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Thursday December 4, 2008 11:05 pm

DC Comics Review: Batman #682




Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

Batman

Another issue of “Batman” by Grant Morrison that has me going, “What the #$@&?!!”  Although I’m a bit confused, I think I got a grasp of what’s going on.  I think. 

This is part one of the storyline “Last Rites”.  The solicitation for this issue reads, “In his last hours, Alfred the Butler tells the life story of the Batman as you’ve never seen it before in this two-part adventure, which bridges the gap between the events of “Batman R.I.P.” and FINAL CRISIS. Learn the secrets of Batman’s early years! Witness the nightmare of a Gotham City where Batman never existed!” 

Where do I begin? I’m re-reading and looking over this issue and I’m having a hard time explaining what’s going on. This issue’s story feels more like a dream or a hallucination. Alfred isn’t really the narrator of the story as stated in the solicitation. The story is just a retelling of Batman’s origin updated along with Pre-Crisis continuity incorporated into it. Grant Morrison stated prior to “Batman: RIP” that he looks at all of the old Pre-Crisis stories as part of continuity. I wonder if that’s what he’s trying to establish here?

As the origin unfolds, we go from one scene where Bruce is quitting his life as Batman and Alfred tells him he wrote a story about a world without a Batman. Bruce then accuses him of not being Alfred and says that whoever he is or whatever this is, he’s coming to get you. The next page shows the Wayne murder scene where Thomas fights back against Joe Chill, lives, and Bruce grows up not being Batman.

We then jump to some alien creatures conducting tests on something that looks like Clayface. They are taking everything that is Batman and they are going to put this into the bodies of an army of mindless Batmen for their “Dark Empire”. The last page has Batman in the same chamber he was placed in during “Final Crisis”.

“Last Rites” is a bridge to “Final Crisis” where we will learn the final fate of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Has “Batman: RIP” been all some kind of dream that Bruce has been going through after he was captured in “Final Crisis”? Is the Black Glove fake and a hallucination? Is the real villain Darkseid who is supposed to be behind “Final Crisis”? I have no idea. I really have no idea where this is going now. Maybe after it’s all over, I’ll sit down and read everything in one sitting to get a better grasp. All I know is I can’t wait for Denny O’Neil’s two-part story which begins after this story. Things should be simpler and I won’t have to think so hard.

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