There was a time when I had neglected to read Batman for quite a few years, and when I did finally jump back on, one of my ‘catch up’ books was R.I.P. At the time, it left me absolutely befuddled. I had no idea what was going on, but I was familiar with Grant Morrison’s ‘I’m a bit mental’ style of writing, so when I did a little homework and caught up on what he had been doing with the character, all the strange little intricacies tied together and I couldn’t get enough.
It’s like the Batman story that no-one else but Grant Morrison would have the balls to tell. He threw current continuity out the window and said ‘As far as I’m concerned, every Batman story you ever read needs to actually fit into this character’s timeline’ and in one genius stroke he made it all fit by referencing some of the weirdest stories in DC history and explaining them away as hallucinations experienced by Bruce during long-term deep meditation. He hooked Bruce Wayne on a bunch of class-A drugs, and even managed to bring back Bat-Mite in a totally non-ridiculous way. Best of all, he showed us just how unstoppable Bruce/Batman is, shy of putting a bullet in his head, because even when Bruce Wayne doesn’t remember he’s Bruce Wayne anymore, there’s a backup Batman personality programmed into his subconscious. Yup you read that right. And the backup Batman is every bit as dangerous – if not more -than the one we all know and love.
Batman R.I.P. splits decision with a lot of readers, mainly due to the esoteric references and Morrison’s love-it-or-hate-it approach to storytelling, but it’s a key chapter in Morrison’s epic Batman run, and it’s one I will often go back to on a quiet weekend. It’s a book that almost lost me at first, but now I can get lost in it.
The writer of this piece was: Alan Shields aka (Al)
You can also find Al on Facebook