Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader is my second exposure to Neil Gaiman.
Earlier in the year, I read American Gods and while I loved the premise, the execution bugged me. I found it long winded and a little on the boring side. I was sure that when you put the mind of Gaiman into the Batman universe, you were going to get something very, very cool.
Truth be told, I found this to be pretty average. When I told my friend that gave this to me what I thought about the story, he responded with, "You have very high expectations of Batman". I thought that this was kind of unfair, actually. I’ve read some of the best Batman work that had ever been done with Batman: Year One, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Long Halloween and most recently, Batman: The Black Mirror, so I’ve established in my mind what makes a great Batman story.
That’s not to say that this is a bad Batman tale, I just thought I didn’t come across as anything memorable which is really unfortunate since it apparently ends two long running Batman series (Batman
& Detective Comics
). It gobbled up several awards and is recognized as being a fitting ending to The Dark Knight saga.
Yar, here there be spoilers!
I suppose in the end, it isn’t an actual occurrence but a near-death experience which means Gaiman can pretty much do whatever he wants. I really wasn’t a fan of the Alfred stuff where he declares he hired his actor friends to portray villains in the beginning of Bruce’s fight against crime. It was too out-there and his reveal as The Joker was bizarre.
I think I need a bit of a break from Batman graphic novels for a while – I don’t want to get burned out.