I took my kids to the park on Tuesday--the park right which happens to be right across the street from the local comic shop. So, how could I resist stopping there on the way home? (Especially because it's usually closed on Tuesday, but it was secretly open this week.) I don't really need any more comics, obviously, and I buy all of my stuff every Wednesday, but on impulse I picked up the Batman and Son hardcover. I've written a lot about Morrison's Batman run, but I haven't gone back to reread any of the issues. I've just been commenting upon them as they come out.
So here are my recent, not-in-any-particular-order, observations about Morrison's first story arc and the prose issue:
1) Andy Kubert's art is great in the first story arc. I didn't appreciate him at the time, but he stages some brilliant fight scenes with the Man-Bats. His Damian is kind of strange-looking, with too much muscle definition for a little kid, but his work is better than I remembered it being.
2) What is Talia up to? She seemed to have big plans in the first story arc, but she has just kind of lurked in the background ever since. Yet she clearly has a plan.
3) I've had debates with Thom Young (formerly of Silver Bullets, now with Comic Bulletin) about the quality of "The Clown at Midnight." He has massive problems with the narration, and I don't. Rereading the story, I still don't see what his concerns are (the narrator pretty clearly uses free indirect discourse to adopt a faux-first person POV at times, but that's a common technique in literary fiction) and it's pretty clear to me that the unnamed narrator is the Black Glove.
4) If the omniscient voice belongs to the Black Glove, and I think it does, then it's yet another indicator that Alfred is the Black Glove. Morrison goes out of his way to show that Alfred has relatively trashy taste in literature. Hence the overwrought narration of "The Clown at Midnight." It's Alfred's Batman fan-fic.
5) The red and black patterns, so emphatic in "The Clown at Midnight" and highlighted again in DC Universe #0, not only recall the colors of the playing card suits, but they also remind us that there's probably a link between the Joker (who was once known as the Red Hood) and the Black Glove. I don't know what that connection is, but I'm sure the Red Hood/Black Glove relationship means something.
Rereading these earlier issues made me rethink my recent discussion with Chad Nevett. I might have ranked Batman higher on the list of Morrison work. It still has a long way to go, but these early issues started strong.
(By the way, have you seen the new house ads for "Batman R.I.P."? It's crossing over into a bunch of titles--Detective, Nightwing, Robin--this summer. That makes me nervous. I was kind of hoping that Morrison could do his own thing, because if it turns out anything like that Ra's al Ghul crossover, it will be a disaster.)