So, We’re coming to the end now aren’t we? and i cannot wait to see what Grant Morrison has been planning all along. This is it! the beginning of the end for Morrison’s Batman epic. While I’m sad to see him go I can see this story is going out with a bang.
So Grant giveth and he taketh away too, as we saw last month; Damian is dead. This issue picks up right where we left off. Look; I hate that Damian is dead, it bugs me, hell it angers me sometimes but you know what? If I feel this way now it confirms what I’ve suspected throughout this entire seven-year run: This is fantastic storytelling.
Bruce buries Damian with Alfred, Tim, and Dick present. Bruce makes an emotional farewell to his son as he speaks about his heroic sacrifice and how it defines who he was and not who he was meant to become. The funeral cross cuts with Bruce picking up Damian’s body and fighting the Heretic, and Dick waking up. Bruce destroys the sword that killed his son using only his bare foot. He beats Heretic savagely even going as far as poking out whatever is left of one of his eyes under that helmet. Dick Grayson awakens to see Damian dead as he briefly mourns him, Batman continues the fight. eventually Dick enters the fight but he and Bruce are both overpowered by Heretic who now claims to be the true Batman. At the funeral Bruce wraps up the service and shows anger towards Alfred for letting Damian out of the cave. He tells Alfred to “take a vacation” and so he leaves Bruce by the grave. Talia has a brief conversation with the Heretic. It seems he killed Damian not on command from Talia, but on his own call which seems to have angered Talia. He calls her mother and is quickly corrected by her that she is not his mother, for she claims to be the mother of many and no one at the same time. Perhaps Talia feels guilt? maybe only Damian was allowed to call her mother. Jason Todd is revealed to be captured by a mysterious woman who offers him an opportunity. Batman Inc discover a world-wide placement of bombs in different nations which seem to be generating rings around the world in the form of a snake eating itself; The Orroboro bomb. Dick has the trigger and so therefore the group make a plan of attack even though Batman has specifically advised the entire organization to stay out of his fight with Talia. Gotham receives word from Leviathan of the guilt of Batman Inc for what has happened and the city declared Bruce Wayne and the entire Batman Inc as criminals. Gordon hides his Inc badge from view as the press conference carries on. Bruce Wayne is to present himself to the authorities for trial, it is also important to note that the public has speculated that Damian, Bruce’s young son may be a casualty of the fighting. Back at the cave Bruce puts on his armor, medicates himself and says a brief goodbye to Batcow whom he smiles gently at in remembrance of his son. Batman exits the cave to the outside where he yells out into the sky as Bats fly around him.
The tension has escalated to a new level and it seems Bruce is not mourning in the way we would have expected him to before. He is fueled by vengeance that much is clear as we see him take his fight to Talia alone. I find it odd that Talia shows regret for Damian’s murder as she seems to be very angry with Heretic for taking it upon himself to commit that brutal act. There may be hope for her yet but at this point I have no sympathy for her. I can’t help but feel bad for the Heretic, he is the perfect son to Talia as he is essentially what Damian was meant to be. In the end he acts just like Damian did prior to becoming Robin and is met with hard treatment from Talia. It seems she may not feel it is real anymore and might just miss her son, whom she raised (if issue #0 of Batman and Robin is to be believed) from infant to boy. The art has grown on me as I reread the stories leading up to this point. I must say that while I do love the idea behind Batman becoming vengeful as a reaction to his son’s death I do find it a bit surprising that this characterization is inconsistent with the other “Requiem” titles. This book fails to take the “best Requiem book” title from Batman and Robin but does continue what I’ve come to expect from Morrison’s work; a solid story. There was a good page or two seeing Beryl mourn Cyril the Knight and taking up the mantle herself. Mentions of reviving the Knight were brought up and the possibility of an existing Lazarus pit was also thrown into the fray and it suspiciously cut from that panel right back into the funeral for Damian. Do I expect Morrison to bring Damian back? well if I hadn’t read the interviews where he denies it then I would have said hell yeah!, but alas we are here and so I say no. Nevertheless I do hope Morrison leaves some hope of bringing the character back. See as much as I’d love for his death to be permanent so as to carry meaning this was a character that serves DC best when alive. I am of the mind that thinks revival in comics is not a bad thing, as I define a character’s importance not on the way he dies or the weight of it but rather the way he lives and the fantastic possibilities in storytelling. Lastly I hope to see reparation between Bruce and Alfred’s relationship as we see a bit of a tear here on Bruce’s part. This is it! the end is near and I find myself reliving the moments of childhood where you read or see a story play out and you begin to be so invested in a story that you end up cheering loudly for the hero to win. I want justice! and it feels oddly good to say that about a work of fiction.
FINAL RATING: 9/10