Batman R.I.P. by Grant Morrison
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Batman gets cut by one of the Black Glove's minions on the first page, drugging him in the process. A little later, Jezebel Jet (who wouldn't have spotted a girl named Jezebel as being linked with the villains?) utters a code word Dr. Hurt implanted in Batmans' subconscious during an isolation experiment years ago (see Batman: The Black Glove) and the shit hits the fan. The Bruce Wayne part of Batman's psyche is completely eclipsed by the Batman portion. Batman goes on a rampage in a patchwork costume and finally catches up to the Black Glove at Arkham Asylum. He's consequently defeated and buried alive. But even being buried alive isn't enough to stop Batman...
I didn't like this one as much as the The Black Glove and here's why. First of all, you knew the vague ending was letting the door open for Bruce Wayne to return, even though Nightwing looked pretty impressive in the final shot holding Batman's cowl. Secondly, the two stories that followed, also in this volume, showed Batman surviving the helicopter crash. God forbid the fanboys think Batman might be dead for longer than ten minutes. THEN, Batman is "killed" by Darkseid in Final Crisis. It seems like they would have been better off leaving him "dead" at the end of RIP. The ending was vague enough that a return would have been believeable. However they end up bringing him back after Final Crisis (and they will) is going to be hokey as hell.
I'd highly recommend skipping the last two stories in this book. If you do and never read another Batman comic again, you can pretend something actually happened. Otherwise, it's just another example of why comics will never rise above their pro-wrestling type status with the general public. Nothing ever really happens that won't be undone later.
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