Novelist, comic book writer, and also comic book reviewer for www.BrokenFrontier.com, also website marketing coach for the Online Marketing Solutions company Push Traffic dot com. Incidentally, I am also the worst writer in the world.
So I've been intrigued, if not altogether overjoyed, by the "BATMAN R.I.P." saga - the main six-part saga over in Morrison's flagship Bat-book has had its moments, a sincerely interesting approach to a major event for all that it's more or less a failure insofar as cohesive storytelling in concerned (not that THAT's a surprise where Morrison's zaniness is concerned). I was hoping all the tie-ins would really lend the grounding to Morrison's overboard-ness, make the "event" work as something more than the brief overview of Batman's downward spiral which is all we get over in the main Bat-book. Where's the steady affect on others? What psychosis preluded Bruce Wayne's ultimate mental snip-snap like a twig in half? Ah, this must be it - Nightwing, Robin, and Dectective Comics, Batman and the Outsiders, all getting in on it, two of them, including Nightwing, to culminate in a double-sized anniversary issue for their R.I.P. part to play. So a lot must be happening, a lot must stand to be revealed. Right?
Wow, nope, R.I.P. is apparently hands-off to other writers, even though the big-wigs in editorial obvious WANT all these titles to "tie-in". Batman's missing. That's the entire tie-in. Beyond that? Former comics editor Peter J. Tomasi continues his second NW storyarc, and its about as lackluster as his first. It's dramatic, but its slow and the dialogue, while not at all bad, isn't very interesting. There's too many dry, researched facts with far too little character development. And like Tomasi's last NW arc, it's not terribly apparent what the hell is going on in this one, even though it all seems to play out rather formulaically. The story is...okay. The writing is...okay. But it all feels VERY place-holding, like Brubaker's Uncanny X-Men pre-Manifest Destiny.
Rags Morales' art is as superb as it was in the much-lamented HOURMAN series, but it isn't enough to make this comic worth reading. Nightwing just doesn't feel like he has a purpose right now. He picks up the pieces of other Bat stories (League of Assassins, Talia al Ghul) and even then doesn't really move those forward, just deals with them.
Underwhelming, even as an R.I.P. tie-in, even with an anniversary issue right around the corner, I couldn't be more bored. --Dave B.
Story - 4/10 (entirely unimpressive, but nothing horrific) Art - 7/10 (Solid, detailed, gorgeous, not much going on though) Importance - 3/10 (Two-Face is involved, maybe it's leading somewhere, but otherwise this seems pointless)