Matt had a great post the other day on the Two Batmen news. I agree with everything he says but draw the opposite conclusion. He links to Chris Sims’ article, which proves Sims really is the world’s foremost Batmanologist. His article was well-reasoned and made me reconsider my point of view, but my first instinct is still to resist the idea.
A few caveats first. Obviously, nobody has read anything, so this is all speculation and opinion based on our own biased interpretations and preferences for the character. Second, Grant Morrison hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so I’m still going to give him the benefit of the doubt.
With that out of the way, I’m against the concept. Sure, there are a million Green Lanterns (okay, only 3600) and 17 Flashes (okay, only 14), but here we’re talking about characters that were already reimagined in the 60’s, so the legacy aspect has already been with us for almost 50 years. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, even <ahem> Aquaman have stayed singular through the years, infinite Crises aside.
Yes, Batman is all about destroying crime, but he is also based on the idea of what one man can achieve. By branching out as far as he is the concept changes to become about what one man can project manage. Morrison worked the concept well with the X-Corporation, but it’s not the same here. Bruce Wayne managing superheroes around the world? Why bother? Why not just put them all on the Wayne Foundation payroll, retire Batman, and let Bruce Wayne manage everything and live a normal life?
I’m eager to see how this all plays out, and Grant Morrison is right: this is just a fictional character we’re talking about. But characterization is still critical and it’s crucial that the core of the character stay the same.
I’ve never really been a fan of the expanding Bat-Universe, what with the Sidekicks, Batgirls, Avenging Angels, and Cat People, but those folks come and go. Institutionalizing the concept makes me nervous.