If you didn't already know this about me, I am a nerd. I buy comic books, I read them often. Hell, I'm wearing DC superhero pj bottoms as we speak. I'm sure that's not an image you want to get stuck in your mind. None the less, I'm a nerd and proud of it.
Recently Grant Morrison took the title and ran with it in the typical Grant Morrison method. For those of you non-comic nerds still reading this, Grant Morrison is a comic book writer the likes of which are much the same as Hunter S. Thompson. He is constantly on drugs and it shows in his writing. He carries out the idea of hypertime and the fact that I understand it show that I have either taken one too many drugs without my knowledge or I'm just way to nerdy.
His current run of Batman was called BATMAN: R.I.P. As the title tells you, Batman's going to die. Every decade or so DC likes to kill of or change the status quo. Superman died and came back. The Green Lantern went from Hal Jordan to Kyle Rayner. Batman already got his back broken leaving a new Batman to take over in the 90's. In this same fashion Batman is going to change persona from Bruce Wayne to one of the potential other Batman characters under the cowl.
At first I wasn't to thrilled with this news. Batman should always be Bruce Wayne. That's like bringing in New Coke. Sure it's new, but it doesn't taste like what I'm used to. I've also been reading comics long enough to realize that this wont last long. Maybe a year or two at most. Eventually it'll go back to the same ol' same ol'. Batman will be Bruce Wayne. You can't change that. After seeing this image littered with clues on the whole mess though, my interest starts getting peaked and I'm thinking that maybe the destination doesn't matter as long as I enjoy the ride.
Many Batmen on there and a lot of potentials. Tony Daniel's art looks better than that cover, too, but that might just be because the picture is blurry. After years of reading Detective Comics, I'm willing to venture out and make a couple of guesses on the image.
A) The "J" on the Joker card is backwards.
B) The Batman with the yellow chest oval on the left has a bo staff, so that's probably Tim Drake, the last Robin. He seems to be wearing the Batman costume that Bruce wore when Tim became Robin.
C) Harley, lamenting the Joker's absence? Seems kind of crazy, but Daniel is definitely aware of all of Grant's run so it'll probably follow from that.
D) Alfred Pennyworth, loaded for bear. He looks pretty great here, actually.
E) Almost definitely Dick Grayson, wearing the Batman costume that Bruce wore when Dick first became Robin. My choice on who should take over the mantle for the time being
F) R.I.P. Batman
G) Two-Face, no doubt, especially since he's positioned right in front of the penny, and he's covering what would be the scarred side of his face. Probably following up on his time as Gotham's protector during 52, as shown in James Robinson's "Face the Face" arc.
H) Jason Todd (who else would have a costume that fucking stupid with all those guns), apparently standing over the coffin of Wayne Enterprises. (Whose arm is that coming out of the coffin - Bruce's? It looks like a woman's...)
I) Batwoman, apparently investigating something, judging by the magnifying glass. I doubt she's actually battling for the cowl (and neither are Harley and Alfred), but she'll probably play a fairly major role.
J) Damian, lookin' sly, tuggin' on the bandage around the leg of...
K) "Bruce Wayne", who, judging by the bandage, is probably actually Hush, who performed plastic surgery on himself to look like Bruce Wayne back in the "Heart of Hush" arc in Paul Dini's Detective Comics. I assume Damian's using Hush to angle for a place in Bruce Wayne's will, or a spot in Wayne Enterprises or something.
L.) Is that a wheel in the back of the Bruce Wayne/Hush character? Perhaps the Paraplegic Barbara finally gets out of her wheel chair... Well, a boy can dream, can't he?
So there we have it. I told myself I wouldn't go into long story arcs again. Especially not with Batman since it usually crosses over at least two or three comic books and that can be costly to collect.. But I'm getting a little excited over this whole arc.