We all knew it was coming…The Convergence, and the end of the New 52 branding. Months of announcements. Lots of speculation and a few spoilers.
We read “Batman Eternal” all the way through, and slogged through Forever Evil, Future’s End, and Batman Zero Year. We saw Robin (Damien Wayne) fall and rise.
It has been thrilling, really. A far better expense than buying satellite or cable TV. Much better investment. (The only thing I miss about live TV is no NFL. Otherwise, Netflix and DVDs and other media do just fine.)
I have to say it hasn’t been without its problems, though. I haven’t been entirely happy with every storyline. I canceled my subscription to Action Comics, Justice League, and Aquaman. I didn’t even care about the characters or the story the way a good comic book should make you. Shazam! (who cares?) (The Others. Etc) I would receive my books ninety percent of the time over a week after the release date, and with these three titles, I would not even have remembered what happened in the issue prior. In the case of Masters of the Universe (which I still will be reading) I cancelled the subscription because many of the books arrived damaged! (I will be picking up my MOTU books from The Tangled Web from now on.)
But Batman has been different. When I started reading The New 52, I found a character that I could really relate to. I watched “Batman the Animated Series” and all of the Batman movies as a kid, and also watched re-runs of that campy TV show from the 1960’s. We had some Batman comics around as well, and Batman was something my Grandma could relate to and talk about some…she said she read Batman comics as a child. The character of Robin has always had some appeal to me as well. Always somehow balancing the seriousness of Batman. Robin is someone usually missing from the movies, and it makes me feel like the stories are missing a crucial element.
So I hung onto the titles Detective Comics, Batman, and Batman and Robin. And didn’t even think twice about purchasing the weekly Batman Eternal title…I was dedicated!
The Joker is the other part of this. Readers were captivated by Detective comics #1. Joker’s face was cut off! What did this mean? How would this work? DC got our attention! And it about drove me insane. For an entire year I loyally read every Batman book (except Batman Incorporated, a lingering soul from the old universe), and was then rewarded with the HUGE “Death of the Family” story arc. It was brilliant!
And after the epic conclusion to that story, we went right into Robin’s death, and the Batman and Robin title became a sort of variety show, with Batman either teaming up with or having drama with some other main character.
I could go on and on. But I am finally satisfied at where it all ends.
Batman #40 is the finale of the Joker returns story…And at the end of this strangely covered issue, (in contrast to the other covers in the “Endgame” arc,) the two arch enemies find their demise. The fight was SO EPIC! Of all the Batman fights, this one may be the most gruesome. More blood spilt in this comic than almost any other Batman book before now. And did I see Batman bite off the Joker’s ear? Incredible. And then he turns the Joker’s own deception against him.
For me, this is the perfect conclusion. I’m still a little shocked. I didn’t really see it coming. Sure, I heard the spoiler about the Jim Gordon in the robotic Batman suit. But killing Batman and Joker seemed out of the question. This is sort of old hat, no? Bruce Wayne has been killed before. And we always know that Joker will be back. And Bruce was just re-unified with Damien…
With Batman and Joker’s deaths…I feel I have a complete Batman collection of stories. I picked up the free comic book…which confirms at least Bruce Wayne Batman is gone for the next foreseeable run of DC books. We all know both characters will be back…But I don’t feel the need to read this for awhile. I have a story from Zero Year (beginning) to Endgame (conclusion). And feel a sense of relief.
Thanks, DC for a great run on Batman!
What’s next for the SpartanNerd?
More Masters of the Universe…
More action figure reviews…
More Magic the Gathering posts…
Possibly a return to Spider-Man.
I am interested in Transformers…especially classic types.
But I am going to take the time to go back and re-read my Batman books, from beginning to end. And enjoy them. Summer Vacation is just around the corner! Maybe I’ll even post reviews about the story arcs, like I originally intended.
Keep reading, oh Hub City Geeks!