Batman R.I.P. by Grant Morrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
WARNING! Possible Spoilers!
Batman RIP though half the size of Batman: The Black Glove packs as powerful a narrative punch. It is a nice culmination of the events in the previous book.
With Batman: The Black Glove ending the way it did, I had to read Batman RIP. I needed to know what happened next. In the previous book, Batman was tasked by Alfred with relearning how to be Bruce Wayne. As a result he travels to England for a fundraiser held by Jezebel Jet, an influential model and philanthropist. By the end of the book, Bruce and Jezebel are enough of an item to gain the attention of Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (leader of the League of Assassins) and mother of his son, Damien.
Batman RIP begins with a tense meeting between Batman and The Joker. Incarcerated in Arkham, The Joker sits at a table turning cards over like a fortune teller, frustrating Batman with his cryptic responses. This meeting is followed by a full page illustration with Batman declaring angrily, “You’re Wrong! Batman and Robin will never die!” And then by an introduction to the Black Glove and his villainous cohorts.
In addition to the completion of Batman’s mental breakdown begun in the previous book, what makes Batman RIP a page turner is how the story of Batman’s imitators from the previous book is mirrored in this book. However, instead of more Batmen, you get criminals who have been inspired by The Joker (Joker as role model). Just as the Batmen were “inspired” by Batman and created to replace him when he died, many of the criminals in the Black Glove’s gang either modeled themselves after the Joker or were inspired by his crimes. Even though Joker handles this in typical Joker style, it is interesting to see just how and when he takes the reigns.
And in the spirit of an infomercial “that’s not all.” What is revealed about Robin in this book (though not earth shattering) is a subtle revelation of Tim Drake’s seat at the table of Robins. It’s Robin’s actions that really save the day and give subtle testimony to the people that Batman has inspired.
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