The middle books are sold that way, too. And you have no excuse...you have multiple sources which could tell you that RIP was part of a huge Batman storyline starting with Batman and Son, going into Batman and Robin, and even the end of Final Crisis. The RIP story isn't even completely finished...
And, out of curiousity, when was the last time you liked a Batman comic?
I don't entirely agree that Batman R.I.P. needs to be read within the greater scope of Morrison's Batman epic; I think it can be read on its own and understood enough on its own terms. It definitely makes more sense when read in that context, but outside of that context, it's still as approachable as anything Morrison does.
It is, I think, a continuing failure of DC/Warner Bros.' publishing arm to not do anything with these volumes to suggest that they ARE part of a larger story — even something as simple as volume numbering would help a great deal. I just cannot fathom why they try SO HARD to not give any indication that these books are anything other than standalones (which they almost always are not).
That being said, CK, what about it specifically reminded you why you don't buy Batman comics anymore?
And I, too, am curious, CK, about what you object about them? Not being confrontational but it is always important to get another interpretation.
leaves me cold.
Today's Batman titles, plural, have no room for Bruce Wayne. I don't hold to the view that "Bruce Wayne is a daytime mask for The Batman," but today's Batman titles are entirely written from that standpoint.
It's funny, because I feel like Morrison's been better overall with maintaining a healthy Bruce Wayne-ness to his books than some past writers have been. (I also feel that Paul Dini gets that characterization, too, for what that's worth.) Most exemplified back in his JLA days, I think of Batman-as-businessman working to take down the Injustice Gang as the embodiment of how Morrison informs the Bruce/Batman balance. Sure, his books are 99% about Bruce's time as Batman, but not because he plays it as a "Batman is the true identity, Bruce Wayne is a mask" narrative.
...it's all about Batman being driven insane by his enemies -- and preparing for that eventuality by driving himself insane first.
You hit the nail on the head with what Morrison was doing with Batman RIP, Clark, but without the context of the surrounding books, it is just the half-demented lonely vigilante part of the Batman recipe, and nothing else, and I can see why you didn't like it. Believe it or not, Morrison falls much more on your side of the argument as to how Batman should be portrayed. Batman RIP, like Azrael's tenure as Batman all those years ago, is showing modern readers that what they might think they want from a Batman comic isn't really what's best for the character or the stories.
If any writer's books are 99% about Bruce's time as Batman, how is that not "Batman is the true identity, Bruce Wayne is a mask"? That's the heart of what I'm getting at; there's no balance.
ClarkKent_DC said:If any writer's books are 99% about Bruce's time as Batman, how is that not "Batman is the true identity, Bruce Wayne is a mask"? That's the heart of what I'm getting at; there's no balance.
Law & Order was (more than) 99% about Lenny Briscoe as a homicide detective; that doesn't mean the homicide detective is the true identity, and his family life (or whatever) is the mask, it's just that that's the part of his life those stories focused on. It's a question of narrative vs. characterization. If Bruce Wayne isn't included because that aspect of the character is irrelevant to the writer's perception of the character, that's different than if Bruce Wayne isn't included because that aspect of the character is irrelevant to the specific story being told.
Does that make sense? I'm a little tired, so I'm not sure I'm expressing that well. :-/