Thursday, November 07, 2013

Back-Issue Spotlight: Batman#666

And Happy 450th post to me:)

Better week than last, and yet still somewhat difficult as far as personal matters go.
I'll be fine, but damn, does love hurt, love bites, and love bleeds.....

Speaking of bleeding, anyone check out the new Batman mini-series, Damian: Son of the Batman by Andy Kubert?

If not you should, well at least if you're interested in seeing how Damian becomes Batman in an alternative future. Now while this mini is described as a what if...and in what if Batman died instead of Damian, it doesn't start of in the midst of the battle between Batman Inc and Talia and the evil Oroboros organization.
Nope, instead it starts off with a different case altogether, and quickly goes from there.

Now sure Kubert is no Morrison, but I think that harsh reviews I've read so far do the mini-series a grave injustice. I like it myself, and feel it should be a given a chance to complete the story being told from start to finish. Plus it's only 4 issues long, so there.

Now this leads to the today's subject of the Back-Issue Spotlight, Batman#666, where we first were introduced to the very concept of young Damian as Batman in a hellish future.

Batman#666 July 2007: "The Legend of the Batman. Who He Is And How He Came To Be......"

Morrison starts us off with a quick recap of how Damian became Batman, from his birth to the taking up of the mantle.

He does this very quickly, and very cleverly, so it's out of the way and onto the intended story being told.
And right into the action we go, with Damian-Bats fighting an acid-spiting doll, seemingly the last of the flunkies belonging to a villain named the Candyman. Gotta' love the neat and quirky little characters Morrison likes to put in his stories. Plus this Candyman guy sounds like someone our Batman could or could've fought before.

Chasing Damian-Bats down is Commissioner Barbara Gordon, in keeping with the tradition of a Commissioner Gordon in Batman's world.

She wants Damian stopped because she feels he much more dangerous and a loose cannon than Bruce ever was. Damian and Gordon trade quotes by William Butler Yeats, before Damian takes off in hot pursuit of his next quarry.

He then switch gears to a couple scenes meant as a necessary breather for both the bewildered reader and a weary Damian.

We get to see what his Bat-cave looks like, complete with a cat named Alfred and a small trophy room not unlike the old Robin memorial.

Apparently Damian's on the trail of the main big bad in the story, the guy who's been the one behind Gotham turning into a hell on earth.
Damian then goes on to name 5 Gotham crime bosses all murdered in 5 different locations, forming the shape of a pentagram.
Using his Bat-Computer, Damian pinpoints the exact location of the common thread spot amongst the locations and goes after the big bad.

The place is the Hotel Bethlehem, and it's here that we see that the big bad is one of the replacement Batman introduced earlier in Morrison's run.

He serves an even bigger bad, in what who can only assume is Damian's grandfather, Ra's Al Guhl, even if it's not clearly said out loud.

(Yeah it's no Russian, sue me;)

Damian-Bats then shows up, making very short work of the guards, and hired flunkies, such as Jackanapes, Max Roboto, The Weasel, and the Flamingo.

From there, we see the main duel of Damian vs. the evil replacement Batman. I guess you can say it's not much of a fight, since Damien reveals he cheated, and booby-trapped every single prominent building in Gotham to explode. Which he does. Pretty funny really.

From there, Damian beats the shit out of the guy, ultimately killing him by snapping his neck then impaling his body on the tower's spire. Sly nod to the historic Dracula the Impaler anyone?

Damian admits he failed his father as far as keeping his word about not killing, but at least he did save Gotham City from total destruction. Commissioner Gordon shows up just in time to tell her he's the best friend she's got, and by extension, Gotham City.

And that's how the issue ends.

We'd see another glimpse of of Damian Batman in Batman#700 and Batman Inc.#5.
Ultimately this was a future that Bruce spent the rest of Batman Inc. Vol.2 trying to prevent, and he did. But just at the cost of his son's life.

And this is the reason why I'm intrigued by the new mini-series, since basically we see just what killed Batman, leading Damian on the path to becoming the new Batman.

Good, good stuff.

Alright folks, that's me for this week. Have a good/great weekend.


Randomnerd said...

Love hurts...especially if you're a bat minion. It doesn't matter what kind of love, if you've worn the cowl (or variations thereof) you are doomed. In every conceivable way. Makes you wonder how Bats gets so many followers.

Dale Bagwell said...


Dan W said...

Andy Kubert I think is the most talented of the Kubert's. His camera angles alone consistently astound me. Infact when I'm stumped drawing I often use his Ka-Zar issues to help my mind spin a perspective. Glad DC are giving him space to write and draw here.

As for Bat-love, I'm sitting on the beach typing this (summer here), with a Nightwing book I got from the library as I drove here. Greg Land draws such a great Catwoman, pre-only his only using magazine reference style, it's amazing DC didn't lock him down before CrossGen nabbed him.

Have a good weekend all!

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Lucky bastard! It's currently pretty damn cold here, but I still might take it over the overbearing humidity that was summer here.

Greg Land really was a good artist before being stuck on the the photo/magazine-referencing thing.
Maybe one day he'll go back to that.

You have a good weekend yourself mate;)

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