Jun 30, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 492: Batman and Robin #11, June 2010


I begin to see Morrison's tenure on the Bat-titles through the lens of a Sine wave metaphor. The bits between the crests and the troughs are the "normal" stories, the ones that, while well drawn and written, are fairly recognizable as Batman superhero stories. And then we have things like "R.I.P.," where the line has delved into the trough, and things are all underworld and insane. But the bits I like most are the crests, where the hallucinatory quality is every bit as intense as the troughs, but we're moving into a higher reality style of story. That's where things are heading now. Though Dick makes his way through a series of caves below Wayne Manor, there's an inverse narrative journey upward happening. He moves from a place of capital and material to a place of spirits and gods, emerging from a grave at the end of the issue, foreshadowing if I've ever seen any. It's been long enough since I've read this run of Batman that I don't remember how Batman Inc. follows this wave, but I'm excited to find out. Even within the Batman and Robin series, I think we see this wave, heading down from the 60s-inspired opening to a dark and bloody chapter, and then back up through a story of Lazarus Pits, very much a mainstay of Bat-stories, but dealing with resurrection as well, so ascending, and then continuing to move upward through the current story arc that burst open at the apex in the "Return of Bruce Wayne" crossover.

Speaking of which, here's a reading order for the crossover that I'll be following, sans issues I've either read already or that I do not own. From what I can tell, Tim Drake undertakes a search that in many ways sets up the Return storyline, and I've never really read any of his solo stuff. Maybe it's time to delve into it.


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