By Kryptonian Detective
Three things are certain in life, death, taxes, and that there is only one Batman and his name is Bruce Wayne. That third constant changed thanks to Grant Morrison, and the colossal messes that were Batman: R.I.P., and Final Crisis. Anyone who read those two stories, or followed the Batman comic books since then knows that Batman “died” (not really, he’s reliving his life over and over again, and each life gets worse) and Dick Grayson, the first Robin, and Nightwing took over the mantle of the Bat. I’ve enjoyed Dick Grayson as Batman to a degree. He took over out of necessity, as a way to honour Bruce’s memory, and because Gotham will always need Batman. Plus I enjoyed the role reversal that having Dick Grayson as Batman, and Damien Wayne as Robin provides. Robin has become the all business and no fun character, while Batman tries to instil fear in the hearts of criminals, while still cracking a few jokes, or a smile. Most fans, including myself, got used to Dick Grayson as Batman. Part of that was due to decent writing, and strong character development. For the most part though, the fan community knew that the change was temporary. Eventually, Bruce Wayne would be back.
Well, the obvious turned out to be true. Bruce Wayne is returning to the DC Universe, and will return to his Batman identity. So, what will happen to Dick Grayson? Well, nothing. He will continue using the identity of Batman as well. Two Batmen in the DC Universe is one too many for my liking. Sure, there are multiple heroes who have taken up the moniker of The Flash and Green Lantern, but those characters are legacy characters, where it is natural to have more than one. What’s worse is the way DC Comics has decided to divide the two Batmen into the characters various comic book titles. Dick Grayson will appear in Batman, Detective Comics, and Batman & Robin. Bruce Wayne will appear in two new titles, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Batman Inc. It makes no sense to me to have Dick Grayson appear as Batman in the two longest running Batman comic books, while Bruce Wayne get treated like the new kid on the block, anchoring two new titles. It should be the other way around. There is something inherently wrong with not having Bruce Wayne appear in the two titles that launched the character in the first place. It gets even worse unfortunately. This entire asinine idea is Grant Morrison’s brain-child. He will be writing Batman Inc. The premise has Bruce Wayne training 8 other characters to become a Batman in their area of the world. Morrison has described the idea as “the franchising of Batman.”
I have problems with this. A character known to have issues with working in a group is all of a sudden going to change his philosophy and work with 8 other people. It was hard enough getting Batman to attend a JLA meeting, and Morrison expects readers to buy into this? Good luck with that. While in the real world Batman is very much a brand, in the comic book world, there is no way in hell Bruce Wayne would “franchise” Batman. Batman is NOT McDonalds. Two things need to happen in order to get Batman comics back on track. DC Comics needs to get Grant Morrison into a substance abuse program, to get him off whatever drugs he’s on that bore this idea. Secondly, DC Comics needs to get Grant Morrison off the Batman books completely. He’s overstayed his welcome. This is a prime example of what’s wrong with the comic book industry today. More importance is put on the names of the writers and artists, then the characters found inside the pages of this wonderful medium. As far as Grant Morrison’s direction for Batman….da da da da da I’m Hating It!