The New Batman Status Quo: Less Dark, More White Collar

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Grant Morrison has been talking about what to expect from Batman, Inc., his new fall-launching series that takes place after The Return On Bruce Wayne and sees the Dark Knight rebrand himself and his community. In an interview with the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog, he expressed his view of a more cultured, less screwed-up Bruce Wayne than fans may be familiar with:

I was kind of used to the savage vigilante, but when I really began to think of it, someone who had gone through this life process to be Batman would have much more psychological depth. A man who is that advanced in meditation and martial arts and yoga is not going to be a one-note vigilante crime fighter. There are a lot more spiritual aspects and weird aspects to Bruce Wayne’s personality that have not been explored a lot… [T]here was a tendency to push the character into a very dark place where I think he didn’t entirely belong. There’s a lot more to a man like that, if you want to try to take it seriously and imagine what he would be like. There was almost a blue-collar Batman that was being presented. This guy who is very singular and thuggish in his motivations and I thought we had to kind of bring back an aristocratic seeker, the guy who has traveled the world and seen and done everything.

This time around, Wayne will return to Gotham City with an eye to gathering allies:

He starts to bring in more people. The first 12 issues of the book will be team-ups with Batman and different characters as he [is] traveling the world and kind of training people.  And at the end we found out what that’s all about; it’s not just habit or routine. He actually has a big agenda. That leads into where I’m taking this… That’s what it’s all about: Branding.

Is the comic world really ready for a Bat-franchise within the stories, as well as in the number of comics featuring the character? Morrison believes so:

It’s really weird. Batman can take anything. You can do comedy Batman, you can do gay Batman…it all works. It something intrinsic to the character. It ‘s so strange and amazing… Nothing I’ve done with Batman is so shocking that it hasn’t been seen before. I’ve tried to tell fans: ‘Don’t worry about time travel, he’s done it before, we’re just going to see it in more conventional, more down-to-earth way.” Don’t worry about the aspects of this stuff, we’re re-drawing aspects of Batman’s history all the time… This is a lot like “Batman Family,” I suppose, except the family is very extended in this case and it’s global.  I tell people not to worry. Batman can take it. He’d done it before.

Batman, Inc. debuts in October.

More On Techland:

The Dark Knight’s Return: Arkham Sequel Out in Fall 2011

Grant Morrison Announces “Batman Inc.” At Comic-Con