Wait, heâ€™s supposed to be dead, right?
What do you do when you have a buffer from the moment you â€œkilledâ€ the worldâ€™s greatest detective, and the Battle for the Cowl storyline?Â Oh, and donâ€™t forget that little thing called Final Crisis, which just so happens to feature the character that was just offed?Â A trip down memory lane seems appropriate.
And thatâ€™s just what Batman #682 is all about, tripping down the memories of the life and times of Bruce Wayne and Batman. The reader is given glimpses of some of the biggest events in Bruce Wayneâ€™s life, from the moment he decided to become Batman, to his method of dealing with relationships, including the time Bruce witnessed Dick Graysonâ€™s parents murder at the circus.Â Itâ€™s all there, from the early days to the goofy adventures in the silver age, and of course the dark times and it is done in such a stream of consciousness manner, it also has to have meaning.
The meaning is a tie the tie-in to Final Crisis.Â This is the tie that is needed in order for readers to move beyond the â€œyeah, but what about Final Crisisâ€ argument to the â€œWell, itâ€™s now obvious he didnâ€™t dieâ€ proclamation that has plagued Grant Morrison by those following along a little more closely than those blindly devoted to Morrison.Â And even though this is a â€œThis is Your Life, Batmanâ€, story, it does make a believable tie between RIP and Final Crisis.
Did Dark Sideâ€™s (ugh) followers fish the still living Batman from Gotham River moments after that helicopter crash, only to hook him up to a machine so The Lump (it looks remarkably like Matt Hagen doesnâ€™t it), can cipher through his memories to allow Dark Sideâ€™s crazed scientists to build an army of Batmen based on Bruceâ€™s core belief system?Â I love the concept, but it seems like someone is stretching it a bit much as a way to wrap Batmanâ€™s multiple appearances up in a tidy little package.Â Of course we havenâ€™t seen that army of Batmen play out in Final Crisis, so perhaps something goes awry in the next issue of Batman.Â Perhaps the whole RIP incident is a mad mind warp brought on by the Dark Side technology, and Batman has been tricked into believing the last fourteen months of Morrisonâ€™s run have been real.Â Or perhaps Bruce Wayne is dreaming that he is a fictional character in the pages of a comic book that the royal we are reading, and should he wake up, we would all disappear.Â Sometimes, I think my cat is really a person dreaming sheâ€™s a cat, and Iâ€™m a figment of her imagination too.Â Then I slap myself, and swear I wonâ€™t do hallucinogenics anymore.
Even with all the craziness weâ€™ve been subjected to, Mr. Morrisonâ€™s Wild Ride is a tremendous amount of fun – as a stand alone issue.Â His attempts at explaining away 70 years of Batman mythology is simply brilliant, as he acknowledges and then tosses it out the window.Â As much as Iâ€™ve bagged on Morrisonâ€™s run, this is the first issue I have enjoyed from page one.Â The writing is good, the humor is better, the nods to stories past is a joy, and for once I have hopes that weâ€™ve yet to see Morrisonâ€™s final act, where he pulls back the curtain to reveal his surprise.
Lee Garbettâ€™s art is top notch too. From his interpretation of the various characters, to the moments where he recreates iconic scenes from Batman and Bruceâ€™s lives is stellar.Â Â Â The colors and shading provided by Trevor Scott (i) and Guy Major (c) tie this issue up with a big bow.
Donâ€™t let this review fool you, I havenâ€™t changed my mind on the previous issues Morrison wrote leading up to #681, but everything after, Iâ€™ve come to enjoy, and thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m giving Batman #682 4 out of 5 Stars.