There are serious, serious, spoilers for this week's Batman and Wonder Woman in this post. Both seem to mark turning points and revelations for both characters and their long history. Bleeding Cool recommends you read these comics before returning, to discuss the implications.
I blame Anatomy Lesson. Swamp Thing #21, the second issue written by Alan Moore and the first in which he started his long arc for the character. Discovering that he wasn't as had been thought for a decade, Alec Holland transformed into a swamp monster, but a humanoid plant that thought it was Alec Holland. Which meant he wasn't dead, as was thought, just germinating. And the knowledge spurred Swamp Thing into revenge, with many more revelations to come, from Elementals to the Green to Swamp Thing's place in the universe.
The New 52 Wonder Woman has been doing a lot of that, taking away Wonder Woman's varied origins and making her a literal demi-god, a daughter of Zeus. Naturally it wasn't going to stop there. Not only has Wonder Woman been exploring her fellow god-relations., but his week we discover why there are only women on Paradise Island, and the very nasty secret that underpins their entire existence.
Paradise Island, has always been portrayed as a preserve of women, with new generations emerging… in an non-specific fashion. Formed from clay, or girls lost at sea transported to the island. The new Wonder Woman does away with any such niceties. The women of Paradise Island now set off on the seas looking for other ships, for seamen… or rather, semen. They have sex with the sailors, and then kill them. The sex may have been consensual, but what happened after certainly issn't. Later, those that have conceived children give birth, the female children staying, the male children… becoming hellish slaves of the infernal weaponry workshop.
It's a nightmarish vision made real by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, the harshness of the stories of the Gods now made flesh in a much less palatable way. And given light to the thought that somewhere, working at a lithe, forging a mighty sword, unaware of his lineage, is Wonder Woman's brother…
Sex, murder and slavery, give them what they want. While Batman? Well the issue opens with an owl killing the very bat that burst into Gotham Manor and inspired Bruce Wayne to become Batman. And that's the whole theme of the book, right at the beginning, before The Bat, there was The Owl. And the Court Of Owls has been very aware of Batman, just as he was not aware of them.
And in one rather painful tooth extraction scene, Batman reveals something to Dick Grayson. That they have always been looking down on him as well. And they have always planned for him to be one of them.
Yet again, everything you knew was wrong. Retcon City. Batman lore rewritten, new facts, new characters, new stories squeezed between the crevices and brand new history emerging. The Batman, less a reactive force, than one being tolerated, even used. Right now, thanks to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, everything is to play for. Oh look, there's a Court Of Owls mini-event on it's way…
There have been a number of changes of tone in DC's issue 7 books, but these seem slightly more significant. Time to crank up the message boards, it appears that we have things to discuss.
Batman #7 and Wonder Woman #7 are published today. Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics of London. David Hine will be signing The Darkness #101 there today at 5pm, with Darkness II game giveaways.