Written By Joshua Dyson
Grant Morrison is one of the biggest names currently writing comic books. The Glaswegian writer is most famous for his work on the JLA, X- Men, All-star Superman and of course Batman. In 1989 DC published Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A serious house on serious Earth, which is considered as one of the greatest Batman stories and received both critical and commercial acclaim. The release of Arkham Asylum launched Morrison’s career leading to work on Animal Man, Doom patrol & the JLA. His run on the JLA proved he could write great team stories, with each character shining rather than just the more well-known characters, i.e. Batman & Superman taking the limelight. The peak of the run has to be the ‘rock of ages’ arc which saw the team take on Darkseid. In ‘rock of ages’ we also saw Morrison’s ability to turn even the most ridiculous characters into amazing and well written story devices, as proven with the use of the Black Racer. During his work on the JLA, Morrison also wrote an excellent Batman, one who was just and prepared for any scenario.
This brings us to Morrison’s Batman run, an epic arc that was first published in 2005. The story is littered with brilliant moments that built upon The Batman canon, from the introduction of Damien Wayne to the new Dynamic Duo in which Dick Grayson takes up the mantle of the Bat. Below are my top 3 collected volumes from this run.
1) Batman & Son
Morrison couldn’t have started his run better. The plot revolves around the introduction of Damien Wayne, the child of Bruce Wayne & Talia Al’ Guhl, after one night of passion in which Talia drugged Batman in order to have his child, as she perceives him to be the perfect man who can give her the heir to her father Ras. At first some may be sceptical about Bruce Wayne having a son, but Morrison removes all doubts as Damien is one of the best written characters in the Batman canon. The dynamic between him and the rest of the Bat family is great, with highlights such as disobeying his father by decapitating a criminal and his fight with Tim Drake to become the new Robin.
1) Batman RIP
Batman RIP is one of the best batman stories; it highlights Morrison’s love for the Batman history. Rather than shying away from its past, Morrison embraces it and makes it work, for example the inclusion of Bat-Mite and his connection to the 5th dimension. We also see the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, a backup Bruce created in case he was attacked psychologically, who wears bright colours as a show of complete confidence. This might be one of the best moments in the entire arc as it totally redevelops one of the weakest moments from the canon and makes it plausible. Another highlight in the ‘Batman RIP’ arc is Morrison once again showing how resourceful Bruce is, by digging his way out of the grave, a pure fist pump moment.
3) Batman & Robin Reborn
After the apparent death of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson takes over the mantle of the Bat with Damien Wayne as his boy wonder. The relationship between a calm Batman and an angry fist pumping robin is perfection and is a fresh new take on the dynamic duo. Morrison revitalises the series with grotesque villains, the series should have run and run, Dick and Damien were Batman and Robin.
Overall Morrison’s work on the Batman was some of his best, a fantastic arc, with new characters that both honour the Batman history and add to it.
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