Wednesday, May 11, 2011

“Not everyone is going to survive.”

Warning: Spoilers All Around, including Flashpoint and Batman Inc.

“Not everyone is going to survive.”

Or so Bruce Wayne decreed in the most recent issue of Batman Incorporated. That small fact has been known for about eight months now since Grant Morrison had his first interview about the new comic, but the question still remains: just who isn’t coming back for season three (other than Mr. Morrison)?

Let’s talk this out.

(I’m leaving out a majority of the Batman Inc. recruits. Nightrunner—Don’t see him dying. The Muslim Batman—he’s got to stay if for no other reason than the XS mix-up and the death of Ryan Choi. DC needs to keep as many minorities as they can. Same with Mr. Unknown and Cassandra Cain. And Knight and Squire—while I like them, I don’t feel any attachment to ‘em. Same with Mr. Unknown. I’m also leaving out Alfred, Gordon (Officer Down—redux?), and Barbara, all of whom aren’t as entrenched in Batman Inc. as the following candidates.)

Potential Victim: Bruce Wayne

If the ship’s going down, the captain usually goes with it. Bruce’s getting older (despite what a dip in the Lazarus Pit or a trip through time tries to prevent). However, I can’t believe DC would kill the original Bat off THREE times (R.I.P., Final Crisis, and now Flashpoint) in the past three years, and with B:TDK being the number four book last month—yeah, don’t see that happening.

Potential Victim: Jason Todd

There hasn’t been much talk about Jason in regards to Batman Incorporated. Not that I think Jason wouldn’t be a good fit for this team (maybe as leader of the Outsiders instead of Tim?), but the lack of talk has me thinking he’ll play some part in this event. Victim? Probably not. The most recent Internet buzz has been Jason as Wingman in search of redemption. For Jason to want redemption—which I’m not entirely convinced he does—something shocking would have to happen, even if it was a simple gesture made from Bruce. No matter what, it must have happened off-panel for Jason to be Wingman, and something that big should never be done off-panel. Furthermore, Jason isn’t like Damian, who has been written by not only Mr. Morrison, but also Mr. Daniel, Mr. Tomsai, and even Mr. Robinson in JLA. Jason’s been written primarily by Mr. Winick (not by his choice—Mr. Winick likes to see other author’s take on the character), but still…for something this big? Can’t see Winick NOT involved somehow. Perhaps that’s the crux of B&R’s next arc. (Side note: At every comic con, someone ALWAYS asks what phone number he/she needs to call to get Jason killed again. Maybe editorial’s finally listening.)

Potential Victim: Dick Grayson

Dick’s already been saved from death’s clutches once. Now he headlines three books, plus shows up in JLA every month, and makes as many appearances in the DCU as Mickey Mouse in WDW. So I really can’t believe Dick’s time is up, especially after the outrage from fans and creators alike the first time. However, Mr. Morrison said his original idea was going to leave the Bat Family with the status quo circa 2008, but that was thrown out for Batman Inc. Judd Winick said in an interview with Newsarama last month that the reason Jason’s so pissed at Bruce is Jason believes that if it were Dick who had died, Bruce would have killed the Joker. (Ah, sibling rivalry.) * This could be a great set-up to test that theory. Risk factor: with that unknown connection between Dick and Jason (re: Long Shadows), add the new B&R arc, not to mention the recent “trust me” speech by Bruce—it’s something to ponder, but I still think it’s too obvious. We’re not supposed to see what’s coming, and readers see this.

Potential Victim: Damian Wayne

In an interview with Topless Robot, Grant Morrison wrote that Damian was originally supposed to die in Batman and Son. #That’s right. The buggar was not going to be here to annoy Grayson and you, but could Mr. Morrison now play out the storyline of “really bad kid…ends up as a good kid but dies tragically?” & “As if.”# As much I tried not to (I really did), I ended up liking this kid, and by the talk in the LCSs close to NYC, Damian’s grown on a lot of readers, too. Still, the facts are starting to pile up. Mr. Morrison says season two will be a real tragedy, and season two—Damian comes into the fold of Batman Inc. (%/^)Hmmm? Coincidence? And what about Batman: The Return? Kid brainwashed to kill papa. Foreshadowing? Could Leviathan brainwash Damian, but to kill whom?

Potential Victim: Stephanie Brown

The girl’s starting to work with Batman Inc. She even has her own car and a new hideout, but dying and coming back alive? She’s mastered that part, but does she have what it takes to do it twice? Chuck Dixon would probably have to come back to DC for her to return AGAIN, and you guys know a snowball has a better chance in Hell than that. Unless, of course, she stays dead this time…Still, not seeing it, even though her book ranked eightieth in circulation last month. She seems to have a loyal new following on the DC Boards, and with Cassie coming back into the mix, I wouldn’t doubt she’ll join Team Batgirl soon with her former BFF to boost numbers.

Potential Victim: Tim Drake

Every month, Tim’s book is solid. By the numbers—usually in the forties or fifties. It’s even beaten Superman once or twice. It beat the original numbers for Johnny Storm’s death in FF. By the artistic quality—Mr. Nicieza brings the awesomeness, and Mr. To “brings the sexy.” Still, would DC finally hand the original fanboy his pink slip? He’s now the leader of the Outsiders, leader of the Teen Titans, was the only person to know Bruce was alive, and now he’s taking up shop where Bruce’s parents died. Full circle somehow? Bruce loses his parent and a son in one place? [Disregarding issue 22] RR is my favorite of the Batbooks (It’s fun!), so I hate to say this:

Tim’s gonna go.

He’s lived through Identity Crisis, Final Crisis, Knightsfall, KnightsEnd, Contagion, Legacy, War Games, No Man’s Land—hell, a battle with so-called angels, but Dick’s being showcased. Damian’s headlining a book with Grayson. Steph and Jason have been there and done that. Let’s not forget, too, that Tim in RR #17 stated Batman Inc. was his idea. What better idea than to kill the person responsible for the team to begin with? Not to mention—Tim, now as leader of the Outsiders—could over-calculate. In Mr. Nicieza’s book, Tim’s been attempting to control situations and even people. Mr. Morrison said that this story will be like Othello, “a proper tragedy about watching someone and seeing things go wrong. It’s not going to be like people think it is, I hope, but that’s the plan.”% Could the person doing something wrong not be Bruce but Tim? Mr. Morrison brings the kid into the fold half way through season one. It gives Tim enough time to get situated in his role as leader of the Outsiders before another crisis hits.

Of course, Mr. Nicieza says he has enough material for three hundred issues of Red Robin, and Tim will be turning eighteen before issue fifty. I could be wrong, but [almost] no one sees this coming, perhaps least of all—Tim.

Devin Leigh Michaels
May 11, 2011

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        Oct. 2011. Techno Media. 11 May 2011.  (%)

Rogers, Vaneta. “Judd Winick puts his Red Hood Back on for Batman and Robin.” 08
         Apr. 2011. Techno Media. 11 May 2011. (*)

Truitt, Brian. “Batsuit up: The Dark Knight Goes ‘Incorporated.’” USA Today. 11 Dec 2011. Gannett Co.

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