Let Me Ride On The Wall Of Death One More Time… (Batman Inc 4 and a bit of 3)

Not another Morrison hero motivated by a dead Kat…
I’m very sorry

Morrison is definitely doing something interesting with the Kathy Kane backstory here. She made a film called “Ariadne’s sewing machine” – this is absolutely *FULL* of resonance for this story. Look at the ending – “the flies are in the web! The monster squats in its maze of death!” – well, Ariadne represents *both* the web *and* the way out. The Ariadne of Greek Myth gave Theseus the thread he used to find his way out of the labyrinth designed by Daedalus, but because she gave him a ball of thread, she’s also associated with spiders spinning a web (I’ve even found a claim that Ariadne in Celtic myth span the world into existence. This claim appears to be repeated on several different sites across the net in the same words, with no attribution to any reputable source). Freedom *and* entrapment.

(And spiders belong to the same genus class (I do know the difference, honest!) as scorpions, don’t they? I wonder what Scorpiana has to say about this…)

We first see Kathy as a widow, dressed in black…her maiden name is Webb.

Of course, in the myth, Theseus deserts Ariadne, and she dies (either killed by her husband, or by hanging herself, depending on the version of the myth), but then her original husband goes to Hades and brings her back. Kathy Kane wrote a book, too, Inana Unbound.

Leaving that Unbound for a moment (but what an interesting word *that* is), let’s look at Inana. She, too, descended into the underworld (having first had to strip off all her clothing and tools of power, ending up naked) and returned from the dead.

What I didn’t know, until I double-checked her details in Wikipedia (having only a vague knowledge of Sumerian myth) was:

According to one story, Inanna tricked the god of culture, Enki, who was worshipped in the city of Eridu, into giving her the Mes. The Mes were documents/tablets which were blueprints to civilization. They represented everything from truth to weaving to prostitution, granting power over, or possibly existence to, all the aspects of civilization (both positive and negative)

Not only that, but two other associations that go along with the name Ariadne – one that is obvious to me, and one that is probably obvious to most people reading the story if they stop to think.

Christopher Nolan, the director of the recent Batman films, released Inception last year, in which the protagonist is haunted by the memory of his dead love, who may not really be dead. Guess the name of the architect who creates the unreal worlds through which our protagonist goes?

And I don’t know if Morrison ever read much Agatha Christie, but did you know she had a ‘fiction suit’ too? Guess what her name was? And of course there’s a fictional writer in here too (in fact a real fictional writer, even though this is a fiction). An Argentinian one.

And Argentina is where Nazi war criminals go when they’ve faked their own death, isn’t it?

Kathy Kane of course being biologically the daughter of a Nazi war criminal, but sharing her name (and I presume her family) with Kate Kane, who is Jewish.

Kate Kane’s gay of course, while Kathy Kane is straight. Except she uses ‘circus slang’ according to Dick. And we know what Dick’s circus slang is, don’t we?

But it is circus slang for Dick, because after all, he’s a carnie. And so’s Kate. She owns a carnival. Just like the one the Joker seems to hide out in a lot. And its initials are KKK. And she has a liking for ‘dance[s] with the devil’.

And another of her films is called Mirrorrim. In a story about a weapon called Oroboro.

“I don’t know what they gave us. I don’t know what it is… but I feel like I’m split in two” – Kathy Kane, while she and Batman are in an imaginary world.

Kathy is freedom
Kathy is entrapment
Kathy is a fiancee
Kathy is a (black) widow
Kathy is Bat(wo)man
Kathy is the Joker
Kathy is a Nazi
Kathy is Jewish
Kathy is dead…

There’s more to this, of course – why all the blindness (blind orphans, people shot with braille patterns, Borges) and does that have anything to do with the cyclopean single eyes we’re seeing everywhere (of course it does, but what?)

You can waste your time on the other rides, but this is the nearest to being alive.

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6 Responses to Let Me Ride On The Wall Of Death One More Time… (Batman Inc 4 and a bit of 3)

  1. Duncan says:

    Well, Christie’s ten Little Indians is referenced quite overtly in – hey, the arc in which the International Club of Heroes appears, so.

    I don’t know how he syncretises like he do, the Grant, but I hope it never stops.

  2. Debi Linton says:

    Class, not genus.

    I flicked through the book in the store, and couldn’t figure out why Kathy Kane bore such a strong visual resemblance to Dinah Drake. Any ideas?

    Beyond me personally being a little obsessed.

    • Debi Linton says:

      Also, there’s a bit of a risk in presuming the Kanes of Gotham are all related. Look at who the most well known member of that family is. And there’s no indication that her son retins any familial ties with the living Kanes.

      • True, but in Morrison’s writing it’s best to assume every connection you can. Also, didn’t Renee Montoya refer to Kate Kane as “Katherine the Younger”, or am I misremembering?

    • Thanks – will fix that.
      As for the resemblance, it’s not something I’d noticed, but it is definitely there, isn’t it? I’ll have to think about that.

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