Batman RIP: The Stunning Conclusion

November 26th, 2008 by | Tags: , , ,

You said it, Batman.

I think I’m spoiling things under here, so don’t read this unless you’ve already read the issue.

The Black Glove’s plan, I think, was to drive Batman to insanity. The Joker showed them that they were actually falling prey to Batman’s plan to drive them to insanity. I believe, in reality, that Grant Morrison, and I say this with the greatest respect for the man’s creativity and passion, planned to use this story to drive the reader to insanity.

The image that this story left me with was that of me standing on a very thin sheet of tissue paper stretched out over an endless abyss. It begins to rain, and the more I try to secure that precious, thin barrier between me and fathomless insanity, the faster it dissolves.

It doesn’t make sense! Does it?

Who is that Mangrove guy? He’s the uber-baddy and he’s a washed up actor? He’s Bruce’s father, or his father’s double? And Bruce’s double? What does that even mean?

He killed John Mayhew, but no, he didn’t, Mayhew just turned evil, but wait, he did again? Was that thing about ‘wearing his skin’ a metaphor? Or what?

And what the hell was that business with Damian in the future after he’d sold his soul to the devil? And why did that require 1920’s flying ace goggles?

In the end, the very end, Bruce knew? The whole damn time? Really? About all of it? Because . . . people died. People got beat up. People made very poor dating decisions. For months. He knew about the whole thing and he just let his sidekicks get drugged, beaten, and locked up while he was wandering around conversing with a ghost and dressing in plaid? And was the ghost part of this? Or was he in on it?

I don’t understand, Grant! I just don’t understand! And I know that you have a rep for engaging in meta-projects while writing comics. Be honest. Is this a way to destroy my tenuous grip on reality and make me descend into a constant state of foggy dementia? I’m not mad. I just need to know.

And you should have followed my advice and made The Black Glove be Aunt Agatha.

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15 comments to “Batman RIP: The Stunning Conclusion”

  1. Having read the finale, I predict, here and now, that a new phrase will become attached to this story arc, an outcome which I would endorse wholeheartedly.

    Batman WTF

  2. RIP is just another chapter in this epic story (hence why the resolution is more a CHAPTER BREAK than an “ending”)

    Bruce will not only be back as Batman, but it’ll be apparent the whole story was him being dragged down, karma like, to “hell” by Dr. Hurt for allowing all of that chaos to unfold in Gotham whilst he was busy with “Bat-duties”.

    Bruce has become the very person Ra’s Al Ghaul has long since prepped him to be. He’s now on the same level as Talia and Damien…absolutely insane, twisted, and beleiving that everything he does has a just meaning to it.

    Bruce will either be “saved” when discovered, or it’s revealed his whole turn to insanity was itself an ellaborate lure to “redeem” Talia, who was corrupted by the Lazarus Chamber, “save” his love and restore her to full mental health…then retire knowing someone has taken over as Bats, someone who will do the cowel “justice”…until the third Nolan movie comes out…then we’re back in buisness.

  3. We all agree with you about Aunt Agatha.

    To answer one of your questions above: Batman specifically isays in this issue he knew an attack was coming but not when or how, so all he could do was make preparations for various contingencies and hope they would see him through. It wasn’t that he chose to let people around him get killed or beaten up or whatever, just that he couldn’t foresee everything.

  4. Once you realise that Dr. Hurt is the Devil – or wants very much to be the Devil – it makes a bit more sense.

  5. I have so many things to say about this issue that I’ll have to dedicate an entire post to it this evening.

  6. Great article. I eagerly await the opportunity to revisit and discuss this arc for the podcast. Sometimes I wonder if people forget that this is a Batman comic. I think we may have been overthinking this one.

  7. yeah, I’m pretty much at a loss as to what was going on. Even though it’s old hat now, giving Hurt a goatee or something would of saved me a lot of headache.

  8. A good article, I like the toilet paper bridge idea. Yeah, this seems to be the general consensus about batman RIP. I’m glad you posted a more clear plot synopses because most places won’t and I only loosely followed the story.

  9. OK, maybe synopses was the wrong word, but I got the general gist of what happened in the parts of the story I missed! =)

  10. @David Blyth: @Tim_H: Thank you both for giving me alternate views of the story.

    And thank you, everyone else. I’m glad my confusion was shared. Some of the tone of this article came from me reading Batman in the store with people who seemed to have no qualms about what happened and wondering if I was the only one who didn’t understand. I still think it would be cool if Grant Morrison were an evil genius taking over the minds of readers everywhere.

  11. can someone explain the Red/Black stuff? I know it relates to the gambling theme, but I’m still not 100% on the flowers? Were they a toxic combo?

    Also, what did they want with the Joker?

  12. @Bubba:

    That made me lol. A lot of us are pulling for Batman BRB.

  13. Batman BRB: I like it.

  14. Why would Grant Morrison make Batman mysteriously disappear without revealing the nature of his adversary?

    Doesn’t that sound like something he plans to follow up on?

  15. On Grant’s defense, he’s not known for giving everything away in his stories. Stuff like Cassandra Nova’s fate in New X-men, the whole point of Batman: RIP, and probably Final Crisis would probably not be clear-cut and dry and open to interpretation. My main fear here is that future writers (like, say, Tony Bedard for Battle of the Cowl) would miss Grant’s seeds and just go off on their own stories, like what happened in X-men.

    For the record, I believe Hurt is delusional and believes he’s the devil. I do think it was a good and twisted mindfuck that made the book at least worth a second reading.