Jun 13, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 475: Batman #682, January 2009


Okay. Apologies for the slight blip. I over-indulged on Saturday night, and Sunday was a bit of a write-off.

We're at a very odd moment in Morrison's Batman. From a publishing vantage point, the last we saw of Batman he had disappeared into the water with Dr. Hurt's helicopter. In this issue, we see him moving through different parts of his history. And, interspersed, is the Lump. Something odd is going on. Chronologically, however, we've seen Batman contacted by the Justice League and warned of the incoming New God invasion. We've also seen him listed as missing on the giant Checkmate board, so to find him, by the end of this issue, imprisoned and being tortured by Simyan and Mokkari, is somewhat unsurprising. Plus, we have that "Final Crisis" trade dress on the front.

The story itself is quite satisfying as a piece of Morrisonian fiction but, as I noted for some of the earlier issues of the Batman run, its esoteric nature was likely quite off-putting for long-time Bat-fans. More so than even Superman, perhaps, because of his constant explicit presence in the pop cultural landscape, Batman is one of the less-outre of the superheroes. He's a guy dressed as a bat. No superpowers (arguable, really), no weird, mystical background (wellll......). He's what many of us think we could potentially be if we had the money, the time, and the drive. So to take him and start pushing him through the more bizarre aspects of life in a superhero universe, which Morrison does so well, is off-putting.

It makes me chuckle. You ain't seen nothing yet.

To be continued.

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