I was re-reading Grant Morrison’s “Bulletteer” yesterday. His “Seven Soldiers” is a lot of fun for the most part. I wish more people had picked it up. In the latest issue were two advertisements for upcoming Batman stories. The copy of “Bulletteer” is upstairs, so I’ll have to paraphrase them for you.
One of the advertisements is for a mini-series called “Secrets”. The ad has a beautifully drawn Batman and Joker. You can see a preview here: http://comics.ign.com/articles/677/677819p1.html.
The other ad is for a mini-series called “Batman Year 100”. Wired magazine did an article about the artist and author: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.02/pope.html. I wish I could find an image of the ad, because that’s really what I’m going to rant about. The ad has a drawing of Batman and says “Gotham 2039. Fromt the shadows of a tortured city a forgotten champion rises again.”
First of all, let me say that as soon as I read a little bit about both of these, they both sounded interesting. The artwork looks fantastic (especially on “Secrets”). These people spent a lot of time making something they thought the public would want to buy and I wish them all the success in the world.
And now my rant…
I’m so sick of Batman. Haven’t we seen all these stories already? Several times, in fact. The only Batman stories I would find interesting at this point would be stories that get him to stop acting like a mopey, angry teenager. I came up with the following storylines.
- The Scarecrow finally figures out that he’s been going about this all wrong. Instead of trying to poison Batman with fear gas, he posions him with anti-depressants. Batman gets over the death of his parents, his obsessive/compulsive disorder clears up, and realizes that it’s a little silly to run around in a bat costume fighting crime. He takes up tennis instead. Eventually, he builds a resort town in Nevada.
- Gotham City goes through a real estate boom because it’s the most affordable city in the country – due to years of crime keeping real estate prices low. Eventually, Gotham City becomes a bastion of art, culture, and nightlife. It becomes so expensive, that the criminals have to move someplace more affordable – like New Mexico. Batman finds himself living in a city that doesn’t need him anymore. His attempts to bust up crime anger the now upper-class citizens of Gotham City. He spends his days dressing up as Batman and running around his own house pretending to solve crimes.
- Or how about something as simple as “Batman gets a steady girlfriend”. He’s had a few affairs, but for someone that keeps himself in such good shape, he clearly has pent up sexual frustration. In fact, I’m becoming very suspicious of super heroes that clearly don’t get much, if any, sex. The more I think about it, the more I like this one. The Gotham City villains conspire to get him married off. They discover Batman’s secret identity and somehow trick him into going on “8-minute dates”. Bruce Wayne meets someone and falls in love. Eventually, the Batman thing kind of falls to the side. He has kids. Twenty years later, at suburban cook-outs, he contantly tries to tell people about the good old days: “I was Batman! Did you know that? Yep, that was me. Still got the costumes somewhere. We had to turn the batcave into a nursery for the kids.”
I say all of this, but when the next Batman movie comes out (as long as it’s directed by Chris Nolan), I will be first in line and salivating. Who am I kidding? I’ll be the 1000th person in line behind all the people that buy anything that says “BATMAN” on it. The thing is, I still look forward to quality Batman stories. It’s possible that these two new Batman mini-series wll be amongst those great stories. My point is, maybe we can all think about something that’s not Batman? Maybe we can let the poor character take a break for a while? Maybe we can recognize that he’s severely decompensated for a single tragic event in his life?