Batman #677

Batman R.I.P continues to roll on. In an interview with Comic Book Resources Morrison reveals that R.I.P doesn’t necessarily mean death;

"so much better than death. People have killed characters in the past but to me, that kind of ends the story! I like to keep the story twisting and turning. So what I am doing is a fate worse than death. Things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all. This is the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman."

The weird part about reading Batman R.I.P is that this storyline is supposed to take place before Final Crisis so I am feeling a little Skrully especially when I read Final Crisis #1 and I am trying to decide who is the Batman that is depicted? Is it Bruce Wayne or is it Tim or Dick? I don’t know, but Grant Morrison is being very cryptic about what he intends to do with the character over the R.I.P series.

Batman #677 is laced with intrigue and propels the story forward in its conception. At the very beginning we see Batman strangling one of Mr. Le Bossu’s henchman trying to find out who the Black Glove is. Interrupted by Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD Batman depart to his cave, where he is frantically trying to decipher the clues as to who is behind the attacks and the Black Glove. Alfred is trying to tend to his wounds and he is rather motionless as he is absorbed by the bat-computer.

In walks Jezebel, Batman’s love interest whom he gives a tour of the Batcave, Yes, she knows his secret! The conversation between the two is revealing as to how Morrison is trying to lure the reader into the Batman mythos and question the Batman’s existence. I’m not sure how it will come across to fans, but to new readers it will allow them that gap to question the Batman’s character.

As he is going through this debate of character with Jezebel he is still absorbed in the Bat-Computer as he receives a clue as to who is behind Black Glove, Zur-En-Arrh. Zur-En-Arrh is an Alien planet Batman visited in Batman #113, so I am confused. Batman is then abducted by Mr. Le Bossu’s henchman and Alfred is beaten badly. An interesting backstory is Commisioner Gordon trying to stop a local newspaper of releasing a report that depicts a house of debauchery at Wayne Manor. The files, which were handled more than likely by the Black Glove claimed that Thomas Wayne faked his own death, Alfred was actually Bruce’s father, and that apparently the Wayne’s were into orgies and other risqué behaviour.

I am not a huge fan of the Batman franchise, I am not even a huge fan of Grant Morrison, but as I expressed in my review of Final Crisis #1 he has a vision, what is sad is that his visions for the current stories running cross paths with Final Crisis seem to all involve him pulling his stories into the forefront as centerpieces and defining moments of the characters. I can’t say I dislike what he is doing with Batman though. While I greatly disagree with what he is doing with the New Gods and the Final Crisis series the plot fits well into the Batman mythos.

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