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REVIEW: BATMAN #683
Author: Jett
Saturday, December 13, 2008

FROM DC COMICS: "This special two-part tale narrated by Sir Alfred Pennnyworth reflects upon the life and times of Gotham City's most celebrated citizen – and hints at what's next for The Dark Knight. Grant Morrison delivers a story of past memories, present heartache and future promises. A spectacular, unforgettable farewell to The Dark Knight, mixing memory, dream and speculation as Alfred closes the casebook on the greatest crimefighter of all time. With guest appearances by Batman friends and foes from every era of Batman's history, this epic adventure cannot be missed."

I guess this is a review of BATMAN #683 -- at least it’s supposed to be one. But as I began planning what to write and what angle I’d take in analyzing this issue, it became clear to me what I was going to have to do…

Rip “R.I.P.”…

And FINAL CRISIS

And DC too.

There’s going to be spoilers from this point on. If you haven’t read “R.I.P.” yet -- perhaps you are waiting for the graphic novel version -- then you might want to stop reading now.

Still with me? Alright, on with it then.

In a nutshell, BATMAN #683 continues the review of Batman’s career that began in the previous issue. It now serves as a segue for Batman from “R.I.P.” into the events of FINAL CRISIS. More on this infuriating scenario in a bit.

OK, that “Big Finale” in BATMAN #681? The one with The Batman and Dr. Hurt in a helicopter crashing into a Gotham river? Well, we find out what happened.

Did Batman die? What do you think?

He escaped the crash and made his way back to the Batcave virtually unscathed. In a quick exchange with Alfred, we learn -- as expected -- that Dr. Hurt was full of you-know-what. The trashing of the Wayne family was a cleverly orchestrated fraud which was part of the plan to destroy The Dark Knight. Though what happened to Batman after the events of “R.I.P.” (at the end of #681) has been revealed, the true identity of Dr. Hurt remains a mystery -- one I’m sure will make for yet another storyline down the line.

So is this the end of this story? What do you think?

No, we are now required to jump into FINAL CRISIS to “Follow The Dark Knight to his Last Adventure.”

I’m sorry to have to use such language, but this is bull****.

After hyping “R.I.P.” for months as the biggest and most shocking event in Batman’s history, it ends with a big ‘ol “That’s IT?!” And to add insult to injury, Batman fans are now expected to buy FINAL CRISIS #6 to find out Batman’s ultimate fate!

Again, bull****!

I have to wonder if Morrison had something else planned for Batman in “R.I.P.” that what actually occurred? Was Batman really going to be killed off at the hands of Dr. Hurt and the Black Glove? Was Dr. Hurt going to turn out to actually be Thomas Wayne? Though I wouldn’t want either scenarios to happen, at least the promise of something huge happening to Batman would have taken place.

Did someone chicken out in the end? Or did DC figure they’d use the hype generated by “R.I.P.” to try to get fans involved with this FINAL CRISIS?

Whatever. I find all of this quite maddening and tremendously irritating.

As a Batman fan first and foremost, I have zero interest in FINAL CRISIS. Now, I’m expected to buy FINAL CRISIS to find out what happens to Batman when that was supposed to take place in the pages of BATMAN.

Tatar sauce (I’ve cursed enough today)!

This reeks of a stunt and it’s awful gimmicky. It was this sort of stuff back in the mid 90s that drove me away from comics for several years. I though that these “Big Event” storylines and multi-title crossovers were over. If I want to read about Batman, why can’t I just buy DETECTIVE or, well, BATMAN?

There is no way in hell that I’m buying FINAL CRISIS #6 and if you are a “Batman only” fan like me, I suggest you do the same. I’m sure it won’t make a difference to DC in terms of sales for that issue, but it’s the principle of the matter, you know?

DC is on the verge of losing me again. If they kill off Bruce Wayne (which I don’t think will happen) and replace him with a new Batman (KNIGHTFALL anyone?), I’m definitely checking out. If I have to resort to buying comic books I don’t want to purchase to keep up with Batman, I’m done.

I’m going to give the upcoming BATTLE FOR THE COWL a chance. Perhaps when this story arc is over, things will get back to being somewhat status quo.

Which means I can read stories about Bruce Wayne as The Batman in the pages of DETECTIVE and BATMAN

Dammit!

"Jett" is the founder of BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM

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