Happy 700th, Bats!

BATMAN #700 hit the stores this week. Its kind of cool in that this event is in the same week as the celebration of the 20th anniversary of my father starting our karate club. So, I'm feeling a bit sentimental, but not really the weepy type of sentimental. Both are pretty big milestones. Many Dojos don't last twenty years. Most comics don't make it to issue 700.

But SUPERMAN and BATMAN are coming up on big centennial issues. WONDER WOMAN will be renumbered so that it will skip from 40-whatever to 600. For those who don't know the Wonder Woman series has been restarted a few times. This happens from time to time, although sometimes the reasoning for this is pretty silly. LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES got restarted plenty of times, but in there cases it was a different iteration of the Legion. The characters and history were different. There are other cases spawned from the that whole retro bring back the dead has-beens fanboy fad in which the history stays the same, however a different character becomes the main one. I'm not as supportive of relaunches of this type, but I understand it a bit. Sometimes books just relaunch from #1 because a new creative team comes onboard. That's just dumb.

I think people get scared of big numbers sometimes. They seem daunting. personally I think its more special to see a 100th issue of a comic than it getting relaunched and having a whole new number 1 issue. Centennial issues are special. They so a book has stood the test of time. People are still reading it. It matters.

Which is something that was addressed in BATMAN #700. For those of you who haven't been keeping up, we're rounding third in "The Once and Future Batman" epic that grant Morrison has been spinning for the last few years. Currently Dick Grayson is Batman and Bruce Wayne is pinballing through time. Morrison also wrote Batman #700. So, how does Morrison work this issue into the overall story that he's been treating us to monthly for the last few years?

He doesn't.

Instead he gives us a tribute to the past, present and future of Batman. One case. Three Batman. Four if you count Terry McGinnis's appearance. Batman is a character will has and will endure the test of time. It does not matter who exactly is under the cape and cowl. The idea will persist. Morrison even touched on his DC 1,000,000 Batman for a page. The end blurb is "to 700 more". If the book continues monthly I'll be about 94 when #1,400 comes out. Don't know if I'll make it, but daughters will. And they'll probably continue the trend of nerd indoctrination.

So hopefully I'll have a great-grandkid who'll enjoy that issue. I don't even know if they'll still be printed on paper then.

But really there's no way that Batman can survive that long with all the changes in media and technology, right?

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