Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Batman RIP: The Devil is in the Details - Part IV

Final Thoughts

So. After all is said and done, how shall we assess Batman: RIP? Catastrophic failure? A future legend? I can't speak for anybody but myself, and I'm going to call it a resounding success.

Here's a fun fact: I've now read Batman # 681 no less than 6 times, and I've enjoyed it every run-through. What's the last comic you read that had you so intrigued you went back to it a half dozen times in a week?

No matter how you interpret the identity of The Black Glove or the conclusion of the arc, I think it's beyond debate that Morrison got us all thinking and talking about Bruce Wayne on a higher level than we have in a long time.

Even those folks who were upset over the ending - isn't most of that anger directly attributed to the buzz most of us felt about what was happening? It seemed like something BIG was just around the corner, the promise was so grand only the greatest of payoffs could have satisfied.

For me the series did pay off. I've already discussed some of the most controversial elements of RIP, but really, that's not even the lion's share of the real juice. Look at all of the kick-ass things that happened that we AREN'T talking about because we're all so hung up on Bruce Wayne's "death" and Black Glove's identity:

Nightwing ponders the cowl:

How cool is that? We've been waiting a long time for this. I think Dick is ready for the challenge, and we're ready to accept him in the role. Maybe not forever, but for now. Look, Nighwing is already in the "big leagues", but who could possibly fill those shoes? He might be the only one, and I'd like to see what happens to him when the pressure is on to carry on the legend.

Talia Defends Her Man

Talia is a difficult character to like, and her son is a GIANT ASS. Yet it was still satisfying to me to see her inject a bunch of her ninjas with serum and send a small army of man-bats after Jezebel Jet. Get that dirty whore, man-bats!

This one had it all. Batman facing off with greatest of foes half-crazed and pushed to the brink. Nighwing and Robin riding in as the cavalry just in the nick of time. We all know that Batman is the most formidable human being in the medium. (Sorry, Steve Rogers. He is) It's nice to be reminded of WHY we know that, to see him overcome the impossible with razor smarts and granite will.

It was fun, and it was fun that survived 6 read-throughs. Last year the Sinestro Corps War stole the show - this year I think that Batman: RIP is what we'll remember about 2008 when it's all said and done.

Tangent: Dark Knight DVD

On a sort of related note, the Dark Knight DVD came out today in 9 different formats! My roomate will not be pleased about this, but I'm going to recommend that Batman: RIP fans try and pick up the limited edition 2-disc set exclusive to Circuit City:

It features a Joker cover, and also contains a black Bat-Journal! Now that Bruce Wayne is sitting on the sidelines for a bit, you can pick up where he left off and start recording the cleansing of Gotham in your own Black Casebook. Very nice. Good luck finding one....

- Ryan

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