By Grant Morrison (writer), Lee Garbett (pencils), Trevor Scott (inks), Guy Major (colors)
The Story: We continue the trip through Batman’s mind as Lump works his through Bruce’s memories. The task is simple enough: steal Batman’s memories and replace them with false ones. With a successful invasion, Batman’s “will” will be transplanted into a series of clones, creating the perfect army for Darkseid. But as you can imagine, Batman fights back with his unstoppable will which leads us to his ultimate fate in Final Crisis.
The Good? As Lump tries to inject false memories into Bruce Wayne, we’re taken through a world where Batman doesn’t exist. If you ever wondered what Bruce’s life might be like had his parents lived, this issue will answer that question. Many tragedies would still happen, yet things like the symbiotic relationship between Batman and the Joker would never materialize. In fact, it’s suggested that without Batman, Joker would just be another murderer who was ultimately captured and killed via lethal injection. And the fate of Dick Grayson? Well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. The art by Lee Garbett is actually quite good. And that cover by Alex Ross? Incredible.
The Not So Good? The story plays out just as messy as it did last issue. By the end of the issue most of it makes sense, but that doesn’t mean it was all great. The scenes that cut back and forth through Batman’s life such as the broken back incident with Bane, the war, the death of Jason Todd — it’s all redundant. Sure, they’re key events of Batman’s life, but I’d have rather seen more of Bruce’s silly life as a doctor than a trip down memory lane.
Speaking of redundant, this is the second story (in a row) where we’re shown how even an unconscious Batman can defeat his enemies. We get the point! Now can we move on?
Conclusion: I wasn’t a big fan of the first part of “Last Rites” but this second (and final part) does a nice job of wrapping things up (as much as possible) while tieing Batman’s final adventure with the events unfolding in Final Crisis.
- J. Montes
A Second Opinion
I agree with Jason that this issue is a definite step up in quality, but it’s still difficult to sift through. The idea of a world without Batman is interesting, but it’s more Bruce’s life without Batman. Which as you’d expect, is less interesting and less scarring (physically). Besides, any fan of The Animated Series already has an idea of what he’d be like without Batman so for me the book started off in the hole for originality.
The memories of his life as Batman are redundant as Jason said. So much so that I’d rather have those original panels placed into the comic. Not only would the different looks evoke the concept of a flashback better, but also add something to how Batman has changed Gotham for better and worse throughout the errors. To his credit though, Lee Garbett does a good job of emulating the various art styles of the memories.
Still, if you can work your way through the labyrinth of text and references, there are a few highlights. You really get to see Gotham without Batman from a good and bad point of view. Without Batman, certain character’s fates are dramatically altered for worse. On the other hand, without Batman to challenge him, the Joker is caught and killed pretty early on. It makes you wonder if the good he does really outweighs the bad that could be attributed to him. Also, the Alex Ross cover is worth the price alone. It perfectly illustrates the story Morrison is trying (to varying degrees of success) to tell. We need more comics that are cover to cover Ross’ work. I know he’s busy doing awesome covers, but Kingdom Come remains one of my favorite arcs ever largely due to his epic art style.
Ultimately, I’d say that if you were looking for a great book cover to cover, this isn’t for you. But if some decent dialogue, good art, an awesome cover or any combination of those is enough, go pick this up.
Filed under: DC Comics, Reviews | Tagged: Batman, Batman #683, DC Comics, Final Crisis, Grant Morrison, Guy Major, Last Rites, Lee Garbett, RIP, Trevor Scott | 1 Comment »