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Grant Morrison's Batman run.

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Grant Morrison’s long run on Batman which started with Batman #655 ends tomorrow with Batman, Incorporated (Vol. 2) #13. I wanted to create a thread to mark the occasion and I think it shall make for an interesting topic.

 

I’ve previously mentioned a UK magazine here called Batman which prints recent Batman stories. Unfortunately I didn’t get it then called Batman Legends when it printed most of Morrison’s Batman run: Batman & Son-Batman, Incorporated (Vol. 1) #1. My Sister bought me an issue of Batman Legends during that time which printed Batman & Robin (Vol. 1) #1. You can imagine my big surprise when I found out Dick Grayson was Batman and the new Robin was Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian.

 

The past two years I read the books from Grant Morrison’s run (thanks to The Unholy Dragon and Brian Fowler for help with the reading order) which were available from my local library or bought for me as gifts. The only two I’d never read before were crucially the first two (Batman & Son and Batman: The Black Glove) so I asked my Sister for them as my birthday present this year. My Sister got the deluxe edition which collects the first two stories in one book. I read them for the first time and reread the other complete books. I’m up to Batman, Incorporated (Vol. 2) #9 which is printed with other Batman stories in Batman which I previously mentioned. I’m going to post my reviews of each book in this thread time allowing.

 

In Grant Morrison’s Batman run we’ve had: Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul having a son, Damian Wayne brought into continuity (is that the right word?)…a black sheep of the Wayne family as the big bad…an attack on Batman’s mind leading to Batman of Zur-En-Arrh…Damian as a future Batman…Batman thought dead but gets sent back in time…Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne becoming the new Batman and Robin and Bruce Wayne starting Batman, Incorporated. I might be forgetting something.

 

I know this run is divisive so it will be good to read the opinions of supporters and detractors. I’m in the former camp, for me it’s a great run and I’ll be sad it’s ending but know I have the ability to revisit it when the mood strikes me. I hope this final issue ends the run on a high. The previews for it suggest it will.

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It's easily going to stand as my favorite Batman anything ever.

 

Especially those 16 issues of Batman & Robin.  I never would have believed that anything could top Bruce/Stephanie and Dick/Tim for my favorite versions of Batman and Robin, but god damn is Dick/Damian the greatest ever version of the dynamic duo.  

 

I actually just finished re-reading the entire run too date a few days ago. 

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It's easily going to stand as my favorite Batman anything ever.

 

Especially those 16 issues of Batman & Robin.  I never would have believed that anything could top Bruce/Stephanie and Dick/Tim for my favorite versions of Batman and Robin, but god damn is Dick/Damian the greatest ever version of the dynamic duo.  

 

I actually just finished re-reading the entire run too date a few days ago. 

 

It's my favourite Batman comics run as well. I agree with you that the highlight of the run was Batman and Robin #1-16. That alone would be one of the best comic book runs of all time but it's part of the best I've ever read. I started reading the run the order it's intended for the first time in March on my birthday thanks to my Sister. I just need Batman to print the remaining issues from Batman, Incorporated (Vol. 2). Be cool to see your reviews Brian.

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I only read the first 12 to 18 months of the run and that was more than enough. I only kept reading it for that long, because people kept talking about how great it was.

But at one point I just wasn't willing to pay any more money for something that I just didn't like one bit.

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I want to be told a story, and much of the Batman stuff I checked out as well as Final Crisis require the reader to basically fill in the story so Morrison can squeeze in a bunch of cool stuff. Morrison seems to come across as a writer like he is above the material - he's telling his masterpiece with these stupid little superheroes, and why should he have to play in anyone else's sandbox, etc. The direction Morrison and Johns were taking essentially chased me away from DC well before the Reboot.

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I didn't read this run, but what are they doing with Dick Grayson now? I'm curious.

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No direct ties to Gothic, but there were definite thematic ties to that, Arkham, and JLA.I'm with Fowler in saying Morrison's Batman run is my favourite ever. Especially if you include the earlier stuff I mentioned above (and the stuff in 52 that led in/Final Crisis), it's just top to bottom full of wonderful ideas and big fun superhero stuff. I love it without reservations.

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I don't think there is a writer in comics today who is less "above superheroes" than Grant Morrison.  He loves superheroes.  He loves every single absurd and ridiculous thing about superheroes. 

 

Dick is back to being Nightwing.  I read some of his book, but I think somewhere he lost the wise-cracking, hopeful vibe that I love about the character.  He's also been in Batman Inc. a bit.

 

The New 52 did derail Morrison's run just a bit.  I kind of wish they had just left this last stretch in some weird, out of continuity place so that characters didn't randomly disappear (Steph, Cass), completely change (Babs, although I don't think she has shown up in the New 52 Batman Inc at all) or suddenly stopped being Batman with no explanation (Dick.)

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I am grateful he's finally moving on and leaving Batman alone. Hopefully forever. I don't want to get into a long, slogging debate about it and I recognize that Batman needed a break from more street-noir tales but I miss the good old days of Alan Grant, Doug Moench, Mike Barr, and Greg Rucka.

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god damn is Dick/Damian the greatest ever version of the dynamic duo.  

so much this. i know it was always meant as a short term deal, but MAN did we get suckered out of the best thing they could've possibly done with the franchise.

Or maybe it's because i'm a Grayson fanboy.

 

I didn't read this run, but what are they doing with Dick Grayson now? I'm curious.

as Fowler said, he's back to being Nightwing. the series started off a bit slow, but has become very good since Dick moved to Chicago (#19). Can't wait for the Annual in October to see the next direction for him.

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I maintain the New 52 line-up should have had Nightwing & Robin, Black Bat & Red Robin, and Batman & Spoiler books.

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god damn is Dick/Damian the greatest ever version of the dynamic duo.  

so much this. i know it was always meant as a short term deal, but MAN did we get suckered out of the best thing they could've possibly done with the franchise.

Or maybe it's because i'm a Grayson fanboy.

 

I didn't read this run, but what are they doing with Dick Grayson now? I'm curious.

as Fowler said, he's back to being Nightwing. the series started off a bit slow, but has become very good since Dick moved to Chicago (#19). Can't wait for the Annual in October to see the next direction for him.

 

 

Yeah, I'm a Grayson fan too. I don't usually read the books until I hear something interesting is going on and they put the arc in graphic novel/trade form.  I definitely wish they kept him under the Batman mask longer.

 

Thanks for the information.

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Like others have said before me, Dick-Bats and Damian Robin was great while it lasted and it should have had more time. This reminds me about Batman, Incorporated (Vol. 2) #8 which I've put in spoiler tags for size and the contents of the issue:

 

Posted Image

 

 

 

Posted Image

 

Damn right.

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Yeah, that whole sequence was just perfect and beautiful.

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Guessing the reaction was something when Grant Morrison introduced Damian Wayne to continuity? I liked him after reading my first issue with him in it, Batman and Robin (Vol. 1) #1 and in the Morrison Batman books after that. A brooding smart arse. It was something reading Batman & Son seeing where Damian Wayne began having previously read the developments he makes.

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Guessing the reaction was something when Grant Morrison introduced Damian Wayne to continuity? I liked him after reading my first issue with him in it, Batman and Robin (Vol. 1) #1 and in the Morrison Batman books after that. A brooding smart arse. It was something reading Batman & Son seeing where Damian Wayne began having previously read the developments he makes.

 

Damian was pretty much universally hated (at least on the forums i visited). when Bruce "died", there were unanimous votes of people who wanted to see it revealed that Damian wasn't really his son and that he just go away forever.

 

fast forward a couple years, and these very same forums and fans preach about how DC "never should have killed Damian", "he's the best character they've had in years", and so on and so forth. I think i've gotten just about as much fun from seeing the complete 180 in the opinions as i have from reading the books themselves.

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It really happened in those firs three issues of Batman & Robin.  Everyone fell in love with him right there.

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Solid enough ending, although not one of the strongest issues.  Spoilers for #13 below.

 

I did see the Kathy Kane reveal coming a few months ago, but it was still a fairly nice moment.  Well done in that it did effectively end the story started in Batman & Son, but left plenty of room for other writers to build from.  Somewhat surprised how definitively they appear to have killed Talia.

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I did see REDACTED coming a few months ago

 

And if we had access to the old board, you could link to a post where you called it.

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I fucking hated Damian. We've already got one Jason Todd, why did we need another? He's SUCH a whiny little bitch, so arrogant, so narcissistic, so vicious, so impossible to control that I didn't believe Bruce and Dick would put up with him.

And count me in as another one who doesn't like Morrison's general outlook on this universe. I don't even get the point with half of his stories, I have no idea what he's trying to say or what point he's trying to get across. I've never bought that Batman belongs in universe-travelling stories where he's fighting cosmic badasses across space and time. Normal humans shouldn't be able to even get close to beasts like Darkseid who can rip their heads off without even trying. Keep Batman where he belongs, fighting mobsters and lunatics in alleyways.

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I did see REDACTED coming a few months ago

 

And if we had access to the old board, you could link to a post where you called it.

 

 

Hell, the board was probably down when I realized it.

 

And, man, this Morrison hate makes me sad.  I would absolutely listen to an argument that he's the greatest comic writer of all-time.

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Morrison's run is probably my second favorite run after Gene Colan's. Hell I started off HATING it but then as I re-read the whole thing in trades and saw how much of it fit together something in my brain unlocked. In fact that might be the only thing I hate about the run, it is utterly frustrating to read individual issues. For me to truly appreciate the run, every arc needs to be read as a collection to get the flow of one continuous story. I mean I originally HATED Batman RIP when I first read it. Then I read everything before it in collected form with RIP in collected form and suddenly my brain said "wait, how could we hate this?".

 

Probably the best analogy I have is that, when I start doing a 1000 piece puzzle it pisses me off, but the more I complete of the puzzle the more I appreciate the challenge and in the end, the sense of accompishment.

 

James 

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What I saw of Morrison's Batman run was good, but not as good as All-Star Superman.

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Is the Black Mirror arc good?  Not Morrison, but it has Grayson under the Batman mask.

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