* The mother of all Swiss Army Knives.
* There's a very interesting "Annals of Mathematics" in the New Yorker
this week all about the politics surrounding the solving of the Poincaré conjecture
* Grant Morrison talks
Batman with Newsarama. [+/-]
GM: The very rough timeline I have in my head runs as follows - 19 year old Bruce Wayne returns from his journey around the world and becomes the (1930s style) Dark Avenger Gothic Vigilante Batman for his first year of adventures. Then, aged 20, he meets Robin and his whole outlook changes - now he has responsibilities, he becomes less reckless, now he has a partner, he lightens up and learns to have fun again for the first time since his parents died. The police stop chasing him, the Joker stops killing and becomes a playful crime clown, and Gotham is bright and crazy like Vegas. Batman's having the time of his life in his early 20's, fighting colorful villains and monsters with his irrepressible young pal.
But by the time he's in his mid-20s things are starting to go wrong - the first Robin leaves to go to college and hang out with the Teen Titans. Batman enjoys a period as a swinging bachelor for a couple of years but it's not long before the hammerblows start to fall - in rapid succession, the now-homicidal Joker kills Jason Todd, the new Robin, and maims Barbara (Batgirl ) Gordon, Bane breaks Batman's back, then Gotham is devastated by earthquakes, plagues and urban warfare, the Joker kills Jim Gordon's beloved wife, Jason Todd returns corrupted, and a betrayal by his superhero friends leads Batman to the creation of Brother Eye and leads him on to Infinite Crisis where Batman winds up pointing a gun at Alexander Luthor's head before deciding to leave Gotham for a year.
Thinking about it this way, the grim Batman of the last decade or so makes a whole lot of sense - the guy went from cool, assured crimefighter to shattered ***-up, barely clinging on with his fingernails. His mission, his life and his sanity had all gone off the rails. His confidence was shot. After a few years of relentless pain, bad luck and betrayal like Batman's had, any normal man would be canceling the papers, pulling the blinds, then pulling the trigger. We had to address the effect of these tragedies and then move him beyond them.
* So You Have Questions About the Superhero Registration Act.