Saturday, April 10, 2010

Batman and Robin 11


Batman and Robin has built up a story through a year of smaller arcs that have their own payoffs, but have logical ties to each other, and to something big coming which has been unrevealed. This fourth arc derives great dramatic possibility by inheriting all of the open plot points from the previous three issues, not to mention Morrison's run on Batman and even the full history of Batman, whose details are still free to be rewritten since Infinite Crisis ended over four years ago. Credit Morrison for not putting out a six-issue "Batman: The Origin" that dutifully told the details in sequence, because the payoff is so much better built up as it has been. And that's just to relay what is sure to be just some of Batman's backstory. The rest could be the subject of years more of storytelling. But not to get ahead of where we are now. The three-issue arc that is in progress seems likely to end up remembered as a classic, and reading the first two issues has been a great pleasure.

The opening scene shows us, in full view, Doctor Hurt, who was indeed the "El Penitente" that other characters have talked about since this series reached #4. He speaks of his nature in shadowy language, giving us clues, but -- again, to dramatic effect -- no encyclopedia-level facts. He has been repenting, with self-flagellation, for the apparently earnest motive of being forgiven his sins (and not, as I had guessed earlier, his defeat) although he intends to resume sinning immediately. Maybe this is a one-time event, but it may be some condition of infernal immortality. Hurt is obviously unconcerned by the deadly gunfire around him, but we don't see him shrug off the impact of any actual bullets. Is he invulnerable or just lucky?

Hurt refers to himself, suggestively, as a "what" as well as a "who", and in three poetic fragments, that he is a double, twin, or shadow -- of whom? The older Thomas Wayne (henceforth OTW)? The younger, Bruce's father (henceforth YTW)? Of Bruce himself? Of God? The 'W' scar could be a signature for any of at least the first three, and Hurt says later that Gotham is his home. The priest's blessing cuts in mid-way, with "the Father" omitted, and "the Son and the Holy Spirit" spoken on-panel: an indication of a missing father, which could symbolically represent either YTW or Bruce.

Hurt's intentions are clear in kind: He is headed to Gotham to wreak spectacular (a word often used to describe mass terrorism) atrocities. He is after something that is rightfully his, but is not motivated ("Let it all fall down") by keeping his drug empire in Mexico.

Given the missing portrait of the devil-worshipping OTW in Wayne Manor, who summoned a bat-demon in 1765, and the subterranean compound that Dick discovers, a simple possibility is that Hurt is OTW, has been "what" he is since summoning that demon, and considering himself a Wayne, has always been out to get the Wayne fortune/name back, something we know that someone will try to do (apparently through peaceful and legal means) beginning in #13. The teaser from #1 showed very old keys to Wayne Manor -- those could be from 1765. In the past, when Morrison has laid enough clues pointing to one conclusion, and there is no "mystery" with multiple suspects, the straightforward interpretation has proven to be correct. However, the Hurt we've seen before was not just an angry lost Wayne with supernatural powers -- he asked Bruce not to yield the family estate to him, but to "dedicate his life to the corruption of virtue" and spoke of his plan as "the destruction of the ultimate noble spirit". He did refer to Bruce as an "usurper", which lends credence to the notion of Hurt as a real Wayne, but he openly claimed, twice, to be YTW, an obvious lie. Also, we find out that the "Barbatos" paint is not old, but from the last year, probably when the Black Glove controlled Wayne Manor. The complex Dick discovers could not have been built in the last year, but it has rail lines, which should not have existed in 1765. Finally, we know that Joshua Wayne had access to this area, probably as part of Underground Railroad activity (the term was not usually meant literally). Joshua acting for good and Solomon for evil? Some of the demons mentioned in this story go back to a book called "The Lesser Key of Solomon", so that Wayne, with his stern face, may just have a role in this. With the talk of twins, a case of known twin Waynes has to stand out, but the face of Solomon Wayne is not Hurt's, and the face of OTW may be. One more tidbit that we can piece together from multiple issues: The "House of Hurt", the mansion seen in Batman #676, is apparently, the same mansion where Le Bossu was in #3, and that was in Gotham. So Hurt may have a base of operations posing as one of Gotham's current elite. Possibly matching the "Gotham's Hurt Missing" from Batman #678. So while there's a strong hint of a link directly from 1765's devil worship to the present Hurt, there is a long trail from then to now.

Oberon Sexton is the issue's other mystery man. He can fight well, suggesting such suspects as Bruce Wayne and the Joker, although perhaps not so well as you would expect of either of them. Damian's keen ear tells us that Sexton's accent is not properly English, ruling out the obscure Sir Anthony guess. He could still be Morrison, acting like King Mob in The Invisibles, but this possibility has gotten little attention of late, and would be hard to squeeze into an issue as packed as #12 seems bound to be. The teaser panel showing Sexton unmasking indicates a chin that is perhaps too square to be the Joker, but artistic license keeps that from being a certainty. However, he is determined to solve the Domino Mystery, and is either hesitant or uncertain regarding his real identity. He implicitly says that he is not Bruce Wayne, and his unmasking in the next issue would seem to guarantee that -- the solicit for #13 indicates that Bruce has not returned, although Sexton could be Bruce but as Damian opined last issue, "whatever happened changed him". Structurally, one would not expect so many clues pointing to the real answer before the identity is revealed. Note that in the Red Hood arc, Jason's name was given away before his identity was truly revealed. Maybe that was done, spoiling a tiny mystery, deliberately to give Morrison the ability to fake a red herring now and have Sexton truly be English.

Sexton's discussion of the demons attacking the cemetery implies that they came there not for him, as part of a simple chase from his hotel, but to dig something up, and it is likely what Dick Grayson has seen, and been battered by, but has not told us. It seems to involve a light, an energy source, and left him in poor condition, with his uniform tattered. He came up with the casket (box) that Joshua Wayne held in his portrait. At the moment, being attacked by a Deathstroke-controlled Damian (can't he just shut his eyes and make Deathstroke blind?), Dick has bigger worries than showing us what's inside or explaining what he found. He started his expedition in good form, sliding under a falling gate with his acrobat timing. As the issue ends, nothing but the comic book genre suggests that he can survive the next minute.

The demons actually provide the first clear indication of actual supernatural presence in this entire extended story, as a raven hovers behind Naberius and perches alongside him. Naberius has the eyes of a bird. But for all of that, he and his demon-named squad (Duke Vepar recites the Lord's Prayer in reverse) is no match for Damian and Sexton's ordinary martial arts. There are many demon names in cultural history, but Naberius was probably chosen because he is known for restoring lost dignities and honors. But whose honors will be restored -- those of Hurt (who wants status in Gotham, and he nearly had it in RIP), or those of Bruce? In the aforementioned "Lesser Key of Solomon", Naberius is the 24th ranking demon out of a host of 72. Barbatos is #8, and Bael #1. We see the rest of the 99 Fiends show up as the issue draws to a cliffhanger end. Naberius says that the 99 Fiends have no master. Could it be that we'll see an ultimate Big Bad who is not an individual at all, but a legion of demons? Or will this go all the way up the hierarchy, as indicated in Morrison's comments on RIP, to the #1? Naberius indicates that Barbatos is waking below... will we have a true demon, of superhuman size and power, like the Bat-Demon in World's Finest #255, join the fight?

If the detective in the story is always right (we've seen this before, although with Bruce as the detective), then we apparently have the identity of the Domino Killer: It has to be someone operating in Hurt's interest, because nobody planted the domino on Naberius, who is working for Hurt, and who has used "Mexican Train" in his language. But Sexton is the last remaining suspect who could have planted this domino (a 4:1, not in sequence with the "countdown" we saw before), and we've long had reason to suspect that there is no domino "killer".

Whatever happens next, with Hurt, Deathstroke, Barbatos, and ninety-some demons converging, with Robin out of action, and Dick Grayson on the ground, will take place near the grave of Alan Wayne, in the Garden of Death. Maybe some of the horrors of #666 may ensue. Or Dick Grayson's finest hour.

27 comments:

  1. It's also worth noting that Alan Wayne was Bruce's great-great grandfather, who I believe was the guy running the underground railroad under the Manor.

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  2. Keep in mind that there's possibly a third Thomas Wayne in play - Bruce's older brother, who was in both pre-crisis stories and Morrison's own Earth-2. He'd certainly qualify as a "dark twin".

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  3. Don't forget all the thomas words we're lower cased. So is Thomas the name or a word in this case?

    Also i'm still thinking Oberon is Joker, but we could be seeing someone who happens to be Bruce but not the way we think. Could he be the manifestation of the Omega Sanction. (O.S get it?) or the 5th incarnation of Batman? The Private Eye one.

    Also in DCU.Blog.DCOMICS.COM it has Morrison's notes on the new characters. Oberon's name originally was intented to be Auberon but he changed it to Oberon to have relation with the King of Faries from Shakespeare and to keep the mystery bigger, but would the name Auberon hold any worth now for a clue?

    And yeah for all we know Dr. Hurt just might be Morrison's way of re-introducing Bruce's long lost brother.

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  4. It was a great issue. This current arc is shaping up to be far and away my favorite B&R 3-parter so far.

    Thinking back, I find it interesting that Hurt (who seems to BE/HAVE BEEN the Older Thomas Wayne) claimed to be the Younger Thomas Wayne during "RIP"...and in B&R #13 it seems that he'll make this claim again, but publicly this time. I love how old tangents of Morrison's Batman come back around after you thought they had played themselves out. Remember that during "RIP" Hurt also had his contacts in the Gotham papers bring Thomas Wayne into the public consciousness again, and he had the Mayor suggest that perhaps Bruce's father never died. Looking back, it seems that these actions "primed the pump" for Hurt's imminent return to public life as (a) Thomas Wayne. Note that Hurt probably won't have to hide his villainous nature all that much, since the public is ready to encounter a Thomas Wayne who has been slandered in the press. Hurt will be able to act like an egocentric, cruel rich jerk to people's faces--have fun being evil and further ruin the Younger Thomas Wayne's reputation in the process.

    I also like how calling himself Thomas Wayne isn't exactly a complete lie, nor is it a lie to call himself Bruce's (fore)father. Of course, Hurt is stretching the truth greatly and misleading people, but there now seems to be some basis in fact there for him to cunningly twist.

    I still think Oberon is the Joker, as I've suspected ever since we first saw the character. But at this point, if it turns out to be someone else, I'll just smile and anticipate trying to figure out where Morrison's going. Because right now the Joker answer seems to make more and more sense to me; it would seem like a big shocking payoff that will have readers very eager to see what happens next (with a Joker/Batman/Robin team up?).

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  5. I love your blogs Rikdad. I hope that Grant Morrison gets a chance to read them. IGN-Comics should hire you.

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  6. One thing I'd like to add is that when the priest is giving his absolution to Hurt, if the blessing had cut into the middle of it, it would have been "...et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.", representing the whole of "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen." However, they miss an "i" in Filii and abandon the Father. Slight clerical error. Nothing to live or die by, just an eye roll from a pretty staunch young Catholic.

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  7. Excellent insights as usual. What are your thoughts on the possible connection between the literal underground railroad that Dick found in #11, the charity for railroad accidents in the name of Thomas Wayne, and the oncoming mexican train? It seems Hurt has something devastating planned in the next issue.

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  8. I don't think Morrison will ignore the pre-crisis brother of Bruce Wayne either, TWJR showing up wouldn't surprise me - even as Oberon.

    I also don't think Dick Grayson GETS a finest hour - his rescue of Damian, thrown off a roof, was shown to be unneeded, after all - this is not Dick's book. This book is about Damian and the absense of Bruce, not the guy filling his boots (and under Morrison's pen, not real well). If Dick doesn't die, it won't be of his doing.

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  9. How King Coal fit into these plans of Dr.Hurt?Also is Damian also wrong in deducing the identity of Oberon Sexton?That will be two times when two seemingly great detectives fail to identify a mysterious person during Morrison's run. Earlier one being Bruce. Why Bruce suspected Pierce to be Dr. Hurt?

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  11. I'm beginning to feel quite confident that oberon sexton is an omega sanctioned, amnesiac bruce wayne. the evidence is pretty compelling, especially when considered with the dearth of evidence for someone else.

    1) the cover to #11
    2) "o.s."
    3) the window escape, the being a detective, the fighting
    4) the interest in bruce wayne and the black glove
    5) going with my suspicion that OS planted the domino on the fiend in #11, that would fit - OS is behind the domino scheme he professes to research - leading him to Gotham, Batman, and the rest.
    6) in the event I'm wrong and he DIDN'T plant the domino, it still fits - past Bruce Wayne is planting the dominos in order to lead his amnesiac self to the truth - OS is hunting the domino killer, which led him to the Waynes.

    of course, there are some problems with this... namely, what does Hurt know about OS? If Hurt knew OS was Bruce Wayne, I don't think he would've simply ordered him to do something.

    I've been a big fan of the theory that OS is Pierce, simply because I think thats a big, juicy dangling plot thread, but there's not as much evidence for that right now.

    I'm still not sure why people seem so sure its the Joker. Its certainly possible, but we haven't seen any evidence for that - absent OS's comment about the previous Red Hood.

    I was reading JLA: Earth 2 today, and am back to thinking - as I suggested earlier and A.C.K. stated above - Thomas Wayne Jr may be Hurt. At the least, clever on Morrison for subtly working in so many possible suspects!

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  12. While I have been a strong supporter of Oberon being the Joker, and I still in many ways still believe that, there was something in issue #11 that stood out to me like a sore thumb that made me reconsider that stance.

    When Dick is running down the railroad and Alfred informs him that Damien is in the graveyard with Oberon Sexton, Dick's response is something to the effect of: "Oberon, HA, ...". (appologese for the inaccurate quoting, I dont have the issue infront of me".

    now the part that stands out is "HA". Why would Dick find this funny? is he laughing at the name, or at the whole "Oberon Situation"? And while "HA" may not be a direct indication of humour, it is clearly a sign of Dick not being concerned.

    The lack of conern that his response indicates does reduce the suspsion on Joker, due to it being a very dangerous situation for Damien to be in regardless of the potential for Joker to have been reformed. Joker would still pose a considerable amount of danger.

    Dick's response ultimatly lends itself more so to Oberon Sexton being Bruce Wayne (O.S. = Oberon Secton = Omega Sanctioned. nice pick up Drazar), with Oberon's presence not only being no reason to be concerned but also to be able to relax to the extent that Dick could laugh at the situation.

    Dick is a detective (as seen in the first arc and with the Wayne Manor scavanger hunt) and Bruce is his father. If OS is Bruce, then Dick is bound to have figured it out by now.

    The main question this is posed now is, why is Bruce remaining in the shadows? Is he wanting to see what Damien is capable of without him constantly trying to show off to Bruce? Is he wanting to see that Damien can work with others and that it is necessary for him in order to progress as a crime fighter? (a necessary lesson after Damien's run in with Tim Drake, and even Talia is in a team up)
    So is Bruce trying to do all of this without being so far off the radar that he is placing Gotham in danger with this up coming crisis?

    Issue #12 can't come fast enough.

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  13. Tons of good comments; I'm too short of time to comment on them all. I really like the point elliot makes about the multiple "train" references. Could they *all* tie together? Was some evil use of the "corpse road" to gather runaway slaves, perhaps as sacrifices? Did someone evil sluice off Wayne money, with a sinister explanation that it was for victims of the railroad? Do the dominoes relate?

    An added observation that seems potentially meaningful: As fans of "Batman", we naturally read those lines about a dark twin as a hint that Hurt may be the dark twin of Batman.

    But that's a highly unnatural way for him to describe himself if he is a centuries-old evil man who has been doing evil all this time and then suddenly Bruce Wayne showed up doing good. Does Luthor describe himself as "Superman's enemy?" No, he sees himself as the focal character in his life, with Superman as a nuisance to HIM.

    So something feels wrong about Hurt using those lines if were he trying to say, "I'm Batman's bad counterpart." So I think (and hope) that he means something else. Perhaps he feels that he is the "shadow" of whatever man "Doctor Hurt" used to be. Or of God. But it's awfully gracious and self-minimizing of him if he sees himself as the bad version of Batman.

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  14. Gutter, I'm still not really sold as Oberon as the Joker, but I actually thought that Dick's "Ha" line might have been a tip-off that he IS the Joker. My assumption is that Dick is so wrapped up in everything that is going on with the Waynes and Hurt at the moment that Oberon's presence really makes things WEIRD (for lack of a better term) and adds another element to this plot that even Dick isn't sure of what to make.

    If Oberon IS Joker, "Ha" might mean two things:

    1. Light-hearted Dick is laughing at how complicated Oberon's presence is making everything, and doesn't yet know Oberon is Joker. This is tough, though, because Dick is a GREAT detective and probably wouldn't let Oberon's identity slip. In having Dick say "Ha," Morrison is giving away Oberon's identity.

    2. Dick knows that Oberon is Joker, and is reacting to the unpredictability of the whole situation in a manner that is consistent with his light-hearted demeanor throughout this whole run. Aside from everything that is going on, Dick now has to deal with whatever Joker has planned, and his instinct is give a quick laugh before the final confrontation.

    I really don't know how any of these ties in with the Hurt/Waynes situation; I really don't know what to make of that, and I think it's going to be a while before the Wayne family history is straightened out.

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  15. Oberon is Old Thomas Wayne. I'm calling it now. All the scenes in Mexico are flash backs.

    http://www.nightwingfanclub.com

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  16. Just a minor, off-topic note. In B&R #2 Damian says to Dick: "This pathetic IMPERSONATION of my father makes a MOCKERY of his memory!" This is the same sort of accusation Bruce could make to Hurt regarding the latter's impersonation of Bruce's father. I love these little "analogies" that Morrison hides within this run; something one character says in one context might as well be the same sort of comment that another character would make regarding a different situation. I don't know if it's all super-thought-out and intentional, but Damian's line here seems to allude on a meta level to Hurt's (once...and future?) impersonation of the younger Thomas Wayne.

    As far as why I think Oberon is the Joker, I think the build-up has been evident. What would (Morrison have) the Joker do in Bruce's absence? Who would need a head-to-toe disguise? Who would need to disguise their voice? Who would know about the Red Hood and want to help against Hurt? Who would find the fun in all that and not want the fun to end until the time was right for the punchline? Who would know demonology (see the Moench/Jones Batman arc with the Joker and Etrigan)? The first arc of B&R was about a circus (that lacked a clown) and featured the hideout from The Killing Joke, the second arc was about the Red Hood (who once was the Joker) and Jason Todd (killed by the Joker), the third featured a Killing Joke-esque interview between Batman and an imprisoned criminal, and it was set in England: the commonality underlying all of this would be the Joker, impersonating Oberon the Englishman. The Joker touches on all of the themes of all of the first three arcs, and he has a connection to the Black Glove-related stuff, and the "resurrection" theme of the third act is even tangentially related to the Joker since Jason Todd (another Red Hood) was killed by the Joker and resurrected. It's almost like you can't discuss the background of any of these themes without mentioning the Joker before too long. The Joker is the airborn-drug-using/mind-controlling Bat-villain par excellence, so that links up with all of what Pyg was doing. I just think the Joker would be a huge payoff AND a suitable shock. It's a payoff because in retrospect Joker-related thematics have been present throughout much of B&R so far. It's a shock because the Joker hasn't been directly mentioned yet.

    I don't think it'll be another variation of Bruce Wayne, because frankly that would be too complicated at this point. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't go in for all of this potential amnesiac, Earth 2, Owl-Man, Pre-Crisis, long-lost-brother, etc, etc whatever etc stuff. I think that's too complicated, at least at this point. I think with B&R we're in for more of a straightforward story and payoff. On the other hand, I'm at a complete loss as for how Bruce Wayne actually will return to present continuity. So maybe Oberon is some form of Bruce, but I just think that would create a lot of really complicated, torturous continuity problems, which would be very pedantic and un-fun to explain. Whereas, to me, a Joker reveal would seem like super-fun brilliance, so I hope and expect Morrison will opt for the latter.

    Also, just read the following today in the backmatter of the B&R HC. Morrison: "BATMAN AND ROBIN was intended to feel 'haunted' by the Joker from the very beginning. Although he does not appear in person in this volume, you will find numerous deliberate and carefully inserted traces of the Clown Prince of Crime's sinister presence throughout the series..." Doesn't appear "in person", huh? Hm.

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  17. I read that quote from the deluxe edition too DAL, and I think the more interesting part of it is whrn Morrison stated that the Joker doesn't appear in "this volume", indirectly stating that he will be appearing in future volumes.

    So if Oberon is Joker, why is Dick no worried. Does he know Joker so well that he know without Bruce then the Joker is harmless or even a force for good.

    What is the "ying" when you remove the "yang"?

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  18. It's great that we're so obsessed with these mysteries that we parse Morrison's comments so finely. :) Morrison could be indicating that the Joker shows up in Vol. 1...just not "in person" (i.e., in disguise)...and that the Joker will show up "in person" (as himself "The Joker") in Vol. 2...which will end with B&R #12. But you could also truthfully say that Mickey Mouse "does not appear in person" in Vol. 1 of B&R either...and that wouldn't mean that Oberon Sexton is Mickey Mouse.

    As far as Dick's "ha" comment: I don't think Dick has any idea who Oberon is. I don't think he's a good enough detective to have figured it out while falling through trap doors, talking about OTHER mysteries with Alfred, uncovering secret passageways, and fighting a demon (or whatever caused him trouble off-panel). I think Dick's "ha" just expresses his pleasant surprise that the detective he just consulted with before returning to Wayne Manor has now in fact shown up at Wayne Manor and is helping Damian out. And perhaps the "ha" also serves as a wink from Morrison to the readers, if Oberon is indeed the Joker.

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  19. Hey everyone. Sorry to get off topic but I'm currently rereading Morrison's run and I've just finished R.I.P. today. However there were two moments that stood out. Batman at one point in the final issue states that he knew Jet was against him when she said "Bruce I want you to know that I understand." I just went back to the other hardcovers and skimmed through them and I can't find that moment. Does anyone know where it is? Please point it out to me if you do, thanks. Secondly in the final confrontation between Batman and Hurt, Batman says "Mangrove Pierce, star of "The Black Glove". My father's double and mine." Could Mangrove be Hurt? After reading Batman & Robin #11 it seems like the "double" could mean "double you". Hurt then says that he skinned Mangrove alive and wore him to Mayhew's party. Meaning he's Mangrove possessed by the devil I assume. I don't know if this has been talked about yet.

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  20. Bones, Jezebel said that in #664. The issue began with Bruce and Jezebel on a "first date" skiing after his encounter with man-bats attacking Gibraltar (which was way back in #658; the intervening issues were out of sequence).

    My belief (others disagree) is that Mangrove Pierce was likely the source of the skinned-off face seen in the video in #667. He was probably the man seen upside-down on the first page of that issue, and Hurt was probably the man holding the knife. I think it's far too neat that we saw
    A) a vulnerable man being threatened by an evil man who talks like Hurt and held a knife
    B) a skinned-off face (or something that looked just like one) shown in a video at Mayhew's party
    C) Hurt claiming that he skinned Mayhew and wore him to Mayhew's party

    I think those dots have to connect. What's not clear is what happened to Pierce after that. We he alive but faceless (a la Flamingo's victim) or just plain dead? If the former, I think Pierce could be Sexton.

    On the other hand, it's not totally impossible that Pierce could be the body of Hurt, possessed by the Devil. The resemblance is close enough for Bruce to suspect it. However, we know that Pierce was in jail for several years, so Hurt likely wouldn't have wanted to have sat out that sentence; maybe Pierce served his time and was taken over by the Devil afterwards.

    But we know that everyone connected with the Black Glove film is either dead or missing; Pierce was the male lead, so he's surely part of that list. So either he's publicly known to be dead (which could be incorrect) or missing.

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  21. DAL, per the clues to Sexton, Joker/Bruce/other, I have been thinking, as a point of comparison, of the panel in #677 where Jezebel had bat wings behind her head, looking like horns. People noticed this and variously claimed it was evidence or proof that she was evil, or even the Black Glove. In retrospect, knowing everything, can we say it was evidence? [shrug] It could have been. It might not have been. It's possible that Tony Daniel made that decision without direction from Morrison, and furthermore possible that TD didn't even know that Jezebel was evil. Or it could have been a deliberate sign.

    So looking forward, it's always possible that "little clues" are real clues, red herrings, coincidences, or none of the above. It's always even possible that if you ask the creator, he'll say "I didn't intend that to be a clue, but I like the idea... it works; wish I'd thought of it!"

    I think that every possibility for Sexton has at least one problem with it, and that the answer is simply undetermined. If we poll 100 of us, maybe 51 of us (or only 1 of us) will guess correctly, but it would still be an educated guess, not a solution to a solvable mystery.

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  22. To all,

    I think the "ha" is interpretable, in-story, as Dick saying "ha" in regards to the discoveries he described *after* the "ha", not to "Sexton?"

    It's clear that when Dick entered Wayne Manor in #10, and he discussed Sexton, that he didn't know who Sexton was. There's no way [as DAL said] that he figured it out while running through secret passages solving other mysteries. And if he figured it out and it was Bruce, the Joker, or (eg) Thomas Wayne, there's no WAY he would not say something about it to Alfred. Any of those would be an occasion to drop every other matter in his attention or at least SAY something about the revelation.

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  23. http://io9.com/5517352/grant-morrisons-philosophy-of-comics


    grant says he is not oberon sexton.

    i love your thoughts though. please update more often.

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  24. When Damien refers to Sexton not being English I thought it might be related to Morrison being Scottish. When Scots go to America they are often confused with the English as both are in the UK. Is it possible that Sexton is Scottish? I can't think of too many possibilities for that outwith Morrison himself.

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  25. Spent 15 minutes typing and blogger erased it all!! Oh well.

    Reading BR11 (how I wish it was still biweekly!) made me notice two things. First, El Penitente's opening speech, 2nd that Sexton cannot be BW or certainly not in a simple way. Joker seems to give most of the payoff, but I am with Rikdad here, with the clues given, the mystery is not solvable. A couple of things that GM said in those recent interviews seem to rule out both BW and Joker as OS. He said Bruce is coming back shortly after 16 and that Joker will show up at the end (or something to that effect).

    As far as the speech goes, reading it, seems clear El Penitente is telling the priest he is the devil or at least evil. But it is interesting how he tells the priest the sign of the double you. What does he mean exactly by that? It is a curious way of saying it. Something else I found curious was his statement regarding how long he has been waiting for this day. And that gave me this whacky idea that Hurt was impersonating him. It seemed strange for Hurt to say that he has been waiting for a long time, when he has just tried to destroy Bruce, and take me home, when he has just being there.

    Note that I am not saying Hurt was not the devil in RIP or meant to be. Clearly that was the case and I am at a loss to understand all those posters on the Dc boards who argue the contrary. What I am whackily thinking is that perhaps this dark twin (Old TW, the devil) is the real deal and Hurt was either sent by him (hence his comments about being TW) or was impersonating him. It would explain Hurt's look of fear in the helicopter. I realize it has a lot of holes, but those words of El Penitente seem important.

    GM also made comments in his interviews about BW leaving clues for Batman and Robin. He mentions the tattered costume. Is that Dick is wearing perhaps? Is that what he has found? What he doesn't mention but I thought of, is what if the dominoes are then those clues left by BW, terrifying because they are made of bones of his ancestors? It would bring together a lot of the strands that Rikdad has set here.

    Back to proposal writing....

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