Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (2009) by writer Neil Gaiman and artist, Andy Kubert. Currently sells in hardcover (Deluxe Edition) for $24.99 US, 128 pgs and distributed by DC Comics. Batman creator was Bob Crane.
So Neil Gaiman gets to write the last Batman story, eh? Or at least it’s his last take on the Dark Knight. As a kind of homage to the caped crusader from his many incarnations from over the years. I’ve only read maybe a handful of Batman stories and enjoyed them. No matter how Gaiman’s story ends for the vigilante hero, Batman will be around, thanks to Christian Bale.
The story opens with the funeral of Batman and everyone is in attendance. Each stand before his coffin–friend and foe– to share stories of their adventures with the Dark Knight. All the stories seem to have one theme in common in that Batman was Gotham and he never gave up fighting the good fight.
Out of all the stories told about the caped crusader, Afred’s stood out from the rest. Alfred was an actor before he became apart of the Wayne family. He makes the claim that Batman’s life as a vigilante hero was a facade. His need to save a broken city was insatiable. His struggles with grief and pain – unbearable.
A lot of the faces who make appearances in here are unfamiliar like Joe Chill who was “here at the start of it all.” Others I recognized from various other places: Serena Kyle aka “Catwoman” who proclaims to have had a brief love affair with Batman. Then there’s also Two-Face, Penguin, The Riddler and Commissioner Gordon, among others.
There’s a funny exchange between the Joker and his, well, I would say girlfriend, Harley Quinn who are in attendance as well,
“I can’t believe he’s dead, puddin’.”
“Well, I can’t believe that he didn’t die the first time he dressed up as a giant bat and jumped off the roof.”
Too true. Anyway, “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” was a brief look at the history of Batman and we watch as it all come full circle. The artwork was nice, the lead story was a quick read. I didn’t bother reading the other set of stories [cough]. Didn’t feel like it. I’m fairly new to comics and so my take on this story will be a simple one: it was good not great or extraordinary. I didn’t feel the need to shout to the world how great this reading experience was for me. I’m glad to have it read though. B.
Will tackle Alan Moore’s sarong song of Superman with his “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”