the new Arkham Asylum game, while we bathe in the lime green, sunshine yellow and royal purple radiance of the really scary nutjobs.

Zom: Indeed we do, between bouts of extreme jealousy at those whose lives can accommodate such diversions. Fuckers.

AMY: Indeed. I want to sludge.

ZOM: But back on topic, the question has to be asked: is there anything to see on the BatRob #3 cover?

Follow the link if you haven’t already

Hmmm… personally I think it’s deliberate, but the crazed mindless in me wants it to be a synchronicitous accident.

PAGES 1, 2 & 3

The first time around, when he had Batman dangle Mr. Toad out of the batmobile, Morrison was drawing on the iconic power of DKR, referencing a more dangerous Dark Knight, but then punchlining the scene with a more playful, robin-esque resolution. It was a neat trick, investing Dick with the power and energy of the character’s most seminal and influential incarnation and simultaneously reminding us we’re dealing with someone new, someone a bit more fun and likeable. And Grant’s still riffing on that vibe here. if you didn’t laugh as Phosphorous Rex blazed like a flaming arrow through the oncoming traffic, then you don’t get it. Morrison condenses so much potential nasty death into (just over) one page, it’s a joke – total overkill. Dick Grayson really doesn’t have time for smalltalk, does he?

‘Who the hell are you?’

Would Bruce Wayne think to do the same thing? Maybe he’d just scare the baddy into talking just by entering his cell. I don’t know. Bruce is the man. But this is funnier and very cool, and makes the ‘He’s next on my list’ line very convincing.

Mr. Grayson really is getting into character here. The ‘I’m Batman.’ bit seals it.

PAGE 4

And speaking of funny:

‘Whose neck do I break first?’

Sure, we’ve seen this scene a thousand times, the young sidekick trapped, at the villains mercy, but secretly unraveling the knots in the rope that binds him, ready for his last minute escape when Batman bursts through the skylight, only here the sidekick’s not taking any shit right from the off. This hard little bastard isn’t interested in biding his time or taking the bad guys down as part of a team. No, Damian tells Pyg straight out that he’s going to, not just fuck him up, but KILL him. There’s no feigned fear – does anything scare this kid? – there’s no attempt to wean Pyg’s scheme from him, just the vocal utterance of the certainty of violence.

Most of us would not emerge from unconciousness after having been blown up and get right down to the sure promise of retribution, but Damian does. And that’s why he’s the best Robin. There are other reasons too. We’ll get to them in a minute.

PAGES 5, 6 & 7

We haven’t seen this Grant Morrison for a little while. Pyg’s crazy poetry is freewheeling and, dare I say, slightly gauche here, reminiscent of the sort of stuff that used to litter Doom Patrol or the first volume of the Invisibles, but no less effective for it. His, uh, *explanation* of what he’s about and his attempts to tame the seething madness beneath life’s surface, the references to ancient Godesses of formlessness and chaos, is pretty powerful stuff really, and I think you kind of get it even if you don’t have your internal wikipedia up and running. I especially enjoy the image of the gorgon queen coming in on tiptoes with a million forked tongues for hair. I was first introduced to this esoteric interpretation of the gorgon, as a symbol for the ceaseless chattering of the mind, when I was a child and it’s amazing to see it employed in a Batman comic, especially in so creepy a manner. Pyg’s world really is all about monsters that sneak into the bedroom, into a handsome, freshfaced boy’s clothes and skin, or lay in wait behind the reflection of the bed in the mirror. Fairytale, primordial, nightmarish, childlike stuff.

And there’s somethign so totally twisted about the ‘well spoken lady out of a monkey or a flower girl out of a snail’ section of Pyg’s rant. George Bernard Shore gone round the twist. You can just feel the the nasty psychic beasties crawling away inside the guy’s mind, it’s dingy, dextral crevasses dripping with slime. The curly-whirly pigtail of the rhythms of his speech there in his balloon tails…..

The weird idol that directs him is pretty frightening too. It’s a short hop, skip and a jump from the unanimate psuedo-life that infested Morrison’s last run on Seaguy and feels like a nod to the famous Wire Mother experiments of the 1960s, where monkeys would be *raised* by inanimate fascimiles of mothers, one productive and nurturing (in the sense that ‘she’ was a comfortable environment, providing food, warmth, water and comfort) and the other barren and cold (speaks for itself really), in order to test the impact of, in this case extreme and diametrically opposed, methods of parenting on consiousness and behaviour. This is, essentially, what the Mummy Made of Nails of the title is all about, the source of everything as a blind, uncaring, random, soulless unentity, and it is this understanding that dictates Pyg’s actions, his loony efforts to perfect everything.

So he didn’t get on with his Mum then.

And Damian just bides his time, unimpressed, waiting for this psycho to get it all out of his system before he kicks his head in.

‘You just redefined “wrong”‘
is reason number 2.

PAGE 8

And this is reason number 3.

Because Morrison isn’t simply underlining what a disobedient ultrabrat Damian is here, he’s taking adavantage of Damian’s insistence on going it solo as an opportunity to underscore what a hardcore motherfucker he is as well. In these scenes the spotlight is on Damian and only Damian and resultingly he’s given the chance to shine as a fully formed, errr, superhero unto himself. Prior to Batman and Robin, Robin relied on his own comic to pull this manouver off, but here he’s, for once, just as exciting and integral to the story as Batman, and what you end up with is a genuine, honest-to-goodness team book, not one where Robin simply serves as yet another weird bat-accoutrement bolt-holed to the continuity at some point in the distant past along with the stuffed dinosaurs and giant pennies.

But screw all that, the face-pounding’s where it’s really at. The drill thrown in the dollatron’s face is so violent and great and I particularly like the way the dialogue, fracturing from panel to panel, serves to reinforce the speed of the kid. And that’s another excellent thing, the fact that this Robin is a kid. It makes him all the more super. It makes him tougher, in that he’s doing the impossible – a 10(?) year old taking down a roomfull of burly, mind-controlled adults.

PAGE 9

Check the last panel of page 8 and then the first of 9. The action reverses itself. And Batman following through with that kick…. Quitely’s transitions are so considered. This is brilliant stuff, and what happens when you leave a really competent artist to direct his own action scenes.

One complaint: it would’ve been nice to see the Dollatron’s swarming over the city, but I understand why Grant demotes the villain’s scheme to secondary plot status. What’s going on with Pyg, Batman, Robin and Sasha has to take centre stage here. Still, it does undercut the drama a bit.

PAGES 10 & 11

Sasha really is spooky. It’s not just because her confusion and fear are infectious, and they are, but… just look at her!: shades of the evil pixie of Don’t Look Now. A dream of childhood grown old, worn out, warped and withered by unassimilable experience. Sad, terrifying and yucky.

I don’t know if anyone else picked up on this – I haven’t read any reviews and it might just be me – but Damian telling Sasha to ‘Stay with me. I’ll get you out. I promise.’ really stood out for me. This is the first evidence we have, apart from his obvious intelligence, exaggerated skillset and martial ability, that Damian’s got a bit of his Father kicking around within him – it’s the first inklings of burgeoning superherodom. Sure, he lets his temper get the best of him (or is it his confused sense of responsibility, the villain is getting away afterall?) and pursues Pyg onto the ghost train, but we’ve never shown him demonstrate concern for anyone else before.

Also, and I’m embarrassed I missed this, Zom pointed out to me this morning that the exchange between Sasha and Robin sets up their dynamic for the next arc. She’s going to be really pissed with him and he’ll experience his first taste of superguilt. Hey, it’s all part of the learning curve.

PAGES 12 & 13

I wonder if all the pervy Bab Gordon stuff’s still playing in that Ghost Train.

The fairground and the train are another way to add a little bat-authenticity to this new era, aren’t they? It works. But unlike Jean’s stuff it’s just there to add savour for those who know. There’s plenty to enjoy about this comic without having read Killing Joke. And anyway, loads of non-comics readers have. That’s how you reference stuff, Geoff – you pick things people might know, not Identity Crisis. Arguably, nodding to DKR or Killing Joke expands the world of a comic, but nodding to non-events like IC shrinks it.

Feel the rotating elements inside the first three panels of page 12. The rhythm…. Awesome. I’m with Zom – if you can’t talk about or don’t notice this stuff, you don’t like comics. You like books with pictures.

PAGE 14

I know Dick’s given the excuse that he needs to test drive it, but it occurs to me that the batmobile really is a better way of getting around than the bat-quad (or whatever it is), so why is it included here? Because it’s fun. The vehicles are toys. This book is, amoungst other things, about Batman as action figure, and about Batman as kid. It makes perfect sense viewed through that lense.

I get the feeling that Pyg running slap bang into a tent with a huge Joker Face on it is somehow significant. I’ve already mentioned the way Batman’s biggest bad appears to haunting the fringes of this comic, and it’s almost as though the Joker’s mocking this new Johnny-come-lately. In fact the final panel, with the classic bat-shadow enveloping Pyg and and the grin bearing down from above, is like a double-teaming of Gotham’s guardian spirits crushing an invading lesser demon. Pyg’s a freak, certainly, but he’s got a long way to go before he’s a real threat. Batman and Robin made short work of the guy this time around.

PAGES 15 & 16

And the Joker keeps on Grinning implacably as the dynamic duo take the villain of the week out.

I count 21 dollatrons dispatched with this issue (and that includes the two in the bank, or whatever that place is).

Surprisingly enough, and I was a little worried about it beforehand, the quickfire way the duo’s problems are resolved was immensely satisfying for this reader. In the end I didn’t feel that the situation required any more milking than it received. Damian is a child, and children say hurtful things, often exactly the right thing to do real damage, and children threaten running away, etc., but that’s only because they don’t appreciate the consequences of their actions or that other people are really, well, people yet – it isn’t the stuff soap-operas are made of. Damian’s just your average problem kid writ large, and, and I know this is a cliche but it’s born out by every youth worker I’ve ever met (and I work with children’s charities, so I’ve met a few over the years), problem children invariably try their hardest to alienate the people trying to help them in an attempt to test the depth of their love. The point, they say, is never to give up, to be unconditional in your affections and your desire to rescue them from their situation and themselves. And this is precisely what’s happening here. Damian’s beginning to learn that Dick will always be there for him. Awwww.

Moving on, I was hoping we’d get to see more of the ghost train – i mean, seriously, you can’t include the theme park from KJ without providing a glimpse of what comprises the rides) – and even though it’s just the teensiest peek behind the curtain, it’s suitably eerie. Again, this is exactly the kind of thing one would expect to find in one of Morrison’s earlier efforts, or in his Vertigo output. This ghost train isn’t for children. It’s not fun. It’s just wrong. What is the nature of the surprise that awaits teacher, just out of shot, and what the hell is that Xoo thing erupting from the skeleton’s mouth – is that ‘Earnest’? Dodge. Very Dodge indeed. And, back to the unlife that’s been haunting Morrison’s comics of late, speaking of skeletons one can’t help but wonder whether or not those guys once possessed skin, that the plastic, or whatever it was, has rotted over the years, revealing the *bones* underneath. In fact, I find that more grisly than the idea that the skeletons were once flesh and blood marionettes, that the Joker went to all kinds of trouble to create waxwork dummies whose flesh would age and decay, and a ghastly metal skeletal structure underneath.

I’m making this shit up as I go along, I know, but Morrison’s work always encourages it.

With all this Joker, Joker, Joker talk one’s forced to ask the question: is he the Domino Killer?

Morrison is a master at getting all the elements right, you know. Every one of his Batman arcs has incorporated a central mystery. I sometimes wonder if he makes a checklist of these things just to get the formula spot on.

‘She must have got out.’

‘He’d better hope so.’

More textual evidence of guilt.

PAGES 17 & 18

Okay, this is all largely exposition, so there’s not much to say about these pages, but it does pose the question WHY DIDN’T THEY BURN IT DOWN? I suppose whoever inherited the land off of the Joker just thought it was cool. Probably some horrible Jeansian fanboy. Took the ghost-train ride most nights.

And the Jim Gordon/Dick Grayson Batman sub-plot is resolved. Mission accomplished.

PAGE 18

Yes, all your dollies are dominoes, Pyg, but you didn’t set them up, did you? That Mirror shit’s awesome, BTW, but I casually referenced it’s awesomeness above.

PAGES 19 & 20

‘It’s Robin and Batman from now on….’

It’s amazing, the other day, while forcing my way through the Blackest NICE comics, I could only gawp at how abysmally Pete Tomasi (I think it was) handled Damian’s dialogue. God, I wish I had the quote, but the character’s voice was totally off. Awful. Morrison’s Damian’s got that lovely, often hilariously ambivalent tonality, teetering between stern faced certainty and wide-eyed naivete. It’s the confidence of his absurd declarations that, during his exchanges with Dick, provokes the most laughter, but also a high degree of affectionate sympathy. Damian’s a little boy – he’s cute. You want to pat him on the head and ruffle his hair.

But you wouldn’t, because afterwards he’d punch your neck through your brain

….I wasn’t expecting it, so I really enjoyed the nod to the end of RIP in this scene. It’s a nice way to resolve the new Batman and Robin’s first outing- there’s a pleasing rhythm to it – and Damian massaging his fist upon discovering the identity of the villain speaking on the in-car radio (? What? How does this tech work? A bug? Eh? Something else? Cool!) is too cool for school.

We’ve seen these guys in action now. We know how dangerous they are. The next fight can happen off panel. We’re already sold.

PAGE 21

I have to confess to being somewhat bemused by what Paper’s meant when he described this scene as having a Twin Peaksy vibe (although I’m definitely down with the Peaksytino description of the issue as a whole). It seems to me to be a simple character moment. It’s Alfred doing a my Mum, fiddling about with the photos on the shelf, multi-tasking, combining his need to reminisce with his need to fuss about with the composition of the room: ‘Just a little bit over here… ah, yes, moving that picture just a couple of millimeteres to the left really did the trick…’

This is the way a butler mourns.

And the electric blinds close, sealing the Penthouse, as day falls….

PAGES 22 & 23

There’s not much to say about these pages, only that it took me a couple of rereads till I noticed the sound effects. The second one is so fucking brilliant it hurts. The way the central hole in the ‘A’ describes the detonation of the cop’s head and the back of the ‘B’ the blood’s spray… Wow.

PAGE 24

The Red Hood’s redesign rocks. His guns really rock. Nuff said.

Bring it

NO COMMENTS!

42 Responses to “Tuesday is reviewsday: Batrob #3 the annocommentations”

  1. Zom Says:

    Be shush, Poodle

    It’s very difficult for me to be objective about this run, I just lurve it so hard on an instinctive level. Between this and Scott Pilgrim (I’m buying a volume every Batrob day) my brain is on fire with warring neon.

  2. Cameron Stewart Says:

    I love reading you guys annocommentate these things – always so insightful and inspire me to go have another look. Sadly I left this issue at home and don’t have it with me right now.

    This line, however:

    ” It’s a short hop, skip and a jump from the unanimate psuedo-life that infested Morrison’s last run on Seaguy ”

    reminds me that you’re still one short…

  3. amypoodle Says:

    oh yeah.

    shit.

    sorry.

    BTW, I hadn’t seen the reverse cover thing until I published this post. wow. just wow.

    yeah, the joker’s all over this’n.

  4. Botswana Beast Says:

    He is, yeah; I didn’t even give the fairground faces that much thought, but yeah obviously, it’s the same trick as played with Magneto all them years ago, reverse-kippling into bad manifestation. Quitely back for Joker; Red Hood also, first, again from KJ, the pre-identity of the Clown Prince of Crime. All over.

    That’s how you reference stuff, Geoff – you pick things people might know, not Identity Crisis. Arguably, nodding to DKR or Killing Joke expands the world of a comic, but nodding to non-events like IC shrinks it.

    I broadly agree with this sentiment, and that these are top levels of egress into the ongoing world of latex, perversion, blood et death, but in total absolute fairness to Jeff Jeansss, ‘Blackest Night’ – its very title – is drawn from a bookstore available Green Lantern tale, a/k/a the absolute best 8 pages of GL ever by miles (I’m comfortable saying this without having read the other 99.9% of GL stories,) called ‘Tygers’, created by the LoEG team of Moore & O’Neill. In total absolute fairness to Joeff! Gohns!

  5. amypoodle Says:

    i think you’re a little confused there, beast – i’m talking about this new comic that’s come out entitled ‘Blackest NICE’. i’m not sure what you’re referring to.

  6. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Damian’s a little boy – he’s cute. You want to pat him on the head and ruffle his hair.

    But you wouldn’t, because afterwards he’d punch your neck through your brain

    Is so on the fucking money it *hurts*.

  7. James Says:

    Completely the wrong thing to focus on, but:

    Any Mindless thoughts on what the Batrob setup will be after Bruce comes back? Much as I love Damian as Robin, Batman & Son proper might be a little cutesy, no? Will Tim just drop the ‘roids and come home?

  8. Lee Says:

    Good annotations as always, but I can’t believe you missed the fact that the Joker signed his work on panel 4, page 15: I can’t work out whether it says “Your J” or Your’s J” but it’s definitely there next to that big, manic smile.

    And the first time I read page 21 I totally missed Batman standing on the Gargoyle watching over Alfred, his other surrogate father. It’s all about fathers, this book, isn’t it? Damian and Dick and Bruce and poor, poor Sasha, all motivated by their fathers. And Alfred and Gordon being fathers brutalised by things happening to their ‘children.’

  9. Zom Says:

    Cheers for filling in the blanks, Lee.

    Our unfortunate propensity to miss the obvious stuff is why we love the comments so much, and one of the reasons why we call these posts annocommentations rather than annotations

  10. It Burns Says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but when I noticed the figure on the gargoyle I was reminded of the panel, way back during the “Three Ghosts of Batman” arc, when Bruce and Jezebel are being watched through binoculars . . . maybe it is Batman, who’s to say from that image, but I think the possibility of Hurt’s presence here is scary.

  11. Andy G Says:

    Batman on the last panel of Page 21.

    Which Batman?

  12. Botswana Beast Says:

    Well, another wearer of the Red Hood’s mantel-piece was the Bad Son, former best Robin, Jason Todd. I really think he has to get a look-in somewhere, Jase T.

  13. Nick W Says:

    Damian is the one element that keeps me from buying into this book 100%. I love Morrison, I love Quitely, I love the bright neon coloring after so many years of batgloom. I love the take on Dick Grayson as Batman, I love the portrayal of Alfred, I love the ghoulish and disturbing Pyg, with his circus freak cronies and horrible Dollotrons. But I can’t stand Damian’s tooth-grindingly awful personality and it lessens my overall enjoyment of the book.

  14. Papers Says:

    I hope that the Red Hood turns out to indeed be Jason Todd, for some reason.

    The Joker would also be interesting–if he’s decided to fill the void left by Batman because he knows Bruce is dead and his whole role falls apart at that point so he has to make a new one…

    Twin Peaks Alfred–I referred to the odd, speechless quality of the page and the very studied way he holds the images (which are recurring photographs from earlier). I just imagine sinister Lynch music over top of the scene, like Alfred’s about to be hurt OR that he’s dangerous. Maybe it’s a leftover from R.I.P. and the idea that someone had of Alfred being the Black Glove, the Outsider references, but that page reminds me ever so slightly of Leland Palmer studying himself in the mirror…

    Your estimations of Damian are spot on, and it’s particularly insightful regarding his relationship with Dick.

    Pyg’s Mormo speech reminded me of the whispering chants that led to Hellboy’s first encounter with Hecate, by the way–both Gorgons and Mormo are called upon there, too.

  15. Papers Says:

    Re: Lynch and Alfred again. To clarify, the repeating photograph of Bruce, Dick and Ace being foregrounded in a wordless speech which would have the creepy music over top reminds me of the random pans at the ends of episodes to Laura Palmer’s prom picture, smiling nastily at the audience from beyond the grave.

  16. Zom Says:

    But I can’t stand Damian’s tooth-grindingly awful personality and it lessens my overall enjoyment of the book.

    I think I struggle with this line of thinking because it’s seems to me that Damian and Dick’s story is essentially a buddy movie. We’re supposed to find him grating, but we’re also supposed to see some chinks of light: his naivete (born of privilege) is winning and often very funny indeed, his vulnerability (he’s rash, emotionally inarticulate and inexperienced, a stranger in a strange land, his Father’s just died, his mother’s off God knows where, etc..) makes him sympathetic, and his badassness is nothing short of thrilling.

    I think you need to relax a bit, Nick. Learn to smirk at the snot-nosed little bastards absurd antics. “Robin and Batman”, I ask you?

  17. plok Says:

    Pyg’s dancing…does that seem a familiar comics sequence to anybody, like it’s referencing something? I swear it is…and it can’t be Grant’s Batman, because I haven’t yet read it.

    The damn Joker-face on the cover fucked me up huge. INTENTIONAL. Jesus, I KNEW there was something going on with that…! But just couldn’t see it. Should know by now Quitely never provides a “look in here, see” without a “something’s looking back out at you, OUCH!”

    I’m an old curmudgeon from way back, but I love the “little shit” Robin. I’m tired of all these Bat-antics too, just like him…I feel I’m the proper inheritor of the Bat-legacy too, just like him. Boff Bones, take a look! There’s your Alex Luthor, but he’s actually in a STORY, and he’s going to be a real HERO.

    They say the definition of “sentiment” is swerving to avoid hitting a dog in the road.

    “Sentimentality” is when, in swerving, you go up onto the curb and kill a bunch of people waiting at a bus stop. But at least you didn’t hit the dog. Weep weep, sigh sigh.

    I won’t say Good Johns and Bad Johns anymore. I’ll say Geoff Johns and Boff Bones. ‘Cause that’s the difference.

    Would very much like to read more stories by Geoff Johns.

    Also, every non-comics-reader I show Batman And Robin to, freaks out and loves it. They can relate to it.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Zatanna, you’re something else.

  18. Neon Snake Says:

    Ooh, I hadn’t noticed the feet on the gargoyle, either. Good spot.

    S’funny, there’s no reason to suspect that it’s anyone other than Dick…and yet, just showing the feet immediately makes me think that it’s someone else. Hurm.

    And yup, Damian is the toppingmost. But only, only when written by Morrison. Not when he’s being vaguely menaced by Killer Croc and screaming for his Mom. Gah.

    And now, we get Jason Todd in the same comic. I confess that, whilst probably in the minority, I really quite enjoyed Under The Hood, and Todd as Red Hood = fun. Scourge Of The Underworld!

    This, surely, is when Damian learns that it’s not ok to kill the bad guys.

  19. Papers Says:

    Sorry, but Damian as Robin is mint. That kid’s brutal fun.

  20. Carlton Says:

    The dance scene was totally smelling like the “In Dreams” scene from Blue Velvet, man. But with something like the darkglo disco-ish tunes from Goldfrapp (White Horse, Ooh La La, Train etc) – at least in my head, I’m sure someone read it and heard Lady Gaga or something that fits more with Pyg’s mommy’s Kali-spikes.

    Hoping Quitely’ll come back for more (never seen him do the Joker…) but Frazier will be ridiculously awesome.

    Great, now I want to re-read Brendan McCarthy’s SOLO’s Batman.

  21. Duncan Says:

    For me, personally, it seemed that Prof Pyg was getting down to La Roux’s ‘For the Kill’.

  22. Zom Says:

    Frazer will be awesome and Frank’ll deffo be back

  23. Andy G Says:

    Page 21: If it was Dick, why the feet?

    Fiver says it’s the ghost/double/evil twin of (Bruce) Batman. Isn’t that one of the THINGS TO COME panels at the end of Issue 1?

  24. the fly Says:

    as for what the book will be when bruce comes back:

    I still think it’s down the line, but was hit with something that would be exciting to me: thanks to the Quantum Sanction, like Miracle Man, Bruce Wayne is born and reborn, only it’s throughout history, stopping evil whenever it’s needed. think Paul Pope’s Batman 100, but stretched throughout forever.

    Bruce is there to protect the world from history’s greatest threats. he catches jack the ripper, teams up with van helsing, and Pope’s (it think it was his story) short about a fugitive batman in 1940s Germany is cannon. (bruce wayne is instrumental in retrieving the Spear of Destiny and ending the war, the Inglorious Batman). basically, all those elseworlds where it’s just Bruce in a different time period are cannon on earth one/new earth/whatever it’s called (or he’s quantum leaping across the multiverse if you will)

    All the while stopping the immortal villains at every turn, always foiling the dastardly plans Vandal Savage (taking up Anthro’s never ending battle to stop Savage) and Rha’s al Ghul. and much to his chagrin, the clown is always right around the corner, somehow…

    The Bat: what would you do with one life? how about a hundred?

  25. Papers Says:

    That’s a great and groovy idea, Fly, but tragically I think it clashes with the whole idea of Batman-as-super-human-rather-than-superhuman. Teh annoy.

  26. Zom Says:

    Couldn’t they just be the Red Hood’s boots? Seems like an adequate explanation to me.

  27. Duncan Says:

    Is what I think. Also think RH is Todd, bad son. Missing from family portraiture. Left behind.

  28. Mike Loughlin Says:

    I think The Red Hood is The Joker. In his mind, Batman abandoned the him to die, just as the new Robin abandoned Sasha. Both Sasha and Joker have deformed faces. In fact, Sasha kind of looks like that dwarf sidekick Joker had in that one issue of Batman (from the ’60s, I believe, and, unless I missed it, a forgotten element of Batman’s past that has not been reintroduced). Going by Morrison’s text issue, “scourge of the underworld” could be The Joker’s latest superpersona. It may be a stretch, but “Who can you trust?” reminds me of Jack Nicholson saying “Who do you trust?” in the Tim Burton movie.

  29. Adam Aaron Says:

    No, the Joker isn’t the current red hood (red hood, red herring). He is however the twisted mastermind behind the entire group (that is Pyg, Red Hood, and whoever the villian of the third arc is):

    Evidence:

    The entire setting of the issue, the carnival and funhouse is the twin of the museum in the first morrison arc. So as the first story dealt with different versions of batman, the current run will be different versions of the Joker. Not to mention all the visual cues and homages to old grinning one in the issue.

    Also, the Joker’s clown at midnight persona is decked out in surgical gear. And given his “surgery” on the hunch-back dude, is it to far out for the Joker to be in full-on mad-scientist mode.

    However, the biggest red flag you guys didn’t catch: “The box. The box. The “Despair Pit,” he said in the Corner…the inside went on forever.”

    Sound familiar? Kind of like Joker’s rant in the last part of RIP.

    Predictions: The domino set in the issue goes all the way up to 32, the same number of teeth in the human head.

  30. Zom Says:

    The entire setting of the issue, the carnival and funhouse is the twin of the museum in the first morrison arc.

    Okay they’re both open to the public, but I’m not seeing much more of a link.

    In fact I kinda think everything you’ve got there is waaaaay speculative, Adam, and certainly doesn’t count as “evidence”, but that said I do find your core idea, that this arc is all about the many faces of the Joker, quite compelling. And there’s certainly no doubting that the Joker haunts the latest issue and to some extent the entire arc (Red Hood, fairground from Killing Joke, weird carnies (like those in KJ),Mister J, the cover, (more contentiously) the colour scheme, madness), and the foregrounding of the Red Hood in the second arc does add fuel to the fire, although, assuming there’s something in your idea, I think it unlikely that it’ll be as straightforward as the Joker is the Red Hood.

    Personally I think Morrison’s primary thematic concerns here are responsibility and family (or similar), which would make Jason Todd a natural choice. Written well, Todd in the shoes of the Red Hood would work. brilliantly.

  31. Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources » Sunday Brunch: 9/6/09 Says:

    [...] The Mindless Ones converge again for annocommentations on the latest issue of Batman & Robin: Why has it taken so long for a Batman comic to emerge [...]

  32. Mark Cook Says:

    Why has it taken so long for a Batman comic to emerge that recognizes tehdarquenight’s true pallette, that incorporates the colour schemes of streetlight, strip joint, ad hoarding and nightclub and the internal lightshow of psychotic states and hallucinogenics?

    Because the last time they used that kind of colour scheme on Batman in a big way, this is how they made Batman and Robin.

  33. amypoodle Says:

    Oh yeah.

    Fuck that right off.

  34. Carlton Says:

    Well, that is as embarassing as The Dark Knight will be in a few years (or right now, for those of us who have time machines!)

  35. Zom Says:

    Nah, I like the Dark Knight.

  36. Faisal Says:

    Wonderful News!

    Wonderful News!

    I’ve never had a prayer answered like this!

    http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2009/09/11/whos-handling-art-on-batman-and-robin-after-philip-tan/

  37. Marc Says:

    The cover is the best news of all. One can only hope they fight Lord Marmaduke Ffogg.

  38. amypoodle Says:

    New batpost up tomorrow, people. would’ve got it up sooner but i’ve been in hospital all week.

  39. plok Says:

    AHA! Jog cleared it up for me…the dance recalls Reservoir Dogs.

  40. James Says:

    Rereading rereading: The Fly totally called it, then. Well done!

  41. Zom Says:

    That’s fucking crazy. Fly, are you Morrison in disguise?

  42. Gary Lactus Says:

    Love the idea of Bruce Wayne quantum leaping about time to right wrongs. He could jump into the body of a female soul singer in 1964 who needs to secure a recording contract in order to somehow prevent a really 80s nuclear war in 1983.

    “Oh boy…” sighs Bruce as he catches the first glimpse of his new self in the mirror.

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