Jun 29, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 491: Batman and Robin #10, May 2010


Sorry for the blip yesterday. Occasionally (but only occasionally) something distracts me from thinking about comics.

We're entering a phase of Morrison's run that I both love and hate. I love it because it's a great mystery story, one told across time and space, like all good Morrison stories, and it really crystallizes the Dick Grayson/Damian Wayne relationship very nicely. I hate it because it also spells the end of that partnership, and of Grayson's time as Batman. One of my Flash posts (the delays to which are, believe me, becoming increasingly embarrassing) deals in part with the idea of characters being haunted by their predecessors, and I make the argument that some superheroes are far more affecting to their universes in death than they were in life. I don't think we can make that argument for Bruce Wayne, but there's something to be said for the vitality injected into the Bat-franchise by putting someone new in the costume. The entire opening arc of this series was about reconciling Dick Grayson to the fact that it's the symbol, not the person inside it, that matters. I'm not sure why, though it's perhaps because they often evince a more convincingly mythic human personality, but I've always seemed to favour the inheritors of the ancient superhero titles. Wally West as Flash. Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern. Connor Hawke as Green Arrow. And now Dick Grayson as Batman. Actually, it may not even be the personality, but the fact that this movement of inhabitants of the identity really demonstrates nicely the mythic nature of the superheroic archetypes. They ride their disciples like Loa. To me, it seems silly to define an archetype by a single individual.

The other great part of this arc is Oberon Sexton, the Gravedigger - a novelist and detective who assists Batman and Robin in their search for the time-displaced Bruce Wayne. Batman notes that there's something familiar about him. Hmmmm.....


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