NML Crossing

NML Crossing, Episode 024 – Batman #556 (1998)

NML Crossing, Episode Twenty-Four

Batman #556 (July, 1998)
“Help Trapped Money Rescue Ruins”
Writer – Doug Moench
Pencils – Norm Breyfogle
Inks – Joe Rubinstein
Letters – Todd Klein
Colors – Gregory Wright & Android Images
Edits – Gorfinkel & O’Neil
Cover Price: $1.95

Back to the flagship for a (relatively) quiet issue, where we check in on the man behind the mask(s), Bruce Wayne, to see how he’s handling the Aftershock Era.  We get a bit of tacked-on action, but this is mostly (thankfully) a character piece!

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3 thoughts on “NML Crossing, Episode 024 – Batman #556 (1998)

  • Chris U

    I have to agree with that Wayne Corp suit who said Bruce’s money isn’t unlimited. I have been wondering just how much it cost Burce to earthquake proof all the Wayne properties ever since the New York Magazine article.

    And while we are on the topic of Wayne money, just what does Wayne Enterprises do? How does Burce make his money? I’ve always been perplexed by this question.

    Rest up. Feel better.

    • I have been wondering that for a long time about what Wayne Enterprises actually is. I know Thomas Wayne is usually referred to as a surgeon. But then he also owns Wayne enterprises and Lucius runs things but never mentions what it is they actually do except bid for contracts, donate money, or open a new building

  • Congrats on the full month! You should celebrate it – I’m lucky if I release one thing I write a month.

    A few thoughts on random points made throughout the last month:

    1) Batman as urban legend – I like this approach for the first few months (in comic time) of Batman, but after that it just doesn’t make much sense to me. After that point, it feels like someone denying Batman’s existence is like a flat earther: they have contradictory evidence to their perspective, but they refuse to change their belief.

    2) The trend in current comics for the end of events to just be the beginning of another event – very annoying, and part of the reason I don’t read events nearly as much as I used to (and the ones I do read now, I only read the core event instead of the spin off titles). While some of this trend owes a debt to regular series cliffhangers and serialized storytelling overall, event comics are designed to be different and bring readers into series they might not have done, and I think the incomplete story events offer betrays that promise. Yes, there should be some things planted for the shared universe to pick up on, but the event should still be complete and relatively self-contained.

    3) Why other superheroes don’t help Gotham – I don’t know if there is a good reason given for this, or if there could be one that would make sense (especially to those UseNet members), but it certainly is a better story for not having other DC heroes offering easy solutions. Also, I feel like so many comic stories could be solved by having other, more-powerful heroes in the universe guest star, but that would rob us of a lot of good stories focusing on solo heroes or autonomous teams. I don’t think the more powerful heroes not helping out makes sense in-universe, but in the context of a good story, I’m fine with Gotham and Batbooks being generally separate from the rest of the DC Universe at this point.

    4) Ah, the rose-colored glasses – the trap for all of us nostalgic types. I try to keep this in mind when griping about current anything; which isn’t to say that change hasn’t happened and has had no effects, but it’s to try to keep a more realistic and cool head about things (and has made it easier for me to enjoy current comics). Connected to this, I just think superhero comics will never be as good to me as they were when I was 6-20 years old, not even because of any change in comics quality or production, but just because superheroes appeal to the childish part of us. This isn’t to say that superhero comics can’t be for adults (I clearly read and think about superhero comics a lot as an almost-40 year old) but I think there are times in our lives where certain things will hit us harder than other times.

    5) Lack of forethought – we have definitely seen that comic publishers don’t always seem to have long term plans (or detailed long terms plans). To avoid those rose-colored glasses, it definitely happened when we were kids, as you’ve said a few times over this NML series: before I started writing my own comics, I do know I used to underestimate how much time and how much hard work going into one comic series can be, let alone a shared universe or corner of the universe: and I wasn’t on a monthly schedule, so monthly schedules would make that even harder. This normal burden, I think, has also been exacerbated by the corporate mindset taking over, a mindset that focuses more on maximizing quarterly revenue than long-term growth (although that could be seen as a shallow interpreation of the best corporate approach, one maybe practiced by corporations run poorer than they could be; I think the best corporations balance those two goals with slightly more of an emphasis on long-term growth).

    Sorry for the long post, but once I get going, it’s hard for me to stop. Feel better!


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