Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Tony Daniel
Inker: Sandu Florea
Colorist: Guy Major
Story: 8.5 out of 10
Art: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10
In a cabin out in the woods Tim Drake is reading the black casebook that he took out of the Bruce files a few issues ago. He is attack by a guy wearing a bucket on his head and a guy dressed as a clown. Tim is able to escape his attackers by riding off in his motorcycle.
Elsewhere in a alley somewhere in Gotham a homeless man named Honor Jackson finds a druged up Bruce Wayne lying in trash. Jackson helps Bruce wake up but Bruce seems to be suffering effects from the drugs Dr. Hurt put into his system.
In New York Nightwing is fighting some no name villains in an abandon train station. Nightwing gets a call from Tim to met him at "Checkpoint 5" so they can talk about what has been going on. After they end their communication one of the female members of the Club of Villans appears behind Nightwing.
Back in Gotham Bruce and Jackson are begging for some money and are attacked by some thugs. Bruce easily kicks their assess even though he is still suffering from te effects of the dugs. Later Bruce and Jackson are watching the sunset and when Bruce is about to ask Jackson somthing he dissapears. Back in Crime Alley Bruce finds someone who tells him that Honor Jackson died the day before much to Bruce shock.
At Checkpoint 5 Robin (Tim) is trying to contact Nightwing with zero success. We then see that Nightwing has been captured and drugged up that he is foaming out of his mouth in Arkaham Assylum under the name Pierrot Lunaire.
Back in the batcave Dr. Hurt, who now has abopted a costume similar to Batman's cape and mask, and his Club of Villains celebrating their victory with a beat up Alfred tied to a chair.
Back in Crime Alley we see that Bruce is making a costume out of the stuff Honor Jackson had in his shopping cart. We then see Bruce in his new batsuit claiming "I am the Batman od Zur-En-Arrh" with Bat-mite right behind him. End of issue.
Morrison does it again with another great issue to the "Batman RIP" storyline. Morrison proves that he leaves no stone untouch and that everything he has been doing on Batman has been done to lead us to this story.
I loved seeing a homeless Bruce Wayne. I think this is the first time in the 14 years I have been reading Batman that I see Bruce in the type of shape he was in this issue. I know that Bruce has had some massive injuries in the past as Batman but I have never seen him in this bad of shape. And by that I mean of how Dr. Hurt and his Club of Villains have basically broken Bruce's strongest trait, his mind. While villains like Joker, Two Face, Bane, Ra's AGhul, etc have been able to injure Bruce physically and mentally I have never once seen be able to break Bruce mind. It has always been what makes Bruce as Batman one of the strongest characters in the DC Universe on par with Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and The Flash. Because while those characters may have some awsome super powers they have never been able to match Bruce's mind and what makes him just as dangerous as those super powered characters.
By having Dr. Hurt completely break Bruce's mind with that strange video from the last issue and drugging him up so that he can't even remember his name it could be that Dr. Hurt may in the end be able to defeat Bruce. Morrison has kind of made me dought if Bruce will actually walk out of this storyline as Batman. Maybe at the end Bruce will realize that he needs to take a break as Batman and actually live a "normal" life. I know that DC and especially Warner Bro. wont allow their biggest character to retire especially with The Dark Knight coming out in two weeks. But like his previous runs on other titles, Morrison has shown that he has a clear direction of were he wants to take his characters and doesn't really care what others think.
Another great thing Morrison presents in this issue is Tim concern for Bruce mentality and he knows that Bruce is losing it again. By reading that black casebook Tim is realizing that Bruce may not be as calm and collective as he wants people to think. But of course Bruce would never admit this to anybody. Also with Bruce and Alfred keeping the secret of Damien true lineage from him maybe Tim is starting to realize that it may be time for him to do his own thing.
In truth with Robin's series coming to issue 200 withing the next two or so years I can see the DC creative team leading up to Tim creating his own. Because like Dick Grayson, Tim is realizing that becoming Batman may not happen for him and he needs to create his own identity outside of Batman. Tim unlike Dick or Jason has always seperated himself from being just the Boy Wonder when it comes to Robin. And while Tim has become closer to Bruce after Infinite Crisis we are back to Tim becoming distant from Bruce and that this storyline may take him to follow Dick and create a new identity outside of Batman. Maybe he could become Red Robin.
Also Morrison did a cool thing by taking Dick out of the equation by having him drugged and locked up in Arkham. While I don't see him staying there Morrison figured out a way to take Dick out of the rest of the story without upsetting to many Nightwing fans. Also I get the feeling that we will find out how Dick got to Arkham with the tie-in issues from his own title and that he may escape before this story finishes.
The one thing that I didn't like about this issue is the Jet, Bruce's girlfriend, just disappeared without explanation since we saw that she was in the batcave when Bruce had his freakout last issue. But then again that maybe just me being impatiant about wanting to find oout what happens next. Maybe like many people think Jet is working with Dr. Hurt and she will make a great re-entrance in later issues. But for now I am left scratching my head with what happend to her.
And I got to say I love the new makeshift batsuit that Bruce wears at the end of the issue. This new batsuit is the complete opposite of the normal balck and grey batsuit he normally wears. This new suit is much more colorful and bright which is the opposite of what you think Batman should look. Also I kind of wonder what role Bat-mite is going to play with his appearance at the end of the issue
Now Tony Daniel art was as great as ever and I loved the new batsuit. The only reason I did not give the art a 9 is because he drew Dick and Tim to look like identical twins. This isn't just a problem Daniel has because most artist having always drawn Dick, Tim, and Jason to look exactly identical when their in one issue that if it weren't for their costumes you could not tell them apart. But I guess that is only a minor gripe I have with the art.
Overall: This was another great issue in Morrison run on Batman the only thing is that I would not recommend this issue to knew readers because I think they would be confused if they have not read Morrison run on this title. If anyone is interested in reading Batman RIP I would recommend you wait for the TPB to come out since this story will probably read much better in trade then in a single issue. But if your a Batman fan and are familiar with what has happend to Batman the past couple years than this is a must have issue.
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