Friday, June 12, 2015

Somehow, some months it feels like comics are nothing but Batman dying...


We checked out Catwoman's version a while back, and today's another installment of "Batman Dies!" This was a theme month in the Bat-titles, not a crossover, and not unlike Marvel's "Nuff Said, a similar theme event that also said nothing...from 2001, Batman #586, "Penguin Dreams" Written by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Karl Story and John Lowe. The title is at the end, because it would be a dead giveaway otherwise. More of a dead giveaway...

Over drinks on a yacht, the Penguin tells a hidden listener how he killed Batman; which means he'll probably be on the run forever, but c'est la vie. Penguin describes Bats as "a model of determination," and somewhat boring and predictable, which is how he was able to do it, because it was obvious Batman would snap someday and better to take him out now. A car full of hired goons gun down an elderly couple and steal their young son, almost within view of Batman, who of course gives chase. Stopping the car with some clever Bat-rope work, Batman pulls the child out of the car...not realizing "he" was a "top of the line Lexcorp Decoy-Bot," crammed full of explosives! The Penguin has a brief opportunity to figuratively, if not literally, dance on Batman's grave, wearing his cape and kicking his skull around. (Part of the cowl remains, but the flesh is completely gone: this may vary from time to time, but I think generally Penguin does not seem to give a good goddamn who Batman is. "Some dick," would probably be his answer to that question...)

That's where the Penguin's luck seems to run out, though, as Batman's crew shows up--Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl (Cassandra!) and Huntress, even Azrael in a terrible, more superhero-y costume. Although he's able to get away while they're all crying, later they collectively come down on the Penguin's operations like a sack of bricks--"Even the damned Huntress...who would've thought she'd even care?" Forced to leave Gotham forever, Pengy hides out on a yacht for two days, waiting for a last bit of revenge...on Bruce Wayne, who "shamed" Penguin in trying to take his home with his "chickadee lawyer." Dumping the body in the ocean, Penguin sails off into the sunset, on the yacht Thomas Martha...all of which of course is an idle daydream from the Penguin, of "a world where I could get some justice, I guess...a better world, indeed..."

The next issue of Batman was the first chapter of the "Officer Down" crossover; and I suspect the "Batman Dies!" event was intended as a bit of fluff before that started. But it's so fluffy, as to be completely pointless; which seems a waste from creators like Brubaker and McDaniel. Greg Rucka would take a shot at it as well with Two-Face, but I don't know if I have that one. From a friend, I'm 90% sure I have the Catwoman issue of the crossover (although she had a dream sequence in Nightwing as we mentioned) featuring Harley Quinn on the cover. Sooner or later, I suppose...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

The ultimate in dancing on someone's grave, Pengy's rocking the casbah on that one. The Thomas Martha....really? Damn, talk about rubbing it in...
I wonder how the other ones go....