Monday, December 8, 2008

Batman #681 - Farewell to Bruce

Bruce Wayne is dead. Long live the Batman.

Killing a major character isn't new. It happens all the time, and rarely sticks. Still, considering Batman was in one of the top-grossing films of all time this year, he should have gotten better. When Marvel killed off Captain America, it was a media blitz! The story was in USA Today, Stephen Colbert got into the act taking Cap's shield, and it flew off the store shelves. When DC Comics decided it was time to kill off one of their pivotal heroes, it wasn't met with the media attention Captain America received. At best, it's received a mention in a few interviews.

Why did that happen? Well, besides the fact that DC just doesn't know how to play the media like Marvel does, the storyline involving Batman's death was as strange and convoluted as it could have possibly been. Instead of this lean, mean storyline of Batman taking on a major villain to the death, we had this weird yellow and purple costume, villains we'd never seen before, and Bat-Mite! And yet, this is Grant Morrison we're talking about, the man who brings us the drug-induced crapfest called Final Crisis, so I don't know why I'm surprised.

While Captain America's death was a straightforward, to-the-point thing, Bruce doesn't get that send-off. This is obviously an ambiguous ending, and there's no doubt he'll be back. I don't know when, but he'll be back. Hopefully, they'll give it enough time to fully explore someone else behind the mask before he returns though. It'll be interesting to see how DC handles the loss of this major character when they have a weekly series called "Trinity"--and he's one of the three.

I hate to see him gone, but I'm still going to stick around to see where DC takes it from least for a few issues.

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