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Batman #682 [Review]

Batman: The Butler Did It

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Lee Garbett
Inker: Trevor Scott
Colorist: Guy Major
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Asst. Editor: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover: Alex Ross (variant by Tony Daniel)
Publisher: DC Comics

There’s not much to this issue, it seems. Bruce and Alfred have a conversation about his having chosen to become “a bat” and how events throughout his career have shaped who/what he is. We’re treated to images from throughout the Batman’s history, as if every Batman comic you’ve ever read has a place in the current Batman’s life.

The art by Garbett isn’t bad–it’s certainly a depature from the RIP arc, but it works well enough here. I don’t recognize the name, so am not sure if I’ve seen this artist’s work elsewhere, but in this issue, I have no problem with it in and of itself.

Story-wise, I feel rather lost and disappointed. RIP was vastly over-hyped, and where I expected some brilliant swerve that would serve to explain 2+ years’ worth of Batman stories in a satisfactory manner, I found the closing of that story anti-climactic. And a mere ONE week later to have the next issue and have no reference to RIP or any “death” of Batman is a letdown in itself. That I can hardly follow this issue’s narrative–I have read Batman for 19 1/2 years, comics for 20 years, and have delved even further back in my reading through the years–and this issue feels choppy and “trippy.” Is Bruce hallucinating? Is that what RIP was? Is this what he saw while drugged out by the Black Glove? Or is this Alfred’s recollection of events? If so, WHEN was this? Is this before or after RIP? Is someone musing to themselves, “talking” to Bruce, or is Bruce actually there?

Honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend this issue. I almost feel suckered–after all, perhaps it’s important since it was rushed out THE VERY FIRST WEEK after RIP ended. If you’ve actually enjoyed the ending of RIP, perhaps you’ll enjoy this–perhaps you actualy “get” Mr. Morrison’s style here.

As for me…this is a trainwreck. I don’t want to look, but some part of me can’t help but look, and grouse at what I wind up seeing.

Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10
Whole: 6/10

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