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Monday October 27, 2008 9:10 pm

What’s In Store For Batman Post R.I.P.?

Posted by David Torres Categories:


Grant Morrison began writing Batman for DC Comics in 2006 with the story arc “Batman and Son”.  The story debuted Bruce Wayne’s son Damien whose mother is Talia al Ghul daughter of Ra’s al Ghul one of Batman’s deadliest villains.  I thought this story was okay, which is how I feel of most of Morrison’s run on Batman. 

We are now coming to the end of what Morrison has said he has been building up to with “Batman: R.I.P.”  Now with a title like that, one would believe that this will be the end of Batman, but Morrison has already said that Batman will not be dying at the end of this storyline.  What will happen is “so much better than death” Morrison was quoted saying.  The result will be a “fate worse than death.”  That statement has intrigued fans over the past few months and has had them wondering what will be the big revelation at the end of “Batman: R.I.P.” 

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Some fans believe that the Black Glove (the main villain of the story) will be revealed to be Thomas Wayne: Bruce’s father.  Others have made guesses that it’s Alfred or Bruce’s new love Jezebel Jet.  Some believe its Bruce Wayne himself.  Whoever is behind it, all will be revealed in the November issue of “Batman” 681.  And although this story has not been a favorite, I am intrigued by where this is all headed.

My biggest worry is that the origin of Batman will be changed.  Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered by small time crook Joe Chill.  If DC makes the decision to have Thomas Wayne be behind the Black Glove that will certainly “kill” Batman because all of his vengeance for the deaths of his parents will be for nothing.  I seriously doubt this will happen.  It would be like the Spider-Man Clone Saga when Marvel Comics wanted to make Peter Parker the clone and Ben Reilly the true Spider-Man.  It would have thrown 20 years of continuity out the window.  The same would be done if Thomas Wayne was alive and became a villain to Batman. 

Having Alfred be behind the Black Glove or Alfred being Bruce’s real father (as a reporter mentions in the current storyline) would also be a mistake.  Alfred has been a mainstay in Batman’s life.  Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame.  Alfred having an affair with Martha Wayne and fathering Bruce sounds like a plotline out of a soap opera.

We do know one thing - after “Batman: R.I.P.”, Batman disappears from Gotham City.  The solicitations for issues of “Batman” to be released in December has Batman gone missing.  Will Nightwing, Robin, or Jason Todd pick up the mantle?  DC had a press release that stated we will see a storyline entitled “Battle for the Cowl” sometime early next year.  If we see Dick or anyone else take over as Batman I don’t know how that can be so new and different from anything that was done in the past.  We all know Azrael took over for Bruce when Bane broke his back in the Knightfall trilogy.  Nightwing also took on the cowl shortly after Bruce wrestled the cowl away from Azrael. 

Whatever happens, sales will be up.  Controversy brings readers into the fold.  The real test is if that writer can keep them interested after the shock of the controversy is over.  Ed Brubaker has been able to do it with the killing of Steve Rogers and placing Bucky as the new Captain America.  Brubaker’s run on “Captain America” will go down as a classic.  I don’t get that feeling from “R.I.P.” and I don’t think I’ll feel that way post-“R.I.P.”  Time will tell.  If Morrison doesn’t keep my interest, I will be pulling “Batman” from my monthly list.



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