Follow Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking tale of Batman as he confronts some of his darkest enemies yet. Heavily drawing from his other titles –Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul and Final Crisis, Batman: R.I.P brings us a gripping epic where Bruce is forced to fight some of the darkest obstacles yet. As the name suggests, death will play a big role in this story as readers are faced to confront elements of death. This installment has faced its fair share of criticism for drifting too far from formula and making more than a few key changes. Either way, Batman: R.I.P was certainly a piece that deserved a review.
Batman R.I.P. collectes Batman #676-#681
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition Trade Paperback|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
|Chronology Previous||Heart of Hush|
Batman: R.I.P. Review
To start off with the art, it was rather good. Lots of details and good color. It is exactly what I would expect from a more modern comic. That being said, there was nothing particularly special about the whole thing. That is not necessarily a bad thing, though. The art itself was good and easy to follow -which I think is more important to readers than being flashy. The plot itself was more than enough to make up for lack of excitement in the art though.
The comic opens right up where we see Batman and Robin perched over Gotham City. In a dark and someone foreshadowing statement, Batman exclaims that “Batman and Robin will never die!” There was something very creepy about this line that irked me, and the events immediately following the exclamation did not do so well to make me feel any better about it.
We then have Batman rushing right over Jezebel Jet and making out with her half in costume. It is something that even alarms the robin of the series -Tim Drake. There we got one of those rare moments where Alfred and Tim discussed Batman’s more private life. There is something really weird about watching Batman get gossiped about. All in all, it is just very clear early on that Bruce is not doing so well and he is probable going to take the turn for the worst.
Jet knows all about Batman and it seems that Bruce puts a grave amount of trust in her. She has even been to the Batcave and knows a decent amount of what’s going on. On top of all of this, the introduction of Damien has also put a strain on some relationships as well. Knowing how the Batman universe goes, you know this is not going to end well.
It doesn’t take long for things to not go so well -and it is Jet that ultimately confronts him.
“ ‘You have to listen to me, Bruce. Alfred won’t tell you, the boys won’t tell you. They’re all too scared of you.’ -Jet
‘Oh, come on. That’s not true.’ -Batman
‘Of course it is! You’ve spent your whole life and billions of dollars making yourself into a person who scares people. You wanted them to be frightened, but the price of that fear is truth and intimacy and all the things that hold together normal human relationships….’ -Jet”
This is a very critical part of the series and is a very real moment. Bruce is spiraling downward and while his fleeting sanity has been one of those elements in the comic series in past installments, it doesn’t get brought upfront so often.
The dialogue between the two was obviously a little strained. There is something weird about it and it is no surprise that she is with the bad guys all along. Beating Alfred and basically breaking what was left of Bruce’s psyche leaves for a devastating story that has readers on edge.
His mental illness is also not so clear and upfront. His madness is pretty obvious in this installment. It is pretty much the major theme of the whole comic as Tim Drake is forced to play a more independent role. Batman having no memory of who he is fails to be the worst of the drama readers will encounter with this tale. As his sanity slips, more of the bat family find themselves in deeper troubles throughout the entire story. With fan favorites such as Dick Grayson and Damien in the midst of some of these troubles, readers are left on edge wondering what on earth is going to happen next. All the while, the title “R.I.P” goes on in the back of your head. You find yourself asking, are they next? Are they seriously going to be killed off?
There is quite a collection of villains, there are more than a fair share of adventures for the bat family. From some of the newer villains from The Black Glove to some classic characters such as the Joker. There are a lot of messed up fights and twisted plots that come along with this evil and colorful collection of characters. Specifically, Jet’s involvement with The Black Glove is one of the most noteworthy parts of it all. When everyone of these villains are after Batman and his entire Bat family, there is a LOT that can go wrong and a lot of different sub-plots you can expect -and things do get twisted.
Again, without any spoilers, I feel like the ending did not exactly match the expectations that I had set up for the story. While this is where I believe a lot of the criticism came in, I wouldn’t say it was bad at all -just not as phenomenal as the rest of the story.
Overall, I would give this story a solid 5/5. Batman: R.I.P was an amazing masterpiece. It was dark, gritty, and had me turning every page with anticipation. Considering the reputation that Grant Morrison had as a comic book writer -I certainly felt that this tale more than hit my expectations. I highly recommend that you read all of his installments because I feel like they flow and go together very well. Whether you are a fan of Batman or just comic books in general, this is easily one of the best stories to ever hit shelves.
Last update on 2019-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API