Author: Bill Ramey
Sunday, September 2, 2007

FROM DC COMICS: "Batman, Robin and the Club of Heroes are stuck on an island rigged with elaborate death traps. And even as the villain behind it all begins to explain his twisted motives, he continues to pick the heroes off one by one."

Can a comic book writer produce a story that is both campy and dark at the same time?

As a fan, can one both like and dislike the same story?

There are two questions that I found myself asking after reading “The Island of Mister Mayhew (Now We Are Dead!)” in BATMAN #668.

Writer Grant Morrison has crafted a tale that simply puzzles the hell out of me. I find myself flip-flopping as I read this story-- at one moment I’m digging it and then rolling my eyes at it the next.

Hell, even the plot is preposterous!

A meeting of the long dormant “Club of Heroes” (or “The League of Losers? The Batmen Impersonators of All Nations,” as Robin describes them) set up by the very Howard Hughes-ish Robert Mayhew billionaire and held on a tropical island.

That’s right, a Batman story that takes place on a Caribbean island (*rolls eyes*).

“The Club of Heroes.”

“Batmen of all nations?”

“A tropical island setting?”

Doesn’t that have “cheese” written all over it? But yet, Morrison some how makes it work.

When we left off with the story at the end of issue #667, one of the members of the COH had been murdered. Mr. Mayhew, the gracious host, was now being used as a mask -- literally -- by the story’s villain, The Black Glove. A game of cat and mouse between this Black Glove and the COH had begun.

Consequently, if Mayhew’s now the unfinished product of a taxidermist, who the hell is the Black Glove and why is he intent on killing off these heroes? Could one of the heroes possibly be the killer?

This issue also ends in a cliffhanger with both Robin and Squire (The Knight’s sidekick) being captured and held captive, apparently by the (*scary voice*) Black Glove!

Besides thinking that this story both sucks and rocks concurrently, I’m also dying to know what “Grande Plan” Morrison has in store -- because I’m convinced that he’s got something big coming down the line.

During his entire run, Grant’s stories have seemed to be hodge-podge and unconnected to one other. However, methinks now that they were unrelated only on the surface and at some point they are all going to come together in some big “WOW!” moment.

Damien…That big-ass, faux-Batman murderer…The Joker’s new smile… The events of BATMAN #666...The Club of Heroes -- all of it’s related, I just now it.

But how and why are the questions.

At any rate, “The Island of Mister Mayhew” concludes next month in BATMAN #669. We’ll learn the fate of the kidnapped Robin and Squire, which members of the club will bite it next, and (hopefully) the identity of (*scary voice*) The Black Glove!

Oh, if the “Big Wow Moment” is Morrison killing off The Batman, I will never buy another comic from DC again!

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM,


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