Saturday, May 23, 2009

Battle for the Cowl

Battle for the Cowl has -- somewhat unsurprisingly -- left us with more questions that answers. To top it off, the answers it gave us were pretty much expected. Dick Grayson will be Batman, Damien will be Robin, and Jason will be completely insane.

But if the answers are a bit predictable, the questions are far more intriguing. There aren't many of them, but that doesn't stop them from being somewhat important. Let us consider them each in turn.

#1 - Jason's Mysterious Past? Uh oh. Looks like Jason's been retconned a particularly trouble past. And I'm talking one beyond even his delinquent life on the street. Batman's message clearly insinuates that Jason's insanity isn't just the result of a botched resurrection. Something bad happened to him before he came under Batman's care.

What was it? Abuse is probably the most likely. Was Jason abused physically? Sexually? Whether it was abuse or something else it drove Jason to act out violently in later years. There's no question that this will be addressed down the line.

#2 - Where is Batman? This is a question that has a halfway answer. We know that Batman's in the past. But how far, exactly? Where? Though we readers are the only ones who definitively know that Batman's alive clearly Tim suspects. It'll drive him to be Red Robin.

I for one would like to see a miniseries about Batman's adventures in the past. I want to him team up with Anthro and fight Vandal Savage in the Ice Age. How awesome would that be?

#3 - Whose Body? This one goes along with the previous question. If Batman is alive -- and we know he is -- then whose body is that in Bruce Wayne's grave? It's not a construct or an imaginary story. It's a real corpse in a Batman costume. It belonged to somebody.

#4 - Who is Black Mask? This is the most interesting question to me. Some of that has to do with my macabre fascination with Black Mask. But some of it has to do with the fact that it's the one real mystery we got in Battle for the Cowl. The other mysteries were either irrelevant or predictable. Not this one.

So who is the new Black Mask? We know that it's not Roman Sionis. It's made clear that Catwoman killed him, and he hasn't come back. It was indicated that Jason knows. There's even some hint that Jason could be Black Mask. But I think that unlikely. Jason wanted to be Batman. He would have gained nothing from the dual roles.

Whoever Black Mask is, he (or even she!) is someone with the requisite knowledge of Gotham City to engineer a takeover after everything falls apart (that seems to have become Black Mask's modus operandi as a Bat-villain). It's someone who benefits from the chaos of it all. It'll probably be obvious in the end, but right now... I have no idea.

So those are the questions I took away from Battle for the Cowl Do you have any of the answers?

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At 4:18 AM, Blogger Saranga said...

Tim as Red Robin you reckon? Looks like I'll be adding another book to my pull list.

At 5:12 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

After reading BFTC 3, I can't help but think that the new Black Mask is the previously thought dead Orpheus. It was Roman Sionis who killed him. The first Black Mask once took his identity. And he was once in on the plan by Batman to put the entire Gotham underworld under his control.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Saranga: I'm almost certain of it. He was the most recent person to wear the costume, and is the only one who makes sense. It's making it very hard for me to *not* add it to my pull list...

Maverick: Seems far fetched to me... But at this point I'm willing to believe anything! It does have a certain sort of fearful symmetry...

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Scipio said...

I know this isn't very comic book-y of me but...

"We know that Batman's in the past." The whole "Batman's not dead, he's alive in the past" kind of drives me crazy. Why? BECAUSE THAT'S TRUE OF ALL DEAD PEOPLE.

P.S. I just assumed Black Mask was Jason Todd. Particularly since what he focused on is getting rid of Penguin and Two-Face.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Ah, but just because someone is in the past doesn't mean he or she is dead...


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