It's been a week and I'm no closer to understanding the outcome of the highly-anticipated, widely-publicized finale to Batman R.I.P. Go ahead, call me stupid. I've heard and read all the theories. That's the problem. I shouldn't have to theorize.
Grant Morrison pulled a lot from Batman's long and varied past for this series (ComicMix has a great guide up) and I know a lot of that was lost on me but that's not what's so bothersome. In my opinion, R.I.P. was billed as it's own story and something like that should have an explicit ending. Anyone who's read it, knows it didn't. We were left with vague explanations of who the villain actually was. Yes, Batman's story continues after R.I.P. but wasn't there supposed to be a real conclusion?
Something Morrison said earlier this year had me intrigued as to what amazing ending he'd pull out of his hat, "When we begin to suspect the identity of the villain, I think it's the most, like I said the other day, it's possibly the most shocking Batman revelation in 70 years." If by shocking he meant, everyone will be shocked because they'll be left empty-handed, then I could understand that statement. Of course, I have no idea what he really meant so now I'm left perplexed.
Message boards lit up the day R.I.P. came out. Some loved it, some hated it and a lot argued over the real meaning behind the ending. Newsarama actually has a poll up asking readers to rate R.I.P. Surprisingly (as of right now) most are voting three stars even if they didn't get the ending. The most popular opinion seems to be the villain was really the Devil. Yes, THE Devil.
I've actually been waiting for Morrison to speak about the series himself. I finally found an interview with him by Times Online from the UK:
Morrison hints that we’ve seen the last of Wayne. But what of Batman? “Well, do you really think a helicopter crash is enough to kill Batman?” he laughs. “The ultimate story of Batman is ongoing. Don’t forget he’s been around a while. He's 70 next year. The story of these characters is never ending.”Morrison goes on to say he thinks the status quo will eventually be restored but, "I don’t see the value in killing the character for the sake of it. I like exploring their mortality to see if they can survive in other ways. It gives them more depth.”
So what about the villain in question that caused Batman to explore his own mortality? "I had a villain using all his resources to destroy Batman. Yet Batman always overcomes everything, including the ultimate evil," says Morrison. That sounds like a definitive answer squarely in the Devil camp but then why not just say it flat out?
There is no question, however, that debate will rage on about this one for a while. So, it's been a week. What's your opinion of Batman R.I.P.?
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