This is a Batman related rant.
You have been warned.
There are also possible spoilers ahead if you are following the storylines of Nightwing and Batman in the New 52.
You have been warned again.
I tried to follow all of these stories, I really did. I wanted to keep up with ALL of the ones that sounded interesting to me: Batman and Robin, Batman the Dark Knight, Nightwing, Catwoman, Batgirl, and Teen Titans.
My list quickly dwindled, and this is how:
I went to the bookstore and started flipping through comics. Teen Titans was the first one to leave the list, because I saw that it appeared to be (mega SIGH) yet ANOTHER round of totally new Titans, and to be honest I am very sick of getting introduced to new members all the time. So down with one title.
I purchased Batman Dark Knight, Nightwing, Catwoman, and Batgirl. Catwoman just failed, despite being illustrated by Guillem March, one of my favorite artists. It was all girl talk weirdness, which is fine but not for the ENTIRE book. Where’s Catwoman’s cat-ness? This stuff was like a lame daytime drama. Forget that, at $3 an issue, I can’t afford to pay for crap like that every month. So down one more.
Batgirl was not as bad as Catwoman, but still kind of blah. It didn’t impress me enough to make me want to spend money on it each month. So another red line has been made across a title.
Nightwing and Batman were decent enough to the point where I felt I would follow them. Nightwing was going back to dealing with Haley’s Circus, and Batman was going head to head with Talon, an assasin from a group that calls itself the Court of Owls.
At a later time, Batman and Robin also got taken off my list when I opened an issue and saw that the whole thing was all about Damien Wayne (the current Robin) running away and Bruce writing a letter to explain how bad he felt that he couldn’t connect with his son. The reason this didn’t touch me emotionally? Well, it has a lot to do with the way Bruce treats people overall now. And that gets me back to my main point for this rant. But, more about that in a second.
I got as many Batman and Nightwing comics as I could afford, managing to follow this first story arc relatively well. I was excited to finally see some original stuff, particularly the Court of Owls business. Pretty nice to see an original villain (or villain group) that is worthy of Batman. Dick Grayson’s storyline, though not quite as gripping, was still interesting. He discovered that his name was listed in a mysterious book that had been in the circus for a long time, and that one of his old friends, whom he thought was dead, was actually the hitman out to destroy Nightwing. So that led to a lot of questions. And the promise was that the answer to Nightwing’s dilema would also tie in with the Court of Owls in Batman’s comic line. Yay!
Two days ago I went to Barnes and Noble. Since I was low on cash, I simply read the comic books there in the store and didn’t purchase them. Pretty scummy for a fan, I know. But in the end, I’m glad I did what I did.
So it turns out that this villain, Talon, that Batman has been fighting is basically a reanimated zombie guy whose body is at the control of the Court of Owls. Not only that, but it seems that he’s pretty personal to the family:
So the undead assasin is Dick’s great-grandfather. Didn’t see that one coming. Well played, authors, well played indeed.
But from there, things start to get interesting. Dick starts asking how Bruce knew this and Bruce is all, “Well, I took some samples and did comparisons.” (Kudos to you if you just read that in a growly Batman voice, like I did.) Dick gets mad and yells stuff like, “Oh, and you weren’t going to tell me about that? Come on, really?”
How does Bruce respond to this?
But of course, being Batman, he has an explanation for everything including this.
Okay wait a minute. Stop stop stop stop.
First of all, the idea that Dick was supposed to be a reanimated Talon assasin: wicked COOL! Mega props. Didn’t see that one coming, and it was like being sprayed in the face with ice water of awesome from the squirt gun of comic world.
But I have some big issues going on here, too. And they sadly overwhelmed the awesomeness.
First of all, cool idea that there’s a little owl shaped thingie implanted in the tooth that slowly released mind control juice into the victim. But really… Gotham dentists must SUCK if they did not notice this in Grayson’s mouth before. “Oh hey, there’s a little owl in this tooth. Eh, that’s not suspicious. We won’t bring it up.” Really?
Problem two: Batman just turns around and BELTS HIM IN THE JAW??? REALLY? How did he manage to knock out just that one tooth and nothing else? And why does he need to just hit his friend in the face rather than saying, “Open your mouth and let me look at your teeth unless you want to be a zombie.”
This leads into my overall problem.
Bruce doesn’t care.
Look at him. No emotion, no reaction, no NOTHING. So, Bruce, the kid who you took in and raised, who fought by your side for years and years, is just revealed to have been THIS CLOSE to being turned into a weird assasin zombie.
And you just smack him in the face and give him a big monologue about how this whole thing works?
DO YOU EVEN CARE THAT HE WAS ALMOST TURNED INTO EVERYTHING YOU BOTH HATE? DO YOU EVEN CARE IF HE’S OKAY AT ALL?
Gosh, Bruce, you are KILLING ME! It’s not weak to show some concern! I can’t connect with you at all! It’s gone beyond the point of Batman being reserved. It’s now Batman has a mental and emotional problem. It doesn’t even need to be all mushy bromance. Just give him a hand up! Pull the tooth out of his mouth without using your fists!
BE A HUMAN BEING!!!
I can’t take it. It’s driving me insane. I can’t take this whole attitude Batman has towards Dick where he just treats him like crap. They were friends once upon a time. We don’t need the whole weirdness of the fifties to come back, but can’t we at least SEE that they are friends?
Because they still are. Whether or not the characters or the writers or the people who run DC remember it. They are.