Page 45 Review by Stephen
Softcover edition of BATMAN: BLACK GLOVE DELUXE h/c which was in fact a collection of Both BATMAN & SON and BLACK GLOVE softcovers. Hahahahaha! *thunk*
In any case, this is the starting point of the Grant Morrison run and is ridiculously good value for money.
Batman learns he may have a son, and a fairly brattish one at that. Raised by his mother, Talia al Ghul, amongst international terrorists, he is of course just another weapon in Talia's silo, and you wouldn't normally take a ticking time bomb home with you, would you? It's not good news for Robin ("He was my rival."), but it does give Alfred further opportunity for arched eyebrows and the odd bon mot.
Then there are the other two Batmen which Bruce has encountered, with a threat of a third later on in the book, tied somehow to the Black Book which Wayne composed of all the weird stuff he's encountered that he couldn't logically explain (see BATMAN: BLACK CASEBOOK) Both so far were cops, one berserk on steroids, and there's a cover-up in progress.
Kubert's art is some of the most attractive I've seen on this title. In some ways he's a straightforward superhero artist with enormous panache, and so succeeds here in opening up and reinvigorating the tired and murky proceedings, just as Morrison has done with his flash and brash James Bond approach. This isn't the "difficult" Morrison some enjoy of SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY or INVISIBLES. It's just as confident, not at all "lite" and certainly not lacking in surprises as evidenced by part seven set in the future, and that grotesque gothic prelude set in Arkham Asylum. Instead, it's as slick and clipped as an Ellis script, only slightly more reasonable and with room for a little tenderness.
Together, Grant and Andy created something rather sexy but you wait until J.H. Williams III, the Lord Of Innovative Layouts to rival Neal Adams, comes along for what is essentially an Agatha Christie murder spree set on The Island Of Mister Mayhew. For this Grant resurrects yet more arcane Bat-lore, this time involving "Johnny Foreigner" Batman variants (and possibly deviants) from all over the globe.
It's creepy, claustrophobic, tense and explosive, JH Williams modulating the atmosphere with art styles and homages galore, as the story of The Black Glove unfolds and we hurtle ever forward towards BATMAN: RIP.