P is its reinvention and homage to Batman history I haven t yet read The Black Casebook, but Morrison is like an archivist meets mad scientist meets fanboy in his acknowledgement of the lesser known and sometimes ethereal or campy 50s and 60s Batman comics Most of the characters here have been, to stay in theme with this book, resurrected all shiny and new The Club of Villains, the Club of Heroes, Doctor Simon Hurt, The Black Glove It s a gentlemanly nod to Batman s own history And Morrison would say no it s not meta you asshole, it s real, he s addressing real Batman history in a real Batman comic And it s astounding Look at Joker, look at what he s done for the quintessential Villain, who no longer resembles the silly bow tie wearing gangster, but rather a skeleton who wields razors and facial scars and wishes to carve people up I could go on and on but I ll stop You should discover Batman R.
P for yourself.
It struck me today that Grant Morrison must love opera Why Because he s constructed Batman R.
P as if it were a grand Wagnerian Opera vast, romantic and filled with legend Grant Morrison s Batman R.
P is a masterpiece To that point there is no doubt Batman R.
P is a challenging read One of the reasons it s such a great Batman book is because it has so many layers and interpretations, not to mention ingenious storytelling methods and an enormous amount of imaginative scenes and ideas all thrown in and mixed together by a genius writer at the top of his game But it s not a standalone book You need to have read Batman The Black Casebook, Batman and Son and Batman The Black Glove before coming to Batman R.
P to get the most out of it If you read this as a standalone book and it s not really meant to be read as such then you re going to be confused, and I think some people read it this way and their confusion manifested in anger Batman R.
P is a demanding read and Morrison s books have, than many others, shown how comic books, particularly superhero comic books, can be as intellectual and complex as any contemporary novel To this end, the stories are unlike other Batman books and tend not to follow a linear plot or an obvious message, and this can bother some people As I said, I think this book is a masterpiece, but I understand why this book is divisive among comic fans.
To understand Batman RIP you need to know a couple of things about Morrison s intent with this series First off, Batman can never be beaten, and that the only way you beat Batman is to get Bruce to stop being Batman Once he puts on the cowl, he s invincible so take away the cowl Second, he posits that every Batman story that has ever been, counts It all happened to this one man and the person Batman is today is because of every single one of those experiences So, Batman 66 or those weird 1950s sci fi stories about aliens every single story really happened and they happened to make Batman who he is today Morrison deals with all of Batman s history and somehow makes it all fit Years ago, Batman took part in an isolation experiment in the Himalayas called Thogal which lasted several days in an effort to train him for death and the possibility of overcoming it During this ordeal Bruce hallucinates all kinds of Batman adventures he and Robin went on like the Adam West and Burt Ward Batman years and the out there 1950s stuff This Thogal sequence is essential to the plot as it s where Bruce develops the Zur En Arrh personality, but it s also an ingenious way of explaining how all of Batman s bizarre decades long history fit into the creation of this one man and have it make sense It s such a brilliant idea by Morrison, it needs to be acknowledged.
Right away, Morrison kicks things off with maybe the most defining Batman scene you can have Batman and Joker in a room talking to one another You ll notice the black and red color scheme, alternating with each panel, to make the page look like a checkerboard this comes into play later and ties into one of the book s themes while Joker plays a dead man s hand with his cards red 8, black ace, red 8, black ace This is Joker s answer to Batman s question who is the Black Glove Take the 8th and 1st letters of the alphabet and spell it out H A H A.
And it begins.
Soon we meet a broken Bruce Wayne one who becomes the Batman of Zur En Arrh and his sidekick, Batmite Zur En Arrh was a real storyline from the 1950s Batman comics where there was a planet with two Batmen and he was super strong, invulnerable and immortal Again to make sense of this you must read The Black Casebook, published alongside Batman R.
P that collects the stories that inspired Morrison Dressed in red, yellow and purple almost like Robin s colors , Batman and the impish Batmite a floating, cartoonish figure whom only Batman, zonked out on drugs, can see set about figuring out who he is and what s going on They see a giant grid on the Gotham skyline a checkerboard grid with each grid representing a piece of Batman, an experience, a storyline, all of which make up the whole This is a small detail I loved but Bruce carries with him a broken AM FM radio he calls the Bat Radia which tells him things an insane, but amazing touch This leads to Zur En Arrh fighting Joker on a checkerboard floor, Jezebel Jet revealing she is part of the Black Glove, and the death of Batman The checkerboard, the red and black, life and death, Batman and Bruce Wayne, it all ties together.
One of the last images we see is of Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, holding the cowl, setting up Act 2 of Morrison s operatic Batman run where Dick and Damian will be the new Batman and Robin The next time we see Bruce is in Final Crisis where he confronts Darkseid.
I want to mention Damian and Talia, both of whom barely feature in this book but when they do are amazing When Gordon goes to Wayne Manor, he s saved by Damian who destroys the Black Glove s traps and is also invited to join Talia and Damian as they investigate the whereabouts of Batman I love Damian s character because I know the kind of adventures he and Dick are going to get up to in later books, but I think his brief moments in this book are really funny and add an unexpected humor to this generally doom laden atmosphere Talia too has a great scene at the end as she deals with Jezebel Jet by sending her manbat ninjas from Batman and Son after her private plane to enact her retribution.
Following the Batman Joker dead man s hand prologue is a page where a young Bruce Wayne is shown screaming in the rain and a massive quote announces What We Are About To Do Will Be A Work Of Art And Batman R.
P is a work of art the best kind of art.
Batman gets cut by one of the Black Glove s minions on the first page, drugging him in the process A little later, Jezebel Jet who wouldn t have spotted a girl named Jezebel as being linked with the villains utters a code word Dr Hurt implanted in Batmans subconscious during an isolation experiment years ago see Batman The Black Glove and the shit hits the fan The Bruce Wayne part of Batman s psyche is completely eclipsed by the Batman portion Batman goes on a rampage in a patchwork costume and finally catches up to the Black Glove at Arkham Asylum He s consequently defeated and buried alive But even being buried alive isn t enough to stop BatmanI didn t like this one as much as the The Black Glove and here s why First of all, you knew the vague ending was letting the door open for Bruce Wayne to return, even though Nightwing looked pretty impressive in the final shot holding Batman s cowl Secondly, the two stories that followed, also in this volume, showed Batman surviving the helicopter crash God forbid the fanboys think Batman might be dead for longer than ten minutes THEN, Batman is killed by Darkseid in Final Crisis It seems like they would have been better off leaving him dead at the end of RIP The ending was vague enough that a return would have been believeable However they end up bringing him back after Final Crisis and they will is going to be hokey as hell.
I d highly recommend skipping the last two stories in this book If you do and never read another Batman comic again, you can pretend something actually happened Otherwise, it s just another example of why comics will never rise above their pro wrestling type status with the general public Nothing ever really happens that won t be undone later.
Introduction At this point, I have been reading many Batman comics and so far, I had been enjoying every single one I had read until I came upon this comic I mean, Batman R.
P had a pretty interesting premise written by Grant Morrison and gorgeous artwork by Tony S Daniel, who slightly rivals Jim Lee s artwork, but the story itself was a bit too slow and confusing for me to really get interested in What is this story about Batman has always trained himself to withstand any threat that comes his way, but there is one organization that will try to defeat him mentally and that is the Black Glove The Black Glove s plan is that they will try to find a way to make Batman go insane, so that way Gotham City s criminals will unleash unbearable mayhem on the city itself while Batman is losing his sanity Will the Black Glove succeed in their plans or will Batman find a way keep his sanity What I loved about this story The premise The premise for this story, which was the Black Glove trying to make Batman go insane, was pretty interesting I did like the way that Grant Morrison wrote the scenes of Batman going insane and how the story just starts becoming cluttered because of the insanity that Batman was suffering It really brought a chaotic feel to the story, which I usually associate chaos with insanity, so the story really fit that feeling extremely well I also loved the way that Grant Morrison wrote the Joker as being insane as well as being calculating in his schemes against Batman since the Joker is honestly one of my most favorite Batman villains to date Tony S Daniel s artwork Tony S Daniel s artwork was fantastic as the characters are drawn realistically and the colors are so vibrant I really loved the way that Tony S Daniel drew Batman himself as Batman looks extremely muscular and threatening at the same time What made me feel uncomfortable about this story Okaywhere was this story goingWhile I like the premise of this story and the artwork, the story itself was average for me because it was both too confusing and slow for me to follow I understand that the story was basically the Black Glove manipulating Batman, but the plot just got so cluttered up once the Black Glove s plan was announced that I just got so confused about what was really going on, especially when the plot was jumping all over the place Also, there were moments where the story started slowing down and my interest in the story started to go down, the I read this comic There were various conversations that the characters had in this book that I was wondering to myself about what do they have to do with the story at hand Final Thoughts Overall, Batman R.
P may have an interesting premise about Batman going insane and gorgeous artwork, but the story is average at best since the plot is too confusing and the pacing seems to slow down in many places that it was difficult to read through.
Still, I enjoy this volume.
Review Batman A Death in the Family I knew thanks, Goodreads going into it that Batman R.
was a divisive volume in the series But, having reasonably liked the precursors Batman and Son and The Black Glove I decided to give it a go The gist is that the Black Glove villains put Batman through a psychological nightmare I think There are moments like the opening pursuit, featuring a two page spread of the new Batmobile in action that work, but that was before the main plot kicks into motion Then the crazy train jumps the tracks, though, and never returns to the station Things get weird too odd that it will certainly be off putting, or even just annoying, for some readers for too long, and it lacks a good finale.
Tying Into His Other Blockbuster Stories Of Final Crisis And Batman The Ressurection Of Ra S Al Gh L, The Legendary Grant Morrison Confronts Readers With The Unthinkablethe Death Of The Dark KnightThe Troubled Life Of Bruce Wayne Seems To Spin Out Of Control When His Releationship With The Mysterious Jezebel Jet Deepens Soon Bruce Wayne Drops Out Completely, Having Seemingly Become The Victim Of Mental Illness And Abandoning His Batman Identity For A Life On The Streets Of Gotham City Capitalizing On The Fall Of Their Greatest Foe, The Club Of Villains Begin A Crime Spree Through The Streets Of Gotham That Threatens To Bring The City To Its KneesCollecting Batman The truth of the matter is that I ultimately don t know what to make of this Morrison is talented, but he s of a concept guy than an execution guy The idea of Batman going off the deep end and completely losing himself in the persona is fascinating, but the Batman of Zur En Arrh with Batmite is just wacky I just can t really take it seriously That s not to say that there aren t any highlights here I personally like this version of the Joker, and especially the explanation for the changes in his personality a form of MPD that has him cycling through personalities I loved seeing the International Club of Heroes again I did like the art, though the panels could sometimes be confusing Like the writing, come to that But the title is misleading, and the last two issues included are unnecessary and even detract from the overall story Probably like 2.
5 stars, but I m grading up today.
Batman RIP may be the greatest Batman book ever The Dark Knight goes up against the Black Glove in a tense final confrontation with their leader Dr Hurt You can read my article on the 9 Reasons Why Batman RIP is a Masterpiece