The John Betjeman Appreciation Society (stealthmunchkin) wrote in mycomicblog,
The John Betjeman Appreciation Society
stealthmunchkin
mycomicblog

The Earth-2 Superman is back, as are several other characters from the multiverse, including a Lex Luthor (presumably Earth-1 Lex) who is Mockingbird, and Alex Luthor of Earth-3...
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Hmm, I wonder which Crisis-loving Glaswegian's idea that could have been?

This might be quite good. All the buildup to IC has been about the ridiculously grim and gritty rubbish of things like Identity Crisis. But then you have to remember that it's the likes of Morrison and Waid that are taking charge of plots here - and they love the Silver Age. So we might be seeing a return to innocence of sorts. We shall see.
The only problem is wading through 7 issues of Geoff Johns to get there :-/
Have you picked up the Arkham Asylum anniversary edition? Morrison's script is at least ten billion times better than the finished result, and I love his description of the Batman he now writes as a 'hairy chested love god'. THAT is who Batman should be...
So, looking at the script, how does Morrison's claim that he intended the book to be a reaction against all those "psychotic Batman" characterizations stand up?
To be honest, it doesn't, as such (in fact there are parts of the script that contradict that claim). Batman is clearly grimungritty and insane within the script itself.
HOWEVER, reading Morrison's note at the end, he talks about how Batman comes out changed, and a very reasonable reading is that the story was intended to take dark psycho Batman, break him down, and then build him up again into what he should be - he's meant to go through a changing process somewhat similar to shamanic initiations - 'crossing the abyss' or going through a Dark Knight of the Soul (sorry) and coming out a changed person. However, this isn't made explicit enough at the end of the script, and I think that is a failure of Morrison as a writer.
But it does seem that what he was *trying* to do was to take the psycho-Batman to its furthest extreme, destroy the character and rebuild it. Unfortunately, what comes through in the actual comic is just the first half of that statement.
I suspect, knowing Morrison, that it may have also been an actual attempt at performing magic and literally changing the character...
The script makes absolutely fascinating reading though, just to see the turns the man's mind takes, and the associations he makes. The panel description for the scene where Batman puts the shard of glass through his hand includes references to early church architecture, a 16th-century book of folklore he found called 'tales of the madmen of Gotham' which apparently had some resonance with the symbolism in the story, David Bohm's 'implicate order' interpretation of quantum physics. And Morrison then footnotes it saying it's a 'simple little scene' and Batman was only meant to cut himself a bit rather than jam the glass through his palm. (Incidentally, Neil Gaiman was the model for that scene).
Reading the script, I can visualise a really rather decent comic being made of it, if it had been put in the hands of, say, Frank Quitely or someone of that type. The main problem with it, actually, is that Batman is drawn by McKean as just a swirling mass of darkness - which is an interesting way of taking things, and visually magnificent in places - but Morrison is interested in showing him as a *man*, not a symbol...
Not only is the whole idea a bit hackneyed, some of this dialogue is awfully familiar...

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