Thursday, January 15, 2009

Batman, B.I.A.B?


Is Batman/Bruce Wayne dead? Short answer: I don't think so, despite the conclusion reached in this spoiler-rific commentary on Final Crisis #6. Why? There's many reasons beyond "He makes the company too much money."

1. This latest Crisis started with a resurrection nobody wanted expected, Barry Allen. When a character whose primary contribution to comics was dying is resurrected, that doesn't bode well for any other "deaths" that transpire during the story.
2. In the same issue where Batman is seemingly charbroiled by Darkseid, we're introduced to a "Miracle Machine" entrusted to Superman. Gee, I wonder what Clark would wish for regarding his best pal?
3. There's already proof the "Omega Sanction" Darkseid blasted Bats with isn't fatal; in Crisis writer Grant Morrison's much-ballyhooed but ultimately-forgotten Seven Soldiers series, the new Mister Miracle is hit with the Sanction, basically an advanced mind-whammy that forces the recipient into a series of successively worse lives. Not only did Mr. M survive the experience, he escaped. And if he could do it, is there any reason Batman couldn't?
4. There's still one issue left in Final Crisis, so there's still time for a reboot button to be it -- allowing Bruce Wayne to survive, just maybe not as Batman.

So, while there's potential to resurrect the character, rehabilitating him might end up being trickier. Because in that final confrontation, Morrison wrote Batman as shooting Darkseid with the same Magic Bullet that killed Orion. And as hackneyed as the phrase "betrayal of the character" has been made by endless commenters on endless message boards, this is one instance where it might actually stick. For the guy whose entire mission was based on taking down evil without actually killing it to suddenly make a "once-in-a-lifetime exception," as Morrison wrote is going to be really hard to swallow and reconcile for readers, let alone the character whenever he returns.

Be sure to tune in Sunday night, when Peter Pixie and I will discuss this and other heroic topics on Hour 42!

-- ES