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Barbatos for those of you who haven’t wikied or summoned him already is a demonic badass, commanding legions of lesser fiends, a la the assassins in this issue. I like the bit about commanding animals – probably infernal animals like bats, eh? – and then there’s the stuff about his prophecying the past and future. That’s really interesting, given this latest arc’s, in fact Morrison’s run in general’s, focus on dynasty and destiny. Suddenly we have a new candidate for the devil in the detail, one that tempts me to revise my current opinion that Bruce is Hurt, without negating the theory I’ve held all along that the Ten Eyed Brotherhood’s magic drew down wrathful energies in order to heal and purify Bruce, magical operations rippling as they do across space and time.

But to be honest I think that idea was fairly bulletproof anyway.

I think my current theory has to be that Barbatos is either possessing the original Thomas Wayne or has struck a deal with him resulting in an extended lifespan, Thomas being ‘the piece [the missing painting] that doesn’t fit – there since the beginning’, and although this doesn’t qualify Barbatos as the genuine Devil, it does fit with what we’ve gleaned about demons from films and comics, that even the puniest of them will claim they’re the Ultimate Evil given half the chance.

SPOILERS. If the above is the case then it would also explain why Hurt/Thomas hates Bruce so much. We know that Mordecai-Bruce’s adventure turns sour and that in all likelihood it results in whatever bad shit happens to Thomas. So now we’ve got motivation, Thomas hunting Bruce through time to punish him for trapping him in that room with a bloody demon. At the moment I’m going with the possession theory actually – that’s why all the repetative name writing, the struggling for identity, eventually overcome by a massive BARBATOS.

So, does this mean Oberon is Bruce, his new identity, his costume, his very own protective bathearse, complete with red windscreen, carrying him safely through events until it’s time to dig himself up again? If this is the case I’m guessing El Penitente (Hurt), somewhat naively, doesn’t realise that Bruce-Oberon knows who the fuck he is (which he obviously does).

Aaaah, the speculation.

62 Responses to “So that’s who Dr. Hurt is. Oh. Cool.”

  1. amypoodle Says:

    It being the case, of course, that Oberon is a fairy name, vanishing with the morning dew and all that.

    I also enjoy the idea that the Flaminigo is a demon. Eduardo, after having his brain cut out, being replaced by *something else*.

  2. amypoodle Says:

    The Corinthian’s incarnation in bat-reality.

  3. RetroWarbird Says:

    Here’s a thought:

    The giant bat that Bruce Wayne kills, skins and wears like a costume? Barbatos original body? A grudge that dates back to the Stone Age?

    I mean, speaking of “emptying Flamingo’s brain and making room for something else”. Anyway, all these Demons are listed in The Lesser Key of Solomon.

    Who wrote that crazy occult history of Gotham Town during the Revolution anyway? Wait, Alan Moore in Swamp Thing? Ohhhhhhhhh.

  4. Gunderic Mollusk Says:

    Just musing, but what of a Barbatos(“bearded man”)/Barbelith (“bearded stone”) link might end up unfolding?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    the barbatos scrawl is definitely the anti barbelith

  6. Linkblogging For 13/03/10 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] Mindless Ones have another post on the identity of Doctor Hurt, given the extra information in the new issue of Batman & [...]

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Heh, I liked Alfie working out how to use the batmobile’s coffee machine.

    Here’s a thought – on the oberon is Bruce / Oberon is Joker theories – what if booth are correct?

  8. Rick Says:

    We know from interviews that

    A certain Evil DCU Caveman will be showing up in issue 1, who gets his Immortality from a Red Rock is linked to Cain and the Bible of Crime which is also linked through Manheim and 52 to Darkseid and Intergang.

    Pieces in the puzzle or things meant to throw us off?

  9. Zom Says:

    The fact is that Amy paints a very plausible picture, how things pan out in details is another question

  10. amypoodle Says:

    yeah, i don’t care about the other stuff.

    whatever.

    sorry.

  11. amypoodle Says:

    musn’t post drunk. of course i care about you guys!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Belial=Jedward.

    Coal=Cole.

    Hurt, therefore, (through rigorous application of inference and logic)=Cowell.

    Prove me wrong.

  13. Teatime Brutality Says:

    I wish I’d said that.
    It’s my niche.

  14. Zom Says:

    Anonymous, that might be my favourite comment ever

  15. Neon Snake Says:

    …crap, and I posted it as anonymous.

  16. David Uzumeri Says:

    OK, going to go ahead and make the terrible pun here.

    Wait for it.

    BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWELL

    (Also, Amy, great idea although it sort of is contradicted by the Milligan story it’s referencing but you just said you don’t care sooooooo)

  17. Zom Says:

    Expand that point, Dave.

  18. David Uzumeri Says:

    No problem – I’m working on B&R #9 annotations right now, actually.

    Basically, the demon Barbatos that’s being summoned is the one from Milligan’s Dark Knight Dark City, right? And the same devil cult that was referenced there too. And that demon was trapped in that basement for like 200 years until Batman and Riddler set him free. While I LOVE the idea that Hurt might be the older Thomas Wayne – it makes a shitload of sense – I don’t know if he’s necessarily possessed by Barbatos itself as a result, since Barbatos seemed to be residing in that cellar as it influenced the building of Gotham.

    Of course, the impetus is totally on Grant to modify that however much he wants – he could easily say that Barbatos was just tricking Batman into thinking he was trapped.

  19. David Uzumeri Says:

    Actually, rereading the original post, Amy brings up the idea that Hurt is just Barbatos’s #1 servant. So he may very well be right.

  20. amypoodle Says:

    yes, i think i already explained that i was pissed when i wrote that, rendering it insubmitable.

    expand away.

    (as an aside, i tried to interweb what you might mean, but came up emptyhanded apart from a completely unrelated but fascinating titbit: did you know milligan was responsible for the knightfall concept?)

  21. David Uzumeri Says:

    ? Milligan had nothing to do with Knightfall, it was “Dark Knight, Dark City.” It was a three-issue Batman arc back in the early ’90s, Milligan did it with Kieron Dwyer. First off, it’s totally fucking awesome. Second off, it features the Riddler with this old book of demon rituals trying to summon Barbatos, with flashbacks to this time in 1765 (I think? Just pre-Revolutionary) Britain where a bunch of demon summoners in Gotham were trying to summon Barbatos. I recommend tracking down a copy if you can – you might have to resort to scans, but it’s a sick story and clearly a huge inspiration for Morrison in his meta-arc here.

  22. David Uzumeri Says:

    Another thing to keep in mind about B&R #10 that blew my mind after some Googling: All of those Waynes with portraits ALREADY EXIST. I can’t find the stories where Kenneth or Patrick appeared, or who the obscured one in the middle is, but the rest are totally plucked from continuity. Apparently there’s a chapter on the history of Gotham City in the Batman Companion book that just hit that contains all of this stuff, with references, and I saw a post somewhere (my mind’s blanking on where) where someone said that Morrison might have used it for research, since all the Waynes on that page are in the book.

  23. rev'D Says:

    Uzumeri, you beat me to it. Amazing memory!

    http://www.dcuguide.com/Bm/Bm_452.php
    http://www.dcuguide.com/Bm/Bm_453.php
    http://www.dcuguide.com/Bm/Bm_454.php

    (Dig those Mignola covers! Brings to mind ‘Sanctum’…)

    More of the Mozzer’s mystery archaelogy on the DCU, most definitely. Not only does this feature Barbatos, the narrative makes heavy use of that ‘city talking’ riff we saw in the MadBats chapter of R.I.P.

  24. amypoodle Says:

    from wikipedia:

    ‘Milligan…..became the regular writer of Batman in Detective Comics in the same year. It was during one meeting of Batman writers that Milligan came up with the initial idea which led to the Knightfall storyline which was to cross over all the Batman family of titles. Milligan however had finished writing Detective Comics and was not involved with the crossover.’

    as for the milligan barbatos story, am i missing something? how does it contradict my theory?

  25. David Uzumeri Says:

    It doesn’t contradict it at all, as I said earlier. I misread your post. :)

    Also, I had no idea about Milligan on Knightfall, that’s really interesting. I wonder if it would have worked out better with him playing off Doug Moench instead of Chuck Dixon.

  26. Zom Says:

    Certainly would have been different, that’s for sure

  27. RetroWarbird Says:

    “All of those Waynes with portraits ALREADY EXIST.”

    I had a feeling some of them might. For sure, Thomas and Darius are all wrapped up in the Gotham City/Revolutionary War time period set forth by Alan Moore in Swamp Thing. (The thought of Pirate Bruce and Black Pirate encountering Thomas 1760 is driving me wild, frankly.)

    With all the JLA time-travel and references to the Waynes regarding the underground railroad, I imagine Solomon or Alan turn up somewhere. Surely the same guys Michael Caine was referring to in Begins at any rate … (The thought of Cowboy Bruce and Jonah Hex encountering them … same story.)

  28. RetroWarbird Says:

    Wait … Barbatos was the Riddler-Demon?! I have got to track that story down. I hated it when I first read it (Riddler … demonology? Seriously?) but if it all factors into Moore’s initial “Gotham has occult roots” original premise, Grant will make it fit into a pattern.

  29. rev'D Says:

    Morrison’s magical mystery archaeology will have well & truly paid off if he can inveigle Thomas Jefferson into helping return Bruce Wayne to the present-day DCU.

    “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.”

    “And how, chum!”

  30. RetroWarbird Says:

    Well … Aquaman already had his “Shades of John Paul Jones” … really it’s only a matter of time before Batman gets his American Revolution druthers.

    (Jefferson, though … here comes the Wayne Family/Freemason/Illuminati red herrings!)

  31. RetroWarbird Says:

    Right, managed to get my hands on and give a proper read to Dark Knight, Dark City.

    It’s Barbatos alright. (Although Milligan spelt it Barbathos) The city a red and black checkerboard labyrinth that built Batman from the ground up …

    Riddler’s possessed actions mirror Hurt’s. “Five Men” gathered to summon the daemon (Five rich Illuminati types, like the five fingers of the Black Glove). Of course, Riddler was merely put to the power of suggestion, Barbatos was never freed.

    Dominique is a bit of a mystery (If she’s a Wayne, I guess she would’ve been Thomas Wayne’s sister or daughter?) … at any rate, Dominique has the same origins as Domino … (Although I can’t see it actually coming into play, I felt the need to mention it.)

    A giant bat. The “Bat Man”. Armies of ninja man-bats are starting to make sense thematically. The giant Bat Bruce kills in the cave as a caveman is starting to make sense thematically. (Barbatos v.1?) …

    Very good indeed (And Riddler, thankfully, isn’t a psycho killer).

  32. The Beast Must Die Says:

    I loved Dark Knight, Dark City when I first read it. I love the way it’s a proper Batman detective story, but with all these lovely Milliganesque flourishes.

    Milligan’s run on Detective is severely underrated and a hell of a lot of fun. It’s got Irish ghost stories, haunted libraries and mixed race siamese hitmen. Ace.

  33. Duncan Says:

    Aye, well into this; the most thrilling fact to me is that the #1, the king of the Goetia (as seen in Promethea!) is called Bael.

    I’ll just let that sink in a while.

  34. Duncan Says:

    O yeah, the Milligan ‘tec is ace; golems, the hungry grass, the outrages of the Dewey Decimal System – it’s the only time he could be said to have done a bang up job on a franchise, but what a job.

    One of my favourite comic panels ever is Batman on a bathangglider and there’s this cop in the foreground going “this is seriously Unamerican, Batman”… it’s a fucksight better than everything Roy Lichtenstein ever did, that one panel. Milligan/Aparo iirc.

  35. Gary Lactus Says:

    Bruce Wayne is merely on holiday in Barbados.

    Mark my words.

  36. RetroWarbird Says:

    “Aye, well into this; the most thrilling fact to me is that the #1, the king of the Goetia (as seen in Promethea!) is called Bael.

    I’ll just let that sink in a while.”

    Yet another Demon from The Lesser Key of Solomon.

  37. Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Batman and Robin #s 8 and 9 - “Blackest Knight” Parts 2 and 3: “Batman vs. Batman” and “Broken” Says:

    [...] give a shout-out to the superb amypoodle at the always-sublime Mindless Ones, who put together an insanely compelling counter-theory to mine about Simon Hurt. It’s great stuff, and you should really check it out, as I’ll [...]

  38. Duncan Says:

    Yet another Demon from The Lesser Key of Solomon.

    Aye, well Goetia’s same thing really; I’m just saying #1 = Bael, an anagram, a homonym of “Bale” which is… oh, does that have any Bat-significance?!?!??!!!

  39. RetroWarbird Says:

    Bael would be the demon that possesses actors to yell at stage hands, then?

  40. pop Says:

    So is Damian the latest incarnation of Bruce Wayne being reborn in time?

  41. RetroWarbird Says:

    “So is Damian the latest incarnation of Bruce Wayne being reborn in time?”

    Perhaps. I mean, he has been reliving Bruce’s life in “micro-moments”. The psycho-Joker 80′s (By way of Pyg) … the grim & gritty 90′s (By way of Jason Todd) … the “nostalgia” resurrection 2000′s (By way of Zombie-Clone).

    He’s already “Mini-Bruce”, that’s for sure.

  42. amypoodle Says:

    you know, the damian thing is the only possibility i hadn’t cnsidered. i’m going with no, not because it isn’t a good idea – it is – but because i enjoy damian too much as his own guy, and i suspect morrison does too.

    could easily be wrong tho’.

  43. Zom Says:

    I think it’s far too icky.

    Bruce shags Talia and Talia gives birth to little Bruce? Talia is his lover and his Mummy? Er no. I’m sure Morrison (not to mention DC) doesn’t want the triumphant return of Bruce Wayne to be complicated by awkward baggage like that.

    And that’s before you get to the stuff about the strength of Damian as a character in his own right. A not insignificant point.

    The thing about speculation is that you have to consider it outside of some rarified theoretical light. How would Bruce being his own dad look on the ground? Not very good, is the answer.

  44. RetroWarbird Says:

    I agree, while Damian’s already a chip off the block without any sort of weird Oedipal time paradoxes thrown in … it’s already shady enough that Bruce … who with enough prep time could defeat the God of Evil … the Devil … and TIME ITSELF … wasn’t carrying a condom in his utility belt the night Damian was conceived.

    Damian was the great experiment, and he passed. Now … Damian having to die so that Bruce may live? That I can see happening. “The sacrifice of the son”.

  45. Zom Says:

    Nah, Grant’s book is about the processing of trauma, not trauma creation.

  46. pop Says:

    I’m just intuiting a Xorn moment coming on with Damian and hoping I’m wrong! Bruce kept the results of the paternity test a wee bit mysterious and even though Alfie shed some light on them during RIP to comfort young Master Tim, I’m not so sure the matter has officially been been put to bed. Maybe Bruce believes Damian to be a clone based on his DNA but it’s just literally Bruce cometh agayn. What does Tim say in that last panel during that scene? Something about fathers and sons? I’m in another country without issues handy!

  47. RetroWarbird Says:

    It would totally solve Bruce’s “Robin-envy”, too.

    I’d rather that’s not how it goes down, but if it does I’ll probably get a laugh out of the ramifications.

  48. Aaron Says:

    Re: Oberon/Bruce – seems so obvious now, right? (though maybe you guys picked up on it early on and i forgot.) How could i have imagined anyone but Bruce could be the world’s greatest detective? But is the get-up hiding the effects of the changes Damien mentions? And his comment about hearing…you dont think, you know, bats and all…surely not, right?

  49. Zom Says:

    If Dr Hurt is Thomas Wayne (okay, not THE Thomas Wayne but an evil father figure analogue) then it could be argued that an Oedipal dimension has been added and that having Bruce fuck his very own mum would make sense on that basis. I however still have a great deal of trouble believing that it’s a genuinely plausible.

    It wouldn’t be a Xorn moment because Xorn, while popular with a section of Morrison’s readership, wasn’t the central character in that book and the lynchpin of the franchise. All Morrison did with Xorn is destroy a perfectly good character. Having Batman fuck his very own mum to make himself so that he could be his very own daddy and that he could grow up to lust after his very own mummy all over again is another kettle of wrong entirely. It’s bad 90s X-Men at it’s absolute turdest.

    Morrison can be cheeky and iconoclastic, but I imagine/hoping he’d draw the line at that stuff.

  50. RetroWarbird Says:

    Just on an aside here … but I think I’m going to change my guess as to who Talia is sending to help Damian kill Dick. I’d guessed Jason Todd – since our boy Red Hood is being set up as Dick’s arch-rival, and has connections to Talia. I’ve seen other people guess Deathstroke (Fair bet, since Slade has tons of ties to Dick, and is a member of the Secret Society along with Talia).

    But I’m actually going to guess that next issue, Shrike shows up.

  51. bobsy Says:

    I thought the ‘send in the executioner’ line was the activation key for whatevr implant is making Damian bad? He’s in a typical executioner pose on the cover.

  52. Zom Says:

    Yeah, I read it that way, although I have to admit it struck me as slightly confusing

  53. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, it was a hypnotic code phrase, obvs.

  54. RetroWarbird Says:

    Let me re-read. Because I do recall the transition between what Talia was saying one place, and Damian going all KZZT, bang, zoit, boop, bleek, blork in another.

    (But Morrison’s IGN interview does have him explicitly mentioning one of Dick’s earliest, deadliest enemies joining the fray, and Shrike is apparently, a member of the Assassins, with “Kill Dick Grayson” as his primary motivation, and was created in Dixon’s “Robin: Year One”.)

  55. amypoodle Says:

    oh. it does, doesn’t it?

    that’s good then.

    between beserko damian, hurt’s men and whoever the other baddy is, i’m expecting total carnage.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    We can combine the “hurt is bruce” and Barbatos/thomas wayne theory. What if Mordecai wayne who is actually Bruce wayne goes on to become Thomas wayne who in turn is possesed by Barbatos.

    He’s not aware of this possesion in his later incarnations until towards the end.

  57. RetroWarbird Says:

    “We can combine the “hurt is bruce” and Barbatos/thomas wayne theory. What if Mordecai wayne who is actually Bruce wayne goes on to become Thomas wayne who in turn is possesed by Barbatos.”

    This is admittedly possible. A little rooting around has shown that not all the “Wayne Patriarchs” are descended in a direct line. Silas for instance, is Bruce’s great-uncle, not Good Thomas’s father. Solomon and Joshua are actually brothers. (And yeah, Joshua looks a lot like Bruce …)

    So there’s potential for Bruce to have shown up as a “relative” in the various Wayne histories, all while flip-flopping between devil-worship and repentance.

    Meanwhile … 3rd Hierarchy + Damian + Whoever Talia sends + Dick + Oberon = Yes, carnage seems to work just fine. So do Talia’s people begrudgingly “join forces” with the very Batman they’ve been sent to kill?

    Seems likely.

  58. pop Says:

    Odd Damian pulled the exact sword to enter the rose? Past life memory on top of Talia’s programing?

  59. Anonymous Says:

    Disguised as “Silver Age” styled luck?

  60. Wreckless Derek Says:

    Sorry for being off-topic and possibly rude, but how’s that essay magazine coming along?

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