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Old 11-30-2008, 11:45 PM   #1
Saul Haber
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WTF is Zurr En Arrh????????

I've waited patiently for the past year, reading Grant Morrison's nonsense, waiting for some answers, but they hardly came. What does "Zur en Arh" (spelling?) mean? Did I miss something or are we just supposed to keep wondering?

(PS- If you can't tell, I didn't much like Batman RIP, but, to be fair, I read most of the issues in the store, seeing as I wasn't going to waste my money on it. I liked Morrison's earlier stories, but once RIP started he completely lost me. I just couldn't tell what was happening most of the time, and when I could, I didn't think it made much sense.)
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:39 AM   #2
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Zur en Arh and all the Batman locked up stuff was based from silver-age stories where they made little to no sense and for some reason Morrison thought that it would be a good idea to add it into the current batman mythos. I like a lot of Morrison's work but RIP didn't even seem like a decent batman story at all and then end with one of the most generic and boring endings I've read in awhile was a total let down.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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'Zur en arrh' is what little Bruce heard from his father just before his parents were murdered. They were talking about Zorro and how Brucie wants to be a masked hero, then his dad said that in real life guys like Zorro would probably end up in Arkham. "Zorro in Arkham" through the sound of rain and little Brucie's unattentive ear sounded like 'zur en arrh'.

Basically, it symbolizes Batman's descent to madness and how he managed to survive with only a little ounce of sanity. Or rather, he survived by deliberately making himself insane.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:40 PM   #4
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The only theory I see floating around is that it stands for "Zorro in Arkham," which was one of the last lines of dialogue Thomas Wayne said n the final issue.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:59 PM   #5
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Moonrider, you just blew my mind. I never would have thought of that. (I guess I was too sick of the book by the last page to notice that.)
But was the phrase "Zur en arrh" used in the Silver age or was it all Morisson's "idea?" Either way "Zorro in Arkham" sounds to be a pretty solid interpretation of what it could mean, even if it doesn't make too much sense (within the story).
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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The phrase dates back to Batman #113 (February 1958).

Timothy Callahan writes about it here.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for that link kdmelrose. That actually explained a lot and makes the whole Batman RIP seem just a bit cooler now. Of course, it's a pretty bad idea to predicate the comprehension of your story on the knowledge of some Silver Age stories which no one has ever heard of. I mean, before I just read that article, the whole "crazy-costume-Batman" just seemed so random and out of nowhere. All these allusions to Silver Age stories are distracting, since most readers aren't aware of these stories and without being aware of them, things just seem weird for no purpose. I like weirdness in my comics just as much as the next guy but I don't like getting the feeling that I'm only getting half of the story as I read it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:58 PM   #8
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Of course, it's a pretty bad idea to predicate the comprehension of your story on the knowledge of some Silver Age stories which no one has ever heard of.
But isn't that pretty much what Morrison does with his superhero stories?

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Old 12-02-2008, 09:03 PM   #9
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Well, I wouldn't know, since I'm always out of the loop. What other secret allusions have I been missing out on all these years? Am I the only one who doesn't know this stuff?? No wonder I've been liking Morrison's work less and less.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:08 PM   #10
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I don't know about "secret allusions," but a lot of Morrison's superhero work is firmly rooted in his love for the Silver Age. All-Star Superman, in particular, has one Silver Age allusion after another.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:57 AM   #11
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Was Supernova Morrison's idea or Geoff Johns? That came from a golden age story as old as 'Batman from Zur En Arrh'.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #12
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Was Supernova Morrison's idea or Geoff Johns? That came from a golden age story as old as 'Batman from Zur En Arrh'.
It was my idea. That Goddamn Morrison was ear wigging in a Manchester pub (the thirsty Scholar) when I was venting about Booster Gold. The bastard didnt even sign my copy of New X-men. Bloody miserable scot.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #13
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:07 AM   #14
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Speak English!
I doubt that would do you any good as you cant hear me. I'm English and I speak the language perfectly.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:30 PM   #15
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