I’ve been told that, while many DC Comics freelance writers have suffered rewrite upon rewrite, note after note, change after change, from the current editorial regime – leading some to leave the book they were working on – Grant Morrison MBE is among those who don’t.
He has his own get out of jail free card from DC Editorial, and has basically carved out a space to do what he wants. I’m told the editorial line not so much out of respect for his skill, but from resignation, and the flack they feel would get if Morrison did a Ivan Brandon and walked. If they want Morrison on board the New 52, they have to play his game.
Which doesn’t seem to have caused many problems on Action Comics, primarily because it’s happening in a different time zone to the other New 52 books, and it’s very much a lead title, others following in its wake. But Batman Inc is a different matter.
Continuing, both with the Leviathan one shot, and now in the new Second Wave series, it does rather seem to have ignored than any relaunch may have happened in the other Batbooks.
Which is why in Leviathan Strikes!, we had Stephanie Brown returning as Batgirl, where she seems never to have existed/not to be mentioned/erased from continuity in the New 52, as well as Barbara Gordon still in her wheelchair, despite those events seemingly happening shortly before Batman Inc #1.
And in Batman Inc #1, Grant tries, he really does.
He references the current Batman And Robin series, and explains how Batwing, killed in an pre-relaunch issue of Batman Inc, is alive and well and existing in his own New 52 series. (left)
But then two panels later (below), we’re told that not only do The Outsiders exist but that Element Man is a member, and used to be in the Justice League. This seems to be an explicit reference to the earliest issues of Morrison’s JLA where Metamorpho, The Element Man, sacrificed himself saving his team from an exploding spaceship.
A team that, according to that rebooted comic, never had more than their current seven members in their five years of existence.
Batwoman had similar problems initially, as a result of being created before the reboot. A number of characters were literally erased from one page, but we also got Titans mentions that were very much of a previous continuity. Batman Inc #1 doesn’t really have that excuse.
Does it matter? No, not really. But it can be fun to watch. Just like trying to work out if Batman was actually Batman , when Damian Wayne was born. And for those of you who really really dislike the New 52, here’s one book still seeped in the Old 64 or whatever it was…
And we also get rather fun scenes like Batcow and this, with panels appearing to be painted on the building sides…
And when did The Flash first meet his first talking gorilla anyway?