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Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (Deluxe Edition) Hardcover – July 21, 2009

4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Book Description

Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) joins a murderer's row of talented artists in lending his unique touch to the Batman mythos for this Deluxe Edition hardcover! Spotlighting the story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" from Batman #685 and Detective Comics #852, Gaiman joins artist Andy Kubert and inker Scott Williams for a story that shines a new light on the Batman mythos. Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? also collects Gaiman stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1, and Batman Black And White #2. This collection is not to be missed!

A Look Inside Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
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From Publishers Weekly

Following the death of Bruce Wayne in last year's Batman: R.I.P. arc comes Gaiman's loving eulogy not just to Batman but to the Batman of each era since the character's debut. Bolstered by slick art from Kubert (Batman; Captain America), Gaiman's lyrical chops are in fine form, weaving a surreal wake in which characters from Batman's history take turns relating what he meant to them, and their takes on the Dark Knight and the dangerous microcosm he fought for and eventually purportedly died to protect. Although this is obviously a love letter from one of the comics medium's premiere talents, the volume will appeal more to readers well-versed in Batman's continuity than Gaiman's normal legion of fans As the finished story only amounts to two issues of material, this hardcover is padded out with lesser—though not badly written by any means—stories teaming Gaiman with Simon Bisley, Mark Buckingham, Kevin Nowlan and Bernie Mireault, plus a sketchbook by Kubert. (July)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition/First Printing edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401223036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401223038
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great comic book for fans of the Batman, for readers who will appreciate a whole range of allusions to various incarnations of this hero over time. It is a brilliant tribute to one of the classic comic book heroes. Those who do not know the history of the character may miss some of the references.

The use of alternate stories may trouble readers who want a straight-forward adventure story -- what Gaiman is providing is an imaginative tribute to the various ways this superhero has been imagined by his creators over the time. It is not a linear story with beginning--middle--end in that order but a series of possible explanations, a series of alternative universes, all of which are tied to the final visions of the hero on the edge of death. What is most amazing is that in the process of imagining all of these possibilities for the Batman, Gaiman is both faithful to various past creators of the hero and completely original.

In many ways, this is a postmodern Batman and a brilliant book by one of the greatest masters of the graphic novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a longtime Batman fan, this past year (comics wise) has been pretty rough on the Dark Knight. First we had Batman R.I.P. An interesting story and idea, but for one reason or another, just didn't sit right with me. Maybe I just need to hang in there and wait for Morrison to finish his run, but as of right now, I still feel a little screwed over at the moment. As for Final Crisis.... I HATED it. Not only is Batman only on a few pages, but then towards the end of the 6th issue, *SPOILERS* he appears out of nowhere, confronts Darkseid, shoots (doesn't even REALLY get the kill shot) and get blasted by Omega Beams. Sure, sure, we see that he's not really dead at the very end, but I was still really frustrated by this very lack-luster story (it's my opinion, I"m sticking to it). However, Neil Gaiman takes two issues and writes a wonderful wrap up to the close of the mess that Morrison has started (don't get me wrong, I love a lot of his work, but not lately). The only reason this book loses one star (and I was being generous) is because there's very little to the book. Two fantastic issues and three or so more stories by Gaiman that don't really relate all that well. But if you need closure after RIP and Final Crisis, this is the book for you.
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Format: Hardcover
OK, I'm prepared for the gasps of shock and anger from the appropriate crowd, but honestly, I was really disappointed in this story. Maybe part of the problem is that I am just not that familiar with what is happening in the individual comic book series right now, but I do know that Bruce Wayne has apparently died. Gaiman was asked to write a swan song of sorts for Batman, and Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is the end result.

I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but I don't think this was it. Originally publihsed in Batman #685 and Detective Comics #852, basically, we are witnessing Batman's funeral (not Bruce Wayne's) and the remaining supporting cast of the series has come to pay their respects. Each person, including his Rogues Gallery, speaks about Batman and how he died, and how each person contributed to his death. Yet not one of these stories matches with another. And it appears that Bruce Wayne is viewing all of the ongoings as a sort of out of body experience.

I think the biggest problem here is that Gaiman was only given two issues to write this out in. I definitely think that the story could have benefited from one, maybe two, more issues of story. It seemed, at least to me, that Gaiman had more story to tell but had to compress what he had to make it fit into the space allotted. He tried to pay tribute to each of the most influential artists and writers of the Batman mythos, but with so many tributes crammed into only two issues and still needing to leave room for the 'big reveal' explanation at the end, what we're left with is a rather jumbled mess of a story.

Andy Kubert's art is quite stunning throughout.
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Format: Paperback
Wow. I'm not sure what I can say about this novel. It was . . . Wow.

At first, it was a little confusing. After reading Cat Woman and Alfred's story of Batman's death, it is kind of hard to understand what it going on. In addition, it seems as though Bruce is there wondering what is truly going on. However, as the story progresses, it is very obvious and makes perfect sense.

This is a very philosophical view of Batman and the role that he plays in Bruce's life. Gaiman suggests that Batman is not merely an alter identity, but Bruce's actual identity. A few years ago, I wrote a big conference paper on the nature of Batman, and I really wish this had already been written. It would have added a different depth to my paper.

Anyways, I love Batman. I wanted to read this as soon as I saw Gaiman wrote something about him. The sketchbook in the back is really cool! Also, the mini comics are also a nice addition. However, the art style is no impressive! After looking at Andy Kubert's take on Batman legacy, the mini comics are painful and juvenile at best in their style.
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