As you may have gathered, I’m a highly suggestible sort of guy. So when a cute fellow casually mentioned I should be reading Batman, I immediately imagined sharing comics, calling each other on Wednesdays after reading the latest issues, or lounging lazily in each other’s arms, reading the Caped Crusader’s adventures to each other…in our Underoos. So I dove head first into all the various Batman titles. While the cute fellow has yet to return my calls, I am officially hooked. Here’s a quick rundown on a few of the current bat titles and stories:
Batman #686 “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”
A disembodied Batman watches his life flash before his eyes, and yet, it’s not exactly as he remembers it. First of all, it’s the 40s and Gotham is a gritty noir landscape. Things take a Shakespearean turn as “all the world’s a stage” comes vividly to life. What is real? What is theatre? What is myth? Does it even matter? The existential questions pile up in Part 1 of this classy two-part story arc.
Batman and the Outsiders Special (One-Shot)
Alfred’s feeling pretty gloomy since Bruce disappeared and goes to the grave of the Wayne parents to give them the bad news. Before he can say, “My bad,” Bruce sends him a pre-recorded message from (Batman) beyond the grave. In a surprisingly touching sequence, Bruce thanks Alfred for his years of service and acknowledges his role as his de facto daddy. Could be the sentimental journey is just to butter the butler up, because Bruce asks Alfred to accept a special mission…concerning the Outsiders (the superhero team, not the novel by S.E. Hinton. Ponyboy! Sodapop!). So Alfred embarks on a harrowing trip around the world, determined to fulfill Bruce’s final wishes.
Nightwing #153 Final Issue
Moving is a lot easier when you have metahuman friends to do all the heavy lifting. I’ll have to remember that the next time I move. Dick Grayson is packing up and heading back to Gotham. Will he be assuming the role of Batman? Or is he doomed to be a sidekick forever? After tidying up the Batcave, Dick and Alfred share their concerns about young master Tim. He’s seen a lot of death for someone so young, but then again, you don’t get to be in the Bat family for being innocent and well-adjusted. Later, Dick dons his duds and delves into the darkness of Gotham. Its the anniversary of the death of Bruce’s folks, so Nightwing heads to Crime Alley to pay tribute and make a promise to Bruce. He’ll never love again. And, oh yeah, there will always be hope in Gotham. Then, in the Origins & Omens chapter, crazy-ass Guardian Scar peeks in on Dick as he treats Barbara Gordon to a birthday surprise. (Hint: It’s not sex, because Barbara is, you know, a girl). It’s the end of an era for Nightwing. Good luck, Dick! I hope this is just the beginning.