Is Batman dead or what??

Every now and again something happens in the comic book world that effects the non-comic book world, causing speculators to buy crate loads of comics in hopes of a quick return on the investment. Robin is killed, Superman is killed, Captain America is killed… notice a pattern? Big deaths seem to be the only way to make the news, so how do you top that? Hire cult Scottish comic book scribe Grant Morrison to take over Batman and do whatever he likes.

And then he kills Batman.

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Promising the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman, Morrison has been quoted as saying that his current story Batman R.I.P. will be even bigger than simply killing off the world’s greatest detective. “People have killed characters in the past, but to me, that kind of ends the story,” Mr. Morrison said. “So what I am doing is a fate worse than death. Things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all.”

Morrison‘s run on the title began in issue #655 , and has been steadily building up to a major revelation ever since. But who has time to read the actual comics?

Thankfully the fans are here to bring you up to speed…

Now that you’re up-to-date, the finale promises big reveals on the identity of the mysterious villain The Black Glove, a darker look at the persona of Bruce Wayne‘s father, Thomas Wayne- revealed to be the most evil villain of all, the fate of Robin and Nightwing and many more details. You read that right. Not only did Thomas Wayne not die on that fateful night in Crime Alley but he has secretly been gearing up to defeat his son all this time.

As a follower of Grant‘s work, I must warn the layman looking to pick up today’s issue because it made headlines. There are many rumors and lots of speculation on the conclusion, but I can tell you that it will make very little direct sense to not only the casual reader but also the devoted fan.

Comic stores are privvy to a few golden hours to read their comics before anyone else and so far they have practically shrugged their collective shoulders in DC chat rooms saying that they are completely befuddled at what the ‘big revelation’ even is. To clarify, no one is outraged by the ‘revelation,’ instead they are flipping between the pages looking for a hidden panel or two where the big deal surely must be hidden.

This reaction is to be expected from a Morrison script alone, but rumored interference from editor-in-chief Dan DiDio promises for a truly convoluted and empty conclusion. So far the story is that the finale will not only fail to reveal the identity of the main villain but also fails to cement the fate of star Batman, instead leaving that pleasure to the much delayed Final Crisis series.

That’s right… in order to find out what happened readers are encouraged to pick up a major crossover that is delayed by two months.

Fans and civvies alike will all find out together what the deal is with the most talked about Batman tale since Bane broke his back years ago (remember the quickest recovery from a spinal injury in human history?). The story has been hyped as the most important and shocking Batman comic in 70 years, yet so far it hasn’t added up to much. New characters file in and out, Batman has flashbacks that are vague and cryptic and the word  Zurenarh appears over and over as if the reader is being tested by the writer. I don’t mean to be so hard on the story, I’m just not sold on it being any good at all.

And in the end, will it be worth all of the hooplah?

The NY Times has already confirmed that Wayne will return in due time to the tights he loves so much:

“You realize in their absence how valuable the character is,” said Dan DiDio, DC’s senior vice president and executive editor. “Bruce Wayne will always be back as Batman someday.”

I’m not so naive to think that Batman would be dead, but this reveal so early that like Frosty the Snowman Batman will be ‘back someday’ take more than a little bit of dignity and importance from the past few years’ worth of comics.

DC Comics have been trying to ‘change’ Batman for years now. Ever since the dark knight detective twigged to the fact that he had been duped by his ‘friends’ in the Justice League back in the day (see Identity Crisis), he hasn’t been the same. Even more driven, grim and paranoid, he even developed his own global anti-super hero final solution with the O.M.A.C. Project. Yet the flaws in DC‘s grand design were evident when writers Geoff Johns and Mark Waid publicly disagreed on ‘which Batman‘ would emerge from the universe-changing Infinite Crisis; the grim one or the happy one.

The guys at PVP know just which version works best, the blunt one.

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The follow-up ‘Battle for the Cowl’ and ‘Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader’ by Neil Gaiman next year will string along any readers brave enough to weather the rough weather ahead for the pulp hero to millions.

Recommended:
Batman: The Man Who Laughs
Batman Chronicles Vol. 06 (Batman)
Batman: Murder at Wayne Manor: An Interactive Mystery (Interactive Batman Mystery)
Batman: Year One Hundred
Batman: Black & White, Vol. 1

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16 thoughts on “Is Batman dead or what??

  1. The resting of Bruce Wayne could be a good thing. The recent storylines have been fragmented and although had a lot of potential, they failed to deliver. For instance the introduction of Damian was brilliant as it offered up the chance to see how Batman would react between Tim and his own son, plus hundreds of other scenarios. Damian though was given very little time to shine and basically was dumped on the back burner. Even in Nightwing’s Freefall, Talia and Ra’s make appearances, but Damian is tucked away.

    By resting Bruce we get the opportunity to strengthen Grayson’s character. Tim has done well as Robin and although a lot of his storylines are far fetched he has been built a personality. Grayson though has been the spare wheel for a decade now and no-one has given him direction. He has been given a b grade storyline with b grade villians and his only real test is which girl is he going to sleep with next? Recently the Freefall storyline gave him some credibility, and a little more work can make him one of the top characters in DC. So a good fight between Dick and Jason for the bat mantle could solidify both characters as mainstays. I would like to see Bruce rested for 2 years taking a role similar to Oracle. In this time he builds up jason, damian, tim and dick to carry the Batman family strongly into the next decade.

    PS What writer puts Bat Mite into a supposedly big storyline? Bat Mite kills all reality in a Batman story. Morrison erred in a big way.

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  2. I hate to be negative, but Bruce is still present in the foreseeable future issues and Final Crisis while both Nightwing and Robin have been canceled.

    I just don’t see any major change as evident here at all and that to me is the main failure of the story. I like all three character and agree that Damian and Jason Todd both deserve a place in the Bat universe, I just haven’t seen any evidence that the Bat titles can sort this mess out, it’s simply a bigger mess.

    Morrison, in my opinion, is wasting his time here and needs to produce a new Invisibles or We3 project instead. His start on Batman was promising, but this R.I.P. storyline is a poor statement on his ability as a writer.

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  3. Agreed. Although going to the DC website things are very sketchy. Bruce may well be out of action for a while. My worry is Grant rushed RIP out way to early without completing the other stories he started. It has led to a big mess. Maybe he wanted to test the water, giving himself time to right Batman’s death/disabilty in Final Crisis. Didn’t they have two storylines ready for the press when Todd was knocked off? We could have a similar situation here. What I find strange is that a 2 part story starts in Detective 851, but there doesn’t seem to be a second part to it. I sense a headless chicken running around the DC offices. Maybe Batman out of action for a while could clear this mess up. At least it could be a new beginning.

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  4. Those guys at DC need to stop writing Batman comics for a few years and actually come up with some decent ideas. This idea is so played out, and Im sick of all the stories tying into the “Crisis” books. Stop butchering the past storylines that were so good in the 80s and leave it alone.

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  5. Bruce wayne is dead, he is dead… Final Crisis 6. Get it! Because of the Obama cover, this was covered up but he is dead. The last page will blow your f**king mind. (more than an 5 page Obama meets Spiderman will ever)!

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  6. Actually, that issue explains very little. Batman has been absent from Final Crisis for nearly 4 issues and suddenly pops up so he can get killed? I don’t think so.

    What we see in the issue is a dude in a beaten-up Batman costume who shoots Darkseid with a magic bullet then is struck himself by Darkseid’s ‘Omega sanction’ (and smiles for some reason). Then Superman walks out holding a skeleton in a Batman costume.

    Because of the poor writing of Final Crisis, it’s hardly a definitive statement on Batman’s fate.

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  7. I think that they should Wayne dead. They have opened a very good possibilty by canceling Robin and Nightwing. One of them should take the up the tital. Robin would be ideal, it would forfill his ‘titans of tommorow’ destiny in a different way.

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  8. Now that Final Crisis has ended we know that Batman is alive (on some other planet? in the future?? who knows) painting pictures, so it looks like he’s taking a well deserved if awkward vacation.

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  9. wtf is morrison doing
    hes screwing everything up. wat was he thinking wen he decided to bring batmans dad back and make him a villian. wat was DC thinking wen they approved of this

    i dont know if morrison realizes but if he kills batman he’ll be out of a job.

    if bob kane was still alive…….well lets just be glad he isnt for morrisons sake

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  10. I don’t believe Hurt was really Thomas Wayne.
    As Alfred said, “I knew Thomas Wayne, and you sir are not him.”

    RIP had some cool ideas, like Bruce building a backup personality in case he ever went nuts.
    But it was messy towards the end and some things are sacred, like the death of Bruces parents.

    As for RIP leading into Crisis, leading into Blackest Night…
    Meh, I’m too old skool for all this crazy sci fi shit, I like my Bat HARDBOILED, wake me up when Bruce gets back.

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    • I agree. I got lost a few months back, and can’t afford buying Bat comics that seem to go nowhere.
      I am sick of DC trying to sell comics by making un-nessesary changes.
      Let’s just get back to some great stories and art of Batman kickin ass like nobodys business.

      Oh, and including the main Bat villians, of course.

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  11. “Bruce building a backup personality in case he ever went nuts.”

    See, that in itself is the big problem here. The guy watched his parents die and decided that the only way to cope was to wear a batsuit and build absurd cars with his live-in English butler for the rest of his life. Where do you draw the line at ‘crazy’ in that situation?

    RIP just went way too far into the ‘far out concepts’ and held no real joy for me. I wonder if Dini’s series is still any good. Not enough to buy it, but I wonder still.

    I agree with you on the Blackest Night thing. I’m a huge fan of Geoff Johns’ GL stuff yet I’m avoiding this crossover entirely. Sinestro Corps War was an unexpected hit, I think that DC is just trying to multiply their dollars by crossing it over into every book they publish… which will not work.

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