A certain Batman-centered tidbit from Rich Johnston’s Lying in the Gutters column has been making the rounds lately, sparking a lot of conversation.
I’m putting up a cut here for those fans who would prefer to avoid coming in contact with rumors or spoilers. All others, do proceed.
Crackerbob at For the Love of Comics is skeptical:
I just can’t bring myself to believe that DC would be stupid enough to kill off one of their marquee characters at roughly the same time that a major motion picture focusing on that marquee character is being released. It just does not make any sense.
The only thing that even remotely makes sense is that they’re positioning a new Batman for the JLA movie, since Christian Bale will not be in that movie’s cast.
That would still be incredibly stupid, though.
Jim from Comics And…Other Imaginary Tales thinks it’s a good idea:
By letting Bruce die we are given a chance for a new character to be Batman. Especially if we let it be Dick or Tim, because they will have a history to build on, but have to be different taking over the Batman role. The whole Azrael thing was a feint because who ever took over was never intended to stay as the Batman. By making it Azrael we could see that a harsher Batman made no sense , which would make Bruce seem new again, but it hasn’t.
I love Batman and love Bruce Wayne as Batman, but we can have new stories still be told about Bruce Wayne as Batman as specials and mini-series. With 52 worlds we can have a world that has Bruce just starting as Batman in 2008. The stories possibilities are endless and real change is the key to successful sales.
Josh Hill thinks the idea is ill-thought-out:
Everything being said, the idea is ill-thought out at best, and is definitely going to do damage to the series: from the eyes of Batman and DCU fans. And while sales will no doubt jump to witness the event, and the fall out, whether they will hold long enough to keep sales up until his return is another question. The death of Superman from the mid-90’s was an unmitigated failure, and does not bode well for Batman. On the other hand though, there are writer currently on DC’s payroll that may be able to pull this off with a level of skill that was lacking back then.
While Sonny Wilkins admires the story potential:
I have no problems with this. Considering who’s at the helm (great song), Grant Morrison, it’ll be cooked thoroughly. We’ve already had glimpses into: the future of Gotham, Damien’s destiny, and Bruce’s growing paranoia eating away at him, in the recent run of Batman. Three ghosts, which will he become? The gun-wielding madman, the whore rapist/murderer loaded on steroids, the Satan worshiper. Its clearly building toward something, maybe this is it? The death of an icon.
Of course, Batman would never die. He’s the companies franchise character; the Kobe to their Lakers, the Jeter to their Yankees, the Tiger to their Nike. They’d (DC) never sacrifice sales of that magnitude, no matter how good it could be. After the Resurrection of Ra’s, the Demon’s Head, Morrison will explore the myth of the Batman. At least, in his mind he will.
What do you think?