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Subj: The Death of Richard Grayson (SPOILERS, MAYBE... )
Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 at 10:22:54 pm EDT (Viewed 520 times)
So, I sat down the other day and re-read a bunch of recent Bat-titles that circumstances forced me to sort of speed-read and put aside without a proper appreciation. And a couple of "points" didn't jibe. Now I'm worried about what's going to happen to Dick Grayson at the end of The Return of Bruce Wayne.
BATMAN # 666, wherein Damian Wayne is the Batman of a relatively near future. In the two-page spread recapping Damian's origin story (a wonderful take on the Batman origin from BATMAN # 1) we see Damian on his knees before a dead Batman. Damian is wearing a makeshift Robin outfit and Batman is wearing a costume unlike any we've seen before--until a few pages later when Damian is walking through his "Batcave" and we see a statue/mannequin of him in his Robin costume standing next to a statue in the same Batman costume. Beyond this we see a statue of a more traditional looking Batman. Keeping in mind that issue 666 came out a year (two?) before the first appearance of the new Batman and Robin costumes from BATMAN AND ROBIN # 1, most readers assumed the Batman to be Bruce. We now now that Damian was (at least initially) Robin to Dick Grayson. Is the new Batman costume we see on the statue and the dead Batman what Andy Kubert came up with for Dick Grayson, based on instructions from Morrison in the script for issue 666?
Later, while Damian is meditating (on what I think is page 14) a first person narrative caption reads "--the night the Batman died." The very next caption box reads "Victory is in the preparation, dad used to say." One moment "the Batman", the next "dad"? The word "dad" implies familiarity versus the more formal usage of "father". "Dad" would suggest that Damian has had time to get to know Bruce Wayne, sometime between the end of THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE and his stint as Batman. So why say "the Batman" one moment and "dad" the next? Maybe because the two aren't the same man.
Next page (15?), when Commissioner Barbara Gordon is asked why she hates Damian/Batman so much, she replies that he "was responsible for the death of... of a good friend." At the time readers assumed this to be Bruce Wayne. Maybe...
BATMAN AND ROBIN # 1 is published and Frank Quitely comes up with new costume designs, including a unique Batman outfit with a distinctive utility belt design. I'd love to see Morrison's notes to Quitely regarding the new costume design. Would they resemble notations found in the script that Andy Kubert worked from for BATMAN # 666? Look at Damian's Robin utility belt. The same unique design as Dick's. Now, look at Damian's Batman utility belt--the same unique design as the dead Batman in 666. Is Damian inspired by "his" Batman rather than "the" Batman?
BATMAN # 700. Damian/Batman is saving a kidnapped child from 2-Face-2. After rescuing the infant, Damian contacts Commissioner Gordon and says "--tell Warren and Mary McGinnis their baby's safe." That would more than imply that the baby is Terry McGinnis, the future Batman of BATMAN BEYOND. Two pages later, Batman Beyond is introduced to mainstream DC continuity.
BATMAN BEYOND # 1. After Damian's time as Batman, Bruce Wayne is till alive, mentoring Terry McGinnis as Batman. But Batman died to inspire Damian to one day become Gotham's protector. To date, the only Batman that Damian has known besides Bruce is Dick.
And in BATMAN # 666 Damian says "I knew I'd never be as good as my dad or Dick Grayson."
After learning at the end of INFINITE CRISIS that Dan Didio had originally greenlit the death of Nightwing/Dick Grayson and had to be talked out of it, I'm very worried that THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE ends with "The Death of Richard Grayson".
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