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Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

(Batman (1940-2011) #686)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  17,618 ratings  ·  782 reviews
Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) joins a murderer's row of talented artists in lending his unique touch to the Batman mythos for this Deluxe Edition hardcover! Spotlighting the story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" from Batman #686 and Detective Comics #852 in which Gaiman joins artist Andy Kubert and inker Scott Williams for a story that shines a n ...more
Hardcover, The Deluxe Edition, 128 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by DC Comics
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  17,618 ratings  ·  782 reviews

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(A-) 81% | Very Good
Notes: Wherein tales and dreams are shadow-truths, that endure as facts are forgot, and need not have happened to be true.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dan Schwent
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, gaiman
So I'm caving in and getting the individual issues for this. Come on, it's Neil Gaiman.

First issue:
So there's a funeral in a church in crime alley. Batman is in the casket. His friends and foes are assembled to give their respects and tell how Batman died.

The thing I've always liked about Neil Gaiman's comics are that they're about something. They have themes. They're actually pretty clever. Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader is a good example.

In the first story, Catwoman gives her tale of
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was beautiful. The art, the story, simply everything. But still it's not a typical Batman story. It's much less action-y and more philosophical. It's smart and i like it foe it.

A collection of short stories in one volume. I assume Neil wrote them all. There are 5 stories in all.

I enjoy the first one where it is revealed that Alfred the butler see's how depressed and messed up Batman is so he hires all these people to play the part of villains to give Bruce something to live for. Alfred, it is revealed, is .... I thought that was the best story and such a great twist I didn't see coming.

It also shows Batman being reborn over and over again, which accounts for all the di
The artwork was classically close to superb with some interesting focuses. The story, however, was a transition of sorts that suggested Batman died but we all know they're not going to kill Batman off. Worst case scenario is that he'll disappear for a time and then just return. That said, this is about Batman looking down on his funeral/wake as notable villains of Gotham and a few non villains give their jaded interpretation of their times with Batman. It was way too short for my tastes and vagu ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I recently started reading comics again and most written just by Neil Gaiman, so I couldn’t miss this one. I've always been a fan of Batman, since the TV series of the 60s and then the comics and the latest movies. There is an introduction at the beginning of this volume, where Gaiman himself talks about how he always saw the masked hero and how he really wanted to write what is, surely, a possible final chapter of his life. This album about Batman is a tribute from one of his loyal fans and in ...more
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
As the original line of Detective Comics came to an end, Neil Gaiman was asked to write the eulogy to the Dark Knight and, for better or worse, this is it. A two-issue send-off for everyone's favourite superhero, the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the Batman.

Gaiman creates an ingenious setup for the final Batman story. The spirit of Batman/Bruce Wayne presides over a funeral service where all of his rogues gallery, close friends and family, show up to tell their version of how Batman died – an
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, comix, fiction
Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader is my second exposure to Neil Gaiman.

Earlier in the year, I read American Gods and while I loved the premise, the execution bugged me. I found it long winded and a little on the boring side. I was sure that when you put the mind of Gaiman into the Batman universe, you were going to get something very, very cool.

Truth be told, I found this to be pretty average. When I told my friend that gave this to me what I thought about the story, he responded with, "Yo
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Neil Gaiman writing a swan song for Batman should be a monster geek out for me, but I'm so tired of the comic industry making events out of killing (and later resurrecting) major characters. See Marvel's Captain America for a recent example. Plus this somehow fits into yet another huge continuity reboot that DC is doing that I don't have the time or patience to try and understand. I'm not sure if Batman is supposed to be alive or dead at this point, but since it doesn't matter because he'll be b ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Read this one a long time ago (I really should start adding all the comics to my "Read" list) Wasn't particularly impressed, I gotta admit it. ...more
Melania 🍒
Well, this was pretty bad. Neil Gaiman, not even once 🙄
Peter Derk
Dec 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I'm going to say a few words that you won't hear very often in reviews of comics. Especially comics written by comic book royalty like Neil Gaiman.

I don't get it.

Maybe it's because admitting that makes a person feel like an idiot. It's hard to hold a comic book about a man who uses a tool called a Batarang and admit that I have no earthly idea what the hell is going on, but so be it, here we are.

And you know what? I think more people should be prepared to say it. We would have a lot less of Gran
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it
I've had mixed results with Gaiman and this continues the trend.

As others have said, the two-issue story lacks action, but it's still interesting. It's a fantasy eulogy somewhat in the vein of Grant Morrison in the sense that it's rhetorical and highly interpretative.

My take is that Gaiman is telling us Batman is immortal. Although he's dead (wait, he's alive again!), he can never really die, much like any beloved comic book hero. It's interesting to see what his friends and enemies think of h
Hussain Elius
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, comics

Gaiman is God.

You know when you read something so good and so deep and so brilliant at the same time that it leaves you speechless? That you can't find a way to describe it except flailing your arms and opening and closing your mouth in a comical way trying to find words that would do the book justice? That you stare at the textbox in goodreads for half an hour trying to find words that would reflect how much you really loved the book, and the only word you can think of is 'Wow'?

This is one
Momina Masood
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ah, wonderful! Exquisite artwork! Highly recommended to all Gaiman and Batman enthusiasts! Not a whodunit, mind you, though it seems like one initially. The challenge with these comics is that there is very little room for originality; not much remains that hasn't already been experimented with before, and yet Gaiman makes this memorable and completely fresh! Props to one of the quintessential storytellers of our time.

Arun Divakar
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
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 Ba ...more
Frank Eldritch
The Sandman series is the reason I got back into comic books back in 2009 and haven't left since. Granted I have been reading comics since my early teens but not as dutifully and consummately as I do now, most probably because I was too young to afford to buy copies regularly, if copies were made available to me back then which doesn't happen consistently. I have always loved superheroes and Batman foremost but back then I just viewed comic books as merely entertaining tales of larger-than-life ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
Continuing the events from the canonical stories of Batman, famous writer Neil Gaiman tells a surreal and interesting story of Batman watching his own funeral happening, while immersing the whole thing in a huge Batman love letter. It isn't any kind of funeral though, this one has every single character, the good and the bad, attending. To makes matters even more intriguing, they each go on to tell their own version of Batman's death. Unfortunately, the volume doesn't cover every character's say ...more
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dc-comics, 2016
Nothing special here unfortunately.

The first part of this actually dealt with Batman, and the artwork for that was good. And the plot was at least somewhat intriguing. Everything after that was pretty boring and not about Batman. And the artwork was painful.

There was a story about Batman and the Joker being aware that they are comic book characters, which was kind of cool to see. Then there was a Poison Ivy story and a story about some guy hosting a show about Gotham's criminals.

I expected more
Ola G
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, dc
7.5/10 stars

I'm kind of torn here. Andy Kubert's art is wonderful: the wholehearted tribute to previous creators, the imagery, the expressions conveying the full range of emotions, the shadows and shapes - everything is just superb. Gaiman's main story is also interesting, a thoughtful, loving tribute to Batman and a clever rumination on the power of ideas in one. Alfred's story is by far my favorite, and shows the depth of Gaiman's consideration to the vigilante/troubled superhero genre in ge
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"Heroes get remembered, but legends live forever."

Don't view the spoilers. Just read this book. It's beautiful and meta and mythic and amazing. Of course it is, it's Neil Gaiman's homage to Batman.

(view spoiler)
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
A crowd is gathering in the Dew Drop Inn. A car pulls into Crime Alley and Selina Kyle gets out and heads into the pub, she is directed to a room in the back. People are gathering for a wake and taking their seats in front of an open casket. Inside is the Caped Crusader himself. As more people arrive they tell their stories of their encounters with Batman, each one recounting how he died, but what is the truth? Can this really be the end? Why does he die a different way each time?

I have read alm
I love Neil Gaiman. He is a brilliant writer and may well be my favorite contemporary author. I was swept up in "The Sandman" series for a couple of months. This Tale of Batman could have fit nicely into the "The Sandman." In fact Death even appears here in the guise of (read the story to find out).

We find this is not the story of "our" Batman's death but instead reads more like "This is Your Life Batman!" Boiled down, the conclusion that Gaiman reaches is that, no matter how Batman lives, he li
Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
A very clever tying-up-of-ends, contradictory and convoluted and ultimately fitting. It's well written and well drawn and even the paper is pleasing to the touch. My only complaint is that I had expected it to be longer; there are several other Gaiman Batman stories filling out the hardcover edition I read, all of which are good but nothing to write home about. ...more
Emmett Spain
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Neil Gaiman steps up to tell the 'last' Batman story, and the results are mixed. Forgettable Gaiman one shots serve as back up, padding out the book. Hardcore Bat-fans and Gaimanites are the only of us that need apply - Gaiman is brilliant but only shades of that brilliance are on display here. ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
R. I. P Batman gone but not forgotten in tales before the burial. The Riddler, The Joker, The Penguin, Alfred, The Boy Wonder, Catwoman all there and more.
Neil Gaiman gives you a chance to see why he loved Batman in his introduction and says Batman was why he created The Sandman thanks to Batman.
This new deluxe 2020 hardback new colour and black and white with new introduction edition
Orrin Grey
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
As Neil Gaiman says in his introduction, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is intended to be the last Batman story, no matter when in Batman's long, convoluted, and sometimes self-contradictory career the end should finally come. And, as such, it works pretty admirably.

Surprisingly, though, it's not Gaiman's writing that is the biggest draw here, nor that brings Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? as close as it comes to being a true classic (though the writing is quite good, and Alf
Jared Millet
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Batman is dead. The mourners, friends and enemies alike, arrive one by one at a seedy dive in a Gotham back alley to pay their respects. The wake is being held in the bar’s back room. One by one the eulogies begin, but it quickly becomes apparent that all is not as it seems – for none of the mourners remember Batman the same way, neither in the details of his life nor the manner of his passing. Witness to this procession, and narrating the whole affair, is the watchful spirit of the Bat-Man hims ...more
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