I got the impression that it is a REAL WORLD myth cleverly worked into the issue's script - with varied success.
I can REALLY appreciate this if thats (seems obviously) the intention but on the other hand this is extremely detracting, with its inherent frustration, if you don't get the complete story (set of clues) in one package. Having to jump and find previous runs and varying companion issues makes it an unfair challenge to readers of limited time and resources. And footnoting is abysmal these days in comics. This will clearly be better to read in a collected version of TPB form. Unfortunately, my preference is the quickfix of a monthly serial and the frustration has led to a degree of boredom. Unfrortunately.
A website with good summary or annotated analysis from Day 1 of this plot might help me look forward to the next issue more.
So did Knight die or not? I couldnt tell. Morrison better not have killed one of the best characters in Inc.
"John Stewart. LAME! ...this guy having a ring is like giving the batmobile to a blind old woman with her left leg in a cast."
"Pym biting Blobs head off seems like something that would have happened when i was ten years old and playing with action figures."
"i always assumed that [the blob] had the same powers as his 616 counterpart because, if simply being a huge fat guy was enough to be considered a mutant then there sure are a lot of mutants in 'real life'. "
It's sad, but not too surprising. Also, I just noticed upon re-reading that the next issue is called "the Belly of the Whale," which (if I recall correctly) is what the heretic said he was born in. So I'm thinking we might get to find out who the Heretic is next issue.
Btw i wanted to say that the art wasnt as good as it used to be. And i will never be able to stomach Burnham's sketchy pencil work. It's as if he's using old pencils that cant draw clean lines.
And he's really trying to crease his way into becoming a new Quitely.
I think Lane just resumed his Bat role in the 666-verse, and that was who Damian killed, the Heretic is yet to be seen in that world. The devil that Lane-Bat referred to was Dr. Hurt. Bruce said the third Batman who destroyed Gotham was Damian, and in a way, it was, that is if I'm right about the Heretic being an aged Damian clone. Lane was just subterfuge to throw us all off, and Damian broke his neck.
Here we go.
The appearance of threes in Morrison's Batman, again. I will highlight key themes with asterisks.
Michael Lane was the original "Third Batman"(*). He was a police officer trained by Dr Hurt's experiment to become a new Batman, along with the first two. To give Lane that extra kick, his family was killed by satanists(*). Lane would be the first to wear the costume featuring the mouthguard, goggles, raised shoulder points, etc The satanic Batman. No doubt that Hurt, working with Talia, was responsible for those 'satanists' who killed his family. Making a better Batmobile.
Lane would disappear after RIP and resurface as Azrael for a bit(may be retconned, moving on).
The next person to wear a version of this costume would be Jason Todd in Battle for the Cowl. A color swap here and there and you have the Third Batman again. Note that Jason Todd's current existence is the fault of Talia Al Ghul(*) dipping him into the Lazarus Pit. Even though that is partly retcon due to the New 52, note that Jason even claimed that was the reason he came back from the dead way back in Batman and Robin(When he yelled at Dick for not bringing Bruce back in the same manner, leading into the Blackest Knight issue), so it looks like Morrison was already ignoring the "Superboy Prime Punch" years before the reboot removed it. He wanted to place emphasis on Talia's role in resurrecting Jason, alone.
Also in that regard, note that Jason is now suddenly back in Morrison's story. There's a reason for that. In Batman Incorporated #6, Dick Grayson also makes mention of dialogue Jason said while wearing that Third Batman costume "Batman is dead", which apparently still upsets Damian. Morrison wanted to confirm for us that Jason's stint as the third Batman in Battle for the Cowl is still canon, as it is important to this story.
In final regards to Battle for the Cowl, Jason was also the the FIRST to attempt to replace Bruce. Problem is, the third(*)(Dick Grayson) to appear actually took the mantle(Order: Jason, Tim, Dick). Following Dick, you have Bruce back as Batman, then Damian as Batman in the future. Damian is the third(*) person to wear the Bat costume after Dick took over.
So far, we have two "Third Batman" types who are sort of "evil" Batmans(Lane, Jason), then two examples of a third Batman being heroic(Dick, Damian).
Now this leads us to the future. The Heretic seems to be Talia's third(*) attempt at creating an evil Batman. The future satanic(*) Batman looks to be wearing a variation of the same costume we saw Lane and Jason wear. That is indeed the Heretic in the future, not Lane. Lane was the first, but he's gone. It's a mantle. Talia is trying to create her perfect anti-Batman, one who can match Bruce.
She started with a cop and recreated Bruce's origin in a sense. Tragic family loss. He didn't work. Then she took Bruce's own adopted son and tried to craft him into Batman, after involving herself in events that led to Bruce's 'death'. He didn't work. Thirdly, she will take his literal genetic son and raise him in tragedy and chaos, a world deprived of affection(We're getting into Pyg and Harlow themes with the Heretic right here) to create the perfect Anti-Batman. Damian is a wild card and a test subject for what needs to be done to make the Heretic work. She sees the guidance and affection Bruce gives to him, and literally deprives it from the Heretic. With each attempt, she basically started with a total stranger in a controlled situation, and ended up settling with a person of Batman's own DNA but none of his compassion.
Lane: Complete stranger in a controlled situation with great training. Meant to be a sort of memetic clone of Bruce Wayne pushed over the edge. Did not work out.
Jason: Adopted son of Bruce Wayne. Experienced great amounts of loss, and also had incredible training. Still did not work out because Jason still shares a lot of Bruce's personal values.
Heretic: Literal son of Bruce Wayne(And Talia). Incredible strength and training. Extremely powerful reflexes. Completely deprived of compassion and positive human interaction. The perfect outcome. All of Bruce's strength and abilities and none of his heart.
Talia realized the weak link was compassion. Family. The emotional weight of tragedy is a result of compassion. She wants a better Batman to suit her needs and remove everything Bruce Wayne loves.
So Lane, Jason, and Heretic are all "Third Batman"(*) types created by Talia and her influence. Dick and Damian are third Batmen, but in a positive way. Damian is not only the third Batman after Dick, but also the third(*) Robin after Dick.
Lots of thirds.
I used to think that Lane was the third Batman in the present and future, given long life by his pact with Hurt. I think the real story is that the mantle, just like Batman's, has been passed down and Talia finally created the demonic warrior she always wanted in him.
We are seeing the Third Good Batman, vs the Third Bad Batman and they're both children of Bruce and Talia. The dark brother and good brother, which is the same theme Morrison explored with Dr. Hurt/Thomas Wayne and Bruce Wayne. There's a point where the story actually says that.
So who created the better Damian? Bruce or Talia? It plays into marital separations where two parents argue about how to raise their children, sometimes pitting split siblings against each other. Just add a huge comic book spectacle to the whole thing.
The funny thing is that Talia's anger towards family and compassion is probably the result of her own father. And then Bruce. Utterly failed by the men in her life, combined with the fate of having to carry on her father's legacy, while he is more interested in just keeping himself alive and immortal, robbing Talia of her purpose in life as his heir. When it really comes down to it, what is her purpose? Her father is immortal and she just created him a clone organ bank to keep him alive forever. She created her new purpose: Leviathan. Bigger than her father's legacy and separate from it. Note that Damian is becoming like Bruce, but Heretic is a man removed from the elements that Ra's and Bruce share.
Something that belongs to her alone.
Last edited by DrSimonHurt; 01-04-2013 at 11:13 AM.
I hope we see Michael Lane again.
"I find myself in the service of lost boys struggling to be strong men." - Robin: Year One
It was unnecessarily complicated. The cosmic elements Morrison use are self-contained and tend to resolve the story. Jason's return from that wall punch was a footnote that didn't serve any long term story purposes.