Review by: Paul Montgomery

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.3
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 3.99

This review contains spoilers, click here to read

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. Really great review. You should do more issue reviews; cause when you do they are always great.

    Gotta ask though….why a 4 for the art?

  2. Can’t wait to read it! Except, of course, that I could have read it at any time in the last 28 hours. Duty calls. You know how it is.

    Anyway, I appreciate your insight! We should do more single issue reviews, with all that free time we have.

  3. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I really liked the art, but I don’t think it’s quite flawless. Consider it a 4.5. 

  4. I really like this interpretation.  I’m still not sure it worked for me but I’m not able to come up with a real counterargument.  I’ll have to give it some time and read it again.

  5. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I also really liked the idea that Bruce Wayne was a kid who enjoyed reading children’s books past the age he was supposed to; that he was actually clinging to innocence before it was snatched away from him.  It makes the incident of his parents’ death all the more pivotal. Without such a jarring experience, Bruce (in this incarnation) might have grown up to be kind of soft. There’s no arguing that he would have become the Batman without that moment. He’d been such a sweet kid!  

  6. I really liked the the fact that Bruce doesn’t believe in an after life.  For some reason, it really hit me hard to read that and have it sink in.

    Bravo sir!  The idea of the cycle of life and death that we will never truely see is very interesting.  You have given me even MORE to think about!  

    Gotta say though, the art was easily a 5.  Best work of Kubert’s career.  The man evoked Jim Lee, Brian Bolland, Dave McKean, David Mazzucchelli, etc.  It was all stunning and well executed.  The man has made a true believer out of me

  7. Glad to see you write a review!

  8. Love the play on words – "Schrödinger’s bat"

  9. Phenomenal review. I adored these two books. I know i will be rereading this story many times and this interpretation will be in mind.

  10. A great review, which really summed up the things I couldn’t really express about the book. I found there was something almost intangible about it, something in the mood and the atmosphere.  It seemed to make a perfect summation of 70 years of Batman stories, as if asking the reader to kind of let go and enjoy the next chapter, whatever that might be.  It felt timeless and, in my mind, could just be a true classic.

  11. Now if you could only tell my why my review is sloppy…’s maddening,….

    Since you dont think the art is flawless….what was the minor problem with it?

  12. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC – I just meant spelling errors and such.

    As for the art, it’s not really quantifiable. I just didn’t think this issue was rendered as well as the first. Not saying it was sloppy, but it wasn’t pristine. 4.5 isn’t bad at all.  

  13. I also love how this book could be protrayed as The Omega Sanction of life through death.  Batman continues to live through these instances of his life and dies.  The analogy of his life being a circle fits nicely as well.

    Great Review, it’s obvious there is a reason why the peeps call you P-Money.

  14. Right on jstump.  The genius of this issue is that Gaiman has told a timeless story of the Batman, but also a story that fits directly into continuity.  It’s the best explanation of the Omega Sanction that I’ve yet seen. 

  15. Well not really…I mean Morrison laid it out that Bruce is stuck in time (or time and demension) at the end of FC. So this is a completely different interpretation of what the Omega Sanctions did (if that is what Gaiman is referencing at all) to Batman.

    But it really doesnt matter, what matters is that this was probably the best Batman issue of the year no doubt.

  16. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I didn’t really look at as an interpretation of the Omega Sanction either. It could fit within those parameters, but this is basically just Gaiman’s response to "How does Batman die?" To suggest that it’s merely a sequel to R.I.P. is kind of missing the point.  

  17. Well, it’s not JUST a sequel to RIP.  It’s .. as I said… a timeless story but also a timely story.  The Omega Sanction traps the victim in a series of never-ending lives ending in death.  It can, however, be escaped from (Mr. Miracle).  Batman will eventually beat the Omega Sanction because, as shown in this book, he never gives up, never surrenders, always fights.  It’s his indomitable will that keeps him coming back around each time.  Or, at least that’s how they’ll explain it down the road when he eventually does come back (imo). 

    There’s a reason this was told in books that are in-continuity.  Otherwise, this would have taken place in two specials, dont’ you think?  I infer that these evens really do happen, even if it only happens for Bruce and no one else. 

  18. @Crippler: I see what your saying…..but I agree with Paul. I think this is just Gaiman’s way of talking about his views on death as a whole, but using Batman as a character to express his feelings. It is timely though, or a cocinidense that it’s so close to after Batman ‘died’. I mean it does feel like something the Omega Sanctions would do….But overall I dont think Gaiman has any idea what Morrison was doing.

  19. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Crippler – I understand and you make a good argument, but it’s almost frustrating to me that the Omega Sanction even needs to be brought up because Whatever Happened works so well on its own. The whole RIP storyline is such a minor pebble in the whole zen garden of Batman’s overall journey. This is just me being subjective though. I’m personally kind of tired of the RIP incident and just want to move on to the next thing.  

  20. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    (When I say RIP, I mean the full story arc for Batman, including Final Crisis, obviously)  

  21. @ TNC & Paul – I understand everything you’re saying.  I’m just thinking down the road aways.  Since I am assuming that Bruce Wayne will return and I am assuming that the method of his return will be of his own devising, I must therefore assume that whatever and whenever and however state Bruce currently resides in will be revisited at some point.  If (and I concede that I’m assuming a lot) that is the case, then what better vehicle to describe that state then this masterful consideration of what it meant to be the Batman? 

    To be more succinct – If Bruce Wayne comes back, they could do worse then this as an explanation of where he’s been.   

    It’s ultimately immaterial to the enjoyment of this particular book (which was fantastic) but it might be worth revisiting in about 2 years….

  22. This is a great review. I enjoyed your interpretation of the ending in view of the import of his mother. It is said that children are the orgasm of life. Your review touches on Bruce’s sensitivity to that aspect of life. He was born once as Bruce Wayne. His birth as Batman is perpetual, circular and while less physical, its relevance and conception are well postulated in this terrific issue. His life as Batman fundamentally challenging evil and the devices that seek to destroy life are an essential element of the mythology of Batman. As you succinctly wrote, the pain of Bruce’s loss is critical to understanding his search for justice and countless exploits.

     As an aside:

    I think that this is more of a Schopenhauer bat. In the sense that Batman is reborn to continue his quest for justice and revenge, because he simply cannot transcend his deepest conflicts. (Of course the perpetuity of the franchise may be a fiscal necessity.) The revenge he seeks keeps him trapped in a life that is rife with pain and suffering. This pain and suffering should render a higher level of consciousness, but Batman is not willing to embrace his nirvana. Or is he? As his mother is speaking to him she tells him the only reward for being Batman is being Batman. She tells him to, "move on." And, "let it go." I enjoyed this story because of this element. Gaiman created a palpable story that adheres to the continuity of Batman. It also masterfully illustrated Batman’s humanity and his sensitivity. 

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