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Wednesday November 26, 2008 11:07 pm

DC Comics Review: Batman #681




Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Batman

The conclusion to “Batman: RIP” is finally here. The last issue saw Batman entering Arkham Asylum as his back-up personality The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh to rescue Jezebel Jet from the Black Glove and the Joker.

Grant Morrison stated in an interview with Comic Book Resources that what would happen to Batman in this storyline would be “so much better than death. People have killed characters in the past, but to me, that kind of ends the story! I like to keep the story twisting and turning. So what I am doing is a fate worse than death. Things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all.”  When I read this, I became very intrigued. What would happen to Bruce Wayne when the story was over? Well, the story is over and I’m still wondering what the big deal was.

(Spoilers)

Read More | Comic Book Resources

The issue opens with Batman (back in his original costume) trapped in a coffin buried in a grave. He escapes of course and goes after the Black Glove. It’s revealed in this issue that Jezebel Jet was in on the plot with the Black Glove. Not really that surprising. It’s been speculated for months that she would be in on this plot against Bruce Wayne. The story ends with the leader of the Black Glove, Simon Hurt, trying to escape in a helicopter with Batman chasing after him. Hurt continues to claim that he is really Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas, but Batman says he’s not. Batman busts into the helicopter as it crashes into Gotham harbor where Nightwing picks up Batman’s discarded cape and cowl.

We are left with an epilogue taking place six months later. Le Bossu of the Black Glove is torturing a Gotham City police officer and says that Batman and Robin are dead. At that moment, the Bat-signal shines through the window. The final page of the epilogue shows the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne as they leave a movie theater after seeing “Mask of Zorro” with young Bruce. Young Bruce Wayne says to his father he wishes Zorro was real. Thomas says that he doesn’t think Gotham would like a masked man running around. They would end up locked in Arkham.

I think this issue was a major disappointment. What was the big deal? This is supposed to be some big mental breakdown? I think we’ve seen Bruce Wayne go through some stuff that is a lot tougher than this. Bruce has seen the Joker kill Robin and paralyze Batgirl. We’ve seen him broken by Bane in Knightfall. Jezebel Jet seducing Bruce into loving her and drugging him doesn’t seem that big of a deal compared to some of the stuff I just mentioned.

DC Comics has stated that the final fate of Bruce Wayne as Batman will be revealed in Final Crisis - which is also being written by Grant Morrison. If this is the case, why say that this issue is the conclusion to the story when it obviously isn’t. What’s going to happen next? For a storyline that has been so hyped by Morrison and DC, I just feel very let down. I almost don’t even care what happens next.

I really hope DC takes Morrison off this book. I don’t think he’s a good writer. I know a lot of people have enjoyed his work in the past (Animal Man, Doom Patrol) and some of his current stuff (All-Star Superman), but I just don’t get it. I much prefer Geoff Johns and how he tells a story. I’m normally left feeling satisfied after one of his stories. This issue and Morrison’s run on “Batman” as a whole gets a big thumbs down from me.

I’m looking forward to Denny O’Neil and Neil Gaiman’s stories over the next few months, but I don’t think I’ll continue when Morrison returns to the title afterwards. I’ll stick with Paul Dini over on “Detective Comics”.

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