As with Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern, I started Grant Morrison’s Batman run near its end. Because of the New 52, that worked. But it’s high time that I go back to the very beginning.
As it turns out, that’s a very good place to start.
Batman and the GCPD have put away all of Gotham’s super criminals. So Alfred convinces Bruce that it’s time to spend more time out of the cowl and cape and as a millionaire playboy. They gas up the private jet and head to London for a fundraiser. Then Talia al Ghul crashes the party and introduces her beloved to their son.
It’s not a spoiler if it’s in the title of the book.
If you’re used to Damian from more recent books, his first appearance might seem harsh. One of the things this sets up is a significant character arc for the future Robin. He may be an even bigger snot than normal here, but you still see shades of the scared, lonely kid we’ve seen behind the bravado. The other thing going on here, of course, is good old Grant Morrison weirdness. The book starts with gallows humor between Batman and Commissioner Gordon and the idea that Batman has fixed crime. It establishes the vein of Silver Age camp that characterizes Morrison’s whole run*.
Andy Kubert’s pencils and Jesse Delperdang’s inks give this arc of Batman a classic vibe that goes well with Morrison’s allusions to history. It’s clean and detailed; characters’ movement is fluid, and expression and physicality are clear—and often charming. Guy Major and Dave Stewart’s colors are brighter than a lot of Batman pages, but that serves the Silver Age callbacks and charm that the book trades in.
I know now how this run of Batman starts and ends now, and I can’t wait to read what comes between. It’s definitely worth checking out if you want bright, globe-trotting, fun Batman.
*From the fact that it is present here and was present in the end of his run, I assume it’s consistent. But we'll find out for sure together.
- Batman and Son (#655-658, 663-666)
- Batman and Son vs. the Black Glove (#655-658, 663-669, 672-675)
Writer: Grant Morrison | Penciller: Andy Kubert | Inker: Jesse Delperdang | Colorists: Guy Major, Dave Stewart | Letterers: Jared K. Fletcher, Rob Leigh, Nick J. Napolitano