Saturday, August 16, 2008

On Batman RIP

So, being ever so pissed off at RIP, I re-read the entire Morrison run of Batman.  After reading the Batman & Son collection I realized I was probably making a mistake for judging the present story from part one on, and yeah I was right.  Morrison is crafting a huge story that's not gonna climax with part six of RIP.  This thing is gonna be huge.

Given that, I'm reading Batman (for the record, the Club of Heroes story was and still is the shit) and I've come to certain conclusions.  IF the Black Glove is revealed in RIP (and I'm starting to have my doubts that this will be the case) I think the two likeliest people it could be are either Alfred or Bruce Wayne himself.

Alfred is the only person in the world who knows Batman better then anyone.  He's seen all his files, peered into his brain, been his most trusted confidante.....If anyone could beat Batman, it could only be Alfred.  Alfred also has British military training and was a stage performer.  He could blow smoke up anyone's butt.  If anyone is capable, it's Alfred, but the motive is unclear.  For Morrison's entire arc, Alfred has been haranguing Bruce to have a bit more of a social life, maybe even get laid.  But I can't see that as a reason to tear Bruce Wayne's psyche apart.

Early in his Black Case Books, Bruce talks about his need to be able to think like men like the Joker.  Not that he wants to, but that he needs to.  What better way to think like a villain then to become a villain?  But, Bruce Wayne can't possibly become a villain with the goal to hurt others, so naturally he would set things up to attack himself.  And who would be the one to do the actual attacking?


We've seen references to a mysterious stalker early in Morrison's run, a black gloved individual spying on Bruce Wayne's movements.  So obviously the Black Glove wouldn't literally be Batman himself.  But we certainly aren't always privy to the whereabouts of Alfred at all times, are we?

That's my theory at least.  Morrison is really making the answer pretty obvious if you ask me, and after reading the three page interlude in DCU #0 between Batman and the Joker, I was even more convinced that it's either Batman or Alfred or Alfred acting at the behest of Batman.  It's not a perfect theory, mind you, but my gut informs me on this along with Morrison's own clues.

As for whether Simon Hurt is really Thomas Wayne, there was one almost throw away panel in RIP part three with Tim Drake looking through the missing Black Case Book with a clipping dated 1977 with a headline stating "Gotham's Hurt Missing."  The possibility exists that Thomas Wayne could be Simon Hurt as the time frame between Hurt's disappearance in 1977 and Thomas Wayne's death would be only a couple of years apart (and Batman is over 30, as stated by Jezebel Jet).  I thought that was interesting, but it could very well be an attempt by Morrison to mislead readers.

Morrison has stated that the revelation will be the biggest mindfuck in 70 years of Batman history.  I doubt it's Thomas Wayne because that would simply ruin Batman's origin and piss everyone off.  Though continuity might be a messy hodgepodge of various stories from the silver age until now, the basic premise of Batman is one that no one has fundamentally altered.  DC Comics and Time Warner aren't going to let one uppity littel Scotsman ruin what is their biggest cash cow.  While I think it's a brilliant bit of deception, Thomas Wayne is likely not The Black Glove.

It's also not Harley Quinn.  Sure, the constant references to black and red checkerboard patterns is nice, but that would be gay.  She's only made one little appearance in Morrison's run and that was in the Joker Prose story from issue #664.

LIke I said earlier, it's likely that no revelation will take place at the end of the arc.  It's four issues in, and I honestly don't see it happening.  Batman has to take on the Joker and, according to Previews, the last part is a confrontation with Jezebel Jet.  We'll see what happens to Bruce Wayne and whether or not he continues to be Batman and if he sets aside the mantle who picks it up.


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