Friday, July 17, 2015

Probably doesn't believe in aliens or ghosts, either. What an idiot.


Thanks to the reviews over at Siskoid's Blog of Geekery, I've been watching a lot of old X-Files episodes lately. There's a point, possibly a hundred episodes or so in, where Scully's trademark skepticism has been more or less eroded away by the constant barrage of weird and unexplainable crap she's seen. In a fictional universe like that, it seems disbelief will only get you so far. That would be like living in the DC universe and not believing in Batman; like the narrator in today's book: from 2002, Batman: Gotham Knights #31, "Clean" Written by Devin Grayson, pencils by Roger Robinson, inks by John Floyd. Cover by Dave Gibbons.

We checked out a prior issue of Gotham Knights a couple months back, part of the "Bruce Wayne--Murderer?" serial; today's issue is the seventeenth and penultimate chapter of "Bruce Wayne: Fugitive." The cleaner, Amherst, has buried a lot of evidence, but someone is after him now: the Batman. Except Amherst doesn't believe that: he thinks Batman isn't real, he's just a cover story, made up to draw attention from whatever's really going on. His theory would make sense, if this was a story set earlier in Batman's career, but set present-day, it sounds like Amherst is burying his head in the sand. We've noted it before: Batman writers and editors tend to want it both ways, that Batman is both an urban legend and a public figure. Which doesn't really track; it would be like Bigfoot giving a press conference and then expecting people to still not believe in him. Well, I suppose some people still wouldn't, but they'd be the same type that don't believe in the moon landing, either.

Anyway, Batman tracks down the special forces team that assisted Amherst, and just brutalizes them. Literally. The team's C.O. does believe in Batman, not because he just watched him thrash his men, but because he read the reports. "We have no intel on Batman ever killing anyone," he says. Batman corrects him: they have no evidence, which isn't the same thing...

Batman is either absolutely willing to cripple the special forces team to get what he wants, or really sells it; the C.O. coughs it up. Although Amherst convinces himself to stick with his plan, get out on schedule, not panic and run; he probably would have had a better chance that way. Batman finds the cleaner, and finds out he delivered payment to a "Mr. Smith" for a character assassination...on Bruce Wayne. Who gave him his orders? All the way at the top, baby. Since there's only one issue left in this storyline, I'm pretty sure the next chapter is like 99% exposition as Batman puts it all together, but I'm also positive that the culprit received like absolutely zero comeuppance for anything that's happened in the last thirty issues...

3 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah I don't get wanting to have it both ways either. As you said, at this point, there's no way the average DCU citizen doesn't believe Batman's an urban myth, especially Gothamites.

Absolutely LOVE Batman punking out those special forces guys. Especially telling them their weaknesses as he takes 'em down.
And that's why he's the damn man.

googum said...

It's the specificity of Bats' threats that get me. "Sure would be too bad, if someone destroyed your left anterior cruciate ligament in such a way as to be surgically unrepairable. By that I mean, someone like me. Right now."

Dale Bagwell said...

Exactly. Kind of dickish if he wasn't a good guy....but this is Batman we're talking about, so yeah hero or not, he's gonna be uber dickish at times.