Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.2
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Size: pages
Price: 2.99

This review contains spoilers, click here to read

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. "How the hell Batman realises he is getting his memories taken and knows how to talk to a ‘lump’ is anyone’s guess."

    He realizes that the Alfred in the dream reality isn’t the real Alfred, because the real Alfred never knew about having "died" and returned (which I guess happened to the character during some issues in the ’60s following the "Outsider" arc).

    "But no one the other cause Batman is reported missing after the helicopter crash….so is he talking to the lump in this scene?"

    No, it’s the real Alfred. Throughout this issue and the previous one, we’re not only getting dream sequences but also true flashbacks narrated by the real Alfred. The flashback to the point just after RIP is one of those.

    "Did RIP really happen, or was it all in his head during his capture with Darkseid?"

    It happened. Alfred says so, and so did the RIP tie-ins (or some of them; Dr Hurt was in Batman and the Outsiders).

    Good review. I agree that this run has been Morrison’s best work. I can see why people would like anything from the Invisibles to JLA better, but I think there were more interesting things going on here, and he really displayed a mastery of a main character to a degree that’s almost unbelievable.

  2. Just to be clearer, most (not all) of the tailless word balloons in this issue and the previous one…those are from the real Alfred. Independent of the narrative in which Batman escapes from Darkseid’s goons, we’re hearing Alfred give something of a euology for Bruce, and sometimes we see montage images from Bruce’s real past. You probably realize this, but of course it isn’t the "Lump Alfred" who says all those nice things about Bruce on the last few pages. That’s the voice of the real Alfred. We never see where is talking from, or what exact point in the chronology he’s at, but it’s at some undetermined point after RIP has ended and after FC has begun. We know this because he relates to us the transition between those storylines, and how he felt about it all. It HAS to be the real Alfred who waxes poetic about Bruce leaving again to fight a big universe-threatening foe, and that monologue comes out of the narrative thread about Bruce getting a call from the JLA right after he’s returned from seeing Hurt’s helicopter go down, therefore that post-RIP scene in the Batcave is real. The dream narrative never approaches the setting for that point anyway. (Hope you understand. It’s 7am and my brain is going to die if I write any more of this stuff.)

  3. @Flap: Oh I know the last couple of pages is the real Alfred talking to us. But the scene with him and Bruce talking to each-other, that is before he escapes the machine he’s in. So again, is this a dream or did he actually get out of the helicopter crash in RIP?

    Speaking of which, that is a really bad editorial move by DC is they let that slide. We’re having a huge mini event of ‘Battle for the Cowl’, but in this issue we see Bruce back from the event of RIP (if they happen). So why are they having a battle for the cowl if he already reappears from the crash? Why would he only talk to Alfred and not his other team mates? It’s questions like that, that makes me question still whether RIP actually happen.

  4. I don’t think it matters that the scene with Alfred talking about RIP ("None of it’s true, sir. We can prove that.") is "before" Bruce escapes the machine…because I don’t think it’s on the same level of reality as the Lump’s dreamworld anyway. I don’t think that the other flasbacks, on the previous page for example ("Father. I imagined you taller." "zur en arrh") are part of any dreamworld, either. I think that what we’re seeing juxtaposed throughout 682 and 683 are not only panels representing Bruce’s Lump-influenced dream but also a montage of flashbacks of what really has happened to Bruce in the past. I don’t think that the dreaming Bruce is necessarily remembering all of these scenes about what’s really happened to him over the years. Maybe the off-panel euologizing Alfred is reminiscing about these things, but I think that if nothing else they’re really just there for the reader. This is getting really confusing for me to try to explain, but recall that when the Lump appears to make Bruce recall the moment when Bane broke his back, in order to hurt Bruce, that that was a true memory. So some of the true flashbacks might be Lump-related (though I don’t see why Lump would go out of his way to cause Bruce to remember the RIP-FC stuff toward the end), but these true recollections within the (false) dreamworld would still be true. It really happened. (Brain failing…)

    Apparently Battle for the Cowl takes place after Final Crisis. So Batman disappears twice. He disappeared at the end of Batman 681. Then he apparently returned to the Batcave very briefly before leaving for Final Crisis. And then he’ll disappear again due to Final Crisis. Very convoluted. Not elegant at all.

  5. Batman B.R.B. – that’s a good way to describe it. People started using that on the internet.

  6. @Flapjaxx: It isnt elegant at all is right. Whether it’s Morrison’s, or Didio’s, or anyone else at DC….or all of them; the time frame for RIP and the rest of the Bat-titles look seriously clusterfucked right now.

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