Monday, December 1, 2008

Batman #681: RIP Conclusion

Batman #681: RIP Conclusion
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea
Color: Guy Major
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

This is the the conclusion of the much-hyped "Batman RIP" arc. It's interesting to note that the media got a hold of this and is actually reporting it on their sites and stations. They got it wrong however, but's quite the event. I just wish I could say it was worth the wait. When Grant Morrison is good, he's one of the best. Though, when he's off target...we get something like this issue.

It was interesting to see that in the end even the enemy with unlimited resources could not beat Batman, who has been training all his life to prepare for every eventuality. Still, it struck me as a bit of 'deus ex machina' that Batman knew from the beginning of the Black Glove conspiracy and that he knew of Jezebel's involvement with the conspiracy. I mean, I understand he's supposed to be the "World's Greatest Detective," but that just seems like a cop out.

Similar to what Troy stated in his review, the art of Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea really shines, although I found the paneling structure to be a bit off for my tastes. I did like the little things here and there, mainly how the Joker's lettering looked and Guy Major deserves serious kudos for a job well-done. As a person who was genuinely excited about this arc, my excitement eventually waned and then I just became indifferent, especially after the supposed "death" of Batman. While we are treated to a "6 months later..." scenario, one question comes to mind: If Final Crisis really seals the fate of Bruce Wayne, what was the point of "RIP"?

So in, uh, conclusion, this conclusion didn't pay off for me. With all the hype surrounding this event, one would think Grant Morrison could do better than the cliche "no body and an explosion in the background". This was not his best work, or even his best "Batman" story. I suggest reading his work on JLA in the late 90's. Those were what I would call definitive Batman stories.

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