Friday, December 26, 2008

Battle for the Cowl

Even during Klordny, one cannot dance for a week non-stop (even with the assistance of anti-grav discs). So, those of you who actually read blogs at home (instead of while you are *ahem* "working") I ask to consider the teaser image for Battle for the Cowl.

I have to say, I like teaser images. Sure, they're deceptive and usually much shallower than the analysis we fans lavish on them. Sure, they sometimes look like someone photoshopped them together rather than drew them as an integral image. Sure, they scream "use me as your desktop wallpaper."

But they are so very DC. They are intellectual puzzles, firmly rooted in DC's genre of detective comics. While Marvel trumpets, DC intrigues. Marvel is a monster truck rally commercial and DC a symbolic Renaissance painting.

They reaffirm the DC style of using art to tell a story, not to substitute for one. DC's use of teaser images are a clever adaptation to the new world of internet fandom. It's not the old days where readers had no idea what was coming until it hit the stands. DC's adapted to the fact that nowadays people know for months that something like Battle for the Cowl is coming, and gives us an intellectual chew-toy to keep us engaged while waiting for our literary dinner.

First, the easy part: identifying the Batmen themselves.

Now it starts to get trickier. Our supporting characters are:

Already the questions accumulate. Whose is the corpse in the box? What role could Harley Quin have in the story? Does Batwoman's magnifying glass symbolize that she'll try to solve the myster of where the real Batman is? Aren't there an awful lot of guns there for a Batman family photo? Why is Two-Face covering the unscarred part of his face? Did Alfred amputate his lower body and replace it with a Tumbler? Who's overseeing crate quality at Wayne Enterprises, any way?

It only gets stranger when you take the background props into account. The case with Batman costume straigtforwardly represents the absent Bruce Wayne, of course, and the robot dinosaur is, well, it's there because it's in every Batcave establishing shot (even though almost no one else I've met has actually read the "Dinosaur Island" story it comes from). But the Joker card located near Harley Quinn... surely that "J" is reversed for some reason. And the Giant Penny behind Two-Face-- why, it's scarred just like his coin; hmm.

I certainly have some thoughts, but I'd rather hear yours first....

The image is oddly missing Batgirl-- I'd had the impression that she was a major player in this.

You're right about bandolier bats-- but somehow I thought the pose suggested Jason.
I love the phrase "intellectual chew-toy". So perfect.

For some reason, I love the idea of Tim as Batman. Especially a short teenaged Batman. THAT'LL scare people!
Is that a wheel behind Bruce/Tommy? A wheel like in wheel-chair?
I think it is interesting that each Batman seems to have a "Robin". Tim Drake/Batman seems to have Harley Quinn. Dick Grayson/Batman seems to have Alfred. Dr. Hurt/Batman seems to have Damian (although this could be the other way around). Two Face/Batman has Batgirl. And Bandolier Batman (who I think is Jason Todd) has the corpse in a box. And since that hand look femine and small my mind immediately jumps to the one person not in this picture but has recently returned from the dead: Spoiler.

I also wonder if the background tells us what those people are doing. Is Tim going after the Joker? Is Dick setting up shop at Wayne manor? Is two face starting his own Batman gang or working with the Outsiders? Hard to say.

Thanks for the photo.
Did anyone notice that the arm in the box looks funny? Shouldn't the thumb be facing the other side?
Maybe it's just an error, but that is an RIGHT arm, so it had to be severed to fit in that box.
Wow that Robin comment is thought provoking.
por barbara- def oracle in the box
I thought the Batwoman with a magnifying glass shot might just be pointing to her taking over the lead in Detective Comics for a bit.
I also thought bandoleer Batman was Jason Todd. Didn't his mother die in the same issue he died? If so, his "sidekick", if that idea by Lee holds, could be his mother. Twisted, sure. His sidekick is the person he sought and died saving (though she died anyway).

I think I'm looking too much into this, haha.
I really really really really hope I am wrong - considering she is my favorite character in the whole DCU - but I am thinking Cassandra Cain is in that box. Didio has said that Babs will prolly be back as Batgirl (Because he is moving the DCU backwards instead of forwards) so I am thinking it is Cassie in the box.
okay here goes: Hush fools Gotham into thinking he's Bruce alive from the crash (speech impediment notwithstanding), takes over Wayne manor and the batcave, kicking out both Alfred and Tim, replacing the latter w with his lil evil damien robin possibly altered to look like Tim, meanwhile in cahoots with Iron-Batcop-Morrison-Revival who has put this chick in the box (por lil cass). TwoFace playin both sides settin up his giant coin and junk in the batcave while somehow runnin game on lesbat-woman, Dick and Tim share the mantle halftime, due to their sexin lives with Koriand'r and Harley (c'mon tim you dont want what jokers been with). There you go. Boom.
Brilliant, David! Aaaand boom goes the dynamite. :^)
Every time I look at the picture, the one you've pegged to be Dick Grayson makes me think 'Catman'. Something about the pose, the ears, the boots ... just reminds me of Catman.
I think I'm geting the hang of this clue stuff. It's obvious that a new DC-Marvel crossover is coming, judging by the damage to the giant penny.
Batwoman appears to be looking directly at Hush and Damien. I think Hush, while posing as Wayne, does something that will tip Kathy Kane off to the fact that he's an impostor and she'll investigate.
Off topic- In the poll to the right there I pick Fred Van Lente! Only guy that'll make me by a comic on the strength of his name alone, something I discovered this year.
isn"t batwoman's hair brown? Hmmm...
Nope, she's a redhead.
I try not to look too hard at these teasers that DC produces. It's always the same symbolic misleading. "And his arm is pointing down, so of course he was doomed from the beginning".

I mean, I enjoy these games a lot, but I don't think the answers are that literal.
Your intro to this post contrasting DC and Marvel, reminded me of a question that's been bugging me; and since you're the one who's best put into words the differences between the two companies, I wondered if you'd ever noticed this? In the Marvel U, you can easily come up with a list of heroes who used to be villains (or who've switched sides a dozen times). Some, they've been heroes so long it's almost trivia that they started out as villains (Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye) In the DCU, I really can't think of any major hero who started as a villain, or who switched sides...?

If I'm not just unconsciously glossing over examples from the DCU, then it would seem to fit with the Romance v. Detective dichotomy you've set up, but then again I'd think a detective/mystery story would allow for crossing sides to make things more interesting. Or maybe I'm just thinking about it too much.
What are you dense? Let's make one thing perfectly clear: Ain't nobody "am Batman" unless he and/or she "am THE GODDAMN Batman".
The Dinosaur Island story was one of the first Batman stories I ever read. it's in the 100 page Super-Spectacular Batman #256.
Looks like my post didn't post, so, here I go again.
I got here thanks to a link posted in Siskoid's Blog of Geekery and I found your blog quite entertaining. Just added you to my blogroll XD
Anyway, this was quite an entertaining read on Batman's new add for "Battle of the Cowl". You got some good insight into it. Great work. You'll have me around!
In the DCU, I really can't think of any major hero who started as a villain, or who switched sides...?


...and Black Canary now that I think of it.
Black Canary, not so much really. She started out as a "female Robin Hood", stealing from bad guys and, along the way, helping Johnny Thunder catch them. Against the law, I know, but so was Batman when he started out. Over at Marvel, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch never had their hearts in their villainy either. Sinestro, though, was a full-fledged hero who then became a full-fledged villain.
In his first appearance, it seemed to me that Black Adam was corrupted by the power of Shazam almost immediately; but in later retellings he was shown to have operated for good for a time before going over to the dark side.
Major Disaster?
I'm also afraid, that Cassie Cain lies under/in that wooden box.
Or it might be the Huntress... Since the original Huntress - with the more interesting story - has been revived on Earth 2, DC might pass on the New Earth-version.
At NY Comic Con, they gave away pins featuring Hush, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Nightwing with the words "I am Batman" underneath.

This leads me to suspect that your right about all the Batmen (and Tommy Eliot) - except Bandolier Batman. That's probably Jason Todd

Another "Battle for the Cowl" image shows Robin (Tim), Jason Todd, Nightwing, Hush and Catwoman.

Perhaps the arm is Catwoman's
Hi, Jason Langois.

Maybe that's not Catman but WILDCAT

If you look at the cover for Batman:Battle for the Cowl #1 (releasing March 11) - there's an image of Nightwing holding Batman's cape standing amongst Batwoman, Catwoman, Robin (Damien), Huntress and WILDCAT.
I really like to see Dick as Batman but maybe the role of Nightwing is to find the next Batman and the magnifying glass in batwoman it's a thing to see sort of "oracle"
This won't succeed in actual fact, that is what I believe.
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