Wait, he’s supposed to be dead, right?


What do you do when you have a buffer from the moment you “killed” the world’s greatest detective, and the Battle for the Cowl storyline?  Oh, and don’t forget that little thing called Final Crisis, which just so happens to feature the character that was just offed?  A trip down memory lane seems appropriate.

batman682cover.jpgAnd that’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 Wayne’s life, from the moment he decided to become Batman, to his method of dealing with relationships, including the time Bruce witnessed Dick Grayson’s parents murder at the circus.  It’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.  This is the tie that is needed in order for readers to move beyond the “yeah, but what about Final Crisis” argument to the “Well, it’s now obvious he didn’t die” proclamation that has plagued Grant Morrison by those following along a little more closely than those blindly devoted to Morrison.  And even though this is a “This is Your Life, Batman”, story, it does make a believable tie between RIP and Final Crisis.


Did Dark Side’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 doesn’t it), can cipher through his memories to allow Dark Side’s crazed scientists to build an army of Batmen based on Bruce’s core belief system?  I love the concept, but it seems like someone is stretching it a bit much as a way to wrap Batman’s multiple appearances up in a tidy little package.  Of course we haven’t seen that army of Batmen play out in Final Crisis, so perhaps something goes awry in the next issue of Batman.  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 Morrison’s run have been real.  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.  Sometimes, I think my cat is really a person dreaming she’s a cat, and I’m a figment of her imagination too.  Then I slap myself, and swear I won’t do hallucinogenics anymore.

Even with all the craziness we’ve been subjected to, Mr. Morrison’s Wild Ride is a tremendous amount of fun – as a stand alone issue.  His attempts at explaining away 70 years of Batman mythology is simply brilliant, as he acknowledges and then tosses it out the window.  As much as I’ve bagged on Morrison’s run, this is the first issue I have enjoyed from page one.  The writing is good, the humor is better, the nods to stories past is a joy, and for once I have hopes that we’ve yet to see Morrison’s final act, where he pulls back the curtain to reveal his surprise.

Lee Garbett’s art is top notch too. From his interpretation of the various characters, to the moments where he recreates iconic scenes from Batman and Bruce’s lives is stellar.    The colors and shading provided by Trevor Scott (i) and Guy Major (c) tie this issue up with a big bow.

Don’t let this review fool you, I haven’t changed my mind on the previous issues Morrison wrote leading up to #681, but everything after, I’ve come to enjoy, and that’s why I’m giving Batman #682 4 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. Ricco
    December 6, 2008 at 12:09 am — Reply

    This takes place right after Final Crisis 2, we see Batman getting caught and put in that same weird reality machine/pod thingy, but Final Crisis takes place in the futur, not the far futur but like weeks or months (otherwhise super-heroes rosters in Final make no sense)

    Which means that Batman “dies” in the crash, dissapears, reappears to join the fray during Final Crisis (with no mention of him having dissapeared at any time), dissappears again (with no one remembering he reappeared) and dies…
    Final Crisis claims another victim in the continuity train wreck: Batman R.I.P.

  2. Roy
    December 6, 2008 at 7:38 am — Reply

    I am now officially so confused that my head is doing its best Linda Blair.

  3. Josh P.
    December 6, 2008 at 8:28 am — Reply

    I think this is why self-contained “earth-shattering” mini-series such as Final Crisis don’t work within the confines of a shared universe. Bag on Marvel’s endless tie-ins, but at least you feel that the event is happening even if you didn’t read the mini.

  4. Phil
    December 6, 2008 at 11:44 am — Reply

    Nice uses of a Linda Blair reference

  5. Cory
    December 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    The problem is that Didio has no idea what he’s doing. The “Death of the New Gods” miniseries was an unmitigated disaster. All Didio wanted was to take advantage of the market before Final Crisis began – he didn’t even bother to find out the entire story of Final Crisis before giving any directives to the writers of “Death of the New Gods”.

    Didio is as big a buffoon as Joke Quesada.

  6. December 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm — Reply

    I am also very confused.

  7. nu
    December 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm — Reply

    Batman is caught in Final Crisis, not fished out of the river by “Boss Dark Side’s” goons. There is going to be a bridge from getting out of the river and being in Final Crisis studying Orion’s body and being caught and thrown into the machine.

    It was awesome to see how Bruce figured out that Alfred wasnt Alfred in his mind, even with the machine and the lump manipulating him.

  8. December 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    Yeah, having Batman figure out that the ‘reality’ he was experiencing wasn’t really reality at all and that the Alfred he was talking to wasn’t Alfred — and then saying to whomever was messing with his head “I’m coming for you.” … ? That was the one scene that made the entire comic for me.

    ( And, no. Despite my earlier proclamations to the contrary, I haven’t stopped buying Batman comics. Why? Two reasons: One, Morrison didn’t kill him so my whole reason for stopping buying the comic in the first place is, as of yet, null. And, two, I’ve got no willpower and would’ve probably kept buying it anyway. )

  9. ~wyntermute~
    December 6, 2008 at 11:36 pm — Reply

    If this were any greater of a stretch, I think it would have been printed on latex…. I’m with Our Faithful Reviewer on this… By itself it woulda been a fun “Oho! you cannot mess with the Bat-Mind!” ish, but this isn’t by itself and kinda reads like a plate of noodles. There’s ends and beginnings somewhere, but the rest is pretty tangled and you just wanna use your knife so you can get to the eatings. Man. I’m suddenly hungry…

  10. David
    December 7, 2008 at 12:55 am — Reply

    Stephen, I don’t know if I’m enjoying it as much as you. This issue was kind of a fun read – albeit a really quick one – but my enjoyment of the story is greatly muted by the…anxiety, yeah, that’s the only word that comes to mind…that there’s not going to be any great Big Reveal, no surprise in the end to make us oooh and ahhhh, just a giant festering turd of a story that so undermines the mythnos that someone’s gonna have to pull a Roy Thomas out of their ass and declare it all a bad dream like that season of “Dallas” when we were kids where they killed Bobby Ewing off.

    And that, my friends, is the longest sentence I’ve written since grad school. :)

  11. nu
    December 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm — Reply

    also it was pretty awesome to see the “what could have been” batmen. i enjoyed the sidewinder the most. bruce almost looks like a power ranger. haha

  12. Stig
    December 8, 2008 at 6:46 am — Reply

    AHA! But, consider this:

    1. Morrison has claimed that, this being a Crisis, characters from all over the Multiverse will be just strolling randomly through New Earth, as a result of the Bleed having been damaged by Darkseid when he fell from heaven. Examples include Sonny Sumo existing in the modern age rather than the past, or Uberfraulein falling from the sky.

    2. This entire issue of Batman recounted old, silver-age stuff – including the existence of the first Batwoman, previously thought non-existant.


    3. This may in fact have, all along, been a Batman from a more Silver Age Universe, who went about his business in the JLA without realizing he wasn’t in his proper world, and was captured by the followers of Dark Side. And hence, this one will die in Final Crisis, leading everyone except the readers to believe that the REAL Bruce Wayne is dead, when really he’s in the background, in the shadows.

  13. Ed S
    December 8, 2008 at 3:26 pm — Reply

    I liked the Stig, might be right. I liked the flashbacks, but I am so confused.

  14. March 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    (BE WARNED: I just re read and realised that i have RAMBLED on… )

    i gotto agree with Jacin! that moment when bats figures out that he is a prisoner and fights against…and then used the Lump to fight back with just his mind… well that’s Batm-awesomeness! especially the line ” i’m coming for you”.

    did anyone notice how the ‘scientist’ asks simian to ‘leave the belt’ behind? hmmm classic bat villain mistake. if batman uses his mind to fight back – imagine what happens with his belt :)

    anyway – does anyone know where bats re-appears after #682. Did grant morrisson do ‘the black glove’ as well? he $uCks!!! I have a feeling this whole move to go after Bats and “kill” him smacks of DC trying to outdo Brubaker’s run with “Death of Captain America”. Now THAT was a death that was shocking…and somewhat meaningful.

    THIS ‘death’ of batman is … pointless… especially with the supposed “darkening” of Tim Drake as RObin. I mean first Batman became “too dark” which was reversed at the end of the “bruce Wayne:Fugitive” series… so I’d only expect the same for Tim.

    AND got to add that the name “Spoiler” is apt. WHAT IS IT WITH THIS WOMAN? I mean “War Games” and now this? “trying to make” RObin better – because Batman trusted HER?? Now THIS makes me question BW’s sanity more than the “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh” episode!

    aaahhh i realise that i’m rambling randomly!

    but here’s my two cents: BW & Batman won’t die that easy. Although i have read spoilers that Bats gets hit by the Omega beam of the dying Darkseid… ? Will Zatanna bring him back? or will the entire DC universe mourn him like the “A World Without Superman” series… at the end of which Bruce Wayne as Batman returns through magic, science and the contribution of all super heroes in a multi-crossover?

    I only thought of that cos DC is now immitating Superman titles with Batman runs such as “what ever happened to the caped crusader” (Supes: Whatever happened to the man of tomorrow”). So could batman’s death be like Superman’s.

    I’m tired and pissed off with this inter mingling of Batman in a mutli dimensional cross over. it’s like the return of Jason Todd.

    to summarise – (1) Grant morrisson… could do without you on Batman. (2) Dan DODO at DC! u should have tried some stunts on Superman. More palatable. (3) DOes someone have a CROSS OVER checklist for all the Batman appearances for final crisis? i have no other reason to read this obviously marketing oriented Dc-universe ‘mega’ event :P

    phew! any comments?

  15. March 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm — Reply

    AHA !!!! I think I’m beginning to lean towards what STIG thinks:

    Check this one OUT:

    “3. This may in fact have, all along, been a Batman from a more Silver Age Universe, who went about his business in the JLA without realizing he wasn’t in his proper world, and was captured by the followers of Dark Side. And hence, this one will die in Final Crisis……..”

    and here’s proof for that: In an interview with IGN Grant Morrison says,
    “IGN Comics: So the Batman we see in Final Crisis is Bruce Wayne?
    Morrison: Yeah, Bruce Wayne is Batman. But not necessarily how you know him. I don’t want to blow the end of RIP. [laughs]


    Do you guys remember “Death of Superman” and then “world Without Superman”? They ran the Superman titles – put 4 guys up as POssible supermen – 1. Steel 2. Superboy 3. The Eradicator …anddd… 4?? Oh yeah – Hank Henshaw a.k.a Cyborg Superman ALL claiming to be and wanting to be Superman!!!

    In the end Clark Kent/ Kal-el came back as Superman.

    Now Considers this : DC is doing “Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader” – similar to “Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow”. There promos of 4 people saying “I am Batman” in the Battle for the Cowl series- Hush, Robin, Nightwing & Azrael. Too many parallels?

    Given Stig’s idea, IGN’s interview and the similarities – I think BW WILL be back…. AS BATMAN.

    The Sad news though is that Grant Morrison will be back too :( well … what the lord giveth with one hand….

    “Morrison: The two-part Final Crisis tie-in I’m doing to follow RIP is a kind of trek through Batman’s entire history, but otherwise I’m not involved with the post-RIP projects. I’m very excited to see what Neil does. Then there’s the “Battle for the Cowl,” which I’m not writing, although I do know who wins. Then after that, I’m back on Batman and I’m sure there will be a big announcement about what that’s going to be like. ” – I wish THAT was like a rumour and someone else will write Bats.

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