Review by: flapjaxx

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Price: 2.99

In a few reviews of this issue so far I’ve seen similar disclaimers to this effect: “I’m reluctant to critique Batman 675 definitively, because for all I know the things that seem throw-away now might be revealed as very important in a few issues.” I wholly agree. By now reviewers, especially those of the internet variety, should have gotten the hint: on the day when an issue of Morrison’s Batman is released you’re welcome to claim that “nothing makes sense” or such-and-such is “filler”, but you may end up looking stupid six months from now. With every new issue the secrets of past issues come into clearer focus, so it’s quite ignorant to judge the apparent shortcomings of forthcoming issues as soon as they hit the stands.

Here’s a rundown of a few items from older issues that didn’t seem very important to the overall story until months later. The connections are made slowly:

1) The “Cop Batman” villain that the future Damian Batman kills in issue 666 is said to have done a deal with the Devil. In the recent #674, this same villain (in the present) reveals himself as an experimental “product” of a Doctor Hurt, who “wasn’t human“. Bruce then recalls that there was once a “young cop” whose “family [was] slaughtered by so-called ‘Satanists’.”

2) Though many readers still don’t realize this, the League of Batmen arc ties directly into the mystery of the three false “Cop Batmen” as well. From the first scene of that story (in #667), we are introduced to an off-panel figure calling himself “The Black Glove”. The two most recent issues (674-675) have revealed that this same individual has lurked in the shadows for some time and is still antagonizing Bruce today. (Does “Black Glove” indicate the third replacement Batman himself? Or is Black Glove really Dr. Hurt? We don’t know yet, but we sense the far-reaching connections.)

3) The one thing we do know is that the first reference to Black Glove was in Chapter 6 of the infamous prose issue (663), when the Joker kills a mosquito: “He watches the tiny life go out, listens to the fading whine as it slowly curls up, like a hand becoming a fist, and dies.” During the League of Batman arc we were treated to several stylized J.H. Williams panels in the form of a black hand closing into a fist. Furthermore, in connection with the Joker, we learn that years ago Bruce entered into Dr. Hurt’s sensory-deprivation experiment because he “wanted a glimpse of how the Joker’s mind worked” (#673). Thus there are connections between Black Glove and the Joker as well.

All you need to know at this point about #675–or all we can know–is that it’s a set-up issue for “Batman RIP”. Without this issue Morrison would have had to include establishing scenes of Dick and Tim, as well as Talia and Damian, next issue–in order for the readers to understand what the supporting cast’s various opinions of Bruce are at this time. But Morrison doesn’t want to do that, he wants to start the “RIP” arc with a bang. I can’t wait.

One final thing: I’m glad that some people are still so adamantly “confused” by Morrison. People who are for whatever reason so resistant to thinking, so insistent that all art gratify their expectations immediately, really have no business experiencing the important message that Morrison is carefully telling us about who Bruce Wayne is. We are witnessing the next layering of Bruce Wayne’s character psychology, the first such progress that has been made since Frank Miller did what he did over twenty-years ago. It is as if Bruce Wayne’s glorious neurosis is finally–after 70 years–coming into conflict with Freud’s reality principle. This is a poignant thing to watch, and the method must be performed carefully.

Today we’re so quick to dismiss, so insistent that we understand everything that’s going on at all times. Morrison has a reputation of being “weird” or “different”, so the lazy reaction is to label his work as incomprehensible. Some people pretend they don’t understand ANYTHING about this run simply because they don’t already know the end game. (I wonder if they would say anything similar about the “Invasion” that Marvel’s got going on. I mean, we didn’t know who all the Skrulls were at first, or what their exact plan is–so I wonder if these same whiners complained that they didn’t know “anything” about that either?). In Batman #675 I had no idea who this Merlin person was, I don’t read Robin or Nightwing, and I didn’t read 52 so
I have no idea who this guy with the eyes on his fingers is, and yet I
still managed to enjoy the issue, still intrigued about where
it’s going. Is that so hard to understand?

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND!” people scream. Well… my advice is Wait. Or better yet, Try. Try trying to actually understand, and you might learn something. At the very least, you might become a better reader.

The art was average at best.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 2 - Average


  1. well said, flagjaxx.

    I am one of the people shouting I DON’T UNDERSTAND!
    I’ve been trying to get through issues, bored and confused. Half the time I give up and just flip through it. I think I might go back and re"TRY".

    That said, half of the problem is that, yeah, I do find myself BORED with the issues. It’s just not terribly engaging for me as a reader. But now that I’m aware of the puzzle, maybe I’ll be more into actually looking for the pieces.

    Excellent review..

  2. If this all comes together, this *could* be the best Batman run in like eight years.

  3. Good review, and I agree with your points wholeheartedly. For those who want "classic" Batman stories and can’t stand Morrison’s exploration of the character, there’s always Paul Dini’s Detective.

  4. I can’t help but notice the extreme "Morrison-is-God and if you don’t get it you’re just ignorant" slant to this review…and I will just ask this: how many times to you have to reread his run to get it? I’ll freely admit I don’t get half of it, but I also haven’t reread a single issue. Obviously, by pointing out so many little tidbits that have been dropped, the reviewer has gone over the run with a fine toothed comb, does anyone else actually do this in order to understand everything?

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