Thursday, June 14, 2012

JT's Take: Batman #10

Hey guys, gals and gallivanting miscreants, it's your temporary head honcho, a Vice-President if you will with a brand new review that you guys suggested. See, we even have a democracy going on! Since they were suggested by you guys, you can expect a few reviews over the next few days, including Spider-Men #1, but that's then, for now let's see what's going on with The Dark Knight himself in this issue of Batman. Warning: This will include spoilers, so if you haven't read Batman #10 yet, I would skip this review.

Batman #10

Summary: Things started off with Batman finally tracking down the Court of Owls after the Bat-Family has finally dealt with the Talons. Batman heads to the Harbor house, the place he went looking for clues as a child and almost died, as he finds the entire Court of Owls dead, poisoned by their drinks, Jim Jones style. Defeated, Bruce heads back home until he lays eyes upon a picture of his Parents and heads to the morgue looking for a body, instead finding a note. Bats follows the directions of the note to the remains of an old mental hospital for children and is met by none-other than the no longer deceased Lincoln March. Batman reveals that he knows Lincoln used the Talon serum before dying, and he betrayed the Court of Owls and poisoned them. Batman then says that Lincoln was an inmate at the Children's Hospital, which March confirms, and Bruce says the thing that tipped him off was a story March told him about a pin his Mother wore when she was in the car crash that killed her. Turns out she didn't die in a car crash, but the pin he described was a pin owned by Martha Wayne, a pin that was only given to mothers who had a child in the mental hospital, as Lincoln march reveals he is Bruce's brother, Thomas Wayne Jr.!!! Bruce denies having a brother but Thomas says deep down he knows it to be true, Martha was pregnant when in a car accident and Thomas was born early, so the Waynes sent him to the Willowwood Children's Hospital, as it used to be a premier hospital, before the funding dried up when Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed in Crime Alley. The issue comes to a close as March announces this as a fight for Gotham, Brother vs. Brother, Bat vs. Owl. In the back-up story we see Alfred's Father, Jervis Pennyworth in a story that pretty much backs up Lincoln's claim that he may be Bruce's brother, since Martha was indeed pregnant and was in a car accident that was caused by a Talon.

Thoughts: Well man, what a twist!!! I really enjoyed this issue, Scott Snyder has been on a roll and he planted hints well throughout the last year, which we all overlooked but in hindsight they really do make sense. I think we all figured Lincoln March was behind the Court of Owls but no one saw this coming. If done right, we can have a great new villain for Batman, and imagine how interesting Snyder will be able to do a story with Damian and his uncle Thomas. But I'm getting ahead of myself, I was kinda bummed at how soon we got rid of the Court, and there's always more but that seemed kinda rushed. The twist definitely made up for that though, and I'm very excited to see what Scott Snyder has up his sleeve next.

Score:  9/10

Lincoln March: So if I'm not Lincoln March, then who am I?


  1. Oh my God its Owl-Man I love that guy he's like a smug eviler version of Batman.
    Random Question: Does Stephanie Brown still exist in this new 52 universe? Did she at some point exist but then died or was she never there at all?

  2. Right? I'm glad they pretty much yanked him from Earth 2 and placed him here, and the ONLY reason I'd assume she exists is she was Spoiler in Batman: Leviathan, which means Babs would've been Batgirl again since that came out in like December, but she hasn't been in anything since sadly.

  3. If you're reading Smallville Season 11, she'll show up in Sept.'s issue as the Nightwing of the Small-verse.

  4. Good call Caz, I actually just read that over at Bleeding Cool. I think I'm gonna pick up the Smallville Season 11 trade when that comes out.

  5. Ugh I want to read it but I don't know how I feel about online comics yet, have you read AVX 3 yet to read half the dialogue in that you have to download the iphone app, I don't even have an iphone!?!

  6. I actually just reviewed AVX, should be up tomorrow or Saturday so I can get at least one review up a day. That really pissed me off though, I'm not gonna sit there and scan text they put in Russian that they could have EASILY put in English solely because they want me to download some app, screw that. As for Smallville Season 11, you know they compile them into issues right? I think Season 11 issue two came out last week.

  7. In that case thanks I'll ask my comic guy to order me the past 2 issues, of course what I would really like is to be watching Smallville on tv again especially considering that the future storyline will have Spoiler and Batman but DC will be DC and make more than a few decisions that are less than pleasing.

  8. Anon, I couldn't agree more my friend.

  9. ...I'm still shocked by this issue, from the moment I saw the Willowod clinic I was like, I cant believe it's going to happen next!!! Snyder cant make that true, and then he do it in a so perfectly way that I cant descrive it.. That tension with Lincon March constantly Asking.. Who am I? and Bruce with no idea what is coming... priceless. I cant wait to issue 11

    I do Hope Lincon March survive he could be a great Villain to confront Bruce from time to time...

  10. Exactly Alien, It made perfect sense too, and Snyder did it seamlessly. I can see them having a bit of doubt instead of outright confirming that March is who he claims to be, and saying he could just be another inmate. I also wouldn't be surprised if there was a cave-in of the building and March winds up missing until he pops up again somewhere down the line.

  11. I read this one at work last night(this morning?) and I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it... I mean as a twist it's a fantastic one(the reveal that March is really a Wayne), but it kind of bugs me that this was never mentioned before... I mean Bats IS the world's greatest detective, he never knew he had a secret younger brother? Especially since his mother was very pregnant and was a public figure, meaning the news would have(presumably) been in the papers. The name is weird too... Since Bruce was first, why wouldn't HE be Thomas Wayne Jr if dear old dad wanted to pass on his name? If not for the back-up story I'd just shrug it off and say that it's the ramblings of a madman, but the back-up story seems to corroborate what March said... So yeah, I'm torn on this one. On one hand I think March could be a FANTASTIC villain for Bats. On the other, I'm not sold on his story... But like Alien said, I'm really looking forward to issue #11 to confirm or deny this one way or the other. Oh yeah, btw, great review, JT.

    1. Hey X and JT I just read this and you should really check it out

      Here's an excerpt:
      Time was, comics fans knew a few things to be true: Superman is a dick, Batman has a contingency plan, and no one stays dead except Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben. Then, in 2005, Bucky and Jason Todd both stopped being dead, tearing the fabric of reality asunder in the process. Jason Todd, AKA Robin, who had been beaten to death by the Joker, was revived when Superboy punched the wall of reality (please don’t ask), and then further revived by a quick dip in a Lazarus Pit. Bucky turned out to have been frozen in a manner similar to his mentor Captain America, minus one arm, and was found and brainwashed by the Russians into being a Soviet black ops agent. What’s most frustrating about these is that both characters’ revivals were actually really, really well done, using Jason and Bucky to expose the darker aspects of Batman and Cap, respectively, and they’ve totally earned their continued presence in modern comics. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that their returns totally undermine any fundamental certainty in comic books, nor does it make Uncle Ben any less lonely up there in comic book heaven.

  12. My only thoughts X, are that they could say she lost the child in the accident, what reason they'd have for saying that lie is unknown unless the accident caused the premature birth and the Wayne's decided to hide it by keeping the child at that hospital. Plus, the first kid isn't always named after the father, kinda depends on what the parents want. For example if Bruce was named after his grandfather they may have named him Bruce and decided to name the second child Jr. if they had one. And I see issue 11 moreso casting doubt, so we don't get a clear answer and we're to wonder if he really is who he claims to be, but I liked the idea that the accident happened on the intersection of Lincoln and March.

    I feel like I read that article Anon, but I'll check it out again to be sure. Thanks for the link.

  13. OK, I finally read it. I'm very, very torn, and I agree that it totally depends on what Snyder does with issue #11.

    X, I'm glad you mention the Bruce angle, becuase it's that part that really bothered me. If Bruce knew his mother was pregnant but lost the baby in a car accident, are we really to believe that he never, ever investigated it, given how obsessed with family he is? To me, Snyder seems to want his cake and eat it too when it comes to the Waynes. He spends a lot of this issue making excuses for the Waynes, as if he doesn't want us to judge them harshly for hiding Lincoln. But, in so doing, he makes it unclear whether they did, actually, hide Lincoln. But, if they didn't hide him exactly (and I think the fact that Martha so prominently wore the Willowwood pin calls into question the extent to which they hid him), then how did neither Bruce nor Alfred do anything about him? In the end, we're either going to think less of Martha and Thomas or Alfred and Bruce. Snyder seems to want a middle ground, but he's not really going to have that option. One set of them ignored Lincoln, period.

    Unless, of course, he's crazy. Bruce refers to Lincoln as "old friend" in the Morgue. To me, it implies that Lincon might be Tommy Elliot or the Joker or even Simon Hurt. He's someone screwing with Bruce, even if "Lincoln" himself might not be aware of it. I wouldn't be surprised by the fact that it was Lincoln, but, if it is, then I want an explanation of the "old friend" comment.

    Finally, I'm worried Snyder is going to totally abandon the Court of Owls. After all these issues, I still have questions. I still want to know why the Court decided to explode into the public eye in the "Night of the Owls," after generations operating in the shadows. I still want to know why the Court tried to assassinate Lincoln along with Bruce. After all, Lincoln's actions here -- killing the Court and stealing its money -- comes from that betrayal, and you have to figure the Court had a reason to try to assassinate him. What was it? Did it have to do with him being a Wayne (in theory)?

    In other words, I'm not sold. I could be sold, but Snyder has work to do. I think I'm actually more annoyed by the idea that we're not going to get clarity on the Court-related items than I am by the possible ret-conned brother.

  14. Glad ya finally got to read it JW. I talked more about this with X the other day, my ONLY answer, for why Bruce wouldn't look into it is this, okay, say he's like three when his mom is pregnant, and they're in the car accident, his mother, Alf's dad, and Bruce, if they decided to tell everyone Martha had lost the kid, I'm sure they'd tell the same to Bruce, right? Because telling a kid, we're gonna say we lost the baby, but we're still having it, doesnt even seem to make sense. So I'd assume, they just told everyone they lost the kid, not Bruce, as a 3 year old, isn't gonna doubt that. Even as an adult, I doubt he's thinking back saying, I wonder if my parents were lying about that kid they said they lost. Because while Bruce looks into most things, usually he needs a reason. Like the reason he didn't go back to that house he almost died in until the last issue, he never said, I bet my hunch was right when I was seven, and went back. He never went back until he actually had a reason TO go back.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'd say there's probably an 85% chance of Bruce not having a brother, and this being some kid at the ward who heard something and decided to live that life because he's crazy. But, I don't think Snyder is going to give us a definitive answer. He's gonna leave some doubt, he's gonna make us think... well... maybe he IS Bruce's brother. And then eventually, we'll slowly drop the maybe, and we'll just think of him as Bruce's brother, even with no definitive proof. It's either that, or Bruce gets a DNA sample and we find out he is/isn't.

    As for what you said about the Court of Owls, couldn't agree more. I'd like to think Snyder is going to tie up those loose ends, but I won't be surprised in the least if he doesn't.

  15. Excellent points, JT. I, too, think that it's the only plausible solution, that they told EVERYONE, including Bruce, that "Thomas" died. Of course, the only problem then, something that I feel like Snyder isn't quite accepting, is that we're all going to think less of the Waynes if it's true. The whole reason that we're unclear on this point is that Snyder is purposefully unclear on it, I think because he doesn't want to definitively show the Waynes abandoning "Thomas" because of his disabilities. Bruce is pretty adamant that his parents wouldn't have done something like that and even Lincoln tries to excuse their behavior by noting that the Willowwood Home was a top-tier children's hospital back in the day, thanks to the Waynes. But, given that the Waynes lying about Thomas' birth is the only plausible scenario to explain why Bruce wouldn't have known about his brother, Snyder's going to have to let the Waynes take the hit if we're going to believe it. In fact, I hope he does, because I think it would be really interesting for Bruce to have to confront that reality about his parents.

    But, of course, like you, I'm pretty sure that Lincoln isn't "Thomas." I, too, doubt that we're going to get such clarity on the subject, because it's more intersting to have him out there menacing Bruce due to their alleged relationship than it is for us to know upfront that he's a loon. I think, actually, the only clear answer we're going to get is if Snyder proves that Lincoln is, in fact, not "Thomas," something we could be shown in the back-up story (Martha definitively miscarrying), but something that Bruce wouldn't necessarily know. It could be a really elegant way to keep the mystery alive for Bruce, while not leaving the readers frustrated.

    I just don't know what to say about the Court of Owls. I've invested so much time in it, and I'll be PISSED if some of the points don't get resolved.

  16. That is a great point, because I know that kinda makes me view the Wayne's in a different light if they felt the need to hide their son because he wasn't "normal" or something. That's probably the main reason I think he isn't Bruce's brother, just because like you said, the Wayne's would come off as pretty bad people, and they've always been thought of very highly.

    That's honestly the best scenario, I'm glad you mentioned that. If they say Martha had a miscarriage in the back-up, it gives us the knowledge of knowing, and Bruce will always have that air of doubt because he doesn't know. Because his parents are gone, as is Alfred's, and Alfred wasn't around yet so he wouldn't know for sure. And like you, I'm interested in seeing how Snyder ties up these loose ends for the Court of Owls, because he's gonna have to hit a nice amount of points.