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Batman #683 Would Have Been a Good Ending

Thankfully.

But I’m certainly pleased that (if the rumors are true) it will not be the ending!

Batman #682 and 683, read together, creates a delightful look at Batman’s history, and really, in a way, Batman (and Alfred)’s psychological make-up.

Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott would not be my first choice for perhaps Grant Morrison’s last issue of Batman, but they do an admirable job on the artwork (and I think a step-up from Daniel’s art on R.I.P.).

Last issue depicted the events of the (mostly out of continuity) Pre-Crisis Batman, while this issue continues the story of Batman to the present day, as The Lump attempts to bombard Batman with false memories so that they can steal his real memories.

So we get a mish-mash of real memories mixed in with some what ifs, including what if Bruce Wayne’s parents never died and he became an ineffectual fop.

Ultimately, though, we see Batman figure out what is going on and actually use his own memories as a sort of weapon against the Lump (and the Bat-clones) by turning his torment upon them, causing the clones to try to kill himselves, as, essentially, no one can live with the amount of pain Batman has gone through.

Clever stuff, and it is quite impressive how well Morrison works in all the eras of Batman’s life (he even throws in a great line about Batman coming back from Bane breaking his back).

We also see Batman’s humanity, as he connects with the Lump, as the Lump knows as much about Batman as anyone else now.

There is also a scene tying the ending of R.I.P. in with Final Crisis which was nice to see, if only because I know some folks were quite concerned about that.

Finally, perhaps the best part of the whole comic is a little speech Alfred gives about Batman. I think I’m going to quote it here, if only because the rest of the comic is good enough that knowing this awesome speech is not going to really affect you one way or the other, but in case you think it would, don’t read the following!

I did once consider resigning my position in the Wayne household. “I need a disguise,” he said and I thought he’d finally gone mad with grief, especially those next words…but when I saw what he meant, when I watched how he surrendered himself to an ideal…how he used each ordeal, each heartache and failure, to be come a better man, in the service of others…what could I do but stand in humble awe? And keep his wounds clean and his uniform tidy. And send him safely on his way. “I shall become a bat.”

Alfred follows with a speech almost as cool regarding Batman’s obituary, but I think I’ll leave that for you all to read in the book itself.

So yeah, had this been the end, it would have been good.

But I’m glad it is not the end.

Recommended.

16 Comments

The end of Heart of Hush was a good enough finish for me. I have no interest in where DC is planning to take Batman in the coming years, so as far as I’m concerned, every Batman post from now on will read: “%$&*#(*” in place of the word “Batman.”

I really liked this issue, and can’t wait for morrison to come back with quitely on board. I hope dini comes back too.

The obituary was awesome. It’ll be a memorable bat-quote for years to come, guarantee.

Batman RIP: “This is the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman.”

No, wait – Last Rites: “A spectacular, unforgettable farewell to The Dark Knight…”

No, wait! “Follow the Dark Knight to his last adventure in Final Crisis #6″

Ever get the feeling you’ve been had?

I, for one, am appalled that they keep making good comic books with Batman in them.

I wish that these two excellent Last Rites comics did not come out and instead we got Denny O’Neil’s story now. I firmly believe that solicitation copy should be taken literally. If you say “farewell,” that damn well better be the absolute last appearance of Batman.

I am still aghast that the internet is still in one piece after Hawkeye came back from the dead in House of M #3.

What did you find excellent about Last Rites, Brian? The clip show of other writers’ great moments? The equally unoriginal “What if Bruce Wayne never became Batman” scenario (see the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Perchance to Dream” from 1992) which lacks tension because the writer let on it’s not real? Or Batman’s captors stealing the climax by shooting the really big threat? I have to admit: I liked the Mothman gag. So there’s one good panel.

If you say “farewell,” then yes, that damn well better be the absolute last appearance of Batman, or you’ll hear the ugly phrase “bait and switch.”

jeez… you guys have no imaginations? this issue rocked.

The original plan was for Bruce to die in Final Crisis, but because Didio wanted a self-contained story to act as an epilogue instead of a tie in Morrison wrote RIP which serves as it’s own concluding element to all of Morrison’s plot threads.

And Batman captors shot the threat. But Batman sussed out that he was being mind controlled, convinced the threat to help him out and used his own memories to cause the Batman clones he was trying to create to kill themselves. What was great about Last Rites is that it showed just how amazing and irreplaceable Bruce was. Dr. Hurt may have tried to copy him, superheroes around the world may have been imitated him, evil gods may have tried to clone him, but none of them are comparable to the real thing or will ever be.

Batman’s last case throws him into a deeper cliffhanger then ever before, being captured and rendered helpless by the evil gods. But like the Black Hand, like Hush, and like all the other super villains in the past. He’ll find a way to escape and kick all their asses.

So in other words the issue was good, yeah.

@AJ –

With regards to your question about what Brian liked about Last Rites… you know that part that comes before you get to the comment section to complain about stuff?

It was in there.

@AJ –

With regards to your question about what Brian liked about Last Rites… you know that part that comes before you get to the comment section to complain about stuff?

It was in there.

I think AJ pretty much addressed what Brian wrote by pointing out that it was all derivative of other writers that came before. I mean, you can disagree with his conclusions, but I think he read what Brian wrote and responded to it.

I will admit I was having some fun with AJ’s first sentence because he directly starts his past asking Brian what he liked about the issue in the comment section of an article whose sole purpose was Brian discussing what he liked about the issue.

However, what I want to address at the moment is that in reading my comment you can easily infer that I was calling AJ a complainer which was not my intent. That was the royal “you” addressing the fairly common internet practice of people being in such a hurry to make whatever clever comment they’ve come up with in their head that they don’t bother to actually read the article or the previous comments. I’ve been guilty of it myself at least to the level of maybe not reading each and every comment in a 12 page thread before posting. So, anyway blah blah blah 5000 words later my point is that I wasn’t trying to troll or name call however I may have come across.

I’m actually trying to figure out how Gaiman can match what Morrison just did with these two issues.

Yeah, Matt, I was just thinking the same thing yesterday – what a rough position for Gaiman to be put into – how the heck do you follow this story with something that, on the surface, sounds so similar?

I guess that’s why he’s Neil Gaiman, though! He’s so good I bet it’ll still be awesome!

I, for one, am appalled that they keep making good comic books with Batman in them.

Like it or not, Yeah Batman is the subject to hype right now, everyone’s got an opinion. What’s messed up to me is that they killed Martian Manhunter in one page (and another one shot to appease people like me, which expands that page) and NOBODY cared. Manhunter could break Batman in half if Bats never figured out it was comming. Hands down.

I, for one, am appalled that they keep making good comic books with Batman in them.

I agree. Thank goodness for Paul Dini for that.

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