Is Batman, Inc The Right Direction?
Look at this from anothe perspective, what crushes Batman most? The deaths of his partners and sidekicks due to vengences against him. So, if you line up more Batman and guys like Joker, Bane and I guess Lord Death Man start gunning them down - Batman may revert back to his isolated, loner, "urban legend" everyone is willing to cry over.
What will be interesting for me will be to see the in-canon cause of Batman, Inc., folding. Because rest assured, it has to, and it will, at some point; sooner or later, DC will decide to sell Bruce Wayne as "The ONE TRUE Batman" again and we'll go back to the status quo.
And rest assured, in canon, this is a bad idea by Bruce. At the very least, bad execution of something the rest of the family started in his absence - an expansion of The Network. It makes some sense for Bruce & Batman to create a new Club of Heroes of sorts, but for him to out himself should logically open Wayne Enterprises up to all sorts of lawsuits. Whether Morrison explores that, or has one of Bruce's new charges go off the deep end, somewhere, some time, the other shoe's gonna drop on this. Which, oddly enough, sounds kind of like the underlying hook behind Marvel's "Dark Reign": Stick around and see where The Boss screws up!
Wait, so he publicly announces that Wayne Enterprises is funding Batman? Like when Stark used to say Iron Man was his body guard?
I am not sure about that idea. How hard would it be to then trace Batman back to him once the idea has been put out there?
That could be a fun idea for a panel, a random guy in a home made Batman suit trying to get money from Wayne Enterprises. But I agree, I don't know if this is a good idea, not the Batman Inc.
I like the idea of multiple Batmans all around, a criminal is trying to outrun Batman. He turns into an alley and suddenly runs into Batman. He breaks a window and jumps into a person's apartment and suddenly there is Batman again.
I like that idea, like how because his super speed Superman can seem to be everywhere. I like the idea that Batman can mystically appear to be anywhere and everywhere. Adds to his mythical...ness.
But i don't know about exposing any connection between Wayne and Batman, it doesn't take much to connect the dots. Suddenly everyone will have an idea of who Batman is.
Batman Inc is a good idea, he has the Bat-family and people who idolize him (Batmen of all Nations) so why not make things more organized?
Still I thought the decision to reveal that he's been funding Batman for years was not necessary. For years he's been dropping tons and TONS and TONS of money into his war on crime, tech for other superheroes and Super Teams (JLA, Outsiders) and no one at Wayne Enterprises has been the wiser. So why bother telling them now? To me it's like Bruce is soooooooo rich no matter how much money he spends he'll make it back in the blink of an eye.
I have a lot of catching up to do on my Bat-family books. But I can say that I am excited for this new direction. I think it's imperative to reinvent characters and take them in new directions. Batman has a 70 year history. There aren't many things left to do with the superhero. And DC's new direction for him is a positive, in my opinion.
And as far as I'm concerned, if this Batman Inc. idea doesn't fly with the fans, and sales dictate that it's not favorable, then there is always a way to bring it back to where it was before. There is nothing that says there is no going back from this. If the story is right, they can take characters in new directions and bring them back continuously. The possibilities are truly endless.
I'm very skeptical and finding it hard to suspend disbelief but willing to see where it goes before laying down judgment.
At least at a concept it is challenging... which seems to be Morrison's tune for his epic Batman arc- Batman broken, Batman dead, Batman missing, Batman cosmic, son of Batman, Batman the next generation, etc. All "untellable" Batman stories if your goal is to maintain the status quo. This next chapter, Batman Public / Incorporated may or may not fit, it's a bit too early to tell.
With respect to Batman's shift to utilitarianism, I'm troubled by it because it stands in stark contrast to his past (which, again, is the point, I suppose, and why the story is challenging). To me, Batman was always a semi-benign insanity of which Bruce was self-aware and which he tried to contain. His goals were individual and personal and to the extent that he extended his insanity beyond himself it was almost always accident and in mutual benefit / service of containing the insanity (more clearly: accepting a Robin, because Batman needs Robin to keep him from- essentially- becoming the Punisher). Despite his resources, the available technology, and the irrationality of his approach, it was the one he selected as the best way to manage his psychosis for the benefit of Gotham City (or mankind for his JLA/DCU-wide actions). That meant that Batman would never adopt Steel's armor as his standard garb, he would never fill the streets with robots, and he would be not much more than a Dynamic Duo as opposed to leader of a caped Crusade of the cowled.
Yet, the Return arc shatters all these preconceptions. Bruce uses a super-suit. Bruce readies robot armies for war. Bruce recruits foot soldiers for his crusade. This is challenging because Batman moves from someone motivated by an ideal (however insane it may be) to a utilitarian motivated by winning. Bat God enthusiasts may say that he's always had a preoccupation with winning, but- no, not really... he always won but more by writer fiat and according to the rules of the game... now the rules have been (maybe, too early to say) made more real world and Batman is obsessed with winning in a practical manner. To show the contrast, even "winning" moves before now have been in service to an ideal rather than practicality... Brother Eye, for example, was created to perpetually spy because Batman was paranoid and had lost time... Brother Eye was in service to that distrust as a matter of principle... in practice the idea had many problems (not the least of which is the impossibility of combing through your own life to find missing time without missing time). Likewise, the Tower of Babel or War Games plans were in service to paranoid contingencies but in practice screwed a lot of people over. Batman, INC. does not clearly have a mission statement, purpose, or ideal... it's more like Batman's waking up in the "real world" and finally trying to fight crime "for real" (although going international before securing Gotham is probably not the best way).
The biggest point of confusion, however, seems to be why Bruce felt the need to publicly announce his funding for Batman. It can't be a money hiding issue... he's funded Brother Eye, the Composite Superman / Batman robot, dozens of Bat Bunkers and caves, the JLA, etc... hiding and moving money has never, historically, been a problem (unless this is the "real world" all of a sudden). It can't be a means of recruitment, because as we see with Mr. Unknown, Bruce needs to meet them covertly on a one-on-one basis anyways... his announcement didn't influence the recruitment drive, him showing up privately is just as effective. It can't be a means of putting fear into criminals because the announcement was too vague and ephemeral... criminals don't quake in their shoes when police publicly announce a "crack down on crime". The goals, intention, purpose, etc. of the announcement is unclear and unfocused so far (hopefully, Morrison will explain it... because as is it just seems like a pointless meta-shock maneuver... something exciting to us but making no logical sense in their world).
The obvious consequences of such an announcement are how easily it makes it to pierce the secret identity (correspondingly painting a nice bright bullseye on Wayne- forget stockholder liability... how is Bruce going to feel when his employees are attacked as a way of sending a message to him?) and now there's a nice set of deep pockets to sue anytime an agent of Batman, INC screws up. Before this, how do you find- let alone serve and sue- Batman? Now, Wayne is on the hook for anything and everything Bat-persons do even impersonators (because civil liability doesn't have the same standard of proof as criminal liability).
This seems like a dangerous high concept... one even harder to pull off than Grounded, in my opinion, but Morrison's been thinking about it a lot longer than JMS did about that arc so I'm reserving judgment on the actual execution until we see more.
For now, the two questions I want answered more than any other are: 1. WHY did Bruce think the announcement was necessary?; 2. HOW does this Bruce justify retiring the Insider Suit if now he's all about utilitarian winning?
I think people...so far...are unwilling to at least try a change. They want the emo and broody Batman that constantly complained about his dead parents and had to give us flashbacks to his origins every five minutes (or that's at least how it feels to me). I personally like that they are trying to turn Bruce into something more as a character, and more importantly, it's about time!
I'm willing to give it a chance. Sure, there are going to be some occasions when character will be broken for the good of the story. I'm okay with that as long as they aren't ruining the character completely. Batman is stealing something? Hey, sometimes you gotta jack some stuff from a bad guy in order to make sure people are safe.
It almost certainly has to do with the new crime-fighting approach and being virtually public about his secret identity.
I actually dislike the concept itself, and not just because it goes against the Ideology of Batman. Green Lantern Corpse works because it plays into the fundamental nature of the entity. The GL's are a intergalactic military/police force. Same with the Nova Corps and other such entities. But the idea of a solitary hero (be it Batman, Sups, Flash, Wolverine, Dare Devil, Spider-Man, Iron Man) doing this is just utterly daft to me. I'm sure this won't last, so I won't complain all that much about it. Instead I'll just chill, read the other Bat books and avoid reading Inc until the series is inevitably canceled.
try saying "Bloody Mary" in the bathroom with the lights out three times lol
First off, I am a Marvel guy that loves Batman books (until DC took most of my spending money on Batman alone.) But this is going down hill for me. Look at Spiderman and Superman?, any realations ? if this is going to be be a "IronMan" story, I would be very disapointed. And I would not call it "Batman Inc." Bruce Wayne would not (if I was Bruce Wayne, maybe "The Bats crusaders" lol He does have alot of bedrooms for visitors.
But "Batman" needs to stay a secret, otherwise people will see "Batman" and say, "Look! it's a bird, it's a plane, no that's .................Bruce Wayne????"
I believe, too many books....to much confusion
I love Batman Inc. You gotta figure if an international organizations like the Black Glove, Ra's Ah Ghul, and other enemies can catch Bruce with his pants down...it's kind of like well, you can WAIT till the terrorists are at your gate OR...you can bring the fight to them.
It's also the realization that...Gotham is NOT the only city that suffers from crime. Probably not the city with the most crime, though the comic book world might make you thing different.
Finally, it gives Bruce a new status quo, gives a mission statement to the entire Bat family of books...
Of COURSE, it's never going to last forever BUT will promote Character GROWTH....consider what Marvel is doing with Heroic Age. Are you Ready?
Spider-man is on 2 Avenger teams and his own title.
Wolverine is on FOUR teams (X-force, X-men, New Avengers, Avengers), two single titles, and shares another with Spider-man...
People make it sound like it's all Grant Morrison..no, it's not. Grant has his own book. But look at the talent assembled: Scott Synder (American Vampire), Peter Tomasi (GL Corps, the Mighty) will bring your traditional Gotham stories of gloom and doom. Plus Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Action Comics, Captain Britain MI-13)...
Never mind JH Williams is BACK with Batwoman.
It's not a tragedy it's a much NEEDED enema for his franchise of books.
If you don't like it, just keep resetting your Arkham Asylum video game because no change is worse than killing a character.
Aside from this whole globe trotting Incorporated thing, the story itself I was enjoying it having him team up with Catwoman (selina's meows we could have done without) right up until the end, that's when it totally lost me. I mean come on,
Yeah...I couldn't wrap my head around that one.
I thought Batman created The Outsiders so he'd have a group of his own to dispatch wherever in the world. Oracle has the birds of prey. Guess u can't control superheroes so Batman decided to find people who'd do whatever he said. Bruce Wayne's money his rules. What about the rest of the superheroes in the world what will they think of this? Doesnt superman do everything anyway? Guess Superman being grounded led to Batman creating new batmen lol
This whole idea Morrison had to have Bruce Wayne publicly reveal he is funding the Bat family seems incredibly feeble for Morrison. It seems logical to reason that Batman's villains will target the man funding the Bat family. What of the villains who already figured out Wayne was Batman too? Seems like they'd be disgusted with Bruce for publicly lying. It could motivate certain characters to want to spoil Bruce's plan. I also agree that Damian being Robin & Bruce Wayne's son is a total giveaway for any Gotham citizens who are intelligent enough to deduce the truth. It just seems very out-of-character for Bruce Wayne to do something this risky. I don't understand his motive to do it. What can he possibly get out of this scenario? He's making his life all the more vulnerable to danger.
Since Bruce Wayne is out of town and Grayson is Batman, even if the villians launch an attack on Wayne Enterprises - "Batman" has it covered. This turns Batman into somewhat of an urban legend again...especially considering the insanity that broke out when the Bat-Family began fighting for the name "Batman". That "civil war", if you will, paired with Bruce's statement seem to work well together - Bruce is gone and Batman is still in Gotham. It will give the man enough cover to globe-trot his way to being team captain and when he returns; I am sure there is a plan in place to continue the illusion.
As for Damien's identity being exposed, putting two and two together might make someone think, "Wayne has a young son...Wayne funds Batman...Robin is young, oh my god..." but then again logic kicks in and then they say, "What kid of father would willingly send their kid to do that?" Add in the fact that all the previous Robins have been orphans or something similar. Damien's connection to Batman through Bruce's announcement may work for us since we reading over their world...but in character and in the DC Universe it is covered by the fact that no millionaire would send his only heir to fight gun-wielding psychopaths and monsters.
Batman is part Bruce part myth. Now the side of Batman that is Bruce is becoming "incorporated" into the myth. I really think this is the meaning of the title. That said, I think it is a natural evolution of the character to expand his operation globally and make others know about it. I believe this is why he came out and said that he was funding Batman. True, it makes him a target, but Bruce has already been attacked, gravely, by Black Mask, and others in the past. Also, he's the goddamn Batman! If any bad guy wants to take a swipe at Bruce, Alfred, Damien, or his corporation, BRING IT! It will be at their peril. True the mystique is lost, but, in this age of ubiquitous media coverage, who HASN'T caught Batman slamming some baddy against the wall and then posted it on YouTube? The fact is, Batman is still a menace to criminals, and this lets people know that he has some powerful backup. I think it's a bold and interesting move on the part of the editors at DC and I applaud the effort they're making to "incorporate" all aspects of Batman's character into story, including Bruce Freakin' Wayne!
Sorry I am doing this. But I have to "pimp" my review for Batman: The Return.
My reviews from The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman: The Return sums up my appreciation for G-Mo's work. As much as I will miss the Urban Legend stuff, I trust Batman in his hands.
I wrote a whole lot on the topic of what grant is doing and if I cut and paste it hear, odds are it will still be skipped by those who don't care what I have to say. If you check out the links I thank you in advance.
" Stephanie Brown will be in England for one issue I think in a few months.A Batgirl/Squire team-up maybe??
I'm liking this direction!
I like when things change, evolve...No need to keep the same status quo for over 60-70 years!
(yeah, I didn't like Peter Parker reverting to living with Aunt May, losing his teaching job and going back to a photographer, divorcing by "Satan's pact" and losing all his recent new mutant powers he evolved... darn'!...)
i feel like this is yet another of DC's plans to show that their universe isnt stuck in time anymore, like most comics universes. DC's characters are growing and evolving, and moving towards the future we've seen so many glimpses of for so long. Maggog. Titans as JLA'ers. and all of these sons and daughters of heroes and villains.
I love this idea becuase i know it wont last. in the next few years, this"Corporation" will fall apart, and bruce will be one step closer to the crazy old Bat we see in almost EVERY future scenario.
in the meantime, we get to see characters like Damion and Stephanie finally and officially get their "Bruce Wayne stamp of approval". And we get to see Bruce in more international settings (i loved the Confidential when he went to Russia and fought The Bear).
"Unless you have unlimited funds its almost impossible to keep up with everything any major character is now doing! Not only are there numerous Bat - related books, but Superman, X-Men & Deadpool seem to star in more than their fair share of monthlies, too.
With so many Batman books, DC should just go ahead and rename the company Batman."
Thats what it's all about now. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. BATMAN!!!!!
As for Batman Inc - I will give it a try, but will need some convincing. Anyone else hate that cover? Surely, Batman could have been depicted pondering a globe with a suitably dark background? This cover is far too garish for my tastes and IMO does not fit with the Batman ethos.
" Can't Bruce Wayne now be held accountable for funding a criminal organization? I don't see how it's possible for Batman Inc. to ever have the support of law enforcement. "Yes. There's criminal liability there and definitely exposure to civil liability. As a practical matter, now all the crazy supervillains are going to hold you "accountable" for the actions of Batman and company.
If you signed on to work at Wayne Enterprises, does that mean you agreed to work for Batman, with Batman, and against supervillains? A lot of employees would say they didn't sign on to support vigilantism or to paint a supervillain target on their backs. From a supervillain's perspective, can you find or hurt the secretive Batman to extract your revenge? Historically, no, but now you've got countless soft civilian targets that you can strike and know you're hurting Batman personally in the process. Is Batman going to provide them with a robot security detail 24/7, is that how any of the employees expected or wanted to live? This sort of callousness towards his employee pawns kind of undercuts the optimism and nobility of his global mission.
Grant Morrison has yet to explain why Bruce felt compelled to make his announcement, literally everything Bruce has done since it could have been done equally as well without the announcement. Given the importance and repercussions of the declaration, I'll be expecting an answer sooner than later, but willing to wait for one... but it's hard to imagine an answer that's satisfying... hopefully Morrison can surprise (this is why I said this is a more dangerous high concept than Grounded).
How do you think the other Heroes of the DC Universe are going to react to Batman's Global Expansion? I mean a lot of heroes don't care for Batman or his philosophy on crime fighting and they only respect him out of fear almost. Do you think it will be a majority Positive or Negative affect? Could it be that maybe Batman/ Bruce Wayne came back wrong? Or maybe he didn't come back at all... at least in spirit, mind and heart?
" @G-Man: How do you think the other Heroes of the DC Universe are going to react to Batman's Global Expansion? I mean a lot of heroes don't care for Batman or his philosophy on crime fighting and they only respect him out of fear almost. Do you think it will be a majority Positive or Negative affect? Could it be that maybe Batman/ Bruce Wayne came back wrong? Or maybe he didn't come back at all... at least in spirit, mind and heart? "Batman returned better than before. ROBW was Bruce transcending all the loner, paranoia bull he's been imbued with over the last twenty years.
It gives bruce wane a calme to rights on batman's logo and merchendice. Also it would cause allot of new offers from the miliatary for gear.
It means more money for bruce, and more freedom for batman.
It also could be of his way of taking over the corprate world for good, probably will start controlling the media to squish rumors that he's batman.
I sort of see that Grant is taking Batman/Bruce Wayne and taking him dow a conveluted path that merges aspects of Logan and Stark from Marvel. And to be honest for a rehashed/merged idea, it seems to be pretty good. The loner has come to realize that for all his airs about being alone are a false pretense. It also allows the millionaire to loose some of the playboy image. Bruce has never been alone, at minimum he has always had Alfred and now has come to realize to win his war on crime he cannot look at only Gotham but must look at the whole world and the global criminal networks. To do this Bruce Wayne ane Wayne Inc must fund Batman and Batman Inc. To protect the identity, Batman and Bruce will appear together at some time (allows for the protection level of the secret identity). And Batman does not have to be Dick! Tim could also fill those shoes for short periods if needed. The same could also be said for others that Bruce could call in to stand for him if all of the Wayne family was needed.
As for his vow to not bring others into the life... he failed on that one several times. And from the list of characters that have shown up already, this is not him bringing in new people to fight crime... But funding, training and equiping those that are doing this globaly. This allows the local (Knight, Mr Nobody) to stand up and take the fight further with better resources.
I like the idea of Batman going global. But I CAN see this possibly causing issues with the JLA/JSA and such as they could see the new Batman army as a threat or possibly another of Batman's schemes and back up contingencies. I hope that Batman Inc is a rollercoaster that takes the DCU in new and various directions.
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