Thursday, November 27, 2008

Comic Reviews - Batman #681

Batman #681 (R.I.P. Conclusion )

I’ve now read this comic 3 times since picking it up. I’ve checked out Timothy Callahan’s excellent annotations on the book to hopefully gain more understanding….and I’m still confused. I’m not confused in a bad way, but more in the way that I know that some things have been wrapped up, but am I still missing something?

This issue reads like the last 15 minutes of a big budget action film, there is tons of action and guest appearances and revelations. We do get closure on some of the plot threads…sort of and at the end we get a fairly blunt answer as to who will probably take over as Batman.

Click below to continue :

One big plus to this issue is the way the Joker comes out of the whole situation. The way he is written is just brilliant, and redeems himself from a few issues back where Dr. Hurt was referring to him as a servant. I hope they keep this incarnation of the Joker around for a while because I really like him. Although the way he gets taken out of the issue is very funny, and probably one of the only redeeming moments for BatBrat Damien.

Another shining moment is when Talia steps up to basically say, “No-one messes with my baby-daddy”, and unleashes her ninja man-bats on one of the Black Glove members.

Morrison does a great job of telling us what we all knew. Batman is ready for ANYTHING. He is prepared to an insane level. Where someone like Superman doesn’t need preparation because of his abilities, Batman appears to be super-human due to his levels of prep work. He created a backup personality like I create a backup CD for my computer in case it crashes!!!!! Come on, who thinks of that?

A few quick questions I’m left with after this issue :

1. Just who the hell is Dr. Hurt???? I’ll keep re-reading this but I’m confused.
2. Does everyone now know that Bruce is (was) Batman? It seems for a while he was running around in his costume without the cowl.
3. Is it just me or does Zur En Arrh sound a lot like Zorro in Arkham? When Bruce’s father says this at the end it seems to tie in all too well.

(UPDATE) : OK, after thinking about it and sleeping on it, I’m going back to my theory that Bruce is the leader of the Black Glove and all of these personalities, Sur en Arrh Batman, the Black Glove, and even regular Batman are defense mechanismas so he can deal with extraordinary situations. I’m now wondering if Alfred will actually discover that Bruce is the Black Glove as he’s reminiscing in the upcoming issues.

All in all, I liked this issue and I enjoyed the R.I.P. story as a whole. Will I need to re-read Morrison’s entire run to understand this more? Probably. Do I think that Morrison left a lot of questions unanswered? Absolutely, but you can’t answer every question and tie everything up neatly. We’ll see what happens in the next month or two and then apparently Final Crisis #6 will give us the final answer as to Batman’s fate, because I’m VERY confused about the timeline now.

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