This afternoon, at the office, I read some comic books.
I’d gotten behind on my Batman reading, and I read last week’s Batman Inc. #6 and this week’s Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 (which need to be read in that order — there’s an element in the first that is picked up in the second).
There’s been a recurring plot nibble in Grant Morrison’s Batman comics the past year or so — there’s something big coming for Batman, something bigger than Darkseid (see Final Crisis, Batman #701-702, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne), and to counter that, Bruce Wayne needed to turn Batman into something bigger, by turning it into a worldwide organization, where a single Batman isn’t enough.
And then I thought about DC Comics’ big event of this summer, Flashpoint. I’ve had a difficult time wrapping my head around Flashpoint, because it really doesn’t seem like much beyond a line-wide Elseworlds — One day, Barry Allen wakes up without powers, in a universe that isn’t anything like the universe he knows. Then I read this morning that Flashpoint will lead to a line-wide reboot in September for DC Comics, and an idea struck me.
In Batman, Inc. #6, again the idea of why Bruce would recruit an army of Batmen was raised. Dick Grayson, formerly Robin, formerly Nightwing, and now Batman of Gotham City, asks Bruce if it’s in any way related to something Bruce saw — or thinks he saw — during his travels through time in Return of Bruce Wayne.
One of the defining traits of Grant Morrison’s characterization of Bruce Wayne’s Batman is that Batman makes plans for everything. Batman has contingency plans for taking down Superman, the Flash, even Darkseid.
Might it not be possible that Bruce is aware of the changes that Flashpoint will make to the DCU, and could Batman, Inc. be his way of dealing with/preparing for the fallout?
Internally to the DC Universe, this makes a lot of sense to me. This would be a very Batman thing to do. Build his army of Batmen, so that when whatever Flashpoint changes happens, Bruce is ready. He has his plan.
(I should note that at work a coworker and I are thinking that Flashpoint‘s changes won’t be as wide-scale as a line-wide reboot. We actually think that Hal Jordan will die during “War of the Green Lanterns,” and the Flashpoint Hal Jordan will somehow become the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814 in the “real” DCU.)
But looking at Batman and Flashpoint from the outside, I’m not so sure about my thinking. Grant Morrison has a long-term plan for Batman, and we’re still at least eighteen months to two years from its conclusion. I just can’t see DC monkeying around with that plan by rebooting the DCU (which would render Morrison’s work moot).
My Batman theories are inevitably wrong, such as my theory on how Bruce Wayne would return to the DCU after Darkseid’s use of the Omega Sanction on Batman during Final Crisis. (For people who don’t understand Batman’s role in Final Crisis, it’s really quite simple — it’s the story of man killing the gods. That’s really primal stuff.) I couldn’t have imagined that Morrison’s solution to Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne would be so essentially similar to Steven Moffat’s “The Big Bang” in Doctor Who.
In short, I have absolutely no idea what anything will be in the DCU in the months to come. I like my idea, that Bruce is preparing for the post-Flashpoint world, but I’m more than likely completely and totally wrong. That’s why I read comics. Some of it’s about the surprise, but there’s also the trying to out-think the story. That’s what makes it so much fun.