1.) Yesterday DC’s Source blog revealed the cover for the second issue of Batman, Inc., the new ongoing series by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette (That’s a detail from it above). The image features Batman Bruce Wayne in his new, kinda lame costume standing side-by-side with a new character, who is also dressed in black and wearing a mask a bit like Batman’s (Needs ears! Everyone who works with Batman should have to wear little bat-ears!).
So who is that guy? I don’t know, but if the premise of the new title, as Morrison has expressed it in interviews so far, is for Batman to start franchising his crime-fighting operation, then that is apparently a new Batman-type character, along the lines of the Club of Heroes/Batmen of Many Lands character formulation.
I checked with my personal Japanese translator (i.e. my friend who happens to have been born in Japan), and she says the letters to the left are katakana, while those on the right are kanji. The writing in the left column says “Batman,” while the writing in the right column says “Mishu,” so presumably that is the new character’s name.
So is that dude the new Japanese Batman? (Maye, maybe not; kanji are based on Chinese characters, so I guess he could be Chinese…or maybe from a fictional DCU Asian country where they speak Chinese and Japanese).
But if that guy is the new Japanese Batman, does that mean that the Super Young Team’s Most Excellent Super-Bat (introduced in Morrison’s Final Crisis and fleshed out in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance!) won’t be Japan’s Batman? Or can Japan have more than one Batman, the way that America currently has 145 Flashes? (Give or take 140).
I hope it’s not one Batman per foreign country, because I was kinda hoping that if Morrison introduced a Japanese Batman into the title, he’d go with this one:
From Jiro Kuwata’s manga adaptations of 1960′s U.S. Batman comics, as seen in 2008′s controversial Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan.
I’ve been curious about which characters Batman would be working with in the new title—traditional friends and allies, the Club of Heroes, new characters—and now that I’ve seen that cover I’m even more curious. I wonder if Morrison will work in newer formulations of Club-style heroes, like The Hood, a British Batman-like character who appeared in a three-issue Batman: Shadow of the Bat arc from 1994 by Alan Grant and Brett Blevins (That was part of the KnightQuest: The Search storyline, in which a temporarily wheelchair-bound Bruce Wayne traveled the world looking for his kidnapped girlfriend while Azrael was filling in as Batman. The Hood did some of his crawling-around-on-rooftop work for him).
Or The Night-Dragon, from Dough Moench and Tony Wong’s 2003 original graphic novel Batman: Hong Kong, of which I remember fairly little other than thinking “Holy crap! Tony Wong’s Batman!” over and over as I read it.
Those are the only post-Crisis foreign Batmen types I can think of, although I’m sure there are more. Any of you got any rattling around your memory banks?
2.) I haven’t read any of Neal Adams’ new Batman: The Odyssey series yet, as I’m waiting for the trade (Sorry, Direct Market! I know that makes me Part Of The Problem, but your serials are getting too expensive and there’s not much money in comics-blogging!), but I am looking forward to doing so.
I’m looking forward to doing so even more now that I’ve seen this review of the second issue by Todd Klein, whose comics reviews I always appreciate for their conversational nature. Anyway, I was pretty taken aback by the above image. Man, I knew Adams’ Batman was a particularly hairy-chested Batman, but he looks positively furry there. No wonder Bruce Wayne chose a flying mammal for his animal totem instead of an owl or hawk or something.
I don’t have a great deal of experience with Spandex or tights of any kind. I wore some tights in high school when running cross country near the end of the season when temperatures plummeted particularly far, but that’s about the extent of it. In my very limited experience though, super-tight, form-fitting clothing and body hair didn’t mix all that well. So no wonder Batman always seems so angry and annoyed—he may just be the most uncomfortable superhero the world has ever known.
3.) I really, really liked a few of artist Frazier Irving’s panels in the latest issue of Batman and Robin. Particularly, the one above. Oh, and this one:
But other than that, I found the issue extremely disappointing in that it was good but not revolutionarily so (Morrison, perhaps unfairly, is always going to be held to the standard of his best work, and that guy has some really great best work).
Comics critic Sean T. Collins really, really liked the whole thing though, calling it “the best-drawn superhero comic of the year, and honestly one of the best-drawn comics of the year period,” and saying he liked it more than any single-issue Batman comic he’s ever read before.
That’s pretty high praise; high enough to make me think maybe I better go re-read it or make sure my glasses are clean or something. Because aside from the panels above and a few other similar Batman-hitting-guys panels, all I could think while reading was, Why isn’t Professor Pyg dancing more?!
Isn’t anyone else worried that the number one selling comic of August didn’t have Wolverine, Batman, Deadpool, or Thor on the cover; but friggin’ Deadman? I like Deadman, but that doesn’t seem like a good sign…
Oh my God! The number one comic of the month was Brightest Day #7, featuring Deadman holding a White Power Battery (They don’t really call ‘it that, do they?). The number two comics was Brightest Day #8, featuring Hawkgirl. A book with Batman on the cover, Batman #702, doesn’t show up until the #7 slot. Do you realize what this means?
Deadman is the new Batman!
Too bad DC is ready to launch two new Batman ongoing comics instead of two new Deadman ones…