Thursday, November 13, 2008

When Words Collide: Who is the Black Glove?

With only a couple of weeks left to go before the end of "Batman R.I.P." I had to weigh in on the various Black Glove theories, and that's exactly the kind of thing that's perfect for "When Words Collide."

So, check out my odds-making on the various suspects in "Who is the Black Glove?"

Then, go over to my WWC forum to add your own two cents.

And, if you're into it, you can go back and read all of my relevant Morrison Batman posts over the past couple of years.

After that you can, I don't know, do something more productive with your life. Or not.


Kris Krause said...

Nice run down, but I think you left out two plausible candidates: Joe Chill who is dressed in a black and red suit and whose suicide is only implied, not shown on panel, and the son Joe Chill mentions having as the reason he never killed Bruce all those years ago. Both of those links trace back to the "Joe Chill in Hell" issue (Batman #673), naturally.

And of course a few are impossible, like Tim Drake and Alfred, both of whom have already been shown in the post-RIP world to be on the right side of the law.

Still we'll find out next we... er, nope. The week after that (I hope).

Timothy Callahan said...

As I said on my forum, Joe Chill was on my prelim list, but after reading all the Morrison issues, he's too tiny of a part to be the Black Glove. Although the mysterious son of Joe Chill seems to be important somehow. There's just not enough in issue #673 to implicate Chill, and he's not even mentioned in the other Morrison issues.

If it IS Chill, it would seem like a solution Morrison didn't bother to set up properly, even though Chill would make some sense, contextually.

Ultimate Matt said...

I hope you don't mind me selfishly hijacking your comment thread to advertise my blog, but I'm making my first attempt at an issue-byissue look at a series with Aztek: the ultimate man and I'd love feedback from anyone and everyone.

My money's one Bruce Wayne as the black glove, for no other reason than that it plays well with Morrison's love of duality & hidden identities/personas.

Malpractice said...

I agree with kris, i also believe it is Joe Chill. Though if it does turn out to be the son of Joe Chill or something to that effect, that would make sense too.
Mike W. Barr did a story called "Full Circle" which was basically the son of Joe Chill waging war on Batman for what he did to his father, etc. and Morrison said he considered Mike W. Barr's on Batman to be a big influence on what he is doing on the title now, so i wouldn't be that suprised.

Kris Krause said...

Well seeing as Ra's Al Ghul and Thomas Wayne Jr. made your list, I figure there's more to implicate Joe Chill or his son than either of them, but I do agree that if it is Joe Chill, Morrison didn't properly set him up as a viable candidate. I mean if Chill's implication stems from that one issue, we'd have to put Aunt Agatha up on the list from that one non sequitur panel in Morrison's second issue. So yeah, I agree with what you're saying about it not being overly probable, but I think either Chill is more probable than some of the characters who did make your list.

At this point, I think I'm leaning toward Bruce Wayne, but you make a very convincing argument about The Joker. In all honesty I have no idea, and I'm okay with that.

Judd said...

My money's still on Alfred. Kind of. I think Alfred's actually the real Thomas Wayne, and that Hurt was the original Alfred. I'm not sure how this works exactly, but I'm sure there was some mind-wipin' going on or something.

IF Alfred does prove to be the real Thomas Wayne (or at least Bruce's biological father), he could still exist in the Bat-universe post-R.I.P. Also, with a biological parent suddenly still alive, Bruce would lose his motive for being Batman and be inclined to pass the cowl on to someone else (granted, there is still the murder of Martha, but that could just be a minor detail at this point).

I like the Joe Chill theories, although I have to agree that I don't really see him as the Black Glove. I'm more interested in his mention of a son. Has the son of Chill ever shown up anywhere in the DCU?

Also, if we're giving long odds to Ra's Al Ghul and Robin, why not throw Morrison himself into the list of suspects? Who knows more about the inner workings of Batman at this point than the writer himself? He could be pulling an Animal Man ending. As you've said previously, Tim, Morrison has a tendency to retell his tales. I could see a 4th wall moment happening here. 60-to-1 odds, but still a possibility.

Chad Nevett said...

My money is still on Bruce Wayne.

Joe Gualtieri said...

Tim, there's one big name I never see bandied about as a suspect, unlikely though it may be. There's one man who's a key part (OK, addendum to) of Batman's origin who's completely MIA in Morrison's run- Lew Moxon, the man who hired Joe Chill.

While Chillmay not have offed himself on-panel in Morrison's run, in the original Joe Chill story he was shot by three of his emplyees. By contrast, Moxon was hit by a truck. If either of them is alove and kicking, I'd go with Moxon over Chill.

That said, assuming Morrison isn't lying, the Black Glove is supposed to be somebody everyone knows. With that in mind, I think its safe to elminate anyone who isn't Bruce Wayne, the Joker, Alfred, the Devil, or Thomas Wayne Sr.

Or maybe the Silver Age Superman, who's been MIA for 20-odd years and is a notoriuous dick.

David Uzumeri said...

If it *isn't* Alfred, I'm going to have to eat a whole shitload of crow publicly.

DAL said...

"There's just not enough in issue #673 to implicate Chill"

There's definitely enough to implicate him! Who else in Morrison's run has a good enough reason for revenge on Bruce? There's a ton of foreshadowing concerning Chill: mentioning of a "grudge" that lasts forever, playing cards, making a gun with his hand and pointing it at Bruce just like the Joker did in DCU Zero.

Not saying it's a sure thing, but there'd DEFINITELY enough in 673 to implicate Chill. This isn't Aunt Agatha showing up in one non sequitur panel--please.

Timothy Callahan said...

That's true. And maybe Morrison's comment about the Black Glove having been there "since the beginning" refers not to the beginning of Morrison's run, but to the beginning of Batman's origin.

I still don't think a single issue out of Morrison's entire run is enough to establish him as a suspect though. I'm just completely guessing, though, just like everyone else.

Kris Krause said...

"Not saying it's a sure thing, but there'd DEFINITELY enough in 673 to implicate Chill. This isn't Aunt Agatha showing up in one non sequitur panel--please."

Woah, Dal. Hyperbolic joke about Joe Chill's odds being similar to Aunt Agatha's. Come on now, when does anyone mention Aunt Agatha with a serious face?

Obviously there's plenty to implicate Chill, as I've already pointed out, but in the big picture a single issue isn't much more convincing than a single panel since neither were mentioned again afterward.

Ben said...

Y'know, I was taking Kathy Kane as the most entertaining theory I'd heard, but the Silver-Age Superman theory does have a lot of moxie!

Charles said...

My problem with the Joe Chill theory is that Chill would have a personal grudge against Batman. The Black Glove, in contrast, seems quite detached; it's all just sport for him. In the Club of Heroes story, the BG uses evil methods, and he's clearly rooting for evil, but he doesn't seem overly upset when Batman survives. In fact, he takes obvious pleasure in Mayhew's failure. ("You gambled on evil. You lost," or words to that effect.) In short, he doesn't entirely care who wins, just as long as the loser is humiliated and destroyed.

My best guess is that the Glove is indeed Satan, and that he will remain an elusive presence right through the end of the story. Batman may not even get to confront him (unless that's him in Jezebel's form at the end of the last issue).

Dr. Hurt, on the other hand, apparently does have a grudge against Batman/Bruce, but Hurt surely can't be Chill either; he's too intelligent and refined. (He could be Chill Jr., I suppose.) It won't shock me if Chill has a role in all this, but I don't think he's a key player.

Julian Darius said...

Great column. I enjoyed it very much. But I thought you were going with the Devil, at least in your annotations here on the blog... I'd personally be tremendously disappointed if it's the Devil, though I see the argument and there's a story to be told there. I just hope it's not "R.I.P." I'm personally rooting for Thomas Wayne and Alfred, though I don't think it'll happen.

Rodru said...

I liked that review, but I am truly convinced that the head of the Black Glove is Jezebel Jet, altough there could have been many other (and more interesting possibilities) remember that Morrison said that "The Black Glove is the most obvious character, and I have been leaving clues along my run" (something like that). So, it's only 3 days until we know the final fate of the Caped Crusader.