Comic Book: Grant Morrison's Batman
published the first story of "The Bat-Man" in May of 1939, written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane. In the years since then, Batman
has become one of DC's premier superheroes; along with Superman
and Wonder Woman
, Batman comprises a vital part of DC's Trinity
. And in the decades that have followed his debut, the Caped Crusader has been influenced by a slew of great artists and writers; each having a unique interpretation of the character and a good number leaving a lasting impression on the Dark Knight and his world.
Yet being published in at least one, then two, book(s) continuously for 70 years presents two problems: (1) how to keep the character of Batman interesting and (2) how to keep the character from becoming too esoteric as time goes on. Batman, like most of the DCU, had at least two attempts to reconcile this, by first separating the Golden Age
Batman from the Silver Age
Batman and then later by partially rebooting Batman's history with the Crisis Crossovers
of Crisis on Infinite Earths
and Zero Hour
In the wake of Infinite Crisis
, Batman's history was rebooted yet again. But as the readers would soon discover, this reboot would not remove anything from Batman's past this time around; in fact the exact opposite occurred.
After the end of Batman's "One Year Later" story, noted writer Grant Morrison
became the head writer for the eponymous "Batman" monthly magazine. As Morrison's run went on, fans soon discovered that all of the previously removed portions of Batman's history had been restored to full Canon
status in some way or another. ALL OF IT.
(Even the bits that contradict the other bits!)
Morrison has stated that he intends his work to be part of a series
, with "four [collected] volumes and, if the cards are right, a fifth volume, a final volume"
: His complete Batman run includes the following:
- Batman and Son
- The Three Ghosts of Batman
- The Black Glove
- Batman R.I.P.
- Last Rites ("The Butler Did It" and "What the Butler Saw")
- The Missing Chapters
- Batman and Robin
- Batman #700
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
- Batman: The Return
- Batman Inc.
Previously, Morrison wrote a Batman story called Batman: Gothic
, which explores some of the same themes as this run. See also Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
, released in 1989 by the same author.
Tropes particular to Morrison's Batman:
- Adaptation Distillation: Inverted! This story takes everything that's ever happened to Batman in the mainstream continuity as canon and merges and reworks anything that doesn't work out.
- All There in the Manual: The Black Casebook, a collection of older stories which Morrison used to build his Myth Arc and which are referred to several times throughout the story. While not necessary to understand the events on what is going on per se, it can provide the proper context to the backstory of what Morrison is writing.
- And the Adventure Continues: The final issue ends on an usually somber version of this. Talia is dead, Gotham is saved and Bruce sincerely wants to retire as Batman but that fantasy is short lived as Damian and Talia's graves have been robbed and Ra's Al Ghul seems to be mounting a new plan using Damian's clones. The last issue ends it the acknowledgement that Batman's mission will never end.
- And This Is for...: "And this? This is for Mr. Unknown"
- The Antichrist: Assuming Batman is the Christ:
- Devil-Batman is initially implied to be this.
- Batman mentions having visions of his son Damian becoming the Anti-Antichrist in a possible future.
- It's later implied that the Heretic might be the real deal. His origins do seem strangely prophetic.
- Arc Words: "Zur En Arrh."
- "Batman and Robin will never die!"
- "The Hole in Things"
- Arch-Enemy: As the leader of the Leviathan Organization, Talia is hoping to, through high grade enough evil, become Bruce's. Damian's death puts the individual as high in the running, alongside the Heretic.
- Ax-Crazy: Flamingo can give the Joker a run for his money in this department. He literally eats faces. Also Professor Pig but again, Flamingo's got him beat.
- Badass: Pretty much everyone in Batman Inc. obviously. Batman's goal is to unite them all under one banner as a Badass Army.
- Badass Longcoat: If Damian ever becomes Batman as he was portrayed in 666 and 700, he will forego the cape in favor of one of these.
- Bad Future: We see one in 666 and 700 where Damian has become Batman and Gotham is worse than ever.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Averted by the Joker, who lampshades it in the process.
- Played straight much later on, with a radical new set of clothes.
- Batman Gambit: Of course. There are a few, but the one from Return of Bruce Wayne stands out. Essentially everything after Bruce says "Trust me" to Superman in the second chapter and has his memory wiped is a scheme to confuse Darkseid's Omega Adaptor into fixating on the wrong entity (one of the archivists from Vanishing Point who impersonates Bruce) so it can be brought back to the 21st century to be separated from him and dealt with by the Justice League. It's a Batman Gambit as Bruce has no idea how the JLA will deal with the adaptor, he just knows that they'll figure it out somehow.
- Batter Up: The main weapon of the Bat-Man of Zur-en-Arrh is an ordinary wooden baseball bat. And his loony enthusiasm.
- Because I'm Jonesy: In the third issue of the Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries, a time-displaced character washes up on a beach in 1718, and is taken for the notorious masked pirate whose ship has just been sunk. One of the characters gathered around narrates:
As for the stranger, of him I knew one sure thing only. He could not possibly be the Black Pirate.
- Big Bad:
- Doctor Hurt for the Black Glove arc.
- Talia al-Ghul for the Leviathan arc with Batman Incorporated.
- Bigger Bad: Darkseid. The Hyper Adapter which corrupted Thomas Wayne, Jr. and turned him into Dr. Hurt is Darkseid's creation. Mandrakk, a cosmic vampire, also counts.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Ultimately Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove are this in the grand scheme of things. Joker calls them out on it while slaughtering the lot of them.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Club of Heroes for Robin, and Nightwing for Batman.
- "It's all over." The real Bruce Wayne comes back!
- Bilingual Bonus: Batman Inc. #3 has whole narration boxes in Spanish.
- Bittersweet Ending: Talia, Dr. Dedalus, the Heretic, and Leviathan as a whole have been destroyed, but Damien and Knight died in the process. Ra's al-Ghul has been freed from his prison and is setting to work reforming the League of Assassins, The Joker has reinvented himself and will continue to do so as long as he lives, and attempts to investigate Spyral will most likely result in nothing of real note, meaning that they'll all get away with their crimes. Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove have been defeated, Jason has redeemed himself as the new Wingman, and Squire takes on Knight's mantle. Kathy Kane is actually alive but her and Batman will never be together again. Batman Inc. go their separate ways having saved the world, but all feeling that the cost was too great. In the end Batman himself, though devastated by Damien's death, refuses to give up and sets to work protecting Gotham and the world once more being ready, willing, and able to save everyone... except himself.
- Body Horror: The Dollotrons. First you get a mask that bonds irrevocably to your skin. Then, Pyg does... something to you (implied to be a form of lobotomy/genital mutilation), leaving you looking and acting like a melted Kewpie doll. And Pyg thinks this is an improvement.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Damian. Initially to the absolute point of being The Scrappy. He gets better in Batman and Robin (he's less bratty, for one thing).
- Break the Haughty: Jason believed that his lethal brand of vigilante justice brought results and made him better than less ruthless crimefighters. Cue Flamingo.
- Brick Joke: Odd, reverse example - Dick occassionally complains how difficult crime fighting with a cape is. Guess what article of the original Batsuit Damian didn't include in the previously published 666th Batman issue?
- Buried Alive: Tiwards the end of RIP the Club of Villains bury Batman alive. Unusually for this trope, their plan is to dig him up just after air has run out. Leaving him alive, but brain-damaged. He gets out (he's the Goddamn Batman) and he is pissed.
- Call Back: The intro sequence of B&R #16 is one to Peter Milligan's Dark Knight, Dark City story.
- Came Back Wrong: A serious case by the looks of it. According to Superman, if Bruce returns to the 21st century on his own, Everybody Dies.
- Although Superman was not exactly at his brightest during Bruce's absence and completely failed to consider that the Goddamn Batman might know what he was doing. Even after Bruce said "Trust me", Superman's reaction was to try to smash the time sphere being constructed around him and the other heroes.
- Canon Immigrant:
- Terry McGinnis, at least in a 'future' continuity of New Earth that may never be.
- Lord Death Man, a villain from Japan in Batman, Inc., originally appeared in the 1960s licensed Batman manga, but had become a Breakout Villain in the US fandom when selections of the manga were translated into English and published in the US in 2008. At the end of the second issue, after Jiro has become Batman Japan, we also see Professor Gorilla, another one of the original villains from the manga.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Dr. Hurt and the rest of the Club of Villains. As the former put it, "What we are about to do will be a work of art."
- Cerebus Retcon: Applied to the Silver Age stories. Although they are brought back from Canon Discontinuity status, they are done so in a darker light as they are associated with drug influence or resulting from Batman's containment experiment. Many scenes from the Silver Age comics are redone in darker and creepier ways (particularly the "Robin Dies at Dawn!" and the altered version of the Joe Chill story).
- Character Development: Damian Wayne, who goes from being a whiny snot to a boy doing his best to live up to his father's legacy.
- Characterization Marches On: In another example of Cerebus Retcon, this trope as it applies to the Joker is reworked into another element of his insanity, where he completely changes his personality every few years.
- Chekhov's Armory: Pretty much everything in his run, no matter how strange, comes into play/is tied together during or after R.I.P., among the most significant being the "Zur-En-Arrh" graffiti and the Bat-Radia. The Silver Age stories also could count as Chekhovs Guns that come into play when he brings them up.
- Chekhov's Gun: Batman and Robin #15-16. Keep an eye on the Joker's banana peel.
- Cloning Blues: Tad hard to hate Damian now, isn't it?
- The Comically Serious: As usual Batman is stern, stoic, and unmoving contrasting him nicely with the more colorful members of Batman Inc.
- Continuity Lockout: The run is famous for liberally referencing the wackiness of The Silver Age of Comic Books; however, many of those comics have fallen into obscurity over the years. In an attempt to avert this trope, DC put out The Black Casebook, a collection of several of those Silver Age comics, including the first appearances of the Batmen of All Nations and Bat-Mite.
- Continuity Porn:
- Hey, remember all those old Silver Age stories where Batman visited other worlds? Well, it turns out those were all true (albeit actually hallucinations brought on by sensory deprivation).
- Also, Morrison manages to bring back the entire International Club of Heroes (sometimes known as the Batmen of All Nations).
- Cool Old Guy: Man-Of-Bats and Legionary are the oldest members of Batman Inc., but that doesn't make them any less badass.
- Covers Always Lie: The "Bat-Pilgrim", "Bat-Pirate", and "Bat-Detective" outfits that appear on the covers to The Return of Bruce Wayne #2, 3, and 5 don't actually appear in the story.
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Nightrunner and Batwing have incorrectly been called the Batmen of France and Africa; titles neither of which are given in the book.
- Crazy-Prepared: Batman has a backup personality in case of psychological attacks. Yes, a backup personality. Who actually is crazy.
- Not wholly unheard of: there was an earlier 00's Batman story where Bruce's brain responded with a pre-set trigger to forget he was Batman when Professor Strange tried to Mind Rape him into outing his secret identity.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Deathstroke vs. Batman, with Deathstroke on the receiving end. Twice. In the same issue.
- Dead Man's Hand: In the prologue, Batman speaks to The Joker in Arkham Asylum. The Joker taunts Batman with his upcoming destruction while dealing out aces and eights.
- Death by Origin Story: Batman Inc. introduces two more characters with similarly tragic pasts to Batman. Mr. Unknown, the future Batman of Japan, took on the role after his friend and mentor was tortured and killed in a very gruesome manner. Batwing is a former child soldier from Congo whose parents died of AIDS when he was a boy.
- Designated Girl Fight: Batwoman winds up taking on Scorpiana in Batman Inc. #5.
- Doing It for the Art: To hear El Sombrero say it, this is the appeal behind creating complicated deathtraps - the potential for aesthetic appreciation. Plus the fact that compared to most criminals' brilliant plans of "shoot the guy, go to a strip club, do cocaine", they often are works of art.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: The reason Hurt wants to destroy Thomas and Martha Wayne's legacies - they dared to try to help him.
- Driven to Suicide: In Batman 673, this seems to be established as Joe Chill's latest canon fate; after stalking/tormenting Chill, Batman finally reveals his identity and then gives the depressed Chill the same handgun that he had used to kill Bruce's parents. The next page shows Batman stoically staring on with two gunshots being fired. Also, winds up being Professor Carter Nichols' fate in Batman 700.
- Eldritch Abomination: Darkseid in Final Crisis, whose very presence is enough to bring about Earth's Darkest Hour and potentially send all of reality into a dark oblivion.
- Darkseid's pet Hyper-Adapter. A time-travelling squid thing that torments Bruce Wayne in The Return of Bruce Wayne. It's implied that the Hyper-Adapter is the reason Dr. Hurt and Vandal Savage were able to live beyond their mortal lifespans, simply by coming into contact with it.
- Mandrakk, the Vampire Monitor. An ancient entity that lives in the darkest depths of the universe, waiting for Darkseid to drag reality right into his open drooling maw.
- What the hell was that thing on Bat-Mite's back?
- Entertainingly Wrong: Batman concludes that the Joker's playing card suits were a reference to the red and black poisoned flower petals used against Batman during the climax. They weren't. The Joker was addressing Batman's skill at solving these kinds of things by providing a riddle with no answer. The Joker's crazy, you can't expect him to be honest all the time.
- The Epic: Has most of the markers of this.
- Eviler Than Thou: Oberon Sexton, a new vigilante who had earned Batman's (both of them) trust and been allowed into the batcave, a man known to the common man as the Clown Prince of Crime is the one to take down Dr Hurt, whilst telling him why he's pathetic all with a line of Dominoes and a smile. This was why Dr. Hurt told Oberon that he had a tendancy to engage foes he could not hope to defeat.
- Evil Versus Evil: The Joker of all people ends up helping Batman take down Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove.
- Face-Heel Turn: Wingman, who was once personally trained by Batman. John Mayhew counts as well. Jezebel Jet turned out to have been The Mole all along.
- Subverted with El Gaucho, who pretends to betray Batman to Dr. Dedalus in order to sneak Batman an antidote for the poisonous gas Dedalus was hitting him with.
- Fake Brit/Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Oberon Sexton
- Faking the Dead: Kathy Kane
- Femme Fatale:
- Flying Car: Foreshadowed in one panel of Batman and Son when Damian pulls the tarp off an unfinished chassis; Used in Batman and Robin as Dick and Damian's main vehicle; and, based on interior art from the Batman Incorporated reboot, remains the main vehicle for the Dynamic Duo.
- The creation of Batman Inc. is foreshadowed from the beginning of the story, with Batman encountering multiple impostors to his name and wondering if there's a better way to strike terror into criminals.
- Especially with the Joker prose story, "The Clown at Midnight".
- Also in Batman 666, which introduced Professor Pyg long before his present-day debut in Batman: Reborn. Also in the same issue, Damian claims he was never as good as Bruce or Dick, implying that Dick would also become Batman.
- Damian's description of Oberon Sexton: There's something funny about him.
- Cassandra Cain's cameo in Fabian Nicieza's Red Robin #17 heavily foreshadowed her eventual involvement in Batman Inc., where Morrison made her into the Batman of Hong Kong in issue #6.
- There was a portrait of Mordecai Wayne in Wayne Manor during R.I.P., which was actually a portrait of an amnesiac and time-lost Bruce.
- Fourth Wall Psych: "NOW DO YOU GET IT!?"
- Gilded Cage: After Talia usurps control of the League of Assassins and absorbs it into Leviathan, she puts her father under house arrest, locking him in a room that at very least is well stocked on books, has a chess set, and a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Ra's himself even admits it's not that bad.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Wingman is extremely jealous of both Batman and the international superhero groups like the Justice League. It ends up driving him into betraying Batman Inc.
- Heel-Face Turn: Issue 12.
- High Concept: "The Return of Bruce Wayne" #6 has Red Robin do this for the entire Batman franchise.
Red Robin: Bruce, the Omega Effect took your memory. But you're Bruce Wayne and you wear a disguise to frighten bad people, okay?
- Hijacked by Ganon: Doctor Hurt and Doctor Dedalus have both claimed credit for Professor Pyg's current status as a mad scientist villain.
- And the true mastermind behind Levithan turns out to be Talia Al Ghul.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Deathstroke, though to be fair, it wasn't technically his Petard. He still got his ass kicked though.
- Hollywood Psych: Lobotomies are a (now thoroughly disfavored) treatment for psychosis. A lobotomy will not turn a law-abiding family man into a cannibalistic assassin. That's actually just about the opposite of what it would do.
- Humanoid Abomination: Dr. Hurt and Talia both fancy themselves as avatars to Satanic deities who exist only to plunge humanity into ruin for the sake of it. You've got to wonder if they're telling the truth...
- The Joker treads into this territory after recovering from his injuries. His bodily fluids are now toxic.
- Hypocrite: In the final issue of Batman: Incorporated, Talia al'Ghul sneers that Batman is a "pompous, posturing bastard". While a fair criticism, no one from the House of al'Ghul — Talia included — has much room to be criticising others on any of those counts.
- I Coulda Been a Contender: Played straight and subverted with the different members of the Batmen of All Nations; the team-up that could have propelled them to international repute ended up sputtering out after only two meetings. The members ended up reacting quite differently, running the spectrum of this trope; some, like El Gaucho and Man Of Bats, ended up thriving and being quite content operating within their local spheres of influence rather than as an international JLA-style powerhouse (and Man Of Bats actually prefers being a defender of the little guy). On the flip side of the coin, we have Wingman, who for all his over-compensating clearly suffers from this trope worst of all. It's what prompts his Face-Heel Turn.
- Injun Country: The stomping grounds of Man-Of-Bats and Raven Red, described by the latter as "America's own third world."
- It's a Wonderful Plot: In "Last Rites", Bruce hallucinates a reality where his parents never died, and he grows up to be a bumbling mama's boy.
- Karma Houdini: Doctor Hurt and the Black Glove are convinced that they're this, having enough power and influence to blackmail, bribe and threaten their way out of any possible punishment for their deeds. They didn't count on Batman, the Joker and Thalia Al Ghul, however.
Jezebel Jet: There's nothing you can do, Bruce — no court on the planet we can't buy, no judge or jury beyond threatening or bribing. There's you rich, down here. [Gestures] And then there's Black Glove rich. Oh! I'm just not tall enough.
- Kick the Dog: The villain of the week in Batman, Inc. #7 is introduced in the act of literally kicking his dog. Naturally it bites back at the end, just in time to save Man-Of-Bats and Red Raven from getting shot dead.
- Killed Off for Real: Knight, at the climax of The New 52's Batman Inc. #6, gets his neck snapped by the Heretic.
- Damian Wayne in The New 52's Batman Inc. #8
- Lampshade Hanging: Dick whines about the chore of having to fight in the flowing cape of the Batman costume.
- Large Ham: Professor Pyg was explicitly designed as one of these, to contrast with the never-speaking Flamingo. Also makes for an awful pun.
- Legacy Character: Knight and Squire. The current Knight is the original Squire and the son of the original Knight. History repeats itself after Knight dies fighting the Heretic, with Squire taking over as the new Knight.
- Legion of Doom: The Club of Villains.
- Licking the Blade: The Joker does this to a knife when he confronts Batman at the end of R.I.P. and he splits his tongue when he does so.
- Locked Room Mystery: Batman #700.
- The Lost Lenore: Kathy Kane for Batman. Except she isn't actually dead...
- Louis Cypher: Doctor Hurt claims to be this.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Doctor Hurt at the conclusion of RIP. Bruce pretty much shrugs it off and even comes up with his own alternate theory.
- Mad Artist: Professor Pyg who also qualifies as Mad Scientist.
"I'm an artist! I can't be expected to work on antipsychotics!"
- Magical Negro: Honor Jackson... maybe...
- Meaningful Name: Oberon Sexton, "The Gravedigger." Not only are Shakespearean Gravediggers also referred to as "Clowns", as mentioned below, but Oberon's the King of the Fairies, or, alternately, King of the Fey. Fey-king = Faking. It's a joke, kids!
- Much earlier, Harley Quinn breaks into Arkham Asylum to break the Joker by pretending to be a psychiatrist named "Jane Wisakedjak". As Batman points immediately points out, Wisakedjak is an Algonquin trickster spirit. The joke is rather spoiled by the fact that there was a real psychiatrist of that name, and Harley simply killed her and stole her credentials.
- Mind Screw
- The Mole: Hood, revealed at the end of the new Batman Inc. #7 as actually working for Spyral.
- Morality Pet: Inverted. Dick Grayson is this to Damian.
- Myth Arc: Not apparent at first, but becomes a bit more clear around Batman, Inc..
- Mythology Gag:
- There are numerous references to the famous scene of Batman: Year One where Bruce decides on whether or not to call Alfred for help when the bat crashes in the window, implying that was the moment that man became legend. The tale of Barbatos and Hurt originated from the "Dark Knight, Dark City" arc in the Batman monthly.
- The Batcave West features mementos from past adventures of the Outsiders, including Black Lightning's afro mask and the costume of Dad from the Nuclear Family. There's also a giant penny with Simon Stagg's face on it, a gag on Joe Coyne's giant penny in the original Batcave.
- Mutants also make an appearance in Batman Incorporated #1, indecipherable slang and all.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Really, is anyone surprised a character named Jezebel turned out to be evil?
- Never Found the Body: Flamingo is still out there...
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Jason's violent and lethal methods of crime fighting causes the crime lord El Penitente to send up Flamingo, a nigh-unstoppable assassin who is known to eat human faces. For once, Jason is brutally beaten for his actions, and is arrested for murder and effectively bringing the gaudy lunatic to Gotham.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove end up bringing the Joker down on their heads. They don't last much longer after that.
- Nineties Anti-Hero: Red Hood is a deconstruction/parody of the trope.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Three teachers at St. Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls, which is a school for female super villains and super spies, are unnamed expies of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. The principal Ms. Hexley is an expy of Madonna.
- Non-Indicative Title: Batman "dies" in Final Crisis, not Batman R.I.P., although the Club of Villains certainly think they killed him.
- Offhand Backhand: Damian, to a ninja, while walking down a hallway.
- Oh, Crap: Hurt knows he's completely and utterly FUCKED when he sees the trail of dominoes the Joker has set.
- Old Superhero: The Legionary
- Only Sane Man: Batman himself for Batman Inc.
- Out of Focus:
- His run excludes a portion of Batman's supporting cast (particularly Oracle, Huntress, the police other than Gordon) as well as most of his rogues gallery (with the main exceptions being The Joker and Talia, as well as brief appearances by Harley and Langstrom) in favor of new characters as well as the characters being brought back from obscurity. Although on the flipside, most of the characters he ignores are covered in Paul Dini's Bat-books. This is a Justified Trope in that most of the Rogues Gallery is in either Arkham or prison.
- Subverted in Batman Inc., where most of the characters Morrison was accused of excluding have appeared. Oracle, Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, and Red Robin have all shown up in some capacity so far.
- Then played straight again - Batwoman, Oracle and Batgirl are all absent from the New 52's version of Batman Incorporated, though with the latter two it's kinda understandable.
- Pet the Dog: The first thing we see Damian do as Batman in the Bad Future? Save a little girl from one of Professor Pyg's acid-spewing dollotrons.
- Pocket Protector: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, an amnesiac Bruce Wayne wakes up in hospital; his life apparently having been saved from a bullet by Mordecai Wayne's journal he was carrying in his pocket.
- Properly Paranoid: Man-Of-Bats has multiple run-ins with Sam Black-Elk, the son of his old archenemy, and is totally convinced that he's running the drug trade in the area and following in his father's footsteps. The truth is, if anything, even worse than that; Sam's an agent of Leviathan, sent to kill off Man-Of-Bats and Red Raven.
- Pure Is Not Good: The drug lord El Penitente goes through severe scourging to absolve himself of sin, cleansing his soul to pointedly free him to commit further atrocities. Probably subverted when it turns out it's just another alias of Simon Hurt.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Flamingo can take a lot of punishment in that flamboyant ensemble.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Joker gleefully gives one to the Black Glove.
"I'll bet that you have no idea who you're dealing with."
- Reconstruction: A common theme of Morrison's. This is essentially meant to show that all of the goofier stuff (such as Silver Age stories and plot devices) can still be awesome if done right, and that Batman can be cool and entertaining even if he isn't a brooding grimdark Anti-Hero.
- Redeeming Replacement: The new Wingman, whoever he is, is one by design. He's Jason Todd, the Back from the Dead second Robin, who is simultaneously redeeming himself too.
- Red Herring Shirt: During R.I.P., the "Bat-Radia" which the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh had turned out to have been more important than anyone thought. Previously in the arc, it was just thought as being another call back to the Silver Age.
- Retraux: Batman #668 (from The Black Glove) flashes back to a Silver Age art style, shoddy newsprint ink and all.
- The Reveal: You know what Gravediggers are also referred to in Shakespearean literature? Clowns. Now what is old Oberon's real name again?
- After the Black Glove's escape from Arkham, it had been revealed that almost all of the core members were murdered over the course of several months. At first, we are lead to believe that it was due to the League of Assassins. As it turns out, not only was the League not responsible, all the murders had a striking similarity to them: they were murdered in such a way that only the Joker would find them funny.
- Doctor Hurt is a result of Darkseid's fall through space and time prior to Final Crisis.
- More specifically, Doctor Hurt was "Thomas Wayne", an 18th century ancestor of Bruce Wayne's who worshipped a Bat Devil known as "Barbatos". However, "Barbatos" turned out to be Darkseid's Omega Adaptor, which turned Thomas immortal and insane (moreso). Bruce's parents tried to help Hurt by putting him in Willowood Asylum (a reference to an old Silver Age story where Bruce has a brother, Thomas Wayne Jr, who went insane and had to be put in an asylum), but he didn't want their pity, so (after they were dead) Hurt arranged to tarnish their names and summon "Barbatos" again using a secret box that's said to bring about the end of the world when opened. What's inside the box, though? A batarang and a note that says "Gotcha".
- The Heretic, Talia's Elite Mook in Batman Incorporated, is a clone of Damian birthed inside of a whale.
- Revival Loophole: Used in the final issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne — Bruce Wayne has been imbued with dangerous Omega energies that will cling to him until he dies... you can see where this is going. (That's not all there is to it, though.)
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After a short but traumatic stint as a vigilante, Scarlet takes the Red Hood's mobile headquarters and drives the hell away from Gotham, laughing at all the pain and misfortune that befell her during her time there.
- Subverted, actually, in that Red Hood told her to run.
- Sequel Hook: In Morrison's finale issue, Ra's al Ghul recovers Damian and Talia's bodies and begins cloning an army of Damians.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Occurs in-universe; Batman is so embarrassed by many of his sillier adventures that he hides away all evidence of them, only saying they occurred in the Black Casebook.
- Also, Bat-Mite (even though he's more creepy than comic relief in this depiction) leaves Batman before he enters Arkham for the big confrontation with Dr. Hurt.
- Shout-Out: A rather cruel use of the trope - Near the end of "The Revenge of the Red Hood", Jason Todd finds himself shot, unmasked, beaten and at the total mercy of a gaudily dressed psychopath. Said psycho has a LOVELLLLLLYYYYY smile by the way...
- Morrison has stated that he intended to leave as many Joker shout-outs in Batman and Robin as he could without being too obvious. At the end of the Pyg arc, Batman and Gordon meet to arrest the gang and Gordon states he wishes he could burn the circus base down to the ground. That's when you realize that the base Pyg used was the Joker Circus from The Killing Joke.
- Scorpiana's distinctive fluted stinger-helmet might just be a coincidence, or might not.
- Chris Sims, writer for Comics Alliance, host of War Rocket Ajax and "the world's foremost Batmanologist", makes an appearance in Batman Inc. #6 — as a rotting corpse being eaten by Gotham City seagulls. Congrats Chris!
- The Swagman's armour is very clearly modelled on that of Ned Kelly.
- In Batman Inc. (vol. 2) #11, a Japanese villainess refers to a schoolgirl as "Sailor Pizza Face".
- Batman Japan's post-New 52 costume was explicitly inspired by that of the original Kamen Rider, according to the artist.
- Shrouded in Myth: One of the aspects of Batman, Inc. is bringing this facet of the Batman mythos to the fore — Batman is now everywhere. He's black, he's white, he's a woman, he can fly, he's Bruce Wayne, he was never any one person... Bruce actually spreads these rumors himself on various chatrooms and message boards.
- Small Name, Big Ego: This may just be the least of Red Hood's problems.
- Smug Super: Wingman and El Gaucho practically duel to see who gets to embody this trope; Wingman insists he came up with the "dark knight" persona before Batman did, while El Gaucho thinks Wingman is a scrub because he's never been mind controlled by a gorilla.
- Well maybe Wingman was. What El Gaucho was trying to say was that Wingman shouldn't look down on the Knight just because he's had some problems in the past... One of which just happened to be mind-controlled by a gorilla.
- Red Hood believed his was the next epoch in crime fighting. Then he got shot in the face.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The fandom seem torn between spelling the new Robin's name as Damian or Damien. Officially it's the former.
- Take That: The Red Hood, who is laughably self-conscious about his branding as a Nineties Antihero.
- A vigilante with his own website? Unmasking your enemies live over the internet? Sounds like Jason's been reading far too much Kick-Ass.
- Dr. Hurt seems like a direct one at Hush. They both make themselves out to be these unstoppable forces of evil, with an astounding amount of control and money, but Dr. Hurt turns out to be every bit as pathetic as most fans see Hush as when compared to Batman.
- Hurt's opinion of the Joker? That he has a KNACK for engaging foes he CANNOT defeat.
- Hilariously turned on it's head when the Joker basically tells Hurt he and the Black Glove don't have a clue who they're dealing with when it comes to Batman, despite the fact the Glove have buried, straitjacketed and chained Bruce in six feet of dirt.
- The later issues of Batman Inc contain a heavy stream of Take Thats at DC, the New 52, and the very concept of Status Quo Is God, finally culminating in Talia telling Batman to just go back to beating up mental patients before Kathy Kane, a character who hadn't appeared for decades, shoots her in the head.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Hood and el Gaucho really don't like each other, due in no small part to the lasting enmity between Britain and Argentina
- Ten Little Murder Victims: "The Black Glove"
- Tongue Trauma: The Joker cuts his tongue in half during "Batman R.I.P.", giving it a forked appearance. In fact, it's currently the trope picture.
- Took a Level in Badass: The Batmen of All Nations. Most of them, though. The Knight and the Gaucho both qualify, given the Gaucho is considered an A-List superhero in Argentina and one of the most competent people at Mayhew's get-together. To drive this further home, the Gaucho saves Batman at one point, and Batman thanks him.
- The Musketeer actually retired from regular crime fighting after he wrote a book about his time in an insane asylum and made millions.
- The Ranger changed his name to Dark Ranger in order to keep up with the ever-changing underworld, although he points out that he did so out of necessity and doesn't come across as a typical nineties antihero. He's one of the more amicable and rational of those at the party.
- The Legionary let his city fall into the hands of Charlie Caligula and has let himself go badly. Instead he spends his time regaling himself on past victories when not stuffing his face or wallowing in misery. Though he does go out heroically.
- Wingman is the most pathetic of the bunch, given that he more resembles Batman now then did previously, and tells people that he thought of his crime fighting identity a year before Batman did. He also tries to assert his superiority over Batman in the others in a "casual" way.
- There's also Man-Of-Bats, who seems more down to Earth than the rest and comes to believe that, while most of the group perform heroic deeds, they're just men in costumes who were inspired by another man in costume to remake themselves. In Batman, Inc #7 we see out of costume he's a doctor on a reservation in South Dakota, but also spends most of his time in costume performing work for the community. Despite the seeming troubled relationship with his son/sidekick, Raven Red, the two genuinely love each other and whatever trouble they do have isn't as bad as when first presented.
- Beyond the Club of Heroes, there's also Morrison's reworking of Kathy Kane, the first Batwoman, in Batman Incorporated #4. Originally a circus stuntwoman who inherited money from a dead uncle and later becoming a token "girlfriend figure" for Batman, here, Kathy Kane (nee Web) was a stuntwoman, an underground film director, and an author before she married Nathan Kane. After he died, Kathy was approached by a representative of the spy organization called Spyral, and joined as part of an investigation into the life of Batman. Kathy legitimately fell in love with Batman and decided to quit Spyral after learning the organization was run by Otto Netz, a.k.a. Doctor Daedalus. And is possibly her birth father. Kathy is still good, only now she's become the Headmistress of Spyral and has been acting as a mole in Leviathan along with her young operatives. She ends up shooting Talia in the head.
- Really, Damian. From the start of Batman Incorporated pre-Flashpoint to the New 52's Batman Incorporated #7, he's survived a gunshot wound to the head, did a short stint as the vigilante Redbird when he knew his mother was out for his blood, managed to keep hold of three lively pets without killing them, can imitate Bruce's voice well enough to foil Wayne Manor's vocal sensors, and can hack through most of the rest of Bats' security measures to keep him in the cave. All this from a kid who, despite his training, regularly got his ass handed to him by circus villains and Red Hood. As he states at the end of #7, "There really is no stopping me."
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Made really obvious in Batman, Inc #6, in which Batman briefs his various allies on what's going on, but all the reader gets are the bits where he says "Listen carefully, I will say this only once..." or "... and now you know as much as I do", without any of the good stuff in between. Not to mention the bit where Batman and an ally are going over a plan that relies on nobody knowing the ally's identity — including, apparently, the readers.
- Verbal Tic: Bruce's "hh" carries over from Morrison's previous works, and Damian is shown to have the similar "tt".
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Professor Pyg. "Sexy disco hot."
- Hurt suffers one during his total defeat in B&R #16.
- Villainous Harlequin: Pierrot Lunaire
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Though they start out hating each other, Hood and El Gaucho develop into this.
- We Have Reserves: Spine blasted to bits? That's okay, Damian's got a spare.
- Wham Episode: Batman #680. Along with the Face-Heel Turn, Batman actually unmasks and reveals his secret identity to The Joker of all people. Joker doesn't seem to care about this and then starts indirectly addressing the audience.
- Honestly, though, The Joker probably doesn't care who's under the mask or may be just crazy enough to forget about it anyway.
- The Joker pretty clearly already knew - and didn't give a damn.
- In Arkham Asylum (also by Grant Morrison), the Joker makes it clear he doesn't care who's under the mask when the other inmates want to see Batman's real face, stating the mask is his real face.
- Batman #701-702: After resting for three days after his confrontation with Hurt in Batman R.I.P., Bruce finally ventures into the Room Full of Crazy hidden in Wayne Manor, with the names "Barbatos" and "Thomas" scribbled all over the walls.
- You think Darkseid just used the Omega Sanction on Bruce? WRONG. After hitting Bruce with the Omega Sanction Darkseid pulls out the Ancestor Box which, as the box itself puts it: "It learns! It knows! It bonds! It lives to become the fate you can't escape! Omega is death that gives and gives forever. Omega ‘tailor makes’ an unbeatable ‘life trap’ just for you. It uses 'history’ to do it!”
- Aside from learning about the most important elements from RIP and Doctor Hurt, Bruce's narrative from RIP came from the beginning of BTROBW.
- Three consecutively in the New 52's Batman Inc.
- #6 - Knight gets his neck snapped by Talia's Elite Mook The Heretic, and Batman is captured by Leviathan.
- Building upon the former point there, Batman Inc. #7 reveals the Heretic is actually Damian's clone, shown at the end of Batman and Robin #12.
- #8 - The Heretic brutally murders Damian on Talia's orders, although lately is revealed that she didn't order Damian's death. It was the impulse of her large, unstable Damian clone and her Leviathan goons.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: "Well, the answer is me."
- You Have Failed Me: Talia beheads the Heretic for daring to insinuate that she needs him after what she assumes to be his failures.
- You Monster!: Ra's al Ghul, of all people, says this to his daughter Talia after the events of Batman Inc # 8. However, he doesn't really seem to dislike her for it, even seeming congratulatory.
Ra's al Ghul: You have become a monster at last.