Jul 1, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 493: Batman and Robin #12, July 2010
If I were a properly patriotic Canadian, I'd have reviewed a Captain Canuck or Alpha Flight comic today. But I find patriotism to be a far too slippery slope (and I love me some tobogganing!), as is evidenced by the state of the UK and US these days. Besides, I've been having a hard enough time reading these comics one day at a time. If I had to leave a gap, I might lose what little is left of my mind.
The wave begins to crest: "Thomas Wayne, Barbatos, Devil worship and the Underground Railroad." To which Damian replies "This is insane." "This is life in the Batcave" says Dick. Doctor Hurt is returning, slipping off his disguise as crimelord El Penitente and slipping on his Black Glove again. Oberon Sexton is revealed to be not Bruce Wayne, but his opposite - The Joker. And Alfred finds that the grounds of stately Wayne Manor are planned to function as a Bat Signal through time. I love this. This is what comics do.
Speaking of Alfred. Each time I finish writing up a comic, I copy this text into the "Notes" section for each issue in my database. When I first inputted everything into the database, it was skeleton data, so now when I go back and blog a comic, I fill all that in. One of the fields is major characters that appear in each issue. Though the comic is called Batman and Robin, Alfred has been in literally every issue - if we think back to what Bruce says about remembering Batman after he's gone, he makes reference to the people that kept him alive all this time. And that's Alfred, the hidden hero of the Bat-titles. Not that I'm arguing that he should have his own title or adventures. What Alfred reminds us of is that Batman functions best not as an individual, but as part of a team. That's what Batman Incorporated is really about, bringing that team out of the shadows of the Batcave and into the world. But we'll have to wait to see how all that turns out.
Back, briefly, to the main Batman series tomorrow. Onward!