Batman RIP - Grant Morrison
By Munawar Mobin
Last week I managed to pick off this gem from the shelves, and in the same hour, I finished it. Grant Morrison's Batman RIP is at it's purest, a walk through the troubled and tortured mind of Bruce Wayne because an organisation called the “Black Glove” managed to drug him and set him loose on the streets of Gotham. Batman dies, as Bruce Wayne refuses the cape and cowl and staggers in the streets instead, drugged and mentally unstable.
That's all that will be said about the story. Any more and I will have ruined one of Morrison's best stories so far. The first thing to know about the book is that the tie-ins and the jumps are very confusing if you don't know where they're coming from. A previous knowledge of the Black Glove and Grant Morrison's Batman adventures is very much the key ingredient in enjoying the story entirely. The plotline is full of twists and turns, and it's not exactly what one would expect after each corner. It hurts the book that you need to know quite a few things before turning over the first page and without that knowledge you wouldn't get what you expect. It isn't exactly a rollercoaster ride into Bruce Wayne's poisoned mind; rather it's a 12-step program into the very depths of his internal working.
Coming from Grant Morrison (the same who killed off Batman in other tie-ins) a certain standard is set by anyone who knows him. In Batman RIP, he doesn't manage to completely get higher than his preset expectations, but he does scratch the surface and since it's Morrison, we all know that is good enough. Tony Daniel manages to match up the brilliance of the story with his artwork. If not for the story, the artwork alone deserves a lot of shout outs. It's dark and gritty nature pulls you into the story and manages to cook up the perfect atmosphere for Grant Morrison to work his magic.
Remember, if you've picked this up because of all the hype and popularity, then it's safe to say that you mind end up a little confused. I would suggest a sweep of Morrison's previous Batman issues before tackling this one.