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Batman: R.I.P. Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, February 10, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Batman is pushed past the edge of sanity in this spectacular story that mixes icy mind games and passionate outbursts. A club of criminal masterminds, the Black Glove, has an elaborate plot to make Bruce Wayne/Batman self-destruct by convincing him that all his friends and lovers have betrayed him and that his most trusted memories are false. As clever in their scheming as the villains are, however, they have no idea how thorough Batman has been in planning ways to protect his obsessions; consequently, the action is fractured between scenes of what is really happening, what might be happening, what probably isn't happening, etc. This premise gives scriptwriter Morrison and principal artist Daniel a chance to review key episodes and images from the Caped Crime Fighter's long career—including, of course, numerous encounters with the Joker, who's too chaotic to be happy in any organization like the Black Glove, but who struts through the action wielding sardonic humor and two straight razors. Whether Batman winds up (or ever was) totally sane is unresolved, but he's a fascinating protagonist in this sweeping, emotionally draining saga. (Feb.)
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From Booklist

Having largely abandoned the outré projects (e.g., Doom Patrol, The Invisibles) that made his reputation for chronicling DC’s big superheros, Morrison here gives us the caper that puts the lid over the Caped Crusader. Dr. Simon Hurt, leader of the international criminal associates known as the Black Glove, has devised an elaborate psychological trap for Batman. The scheme succeeds in breaking Batman’s sanity, long established as being dangerously fragile, and leading him to adopt a psychotically violent persona, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, who squares off in Arkham Asylum against Dr. Hurt’s new ally, the Joker. Batman’s delusions are likely to be as confusing to readers as they are to him. Morrison uses elements from seven decades’ worth of disparate and contradictory versions of the character, and only the most dedicated fans will recognize most of them. Tony Daniel’s art grounds the complex proceedings with clarity and verve. Batman’s apparent demise at the saga’s end leads into an arc in which various would-be successors vie for the right to wear his cowl. --Gordon Flagg
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; Deluxe edition (February 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401220908
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401220907
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger Hsu on February 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Grant Morrison is well known for his trippy stories, and this arc is definitely trippy. It rarely fails to entertain and that is the most important things about comics. I'm not going to spoil anything, but let's just say that Morrison draws back to Batman's Silver Age roots for quite a number of plot threads.

The art is quite good, with Tony Daniel doing a good job and Lee Garbett doing a commendable job trying to mimic other artists as a homage to past storylines.

A word of warning though. This story is NOT stand alone (especially the "Last Rites" segments which directly tie into Final Crisis). In fact, one of the common complaints against this particular arc is that it doesn't answer everything. However, when you read this, you need to take into account that Morrison planned a five book story for his Batman run. Batman R.I.P. is only the fourth book (the previous three Morrison books Batman and Son, Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul, and The Black Glove are highly recommended reading prior to reading this book)and the story isn't wrapped up yet! In fact Morrison will come back to Batman this June to finish out his arc.

This is highly recommended, though remember to take my warning in mind before deciding to purchase.
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Grant Morrison may be the most polarizing of comic book writers out there today. Depending on who you ask, he's can be either revered as the savior of X-Men comics (with his early 00s New X-Men run), or demonized as the destroyer of quality X-Men comics. His stories are always deep, complex, psychedelic, and sometimes too smart for their own good. And that was before Grant admittedly totally changed the way he writes his comics' narratives.

While Final Crisis is probably the prime example of this new, uber-compressed narrative style, Batman: RIP certainly exhibits it in many, many ways. The premise of RIP is, rather than the death of Batman, it is the reconstruction and redefinition of the character. It takes Batman on a journey through his mind and his history and really attempts to show what Batman is, and why Batman is who he is.

Does it succeed? Well, Morrison certainly does do a good job of making the reader feel as though they're apart of this long, disoriented journey with Batman. You go through the pieces never quite sure exactly what's going on, and we certainly don't have a clue what's going to happen next. And for you guys and girls who like that type of writing? Batman: RIP might be considered a great piece of Batman fiction. It really does embody exactly what Morrison strives for in his work. It's every other Grant Morrison story you've read times a thousand.

But personally, I don't that type of writing. I can't handle some mystery in a story, I can handle some confusing and psychedelic happenings, but I found that Morrison went way, way beyond simply telling an "out there" story about Batman, and quickly deteriorated into the realm of nonsensical.
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I'm of the mindset where I can honestly admit to never coming across a Bat story I didn't enjoy. I've been reading the Batman's exploit's since '89 after getting hooked through the now classic Tim Burton film (yes I'm old) & to this day he remains one of my all time favorite characters. Enter comic book architect Grant Morrison who has a first class handle on this character & his world. His previous Batman works like Arkham Asylum, Gothic, & The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul are a pretty good indication. Anyone who know Morrison's work knows that his stories stretch far beyond the medium's cliche's & R.I.P continues to bring Bruce Wayne's predicament full circle. Tony Daniel's strong line work brings perfection to this engaging & dark story-arc as does to the superb coloring on every single panel with a minimum use of splash pages. The Alex Ross covers included here are wonderful too as they clash nicely against Daniel's more traditional comic book covers. This is a first rate reading for longtime Batman fans but not recommended reading for the casual or new reader because it may just leave you feeling more confused since this picks up after several other previous story-arcs. This hardcover edition is excellent & I can't recommend it enough if you can track a copy down. A+
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Format: Kindle Edition
A disappointing story all around. The psychological nature of it seems promising at first, but the plot moves so randomly that it's impossible to follow, desperately trying to figure out what's happening in whose head. Throw in the total lack of an ending or any closure, and you'll be left wondering what it was all for.
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Contrary to what some folks will tell you, there are plenty of differences between what draws a reader to a good Batman story (or any Batman comics, for that matter) versus some of the other costumed hero tales out there, but most fans can agree on one central premise: what keeps the reader coming back to Batman stories is the fact that, at the core, lies a character who is driven by his own private psychology -- the desire to face evil at his own peril -- over and over and over again. Batman is the real character in this world, and Bruce Wayne is the facade, and the costumed freaks he faces venture into equally treacherous territory with each subsequent outing ... but, in the end, one can't help but ask "at what cost?"

Grant Morrison has finally provided an answer to that central theme that's equally supported and plagued Batman since his inception seven decades ago, and, like any good story, it's been delivered with measured portions of greatness, silliness (these are comic books, after all), pity, and pathos in BATMAN R.I.P., the tale that many media outlets have openly advertised as the final death of Batman, aka Bruce Wayne. I'll save discussing the ending -- a troubling choice, I know, but I'm trying to respect the reader's right to privacy without spoiling anything earth-shaking -- but I will say that it wasn't quite what industry mags and professional reviewers said it would be, not far off the mark, but more than a few feet shy of a fieldgoal, too.

Confused? You should be, because this is Grant Morrison's story -- not Batman's or Bruce Wayne's -- as one writer who's had a pretty solid career delivering the kinds of characters and situations one would expect from a veteran of comic book prose.
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