The Batman/ Prince connection just runs deep, doesn’t it? As I reference whenever I get the opportunity, the musician formerly known as “the Artist” created one of the most bizarre, yet fitting, soundtracks in movie history for the ’89 BATMAN movie. 21 odd years later and I still can’t get the beat to “Batdance” or the lyrics to “Partyman” out of my head. In fact, one of my pet dreams is to one day get the chance to write a Batman title and have the Caped Crusader actually fight Gemini - - the dual Batman/ Joker persona Prince assumed for the movie-related music videos.
Alas, Grant Morrison has beaten me to the punch. He’s revealed over a multi-part look behind-the-pages of BATMAN & ROBIN on the Source that new supervillain, the Flamingo , was inspired, in part, by the Purple One. The cover to the right, in fact, was based on the poster of Prince’s film PURPLE RAIN. Drat! Foiled again. Ah well…
Prince wasn’t the only character cited by Morrison as inspiring the Flamingo. He also conceived of him as being an evil Zorro to serve as a dark mirror to Batman’s own inspiration in the Mexican swashbuckler. What I relish about a creator like Morrison is the broad swath of influences, both cultural and pop cultural, that he brings into his work. Who else references the Beatles , Dick Tracy, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, MY FAIR LADY, KILL BILL and a penitent order of flagellant monks when writing a Batman book? Much like the work of another of my favorite comics writers, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Morrison’s best stories are dizzying parades of imagination that never abate.
While we’ve got all the thumbnails, concept sketches, color tests and raw pencils that went into the covers and new characters marking this new volume of BATMAN & ROBIN here, I highly recommend you all check out the Source and read Morrison’s own descriptions, which are a fantasy trip in of themselves.
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