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  1. #196
    Senior Member csis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desaad View Post
    I don't think any fan of Morrison's would argue that every thing we find and point out and every connection we make is intentional; I do think he puts a lot into his work, most of what I 'interpret' I believe was put there intentionally to some extent, but some of it (especially when we're dissecting things like the relevance of numbers, or the Hamlet/belly/coffin from above) I do admit is likely happy coincidence. However these kinds of inadvertent complexities and connections come precisely because Morrison - knowingly, IMHO - utilizes symbolism and mythology pregnant with myriad meanings across cultures.

    This issue was brilliant, by the way. Just flawlessly executed on every technical level, emotionally devastating and right on target. This is probably the 'simplest' run Morrison has done on Batman since the very early stuff, in terms of reference and connection, but I am loving it for what it is.
    Well said. It's of course true that when you try to make connections with these works that you'll occasionally find yourself grasping at straws, but that's true with anything. I'm sure I've written many essays for english courses where I argued for various interpretations of books that I'm sure the authors never intended. It's a wonderful thing about fiction that an author will write the story with the subtext they intend, but there will also be a subtext that arises naturally and probably subconsciously as the story develops. I'm not sure how many of the connections and themes we find in Morrison's work are intentional and how many arise organically, but I think it's certainly true that he writes densely and with a lot of thought, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it is intentional.

    By the way, Desaad, I hope that some day soon you resume your annotations of Morrison's Batman, as I found them very illuminating.

  2. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desaad View Post
    I don't think any fan of Morrison's would argue that every thing we find and point out and every connection we make is intentional; I do think he puts a lot into his work, most of what I 'interpret' I believe was put there intentionally to some extent, but some of it (especially when we're dissecting things like the relevance of numbers, or the Hamlet/belly/coffin from above) I do admit is likely happy coincidence. However these kinds of inadvertent complexities and connections come precisely because Morrison - knowingly, IMHO - utilizes symbolism and mythology pregnant with myriad meanings across cultures.

    This issue was brilliant, by the way. Just flawlessly executed on every technical level, emotionally devastating and right on target. This is probably the 'simplest' run Morrison has done on Batman since the very early stuff, in terms of reference and connection, but I am loving it for what it is.
    Exactly this.

    There's also the fact that there are a lot less "mythological symbols" than people think and most of them are interrelated, even across cultures. And while it might sound contradictory, anything can have symbolic significance, in its relation to its context. I guess a better way of putting it would be: there are fewer concrete signs than people think, but any signifier has its signified (so anything, contextually, can be made to suggest anything else). That's why at best we can only make predictions. Symbolism is endless play. Only the context of Morrison's work can give us more refined insight (and since it's still an ongoing work, at this point, it's all malleable).

    Read the classics, read Joseph Campbell, and read whatever your favorite creator says s/he's reading.

    Morrison's described his Batman as being "interactive" and this is exactly how.

    Remember when people were posting about "RIP" and the way Morrison shows characters eating (there was an entire theory based around the fact that Bruce doesn't eat). Now remember Batman Inc #0, where Bruce outright says to Alfred, "In all these years of making food for me, I don't think I've ever seen you eat" (paraphrasing). I'm almost positive Morrison wasn't actually playing with the food/eating theme back when people first pointed it out. But he sure as hell read some of the theories and found a way to incorporate.

    Again, the beauty of serial narrative + a self-aware, purposely mythologizing creator.
    Last edited by Quinnhop; 01-05-2013 at 11:30 AM.

  3. #198
    Senior Member AJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinnhop View Post
    Exactly this.

    There's also the fact that there are a lot less "mythological symbols" than people think and most of them are interrelated, even across cultures. And while it might sound contradictory, anything can have symbolic significance, in its relation to its context. I guess a better way of putting it would be: there are fewer concrete signs than people think, but any signifier has its signified (so anything, contextually, can be made to suggest anything else). That's why at best we can only make predictions. Symbolism is endless play. Only the context of Morrison's work can give us more refined insight (and since it's still an ongoing work, at this point, it's all malleable).

    Read the classics, read Joseph Campbell, and read whatever your favorite creator says s/he's reading.

    Morrison's described his Batman as being "interactive" and this is exactly how.

    Remember when people were posting about "RIP" and the way Morrison shows characters eating (there was an entire theory based around the fact that Bruce doesn't eat). Now remember Batman Inc #0, where Bruce outright says to Alfred, "In all these years of making food for me, I don't think I've ever seen you eat" (paraphrasing). I'm almost positive Morrison wasn't actually playing with the food/eating theme back when people first pointed it out. But he sure as hell read some of the theories and found a way to incorporate.

    Again, the beauty of serial narrative + a self-aware, purposely mythologizing creator.
    I in no way mean to derail the thread or point an accusatory finger at any particular writer, but is there any other Batbook – or even any current, mainstream superhero book – that can even hope to be discussed in terms like these? Seriously, it's an entirely different level from just about all of the Big Two's books, and even most novels in the current bestsellers lists, and sometimes i'm suddenly reminded of how incredible this Batman run's been. I think Multiversity might be Morrison's final superhero blockbuster, and i'm really looking forward to it.

    I've voiced my reservations about the present series, of course, but that doesn't mean it isn't leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in terms of craft.

    Absolute Batman And Robin comes out next week – i think i just talked myself into buying it!

  4. #199
    Senior Member Choppa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSimonHurt View Post
    Actually, in this issue Talia confirmed that Damian really has nothing to do with it. It's the "Third Batman" that does it, so Bruce can't really change it.

    I just think the ultimatum is trivial to the #666 figure. Bruce has to hand over Damian or Talia herself will take out the city right now, in the present.
    Would she though? It seems like Leviathan is slowly being taken out and Bruce may have the upper hand. Plus I get the impression that Talia doesn't care so much about destroying Gotham as she does about hurting Bruce. Taking Damian back and destroying Gotham are just means to that end, so either one would satisfy her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nosed View Post

    That makes it sound like Damien thinks its Lane. If it was really a clone of himself, wouldn't he know? I really hope someone smarter than me can come up with a good explanation because other than that one line the theory is perfect.
    I'm not sure why Damian would just because he might be a clone. If a masked clone of yourself was out robbing banks you wouldn't know it was him.
    "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'. "

  5. #200
    Senior Member Choppa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desaad View Post
    I don't think any fan of Morrison's would argue that every thing we find and point out and every connection we make is intentional; I do think he puts a lot into his work, most of what I 'interpret' I believe was put there intentionally to some extent, but some of it (especially when we're dissecting things like the relevance of numbers, or the Hamlet/belly/coffin from above) I do admit is likely happy coincidence. However these kinds of inadvertent complexities and connections come precisely because Morrison - knowingly, IMHO - utilizes symbolism and mythology pregnant with myriad meanings across cultures.

    This issue was brilliant, by the way. Just flawlessly executed on every technical level, emotionally devastating and right on target. This is probably the 'simplest' run Morrison has done on Batman since the very early stuff, in terms of reference and connection, but I am loving it for what it is.
    I think the references and connections to mythology and numbers are certainly intentional. But connections made by referencing other comics probably isn't. Like someone earlier said that the three iterations of Batman with the mouth plate and guns was intentional, but I don't buy it. It would involve way too much planning and foresight.
    "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'. "

  6. #201

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    Quote Originally Posted by csis View Post
    Well said. It's of course true that when you try to make connections with these works that you'll occasionally find yourself grasping at straws, but that's true with anything. I'm sure I've written many essays for english courses where I argued for various interpretations of books that I'm sure the authors never intended. It's a wonderful thing about fiction that an author will write the story with the subtext they intend, but there will also be a subtext that arises naturally and probably subconsciously as the story develops. I'm not sure how many of the connections and themes we find in Morrison's work are intentional and how many arise organically, but I think it's certainly true that he writes densely and with a lot of thought, so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it is intentional.

    By the way, Desaad, I hope that some day soon you resume your annotations of Morrison's Batman, as I found them very illuminating.
    Thanks, brotha! I've actually got the next three done but then got derailed with some personal creative projects, and school, and a social life. I want to get through most of the rest of them before I start posting them again, and I'll have some free time starting very soon!
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  7. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJM View Post
    I in no way mean to derail the thread or point an accusatory finger at any particular writer, but is there any other Batbook – or even any current, mainstream superhero book – that can even hope to be discussed in terms like these? Seriously, it's an entirely different level from just about all of the Big Two's books, and even most novels in the current bestsellers lists, and sometimes i'm suddenly reminded of how incredible this Batman run's been. I think Multiversity might be Morrison's final superhero blockbuster, and i'm really looking forward to it.

    I've voiced my reservations about the present series, of course, but that doesn't mean it isn't leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in terms of craft.

    Absolute Batman And Robin comes out next week – i think i just talked myself into buying it!
    Not to put too fine a point on it; but yes, I'd agree.

    Even looking at what are generally considered Morrison's peers -- hell, even looking at much of Morrison's other mainstream work -- there aren't any narratives currently working at this level of not just plot but allegorical and subtextual complexity, and there hasn't been much of anything (again, in the mainstream) period. Morrison's Doom Patrol is the only superhero book that supercedes it on that level, as far as I can remember off hand.

    In terms of craft, obviously there are more historically and indeed even some currently that are as well done (Gillen's Journey Into Mystery comes to mind), and arguably better done. But for sheer number of layers, for building bridges between the reader and the narrative, for reference and RELEVANCE, I'd say this is one of the all time great runs in superhero comics.

    I'm very much looking forward to reading the whole thing in hindsight.
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  8. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choppa View Post
    I think the references and connections to mythology and numbers are certainly intentional. But connections made by referencing other comics probably isn't. Like someone earlier said that the three iterations of Batman with the mouth plate and guns was intentional, but I don't buy it. It would involve way too much planning and foresight.
    It's a case by case basis, of course. I'd almost certainly argue that those three iterations of Batman were very intentionally created.

    But looking at numbers, while I believe he'll include certain numbers because he knows of certain significances, I also don't believe that he's considering each and every resonance that the use of such a symbol potentiates. Use the right mythology or magic system and you can get numbers and colors to mean all kinds of things, and I can get them to support a number of pre-formed conclusions, reinforce a number of interpretations I've drawn due to other, more overt factors, that I very much doubt Morrison meant to play with.

    Obviously in the case of somethign like "Seven Soldiers", he picked the number Seven very deliberately, but I very much doubt that researched every significant use of the number seven across all religions, fairytales, fables, and philosophies. I'm sure he had certain reasons in mind for choosing the number, but above all was that it was a very prevalent, significant number across many cultures, and thus invites interpretation and interaction from the readership. Ditto something like his use of the Apple in the climax to that story -- he certainly understood the relevance of the apple in mythology and fairy tale, it's association with knowledge and falling (both via Newton and via Adam/Eve), but I very much doubt he considered that Alan Turing killed himself by eating a poisoned apple (just an example -- I don't know what he does or does not know). And yet that gives us more fodder for the analytical war we wage against ourselves, each other, and the text. You'll constantly see resonances between the works of various authors who might be completely unaware of each other, and that's because there are certain universal thought structures, at least universal in the human sense, that inform and play into everything we create.

    It's the keen artist who understands that and utilizes it, rather than fights it. Originality as most seem to define it is a pipe dream. It's all interpretation and personalization. As long as our artists are coming at it from an honest place -- using gorgeous lies to tell the truth -- I'm happy.

    Wow, I digressed.
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  9. #204
    luchador número UNO ElMacho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choppa View Post
    I will just leave with this:

    Michael Lane is not the Heretic, Lane is African American, a former cop, tortured, molded and "made" by Hurt to become on of his replacement Batmen, before going on to become the new Azrael, Talia says explicitly (after mentioning the other "ghosts" from Bruce's nightmare) that she made the Heretic. The Heretic is not dark skinned (look at his hands), he's physically much bigger than Lane and his speech bubbles are written in a different font style. I still think that the Heretic is Damian's meta-gene enhanced, bio-engineered younger "brother".


    How does Talia know about Bruce's nightmare from Batman and Son?, thanks to Inc vol.2 #2 we know that Leviathan was in the works before the events of Batman and Son, perhaps she has been monitoring Bruce since the beginning of the run, listening in on his conversation about his nightmare with Alfred and Tim, and/or her mole on the inside is very close to Bruce...

    She knows about Damian being the Batman who destroys Gotham in Bruce's vision of the future thanks to eavesdropping on Bruce's conversation with Damian last issue over his bugged comms. The Heretic seems to have been bred to be Talia's own personal Batman/meta-human bodyguard, and she probably intends for him to be the Batman who destroys Gotham, but she hasn't bonded with a bio-organic archivist from the vanishing point and seen the future like Bruce has, the Batman from #666 who inadvertently dooms Gotham is an older Damian Wayne beyond any doubt. If what Talia says about the Heretic and Damian in this issue is true, I would be inclined to think that she is not aware of Dr.Hurt's/Darkseid's intentions for Damian.

    I like the way the 10 stages of enlightenment also seem to act as trials for Bruce as he climbs the building in this issue, #2: follow the breadcrumbs, #3: observation (as in observe the armed agents above you or die), #4: a test of touch (touch the hidden panel to open the door), #5: obedience (drink the tea or succumb to the gas), #6: ride the goat home (or in this case your grappling hook line back into the building), #7: stillness (Talia brings Bruce to a standstill with a few "insights" into her overarching schemes), disciplines whip is idle (no deathtrap to avoid here), #8: emptiness ("Talia" ends up being nothing more than a dummy, an empty shell), #9: reaching the source (the upper levels, the source of the rope, the upper levels where his fallen comrades lie, the reason Bruce is here in the first place.....from under a collapsed ceiling of course), #10: the return to society.
    Last edited by ElMacho; 01-05-2013 at 03:27 PM.

  10. #205
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    Bruce's nightmares of the future were not from Vanishing point, they were during the Three Ghosts of Batman story. That was back when Bruce and Talia still maintained a cordial relationship and would speak to each other at times. It's possibly he shared it with her.

    He definitely shared it with Jezebel Jet, who could have shared it with Dr. Hurt and Talia.

    I do find it odd that Talia took such personal revenge on Jezebel Jet, who was just working for her the whole time anyhow.

  11. #206
    luchador número UNO ElMacho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSimonHurt View Post
    Bruce's nightmares of the future were not from Vanishing point, they were during the Three Ghosts of Batman story. That was back when Bruce and Talia still maintained a cordial relationship and would speak to each other at times. It's possibly he shared it with her.

    He definitely shared it with Jezebel Jet, who could have shared it with Dr. Hurt and Talia.

    I do find it odd that Talia took such personal revenge on Jezebel Jet, who was just working for her the whole time anyhow.
    Ya, like I said earlier, the nightmare in question happened during the Batman and Son arc, issue #665 to be exact, Bruce's "vision" at the vanishing point happened a good bit later during ROBW.

    I wouldn't describe Bruce and Talia's relationship at the time (of #665) as cordial, she (succesfully) attacked Bruce with her man-bats in London, told him of her intentions to hold the world hostage to a new kind of terror, and declared war between the two of them at Gibraltar, all before #665, and even before those actions, we know thanks to Inc vol.2#2, that Talia was working on Leviathan, infiltrated the Black Glove, and had been working with Otto Netz for years before Bruce ever even met Damian.

    As for Jezebel Jet, we were never told at any point that Jet worked for or even knew of Leviathan. I think that Talia genuinely hated Jet (who had moved in to replace her as the object of Bruce's affections), and if I had to guess I would say that Jet never knew about Leviathan. If Bruce told Jet about his nightmare, that information would have made its way to the Black Glove and back to Talia through general Malenkov, however....

    Bruce says towards the end of R.I.P that he had been pretending to be in love with Jet for some time ("thank Alfred for the acting lessons"), and more importantly that he knew Jet was part of the Black Glove's trap when she told him "I want you to know, I understand.", which was back in issue #664. Even knowing all this, Bruce did let Jet in on the fact that he's Batman after #664 (although the Black Glove already knew that anyway) and it is a possibility that he might have told her about his nightmare, not a certainty, though.

  12. #207
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    Morrison also treats Batman's visions of the future as an event Bruce has experienced many times in the past, starting when he fell into the well. This is shown in #0.

    The initial cave fall, The experiments from Dr. Hurt, the Thogal ritual, the cave he ended up in after Final Crisis, and Vanishing Point. The vision has been felt his entire life and only became more clear as he aged.

    So I think it's still implied that he told Talia at some point. Also, his relationship with Talia has always been one of fear and fascination. Even though she attacked him with Man-Bats, they still trusted her enough to admit her into the batcave and let her take Damian back home to repair his damaged spine. Alfred also seems comfortable sharing details with her.

    This was before they all found out about Leviathan.

    And in the end, I think the vision of Robin dying way back during the "Robin Dies at Dawn" story was Bruce seeing Damian's death, not Dick's. He just assumed it was Dick Grayson, his first and only Robin at the time. (You could also make that the reason he rejected Grayson so quickly, leading to Nightwing).

    I think Damian is going to die and it will refer back to that story, pulling it all full circle. Bruce's fear of losing Dick caused him mental trauma that would lead to his mistakes and behaviors with the other Robins, including Damian. Hurt wants Damian to survive, not die, so he manipulated Batman into being protective of his sidekicks, preparing for Damian's eventual rise.

    So the whole thing was to create their own future Batman, and have Bruce be a protective father to guide him far into the future when he wouldn't have existed or survived, otherwise.

    Look at his vision in Batman #156:

    On an adventure(current story), he sees Robin die on a strange world(Batman #666, Batman INC #5)

    Stricken with grief, he chooses to retire(Batman INC #1's flash forward)

    After Robin is captured, Bruce returns from retirement with a new outlook on life and saves his sidekick(Hopefully the real outcome of this story). #156 notes that Bruce's nightmares and visions STOPPED after making this decision, signifying an end to the motivation behind Grant Morrison's Batman.

    Batman #156 is a summary of Morrison's entire story.
    Last edited by DrSimonHurt; 01-06-2013 at 12:12 PM.

  13. #208
    Junior Member mex4173's Avatar
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    At this point I'm confused; how independent was R.I.P? Was Talia running Hurt, or was she just spying on the Black Glove?
    A utility belt full of crap and a positive outlook?

  14. #209
    Robin Graves zur en arrh's Avatar
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    That was a great post, Hurt.

  15. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by zur en arrh View Post
    That was a great post, Hurt.
    Thank you! I'm probably wrong =)



    Quote Originally Posted by mex4173 View Post
    At this point I'm confused; how independent was R.I.P? Was Talia running Hurt, or was she just spying on the Black Glove?
    Well, she definitely had Professor Pyg working for her at some point. He's all over the place. His son also works for her.

    I think Dr. Hurt was associated with her, but had his own plans for the Black Glove. Talia used a spy to make sure Hurt wasn't double-crossing her or going against her long-term goals.

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