By Grant Morrison (writer), Tony Daniel (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Guy Major (colors)
In many ways, Batman RIP is very similar to Final Crisis. Both stories are confusing, abstract, and fragmented, but because Batman’s story is only nestled within the “Bat-Universe” there’s less tabs to put on characters making the story a bit easier to follow. I put a big emphasis on “a bit” easier, because after this issue I was more lost than ever. And you know, I don’t mind being lost as long as I know where the general direction of things are headed. In Final Crisis I can’t make heads or tails of the story without consulting appendices and cliffnotes from the DC elite (thanks guys), but in Batman, Grant Morrison manages to throw us a bone every once in a while, and that I can deal with.
This issue makes me wonder if Morrison is deliberately trying to invoke the same amnesiac feelings amongst his readers as Bruce Wayne stumbles around Gotham City with the ghost of a homeless man. Eventually Wayne wanders to Park Row (the area of Gotham where his parents were killed), and here his mind is ignited (by drugs no less). The end result is something that I can only describe as just plain Silver Age flamboyance at its worst (or best, if you’re into that kind of thing).
The Black Case Studies Wayne’s done on his rogues gallery is particularly fascinating and it makes me wonder what kind of damage had been done with Wayne’s “experimentations” into madness. Robin’s wondering this too. Speaking of which, Nightwing and Robin seem to be getting nowhere in their search, yet their less than covert actions has drawn the attention of the Club of Villains ever closer (and unknowingly). I won’t reveal anything here, but wow… poor Nightwing.
Perhaps my only beef with this issue is the lack of resolution with Alfred. Though we see him for just a brief moment latter half through the issue, nothing new is explained on his past dealings with The Black Glove nor of his fate. Anyway, this issue is weird, but perversely fun? (Grade: B-)
– J. Montes