Aug 20th 2010 By: Chris Sims
As you might expect, we here at ComicsAlliance staff sees a lot
of previews come across our desks, to the point where it's pretty easy to get jaded, even with things that are acutely designed to get us interested in upcoming comics. But every now and then, we get one that just knocks our socks off.
And the four unlettered pages that DC released today from Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving's "Batman and Robin" #14
is quite possibly the most exciting preview we've ever
seen. Check them out along with Frank Quitely's cover and commentary after the jump!
Page 1: Alfred is setting the clock to 9:47, the exact moment that Bruce Wayne's parents died, which is how one opens the secret passage to the Batcave behind the grandfather clock. You know, just in case you forgot that Batman is kind of totally obsessed with his parents' murder.
Alfred's return to the Wayne Manor Batcave is pretty significant, since in "Batman and Robin," Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne have been operating out of the Batcave that was built beneath Wayne Tower, primarily used in the '70s, then revived in the '80s as the headquarters of the Outsiders. Considering the significance of the Waynes' ancestral home over in "The Return of Bruce Wayne" and the last arc of "Batman and Robin" I imagine he's probably going to find something down there.
Page 2: Damian Wayne beating the bejeezus out of the Joker with a crowbar will never not be hilarious. Also, this scene is pretty reminiscent of Batman's confrontation with the Joker in "The Dark Knight." Both scenes feature a Joker who's locked in an interrogation room and ostensibly physically helpless -- here, he's even bound hand and foot with manacles -- but that remain in complete control of the situation despite being beaten by a member of the Wayne family.
Page 3: He's even still smiling, not because he can't stop, but because he knows something Damian doesn't know.
Which is that his Joker Toxin is in his blood
. Pretty handy for a guy who spends most of his time being beaten to a pulp. Now he has Robin dosed and incapacitated, a crowbar, and a locked door between him and anyone who wants to stop him. Sound familiar? We've seen it before, and we know how it works out.
But if this story is Morrison's response to his own "Batman R.I.P.," then Damian isn't just Jason Todd, he's standing in for Dick Grayson, who spent that story strapped to a gurney with the threat of a frontal lobotomy quite literally hanging over his head. Damian's running the same risk of having someone rescrambling his brain, though with something a little more blunt -- you don't need your hands unshackled to swing a crowbar.
Like I said, it's exciting
, and it's going to make the days until the issue itself comes out seem like the longest wait for Wednesday in years.