Daily Archives: February 18, 2009

Murder Mysteries

Batman #686
“Whatever Happened to the Caper Crusader?
Part 1 of 2: The Beginning of the End”
Writer: Neil Gaiman
Pencils: Andy Kubert
Inks: Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover artists: Andy Kubert and Alex Ross
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99 US

I’m honestly surprised that this two-part story from comics scribe-turned-acclaimed novelist Neil Gaiman has been marketed more heavily outside of the comics industry. Gaiman’s the brains behind a popular and lauded animated film still in theatres and the recent winner of a prestigious literary award, and he’s become quite the star in the world of prose, known to audiences beside those who frequent comic-book shops on a regular basis. In his eulogies for the Dark Knight, Gaiman essentially pays tribute to the history of the Batman, and I would have expected that to be of interest to pop-culture journalists across the spectrum. In any case, Gaiman offers some strong, entertaining and novel examinations of the title character with a script that’s sufficiently surreal so as to offer an atmosphere that’s somewhat consistent with the weird, stream-of-consciousness scripting that Grant Morrison offered up over the course of “Batman R.I.P.” I don’t know if that was by design or coincidence, but it works, as “Whatever Happened to…?” works nicely as a quiet, thematic epilogue to the excesses and madness of “R.I.P.”

Continue reading… →