After a short hiatus, BATMAN
returns with issue #687 and a story titled “A Battle Within.” It’s billed as an epilogue to BATTLE FOR THE COWL
and I guess that’s true – though it also shows the pointlessness of that miniseries. Really, BFTC
has nothing to do with this story, so if you skipped it, don’t think you’re going to be lost when you start reading BATMAN
(or BATMAN AND ROBIN, RED ROBIN
or any of the Bat-Family monthlies). Truth be told, you’re probably better off, but I shall digress.
“A Battle Within” is the story of how and why Dick Grayson decided to take up the Mantle of the Bat upon the “death” of the real Batman, Bruce Wayne. The focus here is on how the loss of Bruce affects the two who were arguably the closest to him: Alfred and Dick. It also serves as a bridge between the end of “BATMAN, R.I.P.”/FINAL CRISIS and Grant Morrison’s funky BATMAN AND ROBIN -- the epicenter of the Batman comic book world for the next year.
I’ve got to give it up to writer Judd Winick who really hit the emotional nail on the head with this one. I found myself grieving for Bruce right along with not only Alfred and Dick, but Superman and Wonder Woman (who briefly appear to return something of importance to the Batcave). While you might have laughed, grinned, and/or rolled your eyes while reading Morrison’s BATMAN AND ROBIN, Winick’s BATMAN couldn’t have been farther from it tone-wise.
For this Bat-Fan, it looks like I’m going to prefer this title over Morrison’s B&R for a number of reasons. BATMAN is going to be darker than the other Bat-comics and it appears that it’ll focus on solo Batman stories. That means that I won’t have to be annoyed by that irritating Damien Wayne/the new Robin SOB on a monthly basis.
Am I the only one who hopes that Damien ultimately bites the dust a year from now? Anyway…
Look, BATMAN #687 is what it is, OK? Don’t expect a “Batman story” here because it doesn’t give us one. Apparently, that’ll start next month – though we do get teaser for that featuring the “New Batman” and a classic Bat-Rogue at the end.
While BATMAN doesn’t feature the real deal, this looks to be something that’ll keep my interest (unlike another previously mentioned comic book) over the next year until THE real deal ultimately returns