Comic Books

BATMAN, INCORPORATED #13

Batman saves the world and loses everything.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
Cover by Chris Burnham

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 13.0%

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  1. This is the end… Hope it wraps well.

  2. This is it.

    • As soon as I read this I am going to go back and re-read all the Batman Inc issues, both volumes in a row. There has been some delays in this series and it will probably read better back to back I’m thinking.

    • I think I’m going to wait a few months then read Morrison’s complete Batman run – yeah it’s gonna awhile but hey how the hell else am I gonna get my Grant Morrison Batman fix now? πŸ˜‰

    • Yeah, I should just start with Batman & Son. It’s been a while since I read it from the beginning too.

    • I just recently re-read all of Morrison’s Batman and Robin. Dick as Batman was so much fun I wish it lasted longer. I like Damian paired with Bruce but I enjoyed Damian the most when he was with Dick. I read Batman and Son twice but just didn’t really like it too much. I very much enjoyed Batman RIP. Overall Morrison wrote some great Batman comics. I’ll miss his more surreal and campy Batman once this is over.

    • @ghostmann If you look at Snyder’s Batman and Morrison’s Batman, they are clearly DIFFERENT characters. This is obviously because Morrison is just carrying over what he’s done, but Snyder and Tomasi clearly write him with a different vigor.

      With all of that said, I’ve decided to go back and re-read EVERYTHING from Year One to Incorporated; excluding Snyder and Tomasi’s work. The reason for this is that I believe that Morrison is closing out an era of Batman. Just about ALL of his character progression from the 80’s to today has lead to this. I couldn’t be any happier that Snyder is headlining his new era, but it just doesn’t fit in with what Morrison has done, tone and thematically.

      Here’s a list I found, if you like: http://batmanreadinglist.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/reading-list/

      Just add JLA, some other crossovers (i.e. Infinite Crisis), and Batman, Inc. Vol. 2, and you’ve got yourself the definitive order to a finite era of the Caped Crusader. I myself find that beautiful.

    • Two things:

      I strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommending reading “52” #30 and #47 as the “start” of Morrison’s Batman run. Those issues are where we see Bruce isolating himself in the cave, the redux of the “isolation experiment” that was originally conducted on Bruce by Doctor Hurt so many years before. It baffles me why DC has never included the 8-10 relevant pages of those two issues at the beginning of the Batman by Morrison collections.

      Additionally, Morrison’s “Batman: Gothic” from the ’90s definitely ties in on a very strong thematic note. Lines of dialogue pertaining to “the Devil” reappear in Morrison’s Batman run, as do some of the other themes. In contrast, Morrison’s “Arkham Asylum” doesn’t really feel like it’s “of a piece” with his other Batman stuff. But “Batman: Gothic” is as close to being “part of the story” as possible, without actually being part of the story.

      P.S. And if some huge omnibus ever collects all of “Morrison’s Batman”, I think it should also include Batman & Robin #0 by Pete Tomasi. That really fits in with what Grant did with Damian.

    • @ Nightwing97: I think your comment was meant as a reply to Invincipal right? =)

    • Thanks for that link @Nightwing97.

    • @ghostmann Oops, yeah read the wrong name… But, hell let’s ALL have a Batman marathon!

    • @Nightwing That sure is some list. Some of those stories (mad monk, strange apparitions to name 2) are pre crisis pre Year One taking place in the 70s and early 80s. Not sure you planned on reading those, but wanted to let uou know. I have all the ‘Batman’ issues from I think its 391 until it ends at 713. I picked them up a few years back and have been reading thriugh it and piecing all the tie-ins. You are up for a daunting task (time and money) my fellow Bat lover. Good luck. Not sure if all of these are collections or not, but I know Prodigal at least is very hsrd to come by and you are best off getting it in issues (I just pieced it together myself and it goed through 4 dif Bat titled- oh its also the first time thst Dick becomes Bat man) Anyways have fun. I know I have enjoyed all of my Batman collecting. Im currently putting together the 340s to 390s and the Tec tie ins. The older issues are great. Oh and as far as Ten Nights of the Beast: its follwed up a little in Batman 444-446 and then in a 4 part crossover called Troika that takes place just after Prodigal.

      Gothic is great.

    • @theWAC1 Yeah, I noticed that it has some Pre-Crisis stories, but they KIND OF fit in chronologically. I have most of the list except for most of The Legends of the Dark Knight stuff. That’s always been hard for me to track down.

      I have MOST of the Prodigal issues, but I’m still looking.

      I thought I was the ONLY one who remembered Troika! Nice! I don’t know if they ever collected it, but I have the issues.

      I recently tracked down Gothic, and I have NO idea why people are so unaware of it…! Well, I do, actually. It’s a Morrison book that has nothing to do with Metaphysics or Space… Anyway, it’s a GREAT read! πŸ™‚

    • I know this is old but if you’re talking about Batman chronology, get ready for this:

      http://www.therealbatmanchronologyproject.com/

      This guy researched so much Batman history. So much.

  3. Can’t wait, hoping to get the Morrison variant cover too

  4. Well, the end has arrived (and only a week late, good job Morrison :)). Seriously though, Morrison’s run on the character has been intriguing with a mixture of highs and lows. Personally, my interest started to flag a few issues into the initial series of Batman Incorporated, a concept that never really worked for me. (I’m hoping that DC forgets the Bruce Wayne publicly funding Batman idea as quickly as possible). Honestly, I think that the two Incorporated titles have been padded out on the way to their final stretch, yet, as I’ve been reading the last several issues recently, around issue 5 things really pulled together. Once Morrison focused in on the Talia/Bruce/Damian family conflict the story really took off once again. The title finally felt as epic as its hype proclaimed. I’m glad I stuck around for the long haul and am very curious to see how this all ends.

    On a personal note, it was about six years ago, I returned to monthly comics reading for the first time since starting college. I was browsing the stands and noticed that Grant Morrison was writing Batman now. “This has to be interesting,” I thought to myself remembering Gothic and Arkham Asylum. It was issue 666, which, out of context, threw me for quite a loop. “Wait! Bruce Wayne is dead? When did this happen?” I found my footing soon enough (or as much footing as one ever finds in a Morrison story).

    Sorry, if that was a bit rambling — just felt like sharing, you know . . .

    • You weren’t far off from how and when I got back into comics. After seeing Batman Begins I thought I would check out a Batman comic. The one that was currently out was Batman #655, which just happened to be Grant Morrison’s first issue on his Batman run. I consider myself very lucky and haven’t looked back since.

    • Youre not alone. Batman, and DC Comics in general owe Grant Morrison a great deal. He breathed new life into the character and gave us Damian. Both things really seemed to excite comic readership for years. No matter an individuals opinion on how this is ending, or shipping schedules or whatever, this EPIC run has been great for the industry and a thrill to read. I know it helped reignite my love for comics and especially Batman, and I get more out of these issues every time through.

      @Cosmo I actually dropped this mid Vol. 1 and had to go back and get the issues and Leviathen. So glad I did, it read much better in a chunk.

    • Yeah, I definitely hear you guys. I got out of comics in 1999, and I dipped my toe back into the water from time to time, but it was Morrison’s Batman (along with Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men) that really pulled me back in. And from 2007 or 2010, Morrison’s Batman basically did “define my comics readership”. It was the one thing I really cared most about reading, by a mile. It ruled my comics life.

      As cosmo said above, my interest also started to wane with the first volume of Incorporated. It felt very much ‘tacked on’ — just something fun for Morrison to do. The REAL story, I felt, definitely concluded with Batman & Robin #16, with Bruce’s return. The first few issues of Incorporated (vol. 1) were fun, but they didn’t seem to have much substance to them. As that volume wore on, though, I definitely think there were some great issues in which it was evident that Morrison was putting in real effort and trying to “say” something about Batman, as much as he ever did in his previous runs on “Batman” and “B&R”. I think that Inc (vol. 1) #4, the spotlight on the first Batwoman, was particularly impressive — possibly one of the top 5 single issues of the whole saga to date.

      But when Batman Inc returned in the New 52? Something was missing. Before then, I had been skeptical about Inc, but by the end of vol. 1, and with the excellent “Leviathan Strikes!” one-shot in recent memory, I was ready to care about this title to the same extent that I used to care about Morrison’s Batman a few years previous. Overall, though, Inc vol. 2 has let me down. There’s no other way to say it. I’ve still enjoyed it. It’s still had excellent single issues here and there (#2 and #5 especially). But, overall, more often than not this title has felt too crowded and too action-y for too long. It’s also felt too linear for too long; it’s just . . . not as interesting. Morrison’s Batman stuff used to have me pouring over back issues ten times over, looking for clues and references and allusions. I haven’t had much cause to do any of that in a long time. It’s not nearly as deep as it once was.

      Maybe this last issue will change my mind about Inc vol. 2. But I think it will be a case of “too little, too late”. (As others have said, I really wish they — Morrison and DC both — would have gone all-out on this, given us a huge $4.99 or even $7.99 issue, full of all sorts of stuff, so that it would feel like the culmination of 7 years’ work, rather than the 20-page conclusion of a decompressed action movie.)

      Overall, Morrison’s Batman saga is still my favorite run of all time, and will remain so no matter what the last issue brings. Overall, I think it’s THE best. But that’s despite a full THIRD of it now (Inc vols. 1 & 2) seeming borderline disposable. For the last few years, it’s been fun . . . but a far cry from the really innovative and insightful storytelling that Morrison did, month in and month out, in “The Black Glove”, “R.I.P.”, “Last Rites”, and most issues of “B&R”. 75% of those issues were better than 75% of the comics with “Batman Incorporated” on the cover. There HAS been a decline. The older stories really made me think hard and really gave new insights into the character who was ALREADY the most deconstructed and analyzed character in comics (Bruce Wayne). Don’t get me wrong, Inc vol. 2 has still been “good”, but psycho rampaging Bruce, buckets of blood and vitriol, and evil and/or dead children just . . . don’t do it for me the way previous, more nuanced installments of this saga have.

      Still, when I think of the greatest runs in Big Two comic history (the most ‘literary’ runs, even) I think of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and Grant Morrison’s Batman. Those are clearly the top three, imo. Not necessarily in that order.

      No matter what, it’s been a great ride, and I don’t expect to give Inc #13 anything less than a 4.

    • I am with flapjaxx, well put sir

    • Yeah, the whole reboot thing really messed with Incorporated. I’ve always assumed that Morrison’s original plan was to finish his Batman run before the New 52, yet, as deadlines continued to be missed it became clear that this was not going to happen, so DC gave him a special exemption and let his story continue post-Flashpoint. This gets most muddled when the Leviathan Special (which in retrospect was the turning point of the whole Incorporated narrative) is labeled “pre-Flashpoint.” Of course, one last wonderful appearance by Stephanie Brown was worth it, but, still, it muddied the waters. After the relaunch, I kept pretending that Incorporated existed in its own separate universe, which worked until Damian died. Still, I wish that DC could label Morrison’s run an Elseworlds and (kinda like Nolan’s films) let it exist as its own self-contained story.

  5. 7 years in the making!

    Sad to see Grant & co. go.

    tears.

  6. Digging the endless image approach to the cover.

    This will be bitter sweet for a lot of us. I’m going to miss visiting this place every six to eight weeks. Not only will this be the end of what I consider one of the finest Batman runs of all time, but this was the one corner of the universe I could still go and pretend the relaunch never happened. It was holy ground for me. I found solace here.

    Oh well. Knock ’em dead, GMo! Looking forward to it.

  7. A little disappointed that this isn’t getting some sort of big send-off (more pages of story, or even bonus material and other extras) after all this time. This run has more or less defined my comic fandom since it launched in 2006. That said, it’s pretty apparent that the New 52 left a sour taste in Grant Morrison’s mouth and this second volume of Inc was pretty mangled, I think, by the major continuity issues that suddenly cropped up when the DCU reset. It’ll be a sad moment for me that this story is ending, but it’s time for it to happen.

    • It is true that this series might seem to call for an “extra special” send off, though, as I stated above, I think that the narrative has been drawn out long enough as it is. Plus, a picking up the pieces epilogue doesn’t really seem like Morrison’s style. He’ll stage a big blow-out, then leave the aftermath to someone else (unless DC chooses to simply ignore it).

      And, honestly, my wallet doesn’t mind at all that it’s only $2.99. There will be that Incorporated Special for those who really want extra content . . .

    • I wish Morrison was writing some of the stories in the Special issue next month. At least we get a Bat Cow story I guess.

  8. This is it!

    I’m ready to see how this all goes down guys

  9. It’s gonna be weird not having Morrison on a monthly, he probably is my favorite writer in comics. Hope his Wonder Woman kicks ass and see him back on a book sooner rather than later! Also, this issue is gonna be fu@king intense.

  10. Had a great timing reading Grant’s Batman, and I can’t wait to see his multi Dc verse stuff coming next.

  11. Can’t wait for the entire grant Morrison batman omnibus printed in reading order and includes the pertinent issues from 52. This has been an amazing journey the last eight years

  12. A few years ago I predicted that this would end with Batman retiring, setting up Dark Knight Returns. Now with all the unexplainable New 52 crap, and where the end has gone, I doubt that’s the case. To think of what could’ve been. I guess The Black Mirror will have to serve as that prequel (seriously, a lot of people missed it, but it was nearly blatant. Drugged babies turned psycho in a decade or two).

    • Well, after Crisis (and after the introduction of Tim Drake) TDKR could NEVER have fit in canonically. Too many things happening for it to be the future. And as for The Black Mirror, sure Snyder is a big fan and was probably hinting towards that. But as far as Dick went in TDKR, he never even moved past being Robin, much less Nightwing or Batman. TDKR has ALWAYS fit into its own timeline, which includes the awful Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman.

    • Yeah, according to this all those stories happened on Earth 31. Scroll way to the bottom under New 52.

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

  13. Hard to believe this run is finally coming to an end. It started of strong, had some muddling to bad issues in between, but this entire run by Morrison over the years has been memorable. No idea how he plans on ending this but I suspect it will be a mindfuck.

    • Well, after Crisis (and after the introduction of Tim Drake) TDKR could NEVER have fit in canonically. Too many things happening for it to be the future. And as for The Black Mirror, sure Snyder is a big fan and was probably hinting towards that. But as far as Dick went in TDKR, he never even moved past being Robin, much less Nightwing or Batman. TDKR has ALWAYS fit into its own timeline, which includes the awful Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman.

    • Sorry, that was meant for @manwithoutbeer. Something is wrong with me today…

  14. This is it. Morrison’s Batman Joker prose issue was my first comic I ever bought. I haven’t looked back since. I can’t believe it’s all over now….

  15. This is the end, beautiful friend. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b26BD5KjH0

    It’s been a GREAT ride and I look forward to revisiting this epic in the near future.

  16. i am sad to hear morrisons run is coming to an end.. but since i strictly only follow comics in trade format i have only just finished batman inc vol 1.. but everything has been quality so far πŸ™‚ loved his batman trades ( RIP kicked ass) batman & robin etc. This whole new 52 business sucks though… batmans comic universe was making a natural progression,batman finally getting over his parents death(about time) dick grayson progressing to become batman.. batman having a son.. all of it felt like a natural progressive evolution of the batman universe.. dont get me wrong i have liked snyders work so far and its not his fault but the statis que of the characters feel like they have taken a backward step since flashpoint and the new 52.. Its such a shame as well,we respect these characters from dc.. yet the powers that be who decided to launch the new 52 when they did are a bunch of money grabbing cowards lol Only good thing thats come out of the new 52 universe so far from what i have read in trade is the first 2 vol of “suicide squad” and dont even get me started on the whereabouts of Wally West? lol

  17. Morrison said that people were going to hate how this ends, I wonder what he meant, is it shock or whimper.

  18. just read this (work at a comic shop) and it was not great.

    • *GASP* God dammit. Without spoiling, anti-climatic? Lame twist/mind-fuck? Badly written? All of the above?

    • Interesting……

    • this is all my opinion but i felt like, as a climax, it was very rushed and thus anti-climactic. i didn’t really feel there was a final word worthy of the run (though there are some nice thoughts on “batman”). honestly needed 48 pages but even more honestly, needed a few issues.

    • I’m certainly not dismissing your opinion, you may very well be absolutely right. But I’m holding out hope that those of us who’ve been reading Morrison’s entire Batman run will feel differently. I saw you mention in the Batman Inc. #12 comments that you hadn’t really been following it much. Fingers crossed. I really want it to be a nice ending.

  19. I Just read the issue and want to say one thing: MORRISON WILL BE BACK.
    And ya, it really did need to be a annual sized issue to let the story not feel crunched for time. Overall Loved it but needed more pages.

  20. ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

    I haven’t been reading this in issues, but I really loved the first trade. Can’t wait for this to be collected too!

  21. I really, really enjoyed this. A fitting end to the final chapter.

  22. A very dark, tragic, cynical note to end on, a commentary on the endless cycle of grief and heartbreak Bruce Wayne will go through. The epilogue with Ra’s Al Ghul is like the dark parallel to the ending of All-Star Superman.

    Batman (and Robin) will never die, for better or for worse

  23. Morrison’s Batman is what got me reading comics regularly. I’m going to miss it.

  24. SPOLIERS! (of sorts)

    This was just “okay” – a bit of a let down seeing as how this story has been building to this end for 7 years. Felt completely rushed and pedestrian in terms of Talia’s final stand against Batman (the last minute intervention by Grayson had me groaning). Morrison is better then this.

    Still, I did enjoy the book and art by Burnham is always worth it.

    Oh, and love the line from Gordon about Bruce Wayne being into the “Rough Stuff”. Haha, never heard that before but it totally makes sense that there would be rumors about Bruce and S&M sex acts considering he always has bruises and cuts and shit on him. Leave it to Grant to pull that one out of his hat.

    STORY = 3
    ART = 5

    • “Okay” is the exact word. And Jason Todd intervenes at the end. That’s why he tells Talia he owes her one, ’cause she let him go in the UNder the Red Hood .

  25. Well…it happened. Pretty mediocre at best.

    ———————–SPOILERS————————–

    The interaction between Batman and Talia felt different here, like neither of them even cared to be in the story to begin with. Wingman’s part in all this was just kinda blurted out (even in a joking manner, despite all that’s happened), then a mysterious golden gun appears out of a trap-door.

    The epilogue….well it was there and it didnt excite me for things to come at all. If it wasnt for Burnham’s art, I would’ve felt completely jipped.

  26. Well… this was it…!

    *Sigh* I would have liked for him to something a bit more interesting with the ending, but it was decent.

    Did he just get lazy? Because he even said that he’d be sure people would hate it… That’s loser’s excuse for failing ahead of time…

    Reminds me of Final Crisis. He was being “experimental” by having no clear structure (or coherence) of story. That’s just an excuse for crafting out a lazy, mediocre story…

    I’m sorry, this ending had me bummed… As in “I didn’t like it” not “It was emotionally stirring like All-Star Superman.”

    • EDIT

      I was a little angry when I wrote this… I can now look at it for what it is and not take it TOO seriously. It was a decent ending that closes out a good run.

  27. “The superior man thinks of SPOILERS that will come and guards against SPOILERS” – The Book of Spoilers.

    So its finally over. My all-time favorite comics writer finishes his 7-year definitive run on my all-time favorite comics character.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. It did not, however, feel like the end of the saga.

    The last few pages actually seemed to be setting up a story continuation that will either
    a) never be completed,
    b) be completed by Morrison many years from now, or
    c) be completed/interpreted by someone else.

    None of the aforementioned outcomes excite me I’m afraid to say.

    The framing device of having Gordon interviewing Bruce Wayne throughout the issue was excellent, (especially Gordon’s little asides about the coffee), as was Morrison’s acknowledgment of the fact that Gordon knows (and has pretty much always known) Batman’s secret identity. This was the most explicitly I have seen this little sub-thread done since ‘Blind Justice’ did it superbly way back when. The little aside in ‘Hush’ (where Batman essentially says “I know he knows”) gets an honourable mention as well.

    Because the story takes place in flashback, the entire issue, when viewed in the context of the series, thus becomes a flashback within a flashback, continuing the theme that begins on the cover and ends with the ouroborous snake on the last page (in place of either ‘The End’ or ‘To Be Continued’). In a sense, this explains the cliffhanger on the last page (as well as the shocking grave robbery), but it doesn’t stop me being mildly annoyed as I wait for a follow-up issue that may never come…

    Disappointingly, there was far too much ‘deus ex machina’ in this story, too many convenient devices that simply strained credulity.

    For example:
    -Batman loses his war and his life, only to be redeemed by Jason Todd.
    -Batman is about to be exposed, ruined and imprisoned, only to be redeemed by some shady government agency (Spyral).
    -Batman is about to be destroyed by Talia, both financially and publicly, only to be saved by a returning Kathy Kane (I called that one over two years ago, by the way).

    I’m not saying that this issue was bad, not at all. I cherish this run and, when all is said and done, it will join the O’Neil/Adams stuff and Engelhart/Rogers (amongst others) in the pantheon of great ‘definitive’ Batman stories.

    It just wasn’t perfect is all.

    I was disappointed that the 666-verse was not alluded to in any way. I was disappointed that Damian did not return (because I was still hoping against hope that he would) and I’m upset that Snyder’s Batman is now the only regular Bat-Book I’m buying (as I’m still on the fence vis-a-vis ‘Zero Year’). This issue needed a little more, I personally would have preferred a poetic final page, rather than yet another villain reveal, but there you go.

    Overall, this was a solid issue. It finished the story, did the overarching storyline justice and wrapped up the loose ends (mostly).

    …Then, frustratingly, it created a bunch of new loose ends, for no discernible reason.

    Having said that, the art was stunning, as usual, and the story served as a fitting, if flawed, epilogue to a truly great story.

    The greatest thing that I can say about it is this, ‘Batman Incorporated’ still felt like essential reading, even at the very end. How many runs can you say that about (and still be honest)?

    Finally, reading the thread here, it feels as if there is a sense of a “changing of the guard” with this issue.

    The feeling seems to be that this issue represents the last gasp of the ‘old style’ Batman that will, for better or worse, be replaced by a funky new Batman.

    My only problem with this opinion is that it is probably right.

    If you grew up with ‘Post Crisis’ Batman and his world, this may actually be the last time you ever see him. Frankly, I don’t feel that the present crop of Bat-Books (or the creators, sadly) have what it takes to take over the reigns just yet. If ‘Zero Year’ doesn’t pan out, DC could now bleed readers at a rate unprecedented. I’ll probably end up being one of them.

    So yeah, a good ending, but a mixed bag as well. Its sad to see ‘my’ Batman wander off into the sunset, but I guess some fans felt that way when Adam West hung up his cape, others still when Frank Miller created ‘Year One’ and still others when they simply grew out of the Technicolor sci-fi romp of 50’s Batman.

    Ok, Mr. Snyder…You are now the keeper of the cave. Impress me (please).

    • Dude read my lips, “you should write a review instead of posting this in the comments section!” πŸ˜‰

      and have you seen the first three reviews posted about Barman, Inc #13? They suck. Your comment was 100 times more informative and insightful and thought out then those so called “reviews”.

      Take the leap man, write some reviews!

      =)

    • Bro, start actually reviewing! Alright, let’s get started. πŸ™‚

      The end-page did bug me. It is probably something that will never be followed up on PROPERLY. When I say that, I mean it’s not going to happen where a writer or even Morrison himself comes back to it saying, “Yeah, I want to continue it!” If anything, Didio will come back to it one day when they are dry of Batman tales, saying “Here, Scott. WE at editorial want you to write this!”

      I normally enjoy the whole Deus Ex Machina stuff, but I do agree that Morrison had to much fun with it here.

      The 666 thing is something that is going to keep me awake for awhile… I don’t even know why he wrote that if he always planned on offing Damian…

      While this is a little off-topic, I do have hope that Snyder will handle the reigns well. But more on that later.

      This IS the end of the saga, and it IS essential if you have read the rest of the run… It is welcome to newcomers as well, but you can’t say that it had any lasting impressions anymore; Damian is dead, Incorporated is gone, the characterization has been sent back to square-one, and it is left with a nerve-racking loose end. If I’m to recommend it to people now, I’ll say “Yeah, man, this is where Talia dies!” It is well written (for the most part) but I’m not sure if TOTALLY essential… Especially since there was NO set artist like the legendaries that you mentioned.

      As for the end of an era, I do agree with you. In this very thread, in fact, I related how I’m having a Batman marathon from Year One to Incorporated and everything in between. It is a lifetime for Batman, and this final issue DOES kind of send him off in a nice way. I understand for those who are saddened, however: YOUR Batman is gone. But try to look at that as a nice thing. Here is a list: http://batmanreadinglist.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/reading-list/
      That is a finite, whole, completed lifetime for The Caped Crusader. I find that kind of beautiful. As a 16 year old, I can look back and say Snyder headlined MY era. I may not see the end of THIS characterization of Batman (Or maybe I will. We all know DC loves the reset button), but you are able to look back on yours in its entirety!

      With that said, for all of it’s faults, the Morrison run was fun and a nice closer for Post-Crisis Batman. I will always look back on it fondly (an issue of R.I.P. was my start in avidly buying), but am looking forward to Snyder carrying us forward! Happy to hear your words and hope I didn’t sound like I was rambling. πŸ™‚

    • I took @ghostman’s advice like it was meant for me. Thanks @ghostman, your comment kept going through my head as I was posting my feelings on the book here… I’m glad I didn’t. @ApoetSomeday covered here anyway πŸ˜‰

    • BTW I totally called the Kathy Kane thing, too!

    • @Ghostmann – Y’know what? I think I will.

      A review, as I said before, takes a good deal of hard work, because it should ideally be less of a personal reaction and more of an objective appraisal of the subject’s good points and bad points (of course there IS a personal dimension, but it shouldn’t be dominant, in my opinion). My personal reactions to lots of things in comics (‘Zero Year’ for example) would be out of place if they dominated my reviews the same way they dominate my comments. However, I’ll try to find a nice way to balance my personal feelings about a book with my appreciation for that book as a piece of writing/art. Thank you Ghostmann and Nightwing for inspiring me to write and post some reviews up here. I sincerely appreciate your kind words and support.

      @ Nightwing – Not at all, your comment was a good read (and I’d be a hypocrite if I got mad at ANYONE for overlong posts!) I actually think that the ramifications of this story will be felt for a long time to come. Ra’s Al Ghul has gotten (if you’ll pardon the pun) a new lease on life as a character, Talia is dead (but not for too long, I’ll wager) and Gotham has (once again) outlawed Batman. Of course, Damian’s death will likely hang over Batman in ‘your’ timeline the same way that Jason’s death hung over him in ‘my’ timeline.

      I actually think that a lot of future events will have their roots in this story. The assignment I want to work on (and I can’t help it, I am a writer after all) is ‘Kathy Kane: Agent of Spyral’ (working title, lol) that thing would have ‘awesome’ written all over it. There is so much potential there.

      BTW, I really hope it doesn’t come down to ‘my’ Batman and ‘your’ Batman. I’m a fan of all iterations of the character (from Bob Kane to Adam West and beyond, so they’d really have to mess up the character pretty badly for me to give up reading about him).

      One last thing, I feel that I was a little mean to the Batman writing staff in my last post (and you never know who is reading these forums) and I just meant to say that I enjoy Tomasi’s Batman & (——–) a great deal, I also loved Batman 66’s first issue and (as Nightwing and I have discussed) I really am enjoying ‘Batman/Superman’ as well, so its not like I’m bereft of Batman. Not at all. I just feel that, without Morrison, the Batman Books are missing a ‘guiding light’ of sorts.

      Mr. Snyder is an excellent writer and I really enjoy his work, but as I’ve said a couple of times, he seems far too eager to re-imagine new character origins, re-design everything and court controversy all the time and I’d personally prefer it if he’d just tell a good detective/horror/superhero story every now and again.

      I get that he’s turning everything around on us (and that is probably what he’ll be most remembered for when all is said and done), but there are times when I just want a straight-up Batman on the rocks, without a long lost brother, an ancient conspiracy, a definitive battle with his arch foe, a brand new origin, a near-death of Alfred and so on and so on.

      Snyder is to Batman what Claremont was to X-Men, impossibly awesome to read, but also ultimately poisonous to continuity, weaving an impossibly tangled web and making a mess of everyone’s backstory in the process. I’m sorry for saying that, because I consider myself to be a Snyder fan, but just take a second and imagine yourself having to follow his arc when all is said and done. It’d be a complete nightmare. Worth doing, but by no means easy.

      Oh, also – Don’t forget that Andy Kubert is doing a miniseries on future Damian later this year. That will probably explain the 666-verse a little more. I’m definitely going to get that one.

    • @ APoetSomeday, why do you think Snyder’s continuity is poor? Besides trying to explain how Batman has a son with Talia but has only been Batman for five years it’s not that confusing. Damain just doesn’t fit into the timeline DC wants Batman to have in the n52, but I would’t blame Snyder for that. Snyder really has not re-imaged much stuff either. I wouldn’t call DotF re-imaging just another joker story, and court of owls was brand new (and badass at that). Zero Year is really his only true re-imaging and I would not be surprised if DC pushed him to do it but I have no proof of that. That being said beside I am really into Zero Year.

      I definitely do understand thinking Snyder is always taking on huge epic story lines. I really hope after Zero year we get at least 5 to 6 issues of either done in one stories or two/three parters with some good detective work thrown in. Stories don’t need to be epic in scope to be great.

    • @Invincipal – Essentially, when we talk about comic books, we’re talking about something that has never actually been done before in all of Human history. I don’t mean in terms of form, but in terms of continual storytelling.

      Even the longest-running soap operas on TV pale in comparison to the length and breadth of DC and Marvel’s continuity. In the case of Batman, we’re looking at 74 years of continuous storytelling, that’s with at least one new story being published (almost) every single month since that time. Storytelling on that level has never been done before, so whilst we have ‘culture heroes’ and mythological figures from the past like Robin Hood or Hercules, they only have a set amount of adventures in their original form. We add to them, of course, but not every month.

      As drably conservative as this sounds, comic book writers sometimes need to simply keep things ticking along, rather than going all out, all the time. Its like a long-distance marathon and sprinting it will lead to collapse. Past Bat-scribes like Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, Denny O’Neil and Doug Moench (along with literally hundreds of others), were absolute masters of taking a regular Batman story, with little to no effect on the lasting continuity and making it indescribably awesome, challenging and exciting. Writers like Len Wein or Bill Finger could tell great stories, in any era, without resorting to huge shocks, massive revelations and major deaths every other month.

      The point is not that Snyder handles continuity badly (although it is certainly not his strong point – check out his re-introduction of James Gordon, Jr against the established Gordon Family timeline. Even taking ‘Infinite Crisis’ into account, you’ll see that it doesn’t hold up hugely well). What I mean is that, for every ‘Death in the Family’ and ‘Knightfall’, for every ‘Year One’ and ‘Killing Joke’ there are literally hundreds of stories in between. If today’s fan grows to expect a major revelation, a character death or some other ‘once in a while’ event in every single story cycle, then we’ll have a serious problem on our hands. Why? Because continuity can’t handle it.

      We’re already seeing the beginning of this pattern. How many people, on these (and other) forums hated the (great) ending of Snyder’s ‘Death of the Family’ simply because ‘The Family’ didn’t die? Sub question: How many of those people ever thought further than what would happen if Dick, Tim & Alfred had actually died?

      It could reach a point where DC feels that in order to boost sales (or keep them steady), they’ll have to do a new origin, a new character death or some complete re-imagining/reboot every 12 months or so. In that respect, without the guiding hand of continuity and (decent) editing, every creator will simply do ‘their’ version of Batman. This will have the effect of being pretty cool for a couple of years and then eventually eroding and breaking down the character’s relevance, until no story has any lasting impact. Even when Damian died, which was a heartbreaking event (and well written, especially by Tomasi), the mainstream media’s reaction was “What, Again? He’ll be back. Who cares?” Almost every article I read about the death ended with “oh well, Jason Todd came back to life, so Damian will be back too” (or sentiment’s to that effect).

      Shock value only works with timing. Jaws would not be anything like as cool if you saw the shark in every scene.

      Also, when you kill Alfred, you have to bring Alfred back. When you bring Alfred back and kill someone else, you have to bring that someone else back. The whole thing ends up being ridiculous and impossible to take seriously.

      I don’t mean to heap all of this on Scott’s shoulders, but he’s the head Batman writer. Where he goes, Batman (and the readers) follow.

      Snyder has made many, many changes to canon in his run. Many of these have been totally positive, don’t get me wrong, but if every single story arc he writes becomes an event, then he’ll render the regular stories (the lifeblood of comics) as ‘lame’ or ‘non essential’ in the eyes of many fans.

      There are other ways of getting people reading and coming back month after month. It needn’t always be ‘the definitive this’ ‘the final that’ or ‘the origin of the other’. Sometimes it should just be ‘Batman vs The Villain of the Week’ because Batman is fascinating, exciting and cool and we all enjoy reading about him.

      Epic runs and events are awesome, but writers these days can come off as a little selfish and egomaniacal in their desires to do something ‘lasting’ with the character. After your run, someone has to pick up the pieces and do their run and if you’ve left those pieces in disarray, then you’re making their job a lot harder.

      Between ‘Zero Year’ ‘DotF’ ‘Court of Owls’ and ‘Black Mirror’ there is now a ton of backstory for other Bat-scribes to deal with. In just a couple of years, Snyder has single-handedly dumped more stuff in Bruce Wayne’s already-cluttered life than every Batman writer of the last decade combined. Now, I feel, it is time for him to just do some good stories that don’t leave a messy, winding trail of continuity breadcrumbs as maddening as it is unnecessary behind him.

      I’m sure a lot of people will disagree and still more will say “I don’t care about continuity” and that’s fine. However, there’s a broader picture at work here and this is a critical time for comics. It is fine not to be OBSESSED with continuity (preferable, even), but not to care at all? You might find that you miss it when its gone. Sorry for the rant, thanks a lot for those who stuck with it this far. πŸ™‚

    • PS – Just to reiterate, Mr. Snyder is a great writer. His work on Batman has been excellent and I’m not saying that he would be responsible for a total breakdown of comics continuity, (even if he continues to tell massive, operatic stories that span the entirety of Batman’s life and career every month for a hundred years), I’m just saying that this type of storyline, on a constant basis, can be ruinous, which is why editors in the past have always discouraged it.

      – I just want people to see that telling a regular, decent story with three acts, engaging characters and a lasting message is actually a lot harder than doing huge, event-level stories. I’d like to see Snyder just write Batman, not a Batman event, just a cool Batman story, like the two part ‘Clayface’ piece he did. That kicked ass.

    • @ poet I couldn’t agree with you more. Its like, where is the crime in Gotham? But maybe its a return to the more “superhero” style Batman that DC is going for. But I prefer the typical day in night out life that has characterized Batman fir the better part of 30 years. Even when he’s searching out alley slashers.

    • @ Apoetsomeday You obviously know a lot about Batman. I hadn’t read much Batman until recently, but several months ago I read Morrison’s whole Batman run from the library until I was caught up, and I’m wondering how Morrison rates in for you on the continuity issues you’re critiquing Snyder for. On this last issue in particular Morrison used his final pages to leave a kind of unsettling thread for future writers to deal with, but I’m curious how you (or anyone else who cares to add their 2 cents of course) think his run compares overall with other writers in terms of dealing with continuity or a heavy reliance on epic events.

    • I personally think @Apoetsomeday is exaggerating alittle. I wouldn’t call Snyder’s epic story’s events. And while the other Bat-family books may jump in to weave a bigger story, there are 5-6 other series that are telling shorter more traditional stories.

      Second, I believe the comic companies have adapted to the demands of the readers. Snyder is telling his stories because people buy them, and his are different from the shorter stories of years gone by.

      Third, the idea that Snyder is creating all these continuity holes is kind of…unfounded. All the years before Snyder came along, how many times had Batman died, Joker died, Alfred left, Two-Face is cured, Two-Face is evil again, Two-Face has a identical clone, several people know Bruce Wayne is Batman, Arkham Asylum getting blown up, Arkham rebuilt, I can go on and on. All that stuff happened in the years of one and dones and short non-event stories.

      Four, continuity is always open to interpretation; even to the writers. If someone like Tomasi or Hurwitz doesn’t like something in Inc, they can ignore it. Now I stopped reading Morrison’s run at Inc volume 1, but so far from what I’ve read since from other writers, most of it has been ignored. Except for the Clayface two-parter, I think Snyder is “guilty” of that as well.

      Fifth, the nature of these ongoing comics mean that the new guy is always facing an uphill battle. Whoever picks up after Snyder will have big shoes to fill. Why stifle Snyder’s writing to make it easier on an unnamed new-comer? You think Venditti didn’t have alot to work around from Geoff Johns GL run? I think he’s done really well so far, and I’ve heard some of the stuff Johns ended his run on. Hasn’t slowed Veditti down.

      Six, I don’t get this complaining about epic stories. Johns GL run had alot of those IMO, but it didn’t matter to me if they were good. Over a 10 year run, there are naturally going to be ruts. But I wouldnt go back in time and tell him “write shorter less epic stories”. I’d tell him maybe work on this ending or that scene.

      That’s my 2 cents. Sorry for the long length.

    • @ apoetsomeday, I see what you mean. I’m always back and forth on how important I believe continuity is. I like that it’s arounds so entire universes can be cultivated over long periods of time, but at the same time it prevents certain types of stories from being told.

      I agree that all of Snyder’s n52 stuff has changed a lot and will force future writers to potentially deal with annoying continuity restraints. Although, I would argue that CoO mostly alters Batman continuity during Bruce’s childhood and as a result is easier to write into and or reference in future Batman stories, however the constrains are there none the less. It’s been a while since I have read Back Mirror but what kind of changes did that make that future writers may not want to deal with?

      During interviews Snyder seems to always say he wants to tell the biggest and best stories he can, which individually are great but when tied down to continuity may not be so great. It will definitely be interesting to see who takes over after Snyder/Capullo and how they handle it. As of now I believe the two have a contract until around issue 50.

    • @ ithosapien many great points. When you try and tell a story over the course of 50 plus years there are bound to be holes and do overs. Unless some sits down and plans decades of continuity at once its inevitable. Although the difficulties presented by continuity can’t be impossible to surpass. Overall I think Snyder is great and really has not negatively effected continuity.

      It’s an unfortunate reality that the comics on shelves reflect what people buy. Don’t get me wrong there are so many great comics out now and I love them but it sucks that so many rushed big event books keep coming out, pretty much to the point where it seems like one event only exists to be a prelude to the next event. I often wonder why they keep getting made but the truth is they sell better than a lot of other comics. I do my best to only buy stuff I really like in an attempt to show the industry what they should be putting on shelves if they want my money.

    • @Baykid – Good question. Generally, I think that Morrison uses (DC) continuity reasonably well, but he’s not above completely dashing it against the rocks if he has to.

      His Batman run, however, served as a kind of ‘continuity backbone’ for the increasingly complex Post-Crisis timeline. Put simply, it was a badly needed shot in the arm. By re-incorporating Batman’s Golden and Silver Age adventures and re-instating ‘lost’ characters like Kathy Kane and The Club of Heroes into the Dark Knight’s life, Morrison added a mythic dimension to Batman continuity. Nothing was true, ergo everything was permitted.

      Within this context, Morrison allowed us to see the Dick Sprang era or the Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff stories as ‘canon’ once again. For me, as a lifelong fan, that was a beautiful gift, because it allowed us an option to see Batman as elemental, eternal and almost Godlike. The ‘core’ of Batman exists in every good Batman story, no matter the era.

      Bottom line: Not every Batman story fits with Morrison’s continuity, but Morrison’s continuity fits with every Batman story. In that sense, he essentially re-wrote the ‘official’ continuity, but did so in a way that was so reverent, so respectful and yet so punk rock at the same time (how the heck he does that, I’ll never know) that the continuity was all the better for it.

      Before Morrison’s run, I felt that DC’s continuity was floundering a bit, but Morrison stitched it back together, reinforced it and reminded it of its own great and lasting legacy. Many of my own essential views on the character and the possibilities of his world were either a) forged or b) changed during this run.

      I am a pretty huge Morrison fan. I spent a couple of years trying my hardest to be King Mob (‘The Invisibles’ joins Jack Kirby’s ‘New Gods’ and Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ as maybe the three best comics I’ve ever read), I’ve read a lot of his stuff (though not all) and I pretty much always enjoy it. I would suggest that I don’t have a great sense of proportion when it comes to Mr. Morrison’s work, so feel free to blast me for that, I won’t defend myself. lol.

    • @APoetSomeday I agree with your thoughts on Morrison’s use of continuity. I was about to reply something similar, but you pretty much summed it all up. πŸ™‚ One thought in particular: I never see anything wrong with taking a godly view of a superhero and making him (or her) mythical. That’s what they ARE after all: myths. So when everybody calls him pretentious for doing so with his characters, I argue that that’s exactly what they are! I’m not saying not to take these stories seriously, but DO remember that they are fictional and can be played with a bit!

      I’ll stop there; it feels like I’m preaching to the choir.

      P.S. If you love Morrison, you should DEFINITELY read Supergods (if you haven’t already). He talks about his approach to Batman, how he views the fictional universe, and even goes into KING MOB!

    • @Itho – Not to entirely disagree (you make a number of very good counterpoints, my friend), but I think, firstly, that we need to determine what qualifies as an ‘event’. ‘The Coming of Galactus’ by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby (arguably the first major comics event and grandaddy of all future events) consisted of three issues and no tie-ins.

      ‘Death in the Family’, a story that I think absolutely qualifies as an event, was four issues. ‘Year One’ was a four parter. Modern events, such as ‘Blackest Night’ may have had hundreds of tie-in chapters, but I don’t think you can quantify an event in terms of how many parts it has. To me, an event is more of a story that has a lasting effect on the character(s) and involves a major upheaval of the status quo. ‘Knightfall’ is a pretty definitive Batman event and, in my opinion, ‘The Court of Owls’ ‘Death of the Family’ and ‘Zero Year’ all qualify as events.

      As for ‘epics’ an epic (at least how I define the term) has less to do with what happens in the story and more to do with the implications of the events. The guy locked in the library in that famous episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ has his most epic moment when his glasses break, not when the world ends, leaving him as the last Human being alive.

      To speak to the more obvious changes to Batman’s timeline made in the nineties, I would say that none of the examples you listed are actually damaging to continuity. The Joker died and returned during his first ever appearance. The Two Face rehabilitation storyline is part of his appeal (and always has been). Alfred leaving is purely for dramatic effect (both on and off the page), Batman never really ‘dies’, he always returns. Arkham gets destroyed as a plot device to let all the villains out at once, its just an update on the classic ‘jailbreak’ story (another story that dates right back to Batman’s earliest encounters with Hugo Strange). The more lasting changes are, in my opinion, things like this:

      Any story that features Alfred’s father, Bruce Wayne’s early childhood, Mr. Freeze’s origins, Thomas and Martha Wayne, Alan Wayne or Dick Grayson’s childhood will probably have to go around ‘The Court of Owls’ now. That’s a heck of a lot of pull for one story to have. Any future Joker story must now explain Joker getting his face back (presumably) but also take place against the backdrop of Joker definitively knowing who Batman really is…I could go on, but I don’t see that I really need to. The changes exacted by Snyder’s stories are very, very lasting. They are far more significant than simply ‘Two Face gets his Face repaired’ or ‘Hugo Strange dies (again)’.

      As for Geoff Johns, I think its a bit different when you essentially re-define the character and everything about him over the course of a decade having first revived him from the dead, redeemed him from sin and rekindled the fans love affair with the a classic character. All rules can be broken, they are defined by the exceptions, as Jaques Lacan used to say.

      I also don’t think writers have the option to ignore continuity entirely, nor do I think they should have that freedom. A writer could choose not to mention a story, of course, but some stories cannot be avoided. For example, if I was writing Batman (original continuity), I would totally ignore Steph Brown’s death and the subsequent coverup by Leslie Thompkins, it was just horrible out of character for Leslie and I hated it. However, if I wanted to use Barbara Gordon in an (old continuity) story, I could not simply ‘ignore’ ‘Killing Joke’, it was an event (to at least some degree, even if it was just one GN) and its implications were simply too massive.

      I agree with a lot of what you’ve said and, in truth, I may well be overreacting a little bit, but I really do think that we need to scale these stories back a little. πŸ™‚

    • @Nightwing – Supergods. Awesomely bizarre book, I have it and have read it several times (I’ve lost count exactly how many). πŸ™‚ Glad I’m not the only one who enjoyed that little curio.

      @WAC1 – You da man.

    • @APoetSomeday, you make alot of good points. I like you’re insights into Morrison’s take on Batman, “Not every Batman story fits with Morrison’s continuity, but Morrison’s continuity fits with every Batman story.” Insightful. Almost like Morrison inverted the nature of continuity, making it work for him instead of vice versa.

      I’ve also read “Supergods”. Really enjoyable. I don’t agree with everything Morrison believes, but it still makes for entertaining reading. Also his commentary on media adaptations of Batman are pretty funny. Maybe he should write a story about himself viewed from the 5th dimension, a quasi pyscho analysis mixed with socio-awareness on a Macro scale of his interpretation on modern mythmaking.

      Now, back to our discussion on continuity and epics. The stuff I listed? Most of it happened numerious times. Alfred leaving? It lost its effect to me after the third time. It happened way too often. Arkham being destroyed? I think last time it was mentioned off panel and I was just like “Yeah, even the writer has gotten tired of it”. My point was that writers overused those occurences until they essentionally became meaningless because they happened so many times.

      DotF is tough to evaluate. I re-read it recently, it lost some of its appeal to me for some reason. But if the main point of the story is that the Bat-family is broken up, then that’s not very drastic. Maybe its because I’m only reading Batman, but I don’t see any reprocussions from that. CoO pretty much just gave us Bruce’s (maybe) brother and a Talon series. Zero Year however is Snyder rewriting Batman’s past and maybe explaining the timeline. Probably the first story I’d call an event from him. If you compare all of those with Knightfall; which changed Azrael, Bruce, Tim, introduced Bane, and lead to Dick becoming Batman, I don’t think its a fair comparison. And yes, I’m talking about implications/reprocussions here. Maybe you can cite examples of impact of Snyder’s stories on the other Bat-titles but I’m betting they’re kinda minor.Not to mention how BIG Knightfall was (issues and issues and months and months I think).

      Now about writers ignoring continuity. Does Snyder ignore Dr.Hurt’s experiments on Bruce? Those happened in Morriosn’s Batman Inc. If you were writing (original continuity) Batman, you could absolutely ignore Leslie’s cover-up. Just don’t mention it or “resolve” the issue. Paul Dini did the same thing between Batman and Zatanna and what happened in “Identity Crisis”. TKJ though is different, you can’t pretend Barbara never got shot and paralyzed by the Joker, unless you wipe that from continuity. In fact, I think some writer moved Leslie back to Gotham and never mentioned her “exile” in Africa or covering up Stephanie’s “death”. The motivations and “why” were kept vague. Leslie’s back in Gotham, Bruce is cool with that, status quo.

      Synder doesn’t always write Batman how I like all the time, but his stories are (almost) always good. But if I don’t like it, I can buy 5-6 other Batman books with different story-telling. It’s all what continuity means to fans. If Joker gets his face re-attached, does it matter? Do we need to see it? If we never see Bruce’s brother, is that a plot-hole? Would it ruffle a new-comer to learn Batman has a brother? That Joker cut his face off and wore it like a mask? That Bats assorted side-kicks and partners aren’t as “close” anymore but all of them are still alive? That there’s a 12 issue run re-telling Bats origins? I’d say the last one is more revelant.

      Anyway, I don’t think you’re entirely wrong and you make some good points as well, but I happen to disagree. I hope I didn’t sound like I was calling you crazy or being condescending. We’ve seen Batman fight the street muggers and serial killers over the course of decades. The point of the New 52 was to be, well, New. Not all of it has turned out great, but it’s tried to be New.

      Just to throw this on top of my argument; Snyder’s work on Swamp Thing.
      SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
      At the end he killed Swampy’s love interest Abagail Arcane. Never happened before that I know of, and she’s been part of canon forever. Charles Soule took over, barely mentions Swampy losing the love of his life. Or the Rot which nearly ruined the whole world. Or Swampy working together with Animal Man to go back in time and prevent the Rot taking over. Soule ignored all that, and picked up the pieces Snyder left.

    • @Itho, you didn’t come across as condescending or antagonistic at all. You just see things slightly differently to me, which is a good thing.

      I don’t think either of us are wrong BTW, we’re just looking at the same stuff from two different vantage points.

      I think the fallout from Snyder’s stories has actually been pretty big, as I said above. However, it isn’t really that he makes huge changes to established continuity (or even whether those changes are ‘huge’ or not) that bothers me, it is more the massive changes he constantly makes to the foundation stones of continuity, which is where the Claremont comparison comes in to play. I’m referring, of course, to changes that occur in backstory.

      For example, when Alfred’s daughter Julia turned up in the 80’s, it had the effect of changing Alfred’s backstory immensely. Had Alfred fathered a child in the present, the changes would be minimal (and ignorable to some degree), but when it transpired that he had fathered a child in the past, before he worked for Bruce Wayne, it changed everything (and its no coincidence that Julia did not survive the Crisis on Infinite Earths Reboot). The character’s history had been eroded a little bit. In addition, because that story took place during a fixed point in time, it instantly dated the contemporary timeline, making that story dated not by fashions, writing style, technology or other, freely fluidic (and totally ignorable) concepts that don’t really bother the continuity-minded fan (thank you, Mr. Morrison), but instead by a world event, something concrete and traceable that means that now, this story cannot possibly be considered canon under any circumstances. It thereby created an instant continuity problem that could only be resolved by either a retcon or a reboot.

      The best way I can sum up what I’m trying to say is this: Bruce Wayne (as an example) has only 8 (or 10) years of backstory before his parents are killed. Because it is backstory, it is finite. Every ‘Young Bruce Wayne’ story you tell either takes up a large amount of space in the character’s life-cycle, or else renders an older story obsolete. You have 8-10 years, ergo there simply isn’t room in a character’s backstory for too many events. This is not true, however, for stories set in the present.

      NOTE: Killing Joke and Knightfall were so massive in implication that they essentially became backstory rather than active continuity,even when they were revisited.

      In comics, we’re always in the second act and, as a result, our heros are continually at optimum efficiency, ever striving for a goal that is just out of their reach. Personally, I think this is part of their appeal. In this sense, superhero comics represent stability and an idealized (as well as constantly reinforced) status quo. In the present timeline, Two Face can be cured and re-scarred, Joker can die and return and Batman will forever be at optimum efficiency. Story potential, in this era of the character’s life, is infinite in the truest sense of the word.

      Conversely, in the timeline of backstory, story opportunity is very finite and pretty much every story directly effects the present timeline (otherwise why else is it there? Like that dumb, pointless story where Mary Jane Watson moves into Peter Parker’s childhood neighborhood and then moves away again) meaning that history and continuity become aggressively entangled, when they don’t really need to be.

      Backstory is essential for refreshing an ongoing character, each successive creator visits the wellspring of the character’s past in order to re-create their eternal present. This wellspring should forever be simple, classic and mythic. ‘A young boy from a rich family witnesses his parents’ murder and vows to avenge their deaths by fighting crime’. Let’s not start including too many Owls (Snyder), Evil brothers (Snyder), demon headmasters (Morrison), visiting assassins (Engelhart), murderous friends (Loeb), Near-death experiences (Snyder), childhood sweethearts (Brubaker) and so on (Snyder will doubtless have added a great many more to his personal collection by the time ‘Zero Year’ wraps).

      I agree that many stories that touched upon backstory did so to great effect, Black Mask’s origin story, Hush, Dark Detective, House of Hush, Gothic and others have all done this really well, but I still feel that there is such a thing as overdoing it. It should be a rare treat to shed light on a bit of backstory, not a regular occurrence. The more tampering with backstory, the greater the need to regularly reboot.

      I tend to see Bruce wayne’s training years, or the years before and after his parent’s death as ‘load-bearers’ for continuity as a whole. There should always be room for possibilities without constantly having to wipe the slate clean and start over. The more clogged up that past becomes, the more complicated the future will ultimately be.

      I’ve not done a great job of explaining myself here, its late and I’m tired, so I hope what I’m saying comes across as more than just the ravings of a madman! :p

      PS – Mr. Morrison, if you’re reading, Ithosapien has a really cool pitch for you…

    • @APoetSomeday, it doesn’t sound like you’re raving. I think I understand where you’re coming from, but I kinda feel you ignored my previous post in a way. But thats cool, I’m all for keeping the convo going.

      It seems like the thing thats fretting you most is that Snyder is changing Bruce’s childhood history, (the most important and critical). Court of Owls, long lost Brother (what is his name?!), those can alter future stories a bit. Or quite a bit, it all depends on the following guy. Personally Im beginning to wonder if CoO will ever be touched on again or if it was just a one-off. It seems like there should be more follow-up on it IMO. Honestly, I think Snyder’s additions to Bruce’s childhood are refreshing. It adds layers to him, like being childhood friends with Zatanna or Tommy Elilot (Who I think has been replaced with Bruce’s brother come to think of it). I don’t think its particuraly dangerious to add to Bruce’s childhood, it might give other writers more to work with. Or they could just ignore it, who knows?

      I doubt anyone will need as much rebooting as Superman, but maybe that proves your point. Supes has tons of stuff from childhood and teen years (Smallville, childhood friends, high school GF, LoSH) so maybe that theory holds up. I don’t know though, with Zero Year Snyder is working on Bruce before he became Batman. Almost like his training period πŸ˜‰ . We’ll see what he has in store after, which I’m betting will be stuff dealing in the present.

      And thanks for the compliment on my pitch. I have others I’m working on right now…

    • @Itho, I’m really sorry that you felt like I ignored your post. My response was only supposed to be brief, but like I said, it was late and I was struggling to find the words. It sort of spiraled out of control for a bit there and went off in a slightly bizarre tirade.

      I work as a commercial writer and I’m often working late at night (I sleep in the day). As a result, sometimes not all my synapses are firing as well as I might like. If I ignored anything you wrote, it would have been an accident (or else something that I felt I’d already written elsewhere in this thread).

      I totally agree that Superman has really struggled lately, which is sad because he is my second-favorite Superhero (after Batman) and he deserves so much better. Morrison’s run on ‘Action’ was by far my most anticipated book in the New 52, but I dropped it after four issues. Morrison is, as I’ve said elsewhere, my all-time favorite comics writer and ‘All-Star Superman’ is my favorite Superman story of all time (or at least one of them) and so I had high hopes for that particular reboot. However, a combination of inconsistent artwork, lack of an engaging story and backups that were just awful (Steel beat the villain with a flash key!? Really?) turned me away bitterly disappointed.

      Elsewhere, ‘Man of Steel’ was by far the worst film I’ve ever seen in my life (and I spent ten years of my life studying and working on films). It was absolutely risible. I’m not going to go on and on about it here (largely because I’m sick of arguing about it with other people), but it actually depressed me for several days after I saw it.

      It does sometimes feel like nobody can write a decent Superman story anymore. This is why I have such high hopes for Snyder’s ‘Superman Unchained’ – which I think is pretty great so far (as well as the ‘Batman/Superman’ series).

      If it was up to me, I’d give one of the Superman books to Mark Waid and maybe (if they could get him) Bruce Timm. Pay Waid whatever he wants, kidnap his loved ones, I don’t care, just get Waid on a Superman book again. That would rock. Morrison’s run apparently improved, but for me, the best Superman writer in the world not currently writing the character is Waid.

    • @APoetSomeday, it’s fine. I’m just happy having a discussion about something, bonus its about comics. I also found Morrison’s Action Comics run underwhelming, but I blame it on what was expected of it and what he delivered to us. It should have been a young Superman, close to what he was from the 40s; brash, active, a social crusader. What we got was a comic crammed with villains, confusing time travel, and Kal-El getting the suit way too early. Personally, I found the shorts much much more engaging and enjoyable than the main story.

      I also enjoyed MoS (I don’t want to talk about what was wrong with it, how could I like it, how it ruined Superman or any of that. That goes for everyone reading this, I’m sick of those arguments and I’m not changing my opinion). Now my reason why, it was a new interpretation of Superman that stepped out of Christopher Reeves and Richard Donner’s shadow. I feel that for many years now Superman has been stuck, unable to evolve. But on the flip side, Batman has flourished and become arguably the most popular Superhero in the world. Batman, most popular in the World. Nothing wrong with that, but nothing right I feel either. I attribute his popularity to his mallability, there have been dozens of versions of Batman over the years. Adam West Batman, Schmacher Batman, Chris Nolan Batman, Denny O’Neil Batman, Miller Batman, Morrison Batman. See what I mean? Lotta Batman, and you can’t say any one is more valid than the others. Look at Superman, who looks fairly static in comparison. Very dangerous IMO, and this is why I think WW has suffered so
      Much. When a character can’t evolve or the fans hold onto this image of the character and reject anything else,
      The character risks losing relevancy. After reading “Superman: the Unauthorized Biography” (fantastic book, highly highly recommended for Supe fans) and the Silver Age stories, I believe that the Age of Revelancy (when Superheroes had to be “real” and stories had to reflect that) is what has hurt Superman. You can do stories with Superman dealing with real world problems, but I believe he is strongest in a fantasy setting where anything can happen. In a realistic setting, he’s trapped, cut off. Putting him in a fantasy setting and cutting lose his limits is what he needs. And by extension, his writers need to bring fresh ideas to the table. To reiterate; Batman thrives in a grounded setting, Superman anguishes.

      Bruce Timm isn’t actually a Superman fan, and actually wasn’t sure how to tackle the character when doing the animated series. I attribute its success to Paul Dini and Dan Riba. Not to downplay Timm’s instrumental involvement, but I’m not sure he’s the best for the writing chair. Waid is a machine, and I can tell he loves the character, but I don’t know if he has
      Any more in him for the Man of Tomorrow. Snyder seems to overwrite him (I’ve only read issue one of Unchained) but he seems to have a good grasp of the characters. Based on Jeff Lemire’s Superboy, I think he’d be great for the job. But I think the best thing for Superman would be for DC to stop the strangle hold on him. New ideas, new interpretations, stop trying to get rid of the Silver Age tropes (since everyone keeps bring them back anyway), develop the side characters (and don’t limit them to just Lois, Perry, and Jimmy). But I could be wrong, I can ask Mark Waid how he feels about my ideas next year at my local comic con. “Birthright” was excellent, but it’s too bad we’ll never learn if it’s enough. It’s too bad DC can’t Ret-Con that into continuity, lots of good ideas in that book.

    • The way I see the Superman/Batman dynamic is this: In the age of psychology, Batman is king, in the age of mythology, Superman is king. I essentially see Batman as an ubermensch and Superman as a demigod. With that approach, pretty much any rendition makes sense. Read Superman as mythic, like a 20th century Beowulf or Hercules and he makes sense, read Batman as Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lupin or Harry Houdini and he makes sense.

      I had no idea that Bruce Timm didn’t like Superman. That’s one on me.

      For me, multiple incarnations of a character is fine and necessary to that character’s longevity, in that respect, I heartily agree. However, to change the character completely is simply lazy writing and, I feel, speaks to a base lack of respect for that character. I’d feel the same if Robin Hood stole from the poor and gave to the rich, or if Humpy Dumpty had a great sense of balance, it gets away from the soul of the character.

      As a fellow veteran of the ‘Man of Steel’ wars (albeit one who fought on the opposite side), I know exactly what you mean about the arguments and I don’t want to dredge it up here either. I’d just like to say that a new interpretation of a character is one thing (pretty much all the Batman versions you mentioned can conceivably be the same character, many of them belong to the same continuity, they simply highlight different aspects of that character’s personality), but the Superman of MOS is, in my view, a completely different character than any other version of Superman. Its not a revision, its a complete and totally different person. That character has nothing at all in common with any other version of Superman that I’ve ever seen (except maybe The Plutonian).

      That doesn’t mean that I’m damning you for liking the movie, or for seeing this change as refreshing. I have far too much respect for you and your opinions for that, I’m just trying to establish what I (and probably others you’ve argued against) are getting at.

      Anyway, as for Mark Waid, I think he’ll always have Superman stories. I also think you should definitely ask him about the future if you get the chance. Another good Superman writer is Geoff Johns, I’d be keen to see a Geoff Johns/Ivan Reis run when the team’s ‘Justice League’ is all wrapped up.

      Funny that you mentioned Lemire, to this day, I have read very little of his stuff. I just feel like DC is ramming him down my throat all the time. He’s probably a great writer and I’m probably missing out, but it just seems that between Snyder and Lemire, DC isn’t anything like as interested in pushing any of their other writers. I don’t know why it irritates me, it just does. I feel a bit like I do when I watch WWE these days and every single second is like JohnCenaJohnCenaJohnCenaJohnCena as if there weren’t any other wrestlers in the company, y’know? One of these days, I shall probably track down Jeff’s ‘Animal Man’ run or whatever in trade and scold myself for not getting into it sooner. One of these days, but not today. lol.

      Going back to ‘Man of Steel’ I hope you didn’t think I was starting an argument. I’m really not trying to. The thing is, I was so genuinely hurt by that film (as silly as it sounds), that I sometimes come off a bit heavy-handed about it. I actually had a huge all-day row with a very good friend of over a decade (who even happens also to be a former bandmate of mine) which got really ugly. So don’t take anything I wrote personally please. All I was trying to do was clarify what my particular problem with the film was.

      Needless to say the thought of Zack Snyder getting hold of Batman (my all-time favorite character) doesn’t exactly fill my heart with joy. πŸ™‚ I usually avoid comic book movies, because, as a comics fan, I don’t see a great deal of respect for the source material, but it gets harder and harder to avoid them because so many are being made that it essentially makes you a pop-culture illiterate if you don’t keep up (and a large part of my job involves knowing about that stuff). Its a difficult decision, do I live in a cave for the rest of my life, ignorant but happy, or do I go and watch 10-15 absolutely crappy movies in order to get one ‘Dark Knight’ or ‘Hellboy’? Decisions decisions.

    • @ApoetSomeday, I hear and respect your thoughts and opinions. When I was speaking about different iterations of Batman existing, I was talking about the real world. I don’t know if it was share exposure thats made Bats so popular, but I have to think that was part of it. WW could take a lession from the other parts of the Trinity; more exposure leads to survival/popularity. WW fans demanding a “faithful” feature length movie starring her will probably suffer for quite a bit. But for some reason when I ask them why no one’s made a fan film yet (like “Laundry Day” for Punisher, “Truth About Journalism” for Venom, or the most recent Nightwing fanfilm) all I get is silence. My mind boggles. IMO, one of WW’s biggest obstacles are her “hard-core” fans.

      My opinion on MoS is, if you’re familiar with various iterations of the character (Smallvile, JL/JLU, TAS) the changes in the movie are easier to handle. The Pa Kent dynamic, the Jor-El hologram, Supes killing Zod, and the new Lois/Clark relationship. I listened to a video review on YouTube of MoS, and after grinding my teeth for abit I think I landed on what upset so many fans of the character; tiny changes. To me MoS is a faithful adaptation, regardless of the overall movie quality. He just is. And people are upset about things that they ignored or hold onto too tightly. One guy complained about the Lois/Kal dynamic saying it’s essential to the appeal of the character (I’m guessing Supes can never get Lois, and she can never know who he is). It’s bizarre to me, but I really feel that most complaints are focused on tiny things. Maybe if it had more Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet, IDK. Grant Morrison got asked about it recently, why it was so dark. He replied “If Superman seems darker it’s only because our world has gotten darker”. To which someone replied online “Why does the world influence Superman? It shouldn’t matter, he should a symbol of hope”. What he was ignoring was that characters have to change HOW they portray their qualities, but never WHAT their qualities are.

      I wouldn’t worry about Zack Snyder handling Bats and Supes, unless you just hate the guy and his movies with a passion. I believe Dave Goyer is writing again, so unless you hated TDKR as well maybe that will reassure you. I expect their next turn with the characters to be much better and refined.

      I would hate to push Lemire on you anymore than you’ve already experienced, but I find him to be one of DC’s best writers who really nails humanist stories and characters. “Essex County”, “The Nowhere Man”, JL Dark; all great and fun reads to me. Animal Man is also good. So someday, track those down.

      Please don’t take my comments about MoS personally as well, I was referring to others with what I wrote. I wouldn’t worry about keeping up with all the movies coming out based on comics. I skipped Wolverine and Star Trek 2 and feel fine about it, nobody is hassling me to rush out and see them. If it’s your own time, do yourself a favor and watch what you want. People pressured me to see Avatar and I did, 3 years later (good but INSANELY overhyped). Of course if it’s for your job, nothing I can think of to help with that. We all got stuff like that in our jobs ;).

    • Well said. I do have a lot of friends who pressure me to watch movies that I essentially don’t want to see and then shout me down and ridicule me as a “nerd” or a “fanboy” when I dislike the movies. I just can’t win, which is a major reason why I stepped away from it all.

      The J.J Abrams ‘Star Trek’ movies are about the only movies I hated more than MOS. They were, in my opinion, the dismantling of a beautiful dream. I feel that everything Roddenberry set out to say about the future of Humankind in TOS and TNG was ripped apart by a fascistic, degrading special effects-fest with all the sincerity and charm of an Apple commercial (by a director who confesses to not actually understanding or particularly liking ‘Star Trek’ at all, no less). It feels to me like a real shame that nobody seems to be willing/able to faithfully adapt source material any more.

      We’re all so high on hype and marketing that only drastic changes and ‘shocking’ departures from the norm (that serve mainly to enrage ‘purists’ and divide the audience) seem to be able to sell a movie these days. How many reviews/articles/discussions in print and online were about MOS or Star Trek as a piece of cinema and how many were about all the fan-controversy those films caused? When people like me get mad because something we’ve loved our entire lives is being done badly or ruined at a base level, we’re essentially advertising their movies for free, which is what the film makers want.

      They’ve effectively built a sleazy, greedy, capitalistic version of the ‘Sex Pistols’ marketing strategy from 1977. Another reason why I walked away, I’m a Pistols fan, but at least they created memorable works to go with their gaudy publicity stunts.

      I actually did like Avatar, although it was insanely hyped. My girlfriend’s Mum walked down the aisle to part of the soundtrack and I saw it about three times in the cinema. Believe it or not, I vastly preferred the 2D version. As a script, Avatar is solid, but not spectacular. However, as a piece of visual art, it is completely and utterly breathtaking. I really felt like I was getting my money’s worth in the visuals alone! lol

      I do tend to avoid comic book movies, because I generally don’t like them very much. I opted not to watch Dark Knight Rises because I could see that it wasn’t going to work for me. I hated the design of Bane (duffel coat and gimp mask – not a good combination) and I couldn’t see Hathaway as Catwoman. My brother saw the movie and he really hated it. He said it was visually excellent, but that the story was incredibly badly done and very anticlimactic. Along with my initial issues, the reasons that he gave were enough to convince me that I probably wouldn’t like it, so I avoided it completely. I loved The Dark Knight, however. But I have no interest in seeing ‘Rises’ and arguing about it endlessly if I don’t like it.

    • hmm, so many thoughts come to mind. I think source can be faithfully and lovingly adapted to film, but not often. Del Toro’s Hellboy films, Raimi’s Spider-Man films, etc. I just don’t think there’s enough guys in Hollywood right now who have the care and familairity with comics/books, and who are still optimistic enough to try. I didn’t care for the 2009 Star Trek movie, because I’m not a Trekkie, but I will say I thought it was a “good” movie objectively. But man, I found it boring. So I skipped the sequel automatically. That said, I’m confident JJ Abrams will do much better on Star Wars. But I think with any adaptation there HAS to be give and take.

      To me, a movie’s visuals are pretty nonesstenial. I care much more about story, I don’t care if its in 2D, black and white, or on a 20 inch screen. As long as Im engrossed in the movie’s plot.

      Pretty much all I look forward to are the summer blockbusters, which include CB movies. My next anticipated film is “Ender’s Game”. It may turn out like Wolverine Origins, but its my 2nd favorite Sci-Fi book.

      I’m thinking of doing an explaination of Nolan’s DK trilogy. Bane’s gimp mask is actually modeled after the mask Ra’s Al Ghul wore in “Batman Begins”. None of the creators have said that, but looking and comparing them its what I believe. My friend hated Rises because of the lack of Lazarus Pits. He couldn’t understand they didn’t “exist” in the movie. But I really enjoyed the story and its my favorite of the 3. But if you think you might hate it I’d understand if you never watched it and just skipped the heartache.

    • I’m glad SOMEBODY understands my position on it! You’d be surprised how much shit I get about simply not wanting to watch a bloody movie!

      The last film I saw at the cinema was ‘The World’s End’, which was really fun and enjoyable. I’m a big Simon Pegg/Nick Frost fan (Star Trek 2009 notwithstanding) going right back to ‘Spaced’, so this was a really fun movie.

      I agree totally that there aren’t enough comic book readers in Hollywood. There are a lot of posers who are saying they like comics just to get work.

      That said, I’m going to come out and say that I really liked the ‘Green Lantern’ movie, a film reviled by almost everyone. I thought it was a really fun adaptation of Johns’ work on the book, Ryan Reynolds was kind of a dick, but that suits the Hal Jordan of ‘Secret Origin’ quite well. The effects were pretty cool and it was great to see Sinestro, Kilowog and The Guardians rendered onscreen. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but I really liked it. I was disappointed that they didn’t make a sequel (because I was excited to see Larfleeze, Saint Walker and others). So I’m not completely anti-comic book movies. I have enjoyed some.

      I also LOVED both Hellboy movies. The design work in the second one was great, as was Ron Perlman who, in the words of my brother “was just painted red and left to get on with it” (very true). Once again, the lack of a sequel is a shame. I wanted to see this version of Hellboy adapt to parenthood.

      Being British, I loved all the trolls and faerie folk, as well as the name-checking of Nuada, one of the oldest Celtic deities. In England, he was known as Nodan and was worshipped as a God of the fields, boundaries and arable land. In Wales, he was known as Nudd. Flash Fact: Nuada was also the ‘sun God’ whom the villagers sacrifice Edward Woodward to in the original ‘Wicker Man’ film.

      With the advent of Christianity, the Irish Gods were demoted to ‘culture heroes’ and such like, but Nuada had been beheaded by Balor by then (although in the movie, Nuada murders Balor, who is also his father). The story goes that the Tuatha De Danan retreated into ‘faerie hills’ and lived underground after being conquered by the ancestors of the modern day Irish, they remain there to this day, if memory serves.

      That was quite a tangent. Still, I loved Hellboy 2, there’s a bunch of fun nods to Celtic (especially Irish) mythology in there.

    • Oh, I forgot all about “TWE”. Shoot, Ok; TWE, Ender’s Game, and Thor 2 (and Kick Ass 2 if the reviews are good). That’s my summer movie watch list, even tho Thor 2 is Nov. I think. I’m not suprised TWE was good, its a not-a-sequel thats kind of a sequel with a winning team behind it. I’ve watched a few previews and caught some SOTD and HF references, can’t wait to see it.

      My buddy also loved GL, but my thing with that is all he’s read is the Silver Age collections and “Blackest Night”. Myself, having read most of Johns’ run with Kyle and Stewart centric stories thrown in, I expected alot more. Parallax is not a giant smoke monster (c’mon Hollywood!) and it doesn’t take an afternoon of training with Kilowog to become a ring-slinger. It had alot of problems, but I wouldn’t mind a sequel provided they fix most of the problems from the first one.

      I’m a big HB fan, so I agree with all of what you said. The main problem is Del Toro, dude’s got too much on his plate. He wants to do HB3 but doesn’t have the time. I’d rather he leave “Pacific Rim 2” alone and just focus on HB or JLD ( but I’d really just prefer he do HB 3).

      That’s cool about the Irish mythology, when I get some free space for reading (I have stacks of books to read, stacks) I’ll check out some of that.

  28. I thought it was pretty cool how he incorporated the theme of oroboros itself in the actual ending. Morrison is just on another level. Looking forward to re-reading this run and the upcoming Annihilator.

    • I got all the interplay and I still didn’t like it. It’s great, it’s just not for me. I sure hope he and Burnham do more together in the future.

  29. It certainly felt like this issue could have used a double sized finale. I feel like Morrison had some good stuff here but had to quickly get everything in order with only 20 pages. I enjoyed what was here though from Talia/Bruce going through the motions, to the interrogation with Wayne and Gordon, and finally the final page reveal that Morrison might come back for a big Ra story. The art by Burnham was wonderful as always. Great layouts and designs in this and I hope we see more work from him once he’s done with the INC special. Not a perfect finale but…..well I wasn’t expecting that in the first place.

    4/5

  30. Well, um, that was good but not outstanding. Kinda matching my overall thoughts on the run.

    Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers

    I had a nagging feeling that Talia wasn’t going to make it out of this one alive. I’m sure she’ll be back at some point. As for the final page reveal, I don’t think that Morrison is announcing that he’ll be back. Most likely he simply wanted to leave the readers with a “shock” and let future writers decide how to utilize it or not.

    Not sure how I feel about the Gordon sections. It’s a fine line balancing Gordon between his suspicions about Wayne and not actually knowing. Personally, I think that the relationship between Gordon and Batman would suffer if he knew who was under the mask. Like the Joker, though for different reasons, Gordon chooses not to know who Batman may or may not be.

    And yes, I still miss Damian.

  31. I’m hoping editorial caused the last half of this series to seem disjointed because my patience for a magnificent payoff was rewarded with disappointment. It isn’t just me either, as it appears to be a common feeling. This final issue makes the last 11 issues either an ending that’s all meta without sufficient exposition, or a convoluted story with such a simple ending that the journey became meaningless.

    After hearing Morrison talk about this post New 52 Batman Inc. in interviews, I have to believe it was the later. I think I’d be more satisfied if the story felt like it was supposed to mean something significant rather than a long winded divorce metaphor. Batman isn’t the best lens to tell such a tale but if anyone could have pulled it off, it was Morrison.

    And with that in mind, I’ve reconsidered my opinion of the entire story. The let down feeling I have, with fond memories of past issues before it turned sour, and the pointless destructive ending where life still goes on, means I got the exact message Morrison was going for. Morrison did pull off the meta tale of divorce and it’s consequences in Batman’s world and I think it’s brilliant. I just don’t like it.

  32. It was fine. About what I was expecting. Even Morrison couldn’t tie up a seven year thread as thick as this one. It had some great moments, and in a lot of ways it did resolve the major beats of this chapter. I agree with most that it could’ve benefitted from an extra size treatment.

    After following Morrison for so long, I feel like I can get a fairly accurate sense of his patterns, and while I don’t share a lot of readers’ disappointment over the second half of the run, it did feel like he was boring himself towards the end. I get the feeling he just wanted to move on, and that’s fine. You can’t blame an extremely creative man for looking toward the future. I also think some fans need to remember that the relaunch took a lot of steam out of this idea.

    This run will go down in history as memorable at the very least. And although it will surely be ignored by future writers, the threads left dangling at the end do show promise. Maybe he’ll pick up some of those ideas years from now. Ya never know.

    • He tied up the 7-year run of The Invisibles with a masterful finish, which was about 50 times thicker and complex than Batman. Everything wrapped around and enveloped in itself so masterfully, It’s the only run I’ve ever read and understood reading it backwards, starting with the last issue. But alas, he was a younger man, and Vertigo was free territory.

    • That’s true. But you nailed it when you mentioned Vertigo. Invisibles was his own. He didn’t have to dance with the current king of shitty editorial cock-ups.

  33. There were so many things about this issue I liked and yet… after all the epic buildup Talia was disposed of far too quickly and at the hand of someone that frankly I’m not very familiar with. This series will always have a special place in my memory, but not the perfect ending I’m afraid.

  34. yeah I wanted more….its was ok but not great.

  35. This was shite. Damien did not need to die for this.

  36. I dunno. I can see the criticisms as well as the praising for this finale/series. But for my money? Like great soap opera, Batman Inc. was about awesome moments much more than it was about telling an overall tale – and I did love so many moments, be they high drama or even just subtle characterizations. I might not have “loved” every chapter but I’m definitely going to miss this Morrison/Burnham Bat-collaboration.

  37. This was one of the best single issues of Batmen I have ever read. The character exploration through Bruce and Jims dialogue was gold. “Is there even a man under that mask anymore?” Talia really lets him have it. I smiled through the whole thing. Excellent. Maybe you need to read his entire run to get it, but thus explained Morrisons take on many things “Batman” very well. Whether its how he wanted it or not, they did a very good job.

  38. Great! Now it’s over. This will be the last Grant Morrison written book that I buy.

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