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

Batman by Neil Gaiman
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Aug 19, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

A love letter to the character of Batman is how Neil Gaiman opens this book. I associated with one point at that stage when Gaiman says that even after he has been reading,writing and creating comic book characters, he always has Batman as numero uno. While I have never written a word for comics nor even drawn a straight line for that matter, I follow the same principle : Batman is THE hero for me even after coming across so many other characters. This book specifically was a spinoff from the Batman mythos and I suppose this is a button that DC pressed before another reboot.

When we begin, the various characters ( friends & foes alike) come to pay their last respects to the Dark Knight. Some of the characters offer their own versions of his death while others remember him in a word or two. I was amused by Alfred's version of the tale which was a total riot ! The others are just so-so and to me as a reader was not much of an attention grabber. There is set of sketches by Andy Kubert in here which were truly excellent. Versions of Batman right from Bob Kane days to his present day avatar, rough sketches and fully pencilled versions and so on. It maybe that I am back to comics after a long time but I simply adored the artwork. There is a black & white story where Batman & Joker appear as actors waiting for their screen time in the green room. They chat amiably and even solve cross words together ! The last part with the Riddler was not much to talk about either.

In all a decent read but I for one expect more from Gaiman.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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[Name Redacted] My guess is that he knew they wouldn't leave Batman dead and so couldn't really bring himself to commit fully to this story.


Arun Divakar Ian wrote: "My guess is that he knew they wouldn't leave Batman dead and so couldn't really bring himself to commit fully to this story."

True. Ever since Doomsday, they keep killing and bringing heroes back to life every so often and in the strangest ways possible.


[Name Redacted] Even before then. I mean, Jean Grey...


message 4: by Arun (last edited Aug 19, 2012 10:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Arun Divakar Ian wrote: "Even before then. I mean, Jean Grey..."

Oh yes that one too ! But the circulation figures for DC started soaring since Doomsday which explains these constant deaths and rebirths.


[Name Redacted] That's true. You'd think they'd realize it was something they could only do infrequently.


message 6: by Arun (last edited Aug 20, 2012 01:49AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Arun Divakar Ian wrote: "That's true. You'd think they'd realize it was something they could only do infrequently."

Reminds me of the good old fable of the goose that lays golden eggs.


[Name Redacted] Actually, now that I think about it, that would be truly revolutionary: a comic book series in which, surprise surprise, combat between super-beings actually does result in a high list of permanent fatalities. Take a sort of George R.R. Martin approach -- leave fans desperate to know if their favorites have been killed off or not.


message 8: by Arun (last edited Aug 20, 2012 02:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Arun Divakar Ian wrote: "Actually, now that I think about it, that would be truly revolutionary..."

That's an interesting perspective. Seems to be the mainstay these days too.


[Name Redacted] The difference being, the publishers/editors/authors today won't commit either way. They won't leave the heroes alive but they also won't leave them dead. Even Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are back! It's almost like superheroes are caught in some sort of horrible purgatory. Death only has meaning in a temporal or narrative sense because it is final.


message 10: by Arun (new) - rated it 3 stars

Arun Divakar Ian wrote: "The difference being, the publishers/editors/authors today won't commit either way. ..."

True.


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