Review: Batman #701

Published on July 17th, 2010

After years of long, sleepless nights asking yourself  “where did Bruce go at the end of Batman R.I.P?” well now we  know. Thanks to writer Grant Morrison and artist Tony Daniel. Now we’re getting the missing chapter of Batman R.I.P just like the cover tells us. Sure I know that Grant Morrison’s writing can get a little confusing and I think he reads better in trade.

This is Bruce Wayne’s first appearance as Batman in almost two years. It is great timing as Doctor Hurt’s had a recent appearance in Batman and Robin #13 last week. It was my favorite book, and also we got the scribbling of “Thomas” and “Barbatos” on the wall of the Wayne Manor sanctuary room. So is great time to be a fan of the Dark Knight.

Now let’s talk a bit about Batman #701.

batman701I don’t know how this story works for people who have not read Batman R.I.P. which is one of  my top 5 Batman books of all time, that or Final Crisis. This story takes place in the 30 day period before Batman was killed in FC.

The issue picks up right where Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel left off. It would be like the next scene in a film. Bruce Wayne survives the helicopter crash and he emerge from the depths of the river. Yet what is great in this issue is the stuff with Bruce when he is still under the water as he asking him self where did Dr. Hurt go. I love it when Morrison use Bruce’s self-admitted fear and weakness in the face of Hurt’s attempts to kill him and we get that in Batman #701.

As he’s walking out the water we see a young girl name Ellie with clown make-up on that  Bruce knows. I don’t recall her. Is this the first time we’ve met her? Knowing how Morrison tells a story, I am sure we will get a flashback of her at the end of this storyline, or maybe in the next five years.

As Bruce is back home. We get to see Alfred and Bruce together, and that is something I have been missing a lot since Dick Grayson has become Batman. I feel that is something that is missing in the Batman and Robin  comics as well, also by Morrison.

Ever the detective searching for clues and deciphering puzzles, Bruce takes the Batboat as he comes back to the ocean where  Bruce is not buying that Hurt’s disappearance as a consequence of the ocean currents.

After all that we see Bruce on the BatComputer erasing the file of Jezebel Jet who was ‘dating’ Bruce Wayne in Batman R.I.P. As he does this, he gets a phone call from Superman telling him that a “Drop everything. We need you on this. Someone just killed  a god” this would take place right before Final Crisis #1 and  right before Darkseid’s fall to Earth. For sometime if you have been reading of Morrison’s Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, the journal entry-style narration boxes that looks like something that Rorschach (Watchmen) would have in his journal to the ever-present red and black imagery, we see a lot off.

The issue ends  with going to meet up with Superman and he is thinking of what Doctor Hurt told him. ” The next time you wear it will be the last”. As all this is going all we kept getting Days to Omega………the number keeps getting lower and if you know the end of Final Crisis you know what this is all about. This helps increase the drama for an event that will change the DC Universe for ever.

I feel like this storyline will be saved for a hardcover deluxe edition published by DC Comics, or maybe an omnibus of hardcovers with all of Morrison’s storylines. I know I would buy it, and this weekend I am going back and reading all my Final Crisis because I feel like I need to do some more homework before Batman #702 comes out. If you are a fan of anything Batman related, then don’t missed out on this comic.

Simon Daoudi
Simon@ComicImpact.com