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REVIEW: BATMAN #686
Author: Jett Man
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FROM DC COMICS: "Best-selling author Neil Gaiman and superstar artist Andy Kubert join forces for a special 2-part BATMAN event!
'Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader' is a captivating and mysterious tale the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, Gaiman leaves no stone unturned as he explores every facet and era of Bruce Wayne's life."

I have no idea what the purpose of this 2-parter “What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader” is all about…I really don’t.

It looks to me as if this is some sort of “Goodbye” to the Golden and Silver Age Batman -- though it’s pretty clear (*I think*) that this isn’t “in-continuity, if you will So I’m thinking that this is DC’s way of bridging the gap between the “BATMAN, R.I.P.”/FINAL CRISIS fiasco, to this upcoming “BATTLE FOR THE COWL” miniseries. Ultimately followed by the “return” of the Bruce Wayne Batman in the DCU/Batman monthlies.

Whatever.

Why exactly is he “gone” in the first place? Oh yeah, he's been "Omega Sanctioned."

*sigh*

Look, I’ve really enjoyed Grant Morrison’s run on BATMAN -- ‘til the “ending” of “R.I.P.” I didn’t read a page of FINAL CRISIS, but I do know that Batman was “Omega Sanctioned” into pre-historic times thanks to the aforementioned Mr. Morrison.

Does this “WEHTTCC” have anything to do with “R.I.P.?” Probably -- which sucks to be honest.

The bottom line here is that you have a gathering of the “Batman Family” -- good and bad -- to remember The Dark Knight. We’re treated to two eulogies for The Batman -- one by Selina Kyle and the other by Alfred. And we learn that…

Selina turned away a mortally injured Batman...?

Alfred orchestrated The Batman’s Gotham adventures...?

*rolls eyes*

Right now, I don’t know what to make of this story, as it appears to have little -- if anything -- to do with Batman and the current state of the DCU. “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader,” to me, appears to be nothing more than a one-off designed to kill time between the end of “R.I.P.” and the ultimate return of Bruce Wayne as Batman and the “status quo.”

Now that’s not a knock on Mr. Gaiman’s writing and story as well as Any Kubert’s artwork, as both do a very fine job here. But let’s call a spade a spade here: This is a one-off that would probably be better suited for a graphic novel -- not in the Batman monthlies.

It comes off as filler, killing time, etc. And if it ISN’T, then something’s wrong.

Perhaps I need to wait and see how things play out in Part 2, but right now, I don’t think so.

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

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