logankstewart's Reviews > Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

Batman by Neil Gaiman
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Oct 06, 10

bookshelves: graphic-comics, library, 2010-read
Read in October, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is a swan song to Batman. Written by Neil Gaiman, the two-part comic is set in the back of a bar on Crime Alley. Rogues and friends alike have come together to remember the fallen Batman. Each of them offer a tale of how Batman died and why Gotham will be different without him.

Through it all, in a corporeal form, the Caped Crusader watches. He hears what's being said, but something does not jive with him. Nor, does it seem, is he alone...

The main arc within the deluxe hardcover of this book is a beautiful piece. The artist, Andy Kubert, creates panel after panel of fantastic illustrations. The tale combined with the artwork make the arc stunning.

The story pays homage to Batman over the years. Gaiman, a lifelong Dark Knight fan, is more than capable of writing a gripping tale that highlights Batman as well as laments his passing. Despite having a rather predictable conclusion, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is a wonderful short story for all fans of the World's Greatest Detective.

After the main arc, Gaiman includes three other short tales. The first, a Batman Black & White, is intentionally crude in the drawings. All colors are either black or white. People are almost hideous looking. And the Bat is never fully seen, only in smoke and shadows. This story was over quickly, but I liked it. The second, "Pavane," is drawn in an old comic book style and tells a story of Poison Ivy. It was the weakest of the lot. The third, "Original Sins/ When is a Door," is a semi-frame story about a group of reporters trying to get interviews with famous villains. The Riddler agrees and gives them what they ask for, along the way telling his origin (if you can believe him). This story was fun to read, the illustrations were still old school, and the conclusion was excellent.

Overall, the entire deluxe hardcover edition of Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? was a quick read, filled with fun for any Batman fan, old and young alike. The main arc is definitely the strongest part of the collection, but the latter tales shouldn't be ignored either.
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Felix You didn't like Pavane? I actually thought it was the best of the lot.


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