Author: Bill Ramey
Thursday, January 31, 2008
FROM DC COMICS: "In the wake of Ra's al Ghul's recent resurrection, Batman's body lies near death in a heart-stopped coma. Meanwhile, his delirious mind travels back to a defining adventure in the life of young Bruce Wayne...the hunt for his parents' killer! This special flashback tale also revisits Batman's life-changing Thogal ritual in the caves of Nanda Parbat!"
After reading BATMAN #673, I don’t know where the hell Grant Morrison is going with this title. It certainly has been one wild trip ever since the scribe took over BATMAN to say the least.
Let’s see, we’ve had to deal with Batman’s bastard son…
The Joker’s cut smile…
The Batmen of all nations…
Three fake, crazy-ass, killer Batmen…
And in the last issue, Batman’s heart attack and the return of Bat-Mite!
Like I said, it’s been one wild trip, BUT, I think it’s all fixin’ to come together.
Even if you haven’t read the previous issue of BATMAN, I’m sure you know by now that Batman suffered a heart attack at the end of the story and Bat-Mite -- yes, BAT-MITE -- showed up as well. In #673, we find out Bruce’s fate -- at least when it comes to that heart attack -- as well as why the hell Grant Morrison brought Bat-Mite into the story.
All of the events of #673 - except the end -- takes place within a hallucinogenic dream brought on by Batman’s coronary. The reader accompanies Bruce on a journey through his past where we witness the following:
The Batman's last encounter with Joe Chill...
His “spiritual reawakening” at that Nanda Parpat place...
A weird experiment in an isolation chamber from his early career...
Bat-Mite (Yes, he‘s back again!)...
The affect Jason Todd‘s murder had on Batman...
And, his current near death state.
You have to be thinking “How in the hell does Morrison weave all of that together?” It’s certainly a legitimate question -- especially in regards to Bat-Mite -- but he does it and does it well I must say.
Of all these fragmented storylines, The Bat-Man’s (Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose...you'll see) confrontation with Joe Chill was particularly good. Joe Chill’s fate has been re-done and re-conned several times over the years and now it seems as if his demise has come full “Pre-Crisis” circle. While Morrison puts his own ironic twist to the story, it’s certainly a nod to Batman legend Bill Finger and the original “I made Batman!” story.
Let me say that I absolutely love Tony Daniel’s artwork! Daniel does a wonderful job of transferring Morrison’s words into images. As funky as Morrison can get, it takes a talented artist to do that, you know what I mean?
I particularly enjoyed seeing Daniel’s depiction of a 1939ish, Bob Kane Batman, as well as a very 1960s Carmine Infantino-looking Caped Crusader as well.
By the end of “Joe Chill In Hell,” the reader -- as well as The Batman -- finds themselves back in “reality,” if you will, as The Dark Knight has been rescued from his cardiac arrest.
So, who saves The Bat’s life? I’m certainly not going to spoil it for you, but Batman’s certainly still in a, ahem, tight spot.