Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is a story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Andy Kubert. In a similar fashion to "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", the two-issue tale presents a "final" Batman story, in which the characters and history are based arou
Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is a story written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Andy Kubert. In a similar fashion to "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", the two-issue tale presents a "final" Batman story, in which the characters and history are based around the ultimate demise of the Dark Knight. This story was written as a follow-up to the storylines Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, in which Batman is apparently killed.
The story starts in Batman #686 and its conclusion takes place in Detective Comics #853. The story, however was not canon to the DC Universe continuity, but instead it was an indeterminate amalgamation of Batman's 70-year history.
The Dark Knight Detective has fallen and all of his closest friends and allies are gathering to mourn the fallen hero. However, Batman's greatest foes are also attending the ceremony, to pay their last respects.
During the wake, Selina Kyle steps forward and starts telling the story and unique relation with Batman. She tells the most important events in their lives, right until the caped crusader's last moments, in which she decided to let him die, instead of helping him.
After Selina is done, Alfred Pennyworth starts talking of his own experience with Batman and how he was forced to come up with almost every major villain the world's greatest detective was forced to confront, just to keep Bruce Wayne's sanity intact. However, Alfred couldn't anticipate that Batman would become so important for Gotham, that even when his charade was discovered and he was stopped, Batman was still needed in the city. During his last mission, Batman confronted Riddler, one of Pennyworth's own creations and met his demise.
While this events take place, Batman's conscience overlooks the whole scene, not believing what is happening and soon he is joined by the conscience of another person, a woman.
Batman listens to more people telling eulogies about him, but none of them are the same story and he finally understands that everything that he is experiencing now is a near death experience. Crossing a final threshold, Batman meets Martha Wayne, who guides her son on his last journey of life. Martha gives Bruce a last chance to understand his purpose of existence and Batman finally realizes that he can never give up.
Finally, Martha tells Batman that his death is inevitable, but that his reward for being Batman, is to become Batman. Martha then tells Bruce to say goodnight to everything and everyone he knows and as he does that, his existence starts anew as a newborn baby boy is placed on Martha Wayne's arms and she names her son Bruce.
Azrael appears in a cameo at Batman's funeral, confirming him to be alive for his appearance in The New 52. He does not have any lines, however.
- Final Crisis Vol 1 6
- Batman R.I.P.
- Batman #242
- Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed?
- The Many Deaths of the Batman
Links and References
- Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? at Wikipedia.org
- SDCC '08 - More on Gaiman-Batman with Dan DiDio
- Gaiman confirming his job on Batman on his blog
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