Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Morrison, Daniel & Florea
RIP ends with this issue and it’s a tremendous ending. While not every single question is answered, the comic provides a meaty story that leaves a lot of threads open for other stories to pick up. The comic provides iconic type images using a wide array of characters to make sure that the larger bat-verse gets their faces shown in a light that their fans can appreciate. The story retains classic characterizations of the main, older characters and leaves the newer characters with an established status quo to be revisited some other time. This is one of the best comics I’ve read this year. I can even recommend this to someone with a passing interest in Batman who is not following this arc. This should not be missed.
While I have enjoyed this arc very much I was left flat after last issue, which had Batman staggering at the hands of the Joker. This issue picks up with Batman buried alive by Dr Hurt and company. Batman has some flashbacks and they restores all that Batman is about. Batman knows how to play games too and he does so in magnificent fashion. The Joker, on the other hand, reminds Hurt of all that he’s forgotten to cover when it comes to Batman. The Joker helps to open the eyes of Hurt by explaining that Hurt and company have unleashed something that they can’t deal with. It’s awesome to have the villain turn about on villain and scare the hell out of them because he’s right.
The issue does some great things with regard to Hurt and his manipulation of Batman and it sort of answers the question of whether or not he is Thomas Wayne. The comic also has some very interesting revelations about Jet and her involvement with Bruce Wayne. This issue plays out that the Black Glove really didn’t have the upper hand on Batman this whole time, even though they thought they had him licked. There is a ton more going on in this issue but to avoid spoiling it I will just say that Batman fans wont come out of this feeling cheated. Nor will Nightwing fans or Robin fans or Alfred fans, etc, etc. Even those that have followed the Morrison run and know all the ins and outs of it will find many nice additions, and tie-ins, such as Bat-radia and the graffiti. Everyone comes away from this satisfied I think.
Spoilers ahead. Stop reading.
The comic doesn’t end with a big huge ribbon on it though. Many loose ends are left dangling. However, this arc definitely ends. The Black Glove scatters and Batman “wins”. The ending is enhanced by the art and the art direction. Dick is left holding the cape and cowl, Jet is being pursued by bats while she’s in her Jet and on and on. The question lingers: is Bruce dead? A story for another day and its best left that way.
There are a lot of gaps left to fill in by other stories. For example, how did Damian and Alfred end up together? By the way, how great was it that Damian ends up crashing into the Joker? Outstanding usage of the cast I’d say. What happens to the name “Wayne” now? How does Gordon reconcile all the corrupt levels in his city now? This is the type of comic that leaves you wanting more and keeps you coming back for more. It’s exactly what a serial is supposed to do.
Complaints? I have two tiny ones. One, the Joker’s tongue didn’t appear to be split in two anymore. And, two, I had to “remember” that the mime guy doesn’t talk and that was why his balloons were empty but white and not a printing screw up, which was a little confusing. That’s it. Other than that you have yourself a perfect issue.
The art definitely holds up its end of the deal here. Images like the Batcave responding to Batman’s signal and Nightwing on the operating table are a couple that stand out in my mind that I haven’t already mentioned. Panel after panel Batman looks pissed and in total control. It was incredible to skim through this issue and then to get the art’s feeling while reading it. Awesome art and art direction.
I can’t say RIP the event has been all that it was hyped to be, but this comic was everything I wanted and so much more. Batman says to Nightwing: “You never let me down did you?” How symbolic of this comic, eh? It’s definitely worth your time to read this comic it won’t let you down.
5 out of 5 geek goggles