Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Batman

I'm finding Grant Morrison's plans for Batman more than a little bit... Odd. I mean, I get where he's coming from in some ways. There's no doubt that Batman is more than simply a thug. He always has been that citizen of the world. And I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that being Batman keeps Bruce Wayne sane.

But the very idea of Batman, Inc. still bugs me. It's not the idea that Batman would have an international reach -- he's done that before with the Outsiders. It's certainly not the fact that Batman would train other heroes -- he's got a long history of doing that. It's the idea of branding that bothers me. In my eyes "Batman, Inc." cheapens the entire idea of "Batman."

Batman has always been a singular hero. It's true that he surrounds himself with allies and assistants, but they've never been a part of Batman. This thing Morrison is going to do will change that. For the first time (at least as far as I'm concerned) there is going to be more than one Batman.

For me, one of the things that always made Batman so interesting was his uniqueness. He can fit into a host of different genres and media. But at the heart of it all he was still Bruce Wayne. Dick Grayson taking over as Batman were the first cracks in that (and we all know that I haven't been all that pleased with Dick as Batman).

I guess what I'm getting at is this: when you dilute something it loses its potency. When you dilute Batman you remove a lot of what makes him special. When Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman he was the Batman. But you can't have the Batman if you have more than one.

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At 3:47 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Wait a minute...Morrison is going to have Bruce turn Batman into a...franchise?

Well...that's peculiar.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

"Peculiar" and "Grant Morrison" are phrases I'd expect us to hear more often...

At 1:16 AM, Blogger Derek said...

I liked Dick as Batman. Well, more specifically, I liked the Dick/Damian dynamic.

I also really like the recent The Web series, which was about a hero who franchised himself. It was interesting and new. He made mistakes and hit lots of hurdles along the way.

But I'm still not sure about Batman, Inc. for exactly the reason you specified. Franchising Batman makes Batman less somehow.

I wonder how the Joker is going to take it...


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