Thursday, November 27, 2008

Batman, RIP.....WTF?

Okay, so the final issue of Batman R.I.P. came out yesterday. For those of you that don't read Batman, this was the culmination of a long storyline where a mysterious organization called the Black Glove dedicated themselves to destroying Batman through both physical and pyschological means. For those looking for a detailed summary, here's the Wikipedia entry. Frankly, the plot is waaaaaay too weird for me to summarize in any way that makes sense.

So, it's ended, and I've got to say........what the fuck?

Bruce Wayne is clearly not dead, and I never thought he would be. He's Batman, for the love of mike, there's no way DC was going to kill him off. That would be like Marvel killing off Captain America. Wait.......bad example.

Look, I like Grant Morrison, the writer behind this story. I think he's pretty much one of the few truly big talents in comics, alongside Alan Moore and Geoff Johns. He wrote the best Justice League series ever. His weirder stuff, like Animal Man and Doom Patrol and The Invisibles, is justly legendary. He just finished writing the best Superman story in twenty years or so.

But the resolution of this story is frustratingly vague. We've spent the better part of a year reading a very difficult story, with numerous references to decades old continuity and strange stream of conciousness segues. It was as filled with Grant Morrison wackiness as his mainstream stuff can get, and that made for a sometimes frustrating read, as you had to simply absorb the elements that didn't make any sense, and hope it would work out in the end.

Well, in the end, the story simply ends. We get no revelations, really. The main villain, the mysterious Doctor Hurt, is never fully explained. The revelations about Bruce Wayne's parents are never fully confirmed or denied. Worst of all, Batman simply disappears at the end, seemingly dead, but I'm convinced he's merely decided to go into hiding. The Joker refers to apophenia, a disorder that causes one to see patterns in unrelated data, but that's a pretty unsatisfying concept upon which to hang a story this supposedly meaningful.

I hope things will soon all be made clear, but I have a feeling we'll be treated to Dick Grayson and others battling to take up the Bat-mantle until Wayne finally returns a year or so from now. Lame.

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