May 21, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 452: Batman #674, April 2008

By the end of this issue, there's a case to be made that the hallucinatory moments that Batman has experienced over the last few issues are coming to an end. He's met, and defeated, the third "ghost," and is realizing that there may be some memories hidden in the depths of his mind that are just now coming to the fore. And this leads him to the thought that, just perhaps, there's been someone worse than the Joker or R'as Al Ghul lurking in the background for years now.

But there's also a case to be made that everything that's happening now, and everything that happens through the "Batman R.I.P." storyline, is a hallucination. Bat-Mite continues to show up, and his reality, at least within the DCU, is solidified somewhat as he hints at being a 5th Dimensional imp, like Mr. Mxyptlk. Followers of Morrison would also start thinking through the notion that this 5th dimensional being is a higher self of sorts, reaching from the Supercontext to assist Batman through the transition from linear 3 dimensional being to rejoining the group organism that exists on higher planes. Plus, there's that weird insect-y thing that clings to Mite's back, reminiscent of nothing so much as the insect-creatures from the Outer Church of The Invisibles.

As we read, we'll keep an eye out for clues. What is real, what is not? This is the real genius of Morrison's Batman: we're seeing his stories from a vantage point that forces us to question the sanity of this man who dresses as a bat and fights crime. How much of what he sees, how much of what he tells us through his narratives, is actually there, and how much is floating about in a damaged and dark mind?

(Trepidatiously) Onward.

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