I got a kind of feeling that the Batman creator's are somehow pushing too hard to serve the impression that Batman is the state of the art in comic's world story telling. I feel too much pushing hard for innovative twists and suprises in the storys and character development.
Batman dies. Batman is back. Batman is rebooted. Every sidekick was Batman once for a while (Catwoman next?), Batman creates an international franchise. Batman meets Thomas Wayne. Batman has a wired and cocky killer-son. Ancient rulers of the city attacking everything around them with an army of super assasins (for what? I did't get the motivation and the goals of the court of owl so far, to be honest), Batman gets darker and darker, the villains must become more innovative and crazier each issue.
Honestly, I think it's too much. Too much work on the legacy. Too much bet's on "Hey, we are so innovative. Because we do Batman!" Where are these straight "beat the hell out of bad boys" crime fighter storys? The good solid old vilians who are just bad and act with simple motives like greed or the simple fun to be bad?
I think with the boost in popularity during the last decade the creators feel the pressure of handling a cultural icon. They avoid very hard to be simple, maybe cheasy. But its an comic. It should be fun. Batman was fun for decades - even if he hunts crime and bad boys in a grim and dark way. Now he is complicated.
I realized it by reading a lot of Spider-Man lately. Spider-Man is very well written, entertaining and intelligent but he is delivering straight what makes him famous for decades: Fun, entertainment, popcorn story telling. Its an rich and colorful cosmos but it's not that complicated. No trying too hard for innovation or for reinventing the legacy every few issues. Spider-Man just delivers solid comic fun and is not trying to hard to be an icon that is able to meet higher standard in literature and modern art. That is something that has Batman lost on his way.
My favorit issue of Batman in the New52 is Dark Knight so far. I know that many people hate this issue but for myself I sense a special quality in this series: It's just Batman. It's straight. It's fun. It's not trying too hard. It delivers vilians, action and beat outs. It has some good old fun Batman spirit that I am missing in the main series.
I think the creators should take a closer look to the spirit of the fun and entertaining popcorn Batman of the 70s/80s and dont try to hard to make Batman the most advanced iconic comic book out there. I feel there is too much pressure on this character to be the front runner of innovation and legacy building in the comic industry and therefore this pressure creates a missing energy to be just simply entertaining.