Briefly Noted: Batman Goes Corporate


Everyone knows how much Gotham City has benefited from the presence of Batman and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, who has saved the city time and time again. Every fictional city should be so lucky. Too bad there's only one Batman, right?

Not anymore. At the end of 2010, comic book auteur Grant Morrison, who has helmed the Batverse since 2006, set the stage to franchise Batman in cities across the world. After an extended absence, Batman returned to Gotham City, vowing to expand his commitment to crime fighting. The way to do that, he decided, was to turn Batman into a global franchise: Batman Inc. 

That means a new spin-off series with more Batmen, more Batmobiles, and more Bat-Signals. The Batman is a man, yes, but he is also a symbol—and now he is making use of its marketing power (just as his corporate owners do in the real world). As Morrison told A.P. in November, Bruce Wayne is "expanding the Batman brand."