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Old April 23rd, 2013   Matches is offline   #1
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Default Batman & Not Robin - spoilers

Curious what folks think about the Batman + Rotating Guest Star arc beginning in issue #19 of this series.

The thing that stands out to me is that there's really no way to conceive of Batman as the hero of this piece. In any other context, he'd be the villain of the events depicted in #19. He friggin' kidnaps Frankenstein and cuts him open!

I'm trying to separate my personal biases from the work itself. I think it's valid to tell a story about Batman where he isn't heroic or even where he's the bad guy. It's something I have a knee-jerk reaction to because I'm a Batman nut, but it's still valid. On the other hand, it's being done in service of a character arc that I find is being played almost hilariously broadly.

Basically I just have mixed feelings and am wondering what others think. How much bad behavior from Batman are we willing to rationalize given the loss of his son?
 
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Old April 23rd, 2013   Mark MacMillan is offline   #2
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Interesting. I've always liked Batman in his own books more than his interaction with other heroes in the larger scope of the DCU for some time now.

The incomparable Bat-douche of the DCU thing kind of got old for me some time during Morrison's run on JLA, personally.

It was cool a long time ago (the rift between him and Dick, and Bats saying screw you to the JLoA and the U.N. and starting B&TO before CoIE, then after CoIE, the Frank Miller stuff, the "one punch", his reaction to Jason's death in A Death in the Family/Batman: Y3/A Lonely Place of Dying, Batman's early guest appearances in the Superbooks after the Byrne revamp, etc,) but now it's been overdone to the point of cliche, IMO.

There has to be some sort of "happy medium" when it comes to that established part of his characterization, IMO, because writers tend to like taking Bats into Ozymandias territory for some reason.
 
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Old April 23rd, 2013   Bizarro #98 is offline   #3
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If they don't do a "Batman & Bat-Mite" issue in this arc, then it will have been a wasted opportunity.
 
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Old April 23rd, 2013   mego joe is offline   #4
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If they don't do a "Batman & Bat-Mite" issue in this arc, then it will have been a wasted opportunity.
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Agreed!
 
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Old April 23rd, 2013   mego joe is offline   #5
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Interesting. I've always liked Batman in his own books more than his interaction with other heroes in the larger scope of the DCU for some time now.

The incomparable Bat-douche of the DCU thing kind of got old for me some time during Morrison's run on JLA, personally.

It was cool a long time ago (the rift between him and Dick, and Bats saying screw you to the JLoA and the U.N. and starting B&TO before CoIE, then after CoIE, the Frank Miller stuff, the "one punch", his reaction to Jason's death in A Death in the Family/Batman: Y3/A Lonely Place of Dying, Batman's early guest appearances in the Superbooks after the Byrne revamp, etc,) but now it's been overdone to the point of cliche, IMO.

There has to be some sort of "happy medium" when it comes to that established part of his characterization, IMO, because writers tend to like taking Bats into Ozymandias territory for some reason.
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There's nothing like the fun of the old Brave and the Bold though...
 
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Old April 23rd, 2013   superfriend is offline   #6
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i tend toward the quirkier takes anymore. just can't take a straight-up approach to Batman. sick of the character like Wolverine. and it's been that way for awhile for me.

honestly, something like Morrison's take was about the only thing that could've gotten me reading Batman. he infused a sufficiently unconventional approach with an inclusivist's devotion to Bathistory. ambitious. entertaining. and in the end something kind've novel. probably not sustainable once he left...but then what of Morrison's has been to any satisfying degree?

i sought out this issue to read because i'd heard about the whole Batman trying to resurrect his son with Frankenstein's help. and while on paper it sounded just crazy enough to work there was just too much attempt at pathos. and my heart is cold and dead as far as crying along with superheroes anymore.

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Old April 25th, 2013   Matches is offline   #7
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I have a near-endless tolerance for more conventional Batman stories, and I can even accept the Bat-dick characterization in small doses.

To me B&R #19 went a step beyond though. Even when Batman's at his dickiest, he's usually still the good guy. Maybe not an altogether likable good guy, but his heart clearly is in the right place at least. B&R #19 - he's not the good guy. Batman's the villain of the piece; there's just no getting around it.

Contrast with Batman Inc. #10, where Batman also takes what could be characterized as extreme measures, but remains the protagonist throughout.
 
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Old April 25th, 2013   HushedRuin is offline   #8
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I see the criticisms of it all.

However, in Morrison's run (particularly, "R.I.P."), Bruce was characterized as having PTSD and using Batman as way to cope with seeing his parents die before his young eyes (or something like that; it's been awhile).

So when an adult Bruce loses a family member... well, it seems to me that things are going to take a turn into a very dark place.

I understand the want for lighter Bat-ventures, but if this is the angle they're going with, then I totally get things being hella grim. Hopefully after this, we go a little bit lighter though.
 
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Old April 26th, 2013   Matches is offline   #9
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I see the criticisms of it all.

However, in Morrison's run (particularly, "R.I.P."), Bruce was characterized as having PTSD and using Batman as way to cope with seeing his parents die before his young eyes (or something like that; it's been awhile).

So when an adult Bruce loses a family member... well, it seems to me that things are going to take a turn into a very dark place.
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See, I feel it's the opposite. Morrison put forth the idea that Batman has an almost supernatural ability to process grief and stress. Remember the Final Crisis issues where they were trying to clone him and the clones kept falling apart because they couldn't handle the weight of his memories? Batman would be the guy who wouldn't get PTSD even when any other rational person would.

But as superfriend noted upthread, a lot of Morrison's stuff isn't replicable, so I don't necessarily mind if they want to take it in a "oh he's lost his son he's going to pieces" direction; I just think having him become an out-and-out villain strains the limits of that approach. He went to a dark place after Jason Todd died, too, but never anything as extreme as the events of B&R #19.
 
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Old April 26th, 2013   mego joe is offline   #10
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See, I feel it's the opposite. Morrison put forth the idea that Batman has an almost supernatural ability to process grief and stress. Remember the Final Crisis issues where they were trying to clone him and the clones kept falling apart because they couldn't handle the weight of his memories? Batman would be the guy who wouldn't get PTSD even when any other rational person would.

But as superfriend noted upthread, a lot of Morrison's stuff isn't replicable, so I don't necessarily mind if they want to take it in a "oh he's lost his son he's going to pieces" direction; I just think having him become an out-and-out villain strains the limits of that approach. He went to a dark place after Jason Todd died, too, but never anything as extreme as the events of B&R #19.
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...these are the kinds of stories I didn't want to read in the wake of Damien's death. And why killing him was a bad idea.
 
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Old April 26th, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #11
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Morrison put forth the idea that Batman has an almost supernatural ability to process grief and stress. Remember the Final Crisis issues where they were trying to clone him and the clones kept falling apart because they couldn't handle the weight of his memories? Batman would be the guy who wouldn't get PTSD even when any other rational person would.
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That's because Morrison actually gets the character. Batman's not psychologically fragile or even remotely crazy. Kinda like the Joker. They both know exactly what they're doing.

John Byrne gets it, too: He mentioned that early on in his time at DC lots of writers would talk about how Batman HAD to be crazy to do what he does, and Byrne would respond, "No, YOU would have to be crazy to do what he does."
 
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Old April 29th, 2013   anthony_lynch15 is offline   #12
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That's because Morrison actually gets the character. Batman's not psychologically fragile or even remotely crazy. Kinda like the Joker. They both know exactly what they're doing.

John Byrne gets it, too: He mentioned that early on in his time at DC lots of writers would talk about how Batman HAD to be crazy to do what he does, and Byrne would respond, "No, YOU would have to be crazy to do what he does."
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He's a little bit crazy.
 
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Old April 29th, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #13
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He's a little bit crazy.
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Byrne? Probably...
 
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Old May 1st, 2013   anthony_lynch15 is offline   #14
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Byrne? Probably...
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LOL
 
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