Somebody alert Superman! Some nefarious mastermind is multiplying our superheroes. His devilish aims may not be clear, but clearly they’re devilish!
Well, actually, let’s slow down a minute. Over the last few years Hero systems like the Green Lantern (okay his was a bit of a restructuring), the Justice Society, and the Flash have seemingly exploded. There are multiples of many of the characters themselves and then side/derivative characters have also popped up in a manner almost fungal. To be fair, this is an equal opportunity phenomenon, Wolverine started his systematic crawl towards omnipresence by joining every team in the Marvel Universe, and then started having children. Ultimately, the question is not whether this is a healthy trend or not, it seems to be a natural part of the wax and wane that Superhero comics go through when it comes to this specific issue, but whether it’s justified and effective in the case of a specific character, in this case the Batman.
It is. This week three different comics blitzed the stores representing the new Bat-us quo. Batman: The Return sets up the whole new premise and closes the Batman’s previous macro-adventure. Bruce Wayne has seen the big picture and realized he needs to empower his symbol to have a greater global and local impulse. He’s aggressively pursuing a (still mysterious) multi-front plan to better the world. Batman Inc. has him traveling the world in order to recruit and train heroes to form his army. Batman 704 turns the focus to Gotham where Dick Grayson acts as the Batman’s first ensign once again. I enjoyed them all to different extents, but overall I think the project makes sense. The structure Morrison’s created allows for many Bat-units to exist within a Bat-army and it’s at least somewhat clear and sensible what role each character can play. There needs to be a structure like this in order for the multiple character thing not to feel derivative, and here it doesn’t. It seems complex and rewarding.
Tagged: batman · Batman 704 · Batman Inc · Batman: The return
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