A trick Comic Books Companies has learnt is that if sales are down; a death is the best way to boast sales in the short term. We’ve seen this with Superman, Captain America, and X-Men; now count Batman to the list.
Now I’m not against comic heroes dying because some of the characters needed a boast and some of the best stories out there are the death stories of the characters. I remembered Captain Marvel battle with cancer, Silver Surfer’s body breakdown, more recently Steve Roger’s assassination. All death stories, all of them great.
Batman R.I.P is not one of them. One thing I hate about death stories is the resurrection of the said characters. Sabretooth had a great issue showing his death years ago, but it was spoilt by his almost immediate return. What’s the use of a hero dying if you are going to leave an opening for him to come back later?
That’s what I hate about Batman R.I.P. Grant Morrison is a great writer but maybe he’s too busy with Final Crisis to come up with a decent story here. R.I.P is a mess and the final climax wasn’t up to par. I won’t spoilt it for people who haven’t read it yet, but I will say that there was no dead body. Unlike Steve Roger’s death, there is no definite proof that Bruce Wayne is dead! How can anyone take the upcoming “Battle of the Cowl” seriously when no one believes Bruce Wayne is dead?
At least readers take Winter Solider seriously as Captain America now because they know Steve Rogers is R.I.P. Unless Marvel come up with a stupid, crazy clone/time-travel/alternate dimension/body double story, that’s the way it’s going to be! The next character to take over as Batman will have no chance because everyone expects Bruce Wayne to pop-out sooner or later.
Neil Gaiman is supposed to take over Morrison as writer of Batman; he is a great writer as well but DC is giving him a hell of a mess to deal with. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. That's my thinking for all fans of Batman.