Comic Books

BATMAN #701

Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel re-team to tell the exciting 2-part, untold tale of Bruce Wayne and his adventures between BATMAN R.I.P. and FINAL CRISIS! What happened to Batman – and Dr. Hurt, for that matter – after the devastating events at the climax of R.I.P.? And what secrets within this story point toward THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE?

Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by TONY DANIEL

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 8.1%

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Comments

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this.  Dr. Hurt is a fascinating character that I want to see explored in more detail.

  2. Wasnt too keen on this, but saw the preview on the website and I got excited again 🙂

    Should be nice to see more Hurt
    And it should confirm or deny my idea about him being connected to Darkseid

  3. A late tie in to RIP and Final Crisis? Origin of Dr. Hurt? Morrison back on Batman proper?

    If this doesn’t smell like POTW I don’t know what does. 

  4. Dr. Hurt is the devil himself, duh.

  5. Morrison + Batman = Boner Factory

  6. They might as well throw the Final Crisis banner back on the cover too. For good measure.

  7. @mrmister – I actually think that is the most interesting possibility.  I can imagine Mr. Morrison having a lot of fun with a physical manifestation of the devil.

  8. @FausticCaust- Lol, yes I do believe that would be appropriate.

  9. @stulach – Agreed. I didn’t follow the RIP storyline until I read that it might possibly, finally be Beelzebub finally taking aim at the Caped Crusader. Batman has fought a lot of villains, but I don’t think he’s ever took on the devil, proper. 

  10. Has the actual devil showed up in the DCU, I know Marvel have Mephisto, but does DC have an equivilant?

  11. Awesome sauce. Should be good. (Wonder how they will end up collecting this though! :-p )

    @Zeppo It changes, but I think because of how Vertigo handled it, the Devil as such doesn’t really exist it’s more random demons who control parts of hell. I think reign in hell changed it, but honestly couldn’t tell you more than that.
  12. I just read Batman RIP in paperback, and was extremely underwhelmed.  Very excited going in, not even being much a Batman fan.

    So an actor that doubled for Batman’s dad says "Be evil or we’ll tell the media your family was perverts!"  Batman says no and defeats him.  Really?  I’m not missing anything, am I?  And it was so glanced over in the space of about 3 pages.  Was that actually the story?  Besides all the extreme drug use and references to drugs.

    Just very let down.  Still an entertaining read, but the direction it fell into was so limp and lame.

  13. @Zeppo – Neron, from the Underworld Unleashed cross-over back in the 90s, was meant as a Devil stand-in (much like Mephisto). I think that’s the closest we’ve come, aside from the Sandman stuff that established Lucifer as one of a triumvirate ruling Hell, which wound up being part of Vertigo, and thus… a cloudy gray area. The Garth Ennis Hellblazer stuff also established a "First of the Fallen," who was basically the devil, but he appeared post-Vertigo as well.

    But, hell, Death is appearing in Action Comics. So who knows anymore? 😀

  14. I think Neron is the big one DC have.

  15. @KickAss: "I’m not missing anything, am I?" Yes, you’re missing a ton. First of all, I really do blame DC for how aggressively they promoted RIP as if it was its own stand-alone thing. It’s really the fourth or fifth storyarc of Morrison’s ongoing Batman saga. You pretty much have to have read the previous two collections, PLUS 52 #30 and #47, PLUS the Morrison chapters of the Return of Ra’s al Ghul crossover (the thing about the Monk and the "Book of Changes" ties in), to really get a sense of the scope that Morrison’s working with. But actually, KickAss, I don’t really think you’d appreciate the story even if you read all that. Based on your posts it doesn’t seem like Morrison’s Batman could possibly be your thing. Oh well.

    The character we know as "Dr. Hurt" is Morrison’s twist on an old, unnamed character who only appeared one time in the Silver Age. Under Morrison’s plan, the guy may turn out to be: 1) The Devil in disguise, 2) Bruce’s father, 3) An earlier "Thomas Wayne" from the 1700s, 4) a being possessed by the demon "Barbatos", who was sort of the pre-Batman bat-god, 5) The actor Mangrove Pierce driven crazy and impersoning (or thinking he IS) any or all of the above choices.

  16. God, is it Wednesday yet?! 

  17. The extraordinary thing about this villain is his mystery. As long as we’re not absolute about his identity, then we have the ultimate detective who has met his match absolutely.

  18. @froggulper – don’t forget "Batman & Son". 🙂 Lots to read.

  19. @froggulper – I read all those paperbacks, still underwhelming as a whole.  Batman & Son was fun, the prose issue being my favorite.  The Rhas arc was ok, fast paced.  The Black Glove was particularly fun.  Nice self contained dangerous mysteries with great art.  RIP?  Not great. 

    It was an actor who said, "We’ll tell the media the Waynes are perverts!"  Really?  And lots and lots of drugs.

    When he follows up on the plotline, I’m sure it will be interesting or entertaining.  As for now, that was underwhelming.  So having read the previous arcs, I guess by your criteria, I haven’t missed anything.  It’s just a lame story that goes out with a whimper.

    And I honestly was excited for it and have liked Morrison’s books before, like New X-Men, Seven Soldiers, Marvel Boy & Animal Man.

  20. Is there a list somewhere of all the Morrison stories that tie into this? I’ve read a majority of Morrison’s Batman run and enjoyed it a lot. There are times though when I feel as if I’m missing something. I started with Batman and Son and bought everything that said Batman and Morrison since then. I think. I need to wiki this.

  21. I read the Black Glove trade (worth it for the 3 JHW3 issues, seriously, quite possibly the best Batman arc I have ever read) and that was enough context to enjoy Batman R.I.P.

    Batman R.I.P would have been awful to read in issues, but when read all at once it was pretty damn good.

  22. I agree.  just started reading RIP in trade and am enjoying it quite a bit. The art isn’t the greatest, but I enjoy seeing how things connect with B & R. Gonna have to get these next two batman issues.

  23. Arrrggghhh Arrrggghhh (@Arrrggghhh) says:

    Wondering if this is part of the original story Morrison intended to tell — or — if he created this to "fix" the gap between R.I.P. and Final. Either way, I’m looking forward to this . . . 

  24. started rereading all of morrison’s batman run last night, so excited for this

  25. It feels like bruce wayne has been "returning" for months now. I’m ready to get this show on the road already.

  26. IMHO, Morrison’s Batman books are by far the best stuff being published by either of the big 2 right now.

  27. Of course he has to "fix" the gap. Wasn’t the ending of RIP altered by editorial so Bruce Wayne would die in Final Crisis?

  28. @OnASunday: If I remember correctly, it was Morrison’s plan to "kill" Bruce in Final Crisis all along. The title RIP was intentionally misleading and had more to do with Bruce being deconstructed and buried alive than it had to do with his actual "death". Morrison never said he would die in RIP, readers just chose to believe that. In other words, it was marketing on Morrison’s part, not editorial interference.

    @KickAss: Try re-reading the trades as 5 chapters (including B&R) of the same story if you really want to get something out of it. The fact that you think Dr. Hurt is an actor who’s ultimate goal was to destroy the Wayne Family name proves that yes, you did indeed miss something. Hurt’s not done, and he’s a lot more that just an actor. 

    Looking forward to this. The space between RIP and FC has always been a bit murky (although I absolutely loved the two-part Last Will and Testamant), and it’s nice to see Morrison attempting to clear that up. It’d be cool if DC decided to include this in later printings of RIP.  

  29. Maybe a Batman by Morrison Omnibus collection? Not a bad idea.

  30. So, since this issue starts with "30 Days to Omega," does that mean that Final Crisis basically starts a day after R.I.P.? Bruce’s confrontation with Darkseid happens after the month-long time skip, after all.

  31. I read Batman RIP before the previous Morrison arcs, and even though I appriciated the clever bizarreness and a few choice scenes, I did not truly enjoy it at the time. The thing is, though, that I didn’t attribute it to bad writting, but the fact that I was really missing something critical. As froggulper pointed out, that was indeed the case. I started at the beginning, and everything started to retroactively clicked. So even though I haven’t gone back to reread it yet, I now have a deeper appriciation for RIP as a story. The thing is still don’t like about it is the ending, but it seems that these 2 issues will expand that ending more.

  32. @glunders: Pretty much. In Last Will and Testament of Bruce Wayne, Morrison shows Bruce returning to the cave via the sewer system immediately following the chopper crash at the end of RIP. Alfred informs him of the JLA’s alert regarding the murder of Orion, and Bruce heads straight to the Hall of Justice, telling Alfred that he’ll check in with the boys when he gets back. So a day in between sounds about right.

  33. I thought this came out already and I missed it! I’ve said before that I didn’t care for Batman R.I.P. but I read it in issues. Everyone seems to think it is read better all together in trade.  I guess reading in issues the story becomes a little disjointed and I missed some stuff. I like his run in Batman & Robin better than the R.I.P. story arc. I think that #700 was a nice blend of Morrison’s style in both R.I.P. and Batman & Robin. I kind of interested to see where Morrison takes the batverse after Bruce’s return. I also hope that this book can become the true flagship title again because I’ve felt it has been lacking since Final Crisis.

  34. Not a bad issue, much in line with the quality of the RIP issues which I recently enjoyed reading in trade. 3 stars because it doesnt seem like it has much of a point, and nothing more is revealed about Hurt (which I had really hoped). Alas, I might as well just finish the mini-arc and buy the next issue…

  35. I read my RIP issues before I read this, and I think that’s the way I have to do it with Morrison.  Reading it all at once I really get into his crazy world and I see what he’s doing.  Or I think I do, anyway.  This is good stuff.  

  36. If this is just to give us a reason for the gaps (or plot holes) of RIP and Final Crisis…..I don’t really see the point. I mean sure it would be nice to see it but it doesn’t make these two storylines any better.

    It wasn’t a bad issue mind you but with that and a sketchy Daniels….Wasn’t the best issue ever.

    4/5 (3.5/5 if I had the choice)

  37. I thought it was ok. Not much was revealed in this issue, but I didn’t really expect anything mind-blowing. If nothing else it was nice to revisit Morrison writing Bruce’s inner monlogue. He gives the reader a more intimate, personal glimpse into Bruce’s pysche than we’re used to seeing. I really dig it.

    The bit about the "hidden room" was interesting. Though it’s a bit of a stretch to think that Bruce would be able to resist such a secret/risk in his own home. I understand that he takes his vows to his parents seriously (obviously), but I doubt he’d be able to sleep at all knowing there’s a room in Wayne Manor that he hasn’t been in.

    Daniel seemed rushed in this one. Not the quality of work we’ve grown accustomed to. Another nitpick would be the fact that this doesn’t quite match up with the scene in Last Will and Testament, but that’s a minor complaint. Here’s hoping #702 gives us a bit more to chew on.

  38. This felt VERY "filler" to me.

    I love Morrison, and I love his work on Batman. I just felt that this issue did not fit with his Batman/Final Crisis style. It was very slow and drawn out with not much in terms of development or progression. Compared to the compression style he used althrouhg RIP, FC and most of B&R, this felt…almost…boring.

    However, one aspect I did find note worthy was the connections Bruce seems to be making between Hurt and Darkseid.

    Hurt: "I am the hole in things"

    Darkseid: Fell through time creating a hole which everything is being pulled down towwards. "there is a black hole where my heart shuld be.

    Then Batman comments that the hole is all around him when he is flying to the JLA =, At this point we are in FC time, the world is beomcing more in the grips of Darkseid.

     

    Are Hurt and Darkseid similar or the same? Is Hurt like a herald fo Darkseid, similar to Libra?

    There is likely to be a connection.

  39. I very much enjoyed this issue.

  40. Wow…wow wow wow. What a rocking issue. Perfect combination of good writing and very nice art.

     

    You know what I like the most about Grant Morrison’s mega Batman run? That the entire thing is a big and interesting mystery, with every issue providing a little clue to the grand sceme of things. The most intriguing aspect is definitely Dr. Hurt and the R.I.P. story, and I feel that most people give that story and the character alot of flack because the don’t get that not everything is explained right away and that it’s all indeed a mystery. This issue was a very satisfying reveal of more of the picture behind these mysteries. Plus, it was great seeing Bruce again and seeing him plod through that time between RIP and FInal Crisis, which I always wanted to see explored. I REALLY can’t wait for the next chapter. Easy 5 stars.

  41. This felt oddly decompressed for a Morrison issue.

  42. I don’t know how you can see this a filler.  He is telling the next chapter of the Dr. Hurt story at the same time as he is telling the time in between RIP and Final Crisis.  Also he is telling the story in Batman and Robin.  I love Morrison, and I would love an omnibus of his Batman stuff. 

  43. @TheMaestroX: Interesting theory regarding the Hurt/Darkseid connection. I hadn’t thought about that before. It’s a bit out there, but this is Morrison so ya might be on to something.

  44. "Filler" = Stories

  45. I go on record that this was a 5-star filler. 😀

  46. I don’t know that this is filler, but I didn’t love this. More or less, I liked it, but found that most of it felt like things the reader could have (and really SHOULD HAVE) easily surmised for him/herself. Nothing new was really revealed nor did it feel important. Daniel’s art was really off-model. Some panels looked like Ed McGuineess. It seems odd to me for an artist to change their style on a story that’s supposed to bridge two stories he previously worked on. 3/5 for me.

  47. I read Batman & Robin 13 and this today and finally read the Batman RIP trade last weekend and I’m digging all of this stuff.  This issue was a bit light (a lot of the splash pages seemed unnessary) but was interesting.  Seems like the next one will contain the meat of the story.

  48. Filler = Unnecessary

  49. @TheMaestroX: If you think stories are unneccesary, why are you reading comics?

  50. I never said "stories" are unnecessary, I am saying that Filler issues are unnecessary, meaning that they are unecessary to the overall narrative.

    If you disagree with this then please outline what you felt this issue contributed to Morrison’s overall narrative that hadn’t ben covered before.

  51. @TheMaestroX: I disagree that "filler" is a pejoratve term. I already wrote about it once, I’m not going to rehash it all here.

  52. @Conor That article must have inspired LOST.

  53. @OnASunday: As mentioned in the article, some of the complaints about LOST helped contribute to writing it.

  54. I enjoyed this. I’m not sure it is really needed to explain anything about RIP or FC, but if an interesting story is there to be written, I’ll read it.

  55. I liked this issue, but like others I wondered if this was intended originally or a "fix." While I admire the vastness ot Morrison’s ideas, the execution of those ideas sometimes falls short. Having this fill in some of the gaps really helps the story. Morrison skips some things that would make the story flow better and make more linear sense. I think this was apparent in Final Crisis (although that could be partly blamed on editorial) and some in The Black Glove story. It’s sometimes just too abrupt, so I liked that this helped bridge the gap.

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