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Batman Actually RIP This Time

It’s funny how comics’ relationship with the news media works. A short while back, the newspapers were falling over themselves to announce “THE DEATH OF BATMAN!!!!111” without actually paying attention to anything that was actually happening in writer Grant Morrison’s run on the comic - and of course, nobody bothered to print a correction when Morrison made it explicit in issue #683 (as opposed to implicit and requiring more than a superficial glance at the much-hyped issue #681) that Bruce Wayne had survived the events of “Batman RIP” - although, to be fair, he should have known what he was letting himself in for when he called the story that.

But now that Batman has actually been killed off - in this week’s issue #6 of crossover event series Final Crisis - well… not a peep. The story’s been and gone, even though it wasn’t a story at the time, and yet is one now. Everyone’s far more concerned about the President-elect appearing in Amazing Spider-Man (also out this week, as it happens). To be fair, that’s quite a nice story, particularly as Obama is actually a Spidey fan himself (“One of us! One of us!”). But it just seems strange (actually, it’s not strange at all, when you think about it) that the media should get so excited about the fake “death”, and pay no attention whatsoever to this one. I suppose they don’t want to say to the average layman reader, “We misunderstood what was happening in those comics a few weeks ago, but what we told you was happening then has actually happened NOW, and… oh, god, you don’t even CARE, do you?”

Not that any of us believe it will last, of course - brilliant moment as it was, it’s clear that after however long a break this turns out to be, Bruce Wayne will eventually be back. But still - I just thought it was an event worth marking. Since no-one else is bothering.

There’ll be more from me on this in upcoming weeks, anyway, as I’ll be starting a multi-part commentary on the entirety of Morrison’s two-and-a-half year stint as Batman writer. So stay tuned.

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