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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, whatever did happen?
'Batman - whatever happened to the caped crusader' is a complex, not linear, tale of Batman by Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline) and beautifully drawn by Andy Kubert. This comic is a must have if you're a fan of the Batman series. If, however, you're a casual reader this work may be a bit confusing because quite a lot of Batman's adversaries, as well as regular Batman...
Published on 15 Oct 2009 by E. v. Hoof

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The poor cousin...
I bought this after reading the brilliant Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and its definitely the poor cousin, a great book in itself but by comparison I found it a little disappointing, perhaps it is because a final/synopsis comic of Batman IS much more challenging than Superman, maybe even an impossible feat.

There are many similarities, an...
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by Lark


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, whatever did happen?, 15 Oct 2009
By 
'Batman - whatever happened to the caped crusader' is a complex, not linear, tale of Batman by Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Coraline) and beautifully drawn by Andy Kubert. This comic is a must have if you're a fan of the Batman series. If, however, you're a casual reader this work may be a bit confusing because quite a lot of Batman's adversaries, as well as regular Batman characters, appear without further introduction - and most even without dialogue or without being addressed. So it is helpful if you know a bit about the 'history' of Gotham and the characters, this will also make it easier to see how brilliantly Gaiman combines and expands the Batman myth.
The comic - graphic novel is an appropriate term as well - consists of the main tale, which I will come to in a second, and three additional tales: one very funny black and white tale where Batman and Joker are actually 'actors' who get paid to play their part in comic books. The Parvane story deals with Poison Ivy, and it does much credit to this character. The last one is a story about the Riddler, which could be read as a 'Riddler - the beginning' type of story...in Riddler style of course.

Spoiler alert, please do not read onward if you truly want to be surprised.

The main story concerns itself with Batman's possible demise: since he is mortal, he will one day inevitably die...how would that come to pass? Who would come to his funeral? From that moment onward nothing is as it seems to be. Several characters (adversaries) claim having killed him, or know how he was killed, but each story contradicts the tale of some other character, so there is no certainty. The combination of various plotlines, such as the Joker and Alfred are just truely brilliant twists on the original Batman concept. I do not wish to give more away that I already did, thus I will conclude by stating that this comic is highly original and wildly imaginative. A true must have for fans, and worthwhile for casual reader (albeit, sometimes you will miss certain hints, jokes and background information)
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Fans Must Buy This at Once - Read on to find out why!, 24 Sep 2009
By 
Mr. S. W. Steel "stephensteel" (England) - See all my reviews
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This is a great Batman graphic novel in my opinion, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. There are five stories in here, all covering very different ideas, and all have very definite styles of artwork too,which may not be to everyone's liking, but the stories are all strong enough to deliver a great Batman experience to the reader.
The main story deals with the death of Batman, at some point in the future. Batman is lying in state in his coffin in Crime Alley - which is essentially where 'Batman' was born ; the place where his parents murdered. All of his friends and allies have turned up to pay their respects and tell their version of how he died. Cue a who's who of the Batman universe : Catwoman, Joker, Penguin, Alfred, Two-Face, the Riddler, Superman and others. What is very impressive is the love and attention to detail Neil Gaiman has put into this. One page in particular sums it up perfectly. Batman is in his coffin in almost three identical frames, but in each he is in a different style of his outfit from the original costume, through the long-eared phase, and into the current costume. Hidden in the crowd is a cavalcade of people involved in the Batman legend - Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy, Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon (Oracle), Ra's al Ghul, Azrael and more that you will enjoy finding. And this is just so nice to see in a graphic novel. It actually rewards the dedicated fan, as well as the casual reader. The fact that Joe Chill is the barman at this event won't be lost on the real fans - he is the man who killed Bruce Wayne's parents.There are some classic lines in here too - the highlight being the Joker asking someone to keep an eye on his car while he is inside. Had there just been this story i would have been very happy, but there are four others.
These four aren't up to the high standards of the main story but they certainly add something different to the Batman universe. The highlight of these is Black and White World which sees Batman and Joker waiting to do their performances in the Batman comic. It is razor-sharp wit at it's finest - Batman helping Joker doing a crossword is very funny!
Pavane deals with a Poison Ivy backstory and is quite interesting, with very old-style artwork.Original Sins deals with a television company trying to organise a tv documentary with some of the Super-criminals and begins with Batman trying to warn the tv executive that it's a dangerous business covering this subject. The final story, 'When is a Door' concludes the 'Original Sins' storyline and deals with the origins of the Riddler and gives a great twist at the end of it.
I bought the hardback version, as at the time of writing this it is the only edition available.It is the deluxe version and has a really interesting Neil Gaiman introduction that is really worth reading, and you can see why the graphic novel is so good - he is a real afficianado, and has gone out of his way to capture the spirit of the Batman universe. It also has a great alternative cover in the gallery section by the legendary Alex Ross, amongst the original sketches for the main story.
This is an excellent graphic novel, and one i would rank with other classics such as the Return of the Dark Knight, the Killing Joke and Devil's Advocate.
Batman fanatics MUST buy this immediately! Casual fans will enjoy this too, but not to the same degree.
You will read this all in one sitting - SUPERB!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RIP Batman!, 30 Mar 2011
A very interesting idea for a Batman graphic novel.The story has nearly every character in the Bat World,attending the funeral of the Caped Crusader.Or are they?
Thats the twist.The artwork is of a very high standard,and the story is well executed,a good read for all Batman fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The poor cousin..., 16 Jan 2011
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I bought this after reading the brilliant Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and its definitely the poor cousin, a great book in itself but by comparison I found it a little disappointing, perhaps it is because a final/synopsis comic of Batman IS much more challenging than Superman, maybe even an impossible feat.

There are many similarities, an attempt to include all the major characters, the lead story features the end of Batman himself, it concludes with a baby much like the feature of a baby at the end of the Superman comic but the way in which the story is told its difficult to tell if it is a cycle of rebirth or a new beginning as was implied with Superman or a sort of beginning of a mental flashback.

There are two aspects of this story which I liked, one that an attempt was made to pay tribute to just how many different artists and writers have conceptualised Batman, sometimes very, very differently. This is what hints at just how impossible a single end game storyline for Batman would be, Batman's character has had depth which Superman's did not at the time Alan Moore and co. wrote the final story for Superman, Batman is also a lot less linear.

The single most startling thing about the book is a single line about the alley in which the Bruce Wayne witnessed his parents being shot dead and his guide suggested "you never left", that opens so many discussions, has the Batman mythos actually been the fantasy of a traumatised child? Was Bruce fatally shot at the same time as his parents? That idea, which I felt was implied, was at least as unflattering and startling as some of the storylines which are actually featured, Alfred's story that they staged the entire life and adventures of Batman and he was the Joker, the Joker's story of disappointment at finally killing batman, Cat Woman's story of jilted love and all along that Batman's end would pale in comparison with his larger than life adventures (the idea of being shot in a simple hold up by a nobody mugger reoccurs).

The main storyline is told like that, with significant characters taking turns telling stories of Batman's life and death in a "say a few words" format at Batman's funneral, Batman is witnessing it all himself which opens the door to a more mystical bewildering conclusion. The book itself is opened with an introduction which is a couple of pages long, there are supporting sketches (including some of Bat Mite which didnt feature in the end product). There are ancillary stories too, one featuring Poison Ivy, which was very sinister in a Silence of The Lambs sort of way, a black and white story with artwork featuring the grotesque characterisation of the Joker as seen in The Dark Knight (2 Discs) [DVD] [2008] and comments on the repetitive nature of storylines and a longer story following journalists who are portrayed in the modern/post-modern style of villifying the hero and valourising the villains.

This is a good book and worth a read but it was not startlingly good, unlike the Superman equivalent, and while I enjoyed it and could recommend it its just OK in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and original, 22 Nov 2010
By 
The Emperor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This was a nicely told and genuinely amusing and moving story about the "death of batman" It was pretty original. There were plenty of nice twists in the tale. Very good artwork as well.
You don't have to a big Batman fan to appreciate this comic but if you are not than you might miss out on some references.
There are also some other short Batman stories that Gaiman had previously written. They aren't bad but are a bit throwaway.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, Neil Gaiman is a genious, 11 Dec 2009
By 
Nicholas Lowry "thegreatnick" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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You only have to look at other Neil Gaiman books and awards to know he is a 5 star, 10 out of 10 author, and this book is no exception. Cramming so much into the two parts of Caped Crusader when it could've been mediocre and still have sold. But cleverly written, with twists coming by the page turn and a startling end, really make Caped Crusader great value for money.
The other three stories are good as well, not as good as the main story but each show an interesting facet of characters that haven't been seen before.
If you don't mind a Batman story not about explosions or guns, this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodnight Batman, 24 May 2012
In 2008 DC Comics decided to kill off Bruce Wayne in the Batman R.I.P./Final Crisis story and to make it official they invited Neil Gaiman to write a climax to a character with 70 years of history to pay tribute to, much like Alan Moore did to Superman in the 80s with Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. Gaiman really went for it with this story stuffing in as much as he could, with all the many different versions of characters popping up you get to see the animated series joker, the classic catwoman, Joe Chill, Azrael, the Killing Joke version of Joker, the Dark Knight Returns Batman amongst many others.
A lot of credit has to go to Andy Kubert who manages to capture all the many different artistic takes on characters without missing out on the emotional pull of the story, once you realise this isnt just a funeral for the Batman who died in Final Crisis (in fact it isnt just a funeral for 1 Batman) you can really enjoy the tale.
There are a lot of emotional beats the tribute from Clayface hit me as really quite moving and I cant work out if its the art or the writing both are quite brilliant, the climax of the tale is also very touching borrowing from Margaret Wise Browns Goodnight Moon story as Batman says farewell to his friends and enemies.
There are some back up stories all Batman tales written by Gaiman in the past, theyre a nice addition but for me the main story overshadows them its such a strong love letter to the history of the character and perfectly judged much like Gaimans 2011 episode of Dr Who managed to pay tribute to the long history of that character this is a great send off to an icon and will surely stand the test of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye stars in the sky..., 28 Jun 2011
I put the Batman graphic novels down a long time ago (after the appalling Dark Knight Strikes Again) and would happily have dipped back into Knightfall, Arkham Asylum, Year One, DKR, etc but have recently found a large graphic novel collection at my local library - including Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader.

Flitting between writing and art styles, this is a wake for the legend of Batman, rather than a chronological death - and it is this handling of the character that makes it all the more interesting. If I write more, I'll spoil it - but I would imagine it is better aimed at the long-time Batman fan rather than the recent or casual reader. The additional stories are solid, too - giving a bit of credibility to some characters whose impact was demolished by Joel Schumacher's Batman movies.

I have to admit, as a long-time Batman fan, I had a lump in my throat with this one and for great writing, great art and an unexpected emotional impact I give this the five star treatment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice 'end' to the Batman story, 6 Oct 2010
By 
Mr. A. J. Mann (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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From Neil Gaiman, the genius behind the beloved Vertigo 'The Sandman' title, I bought this book with high expectations which were for the most part met. The central titular narrative is a slightly mystical tale of the Batman's funeral with his friends' and rogues' gallery paying tribute to him and telling their different stories about how he died. It is brilliant in parts, good in others with a 2001-esque ending that takes some thought to understand. It pays tribute the history of Batman comics and shines a different point-of-view on some things. Especially interesting is Alfred's tale at the funeral, which is a joy to read and had me cackling like the archnemesis of our favourite hero.

A Black and White World (originally published in Batman Noir) is a very clever short story which gives us a different way of looking at the Batman canon (i.e. they're actors playing parts.) It is funny and refreshing and a good read.

Original Sins is a tale about the media and its sensationalism in the way it treats supervillains. This is obviously a comment on the media we have today and is a fun read. (Neil Gaiman was a journalist before he moved in to writing.)

Pavane (Poison Ivy: Origins) is interesting, but personally my least favourite of the four stories collected in this edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funeral for a friend, 12 Nov 2009
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
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As the original line of Detective Comics came to an end, Neil Gaiman was asked to write the eulogy to the Dark Knight and, for better or worse, this is it. A two-issue send-off for everyone's favourite superhero, the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the Batman.

Gaiman creates an ingenious setup for the final Batman story. The spirit of Batman/Bruce Wayne presides over a funeral service where all of his rogues gallery, close friends and family, show up to tell their version of how Batman died - and each version is different, to reflect the numerous stories told over the years in Detective Comics. Catwoman and Alfred both get space to tell their stories in full, but Alfred's was the best - impossible, but still brilliant and momentarily chilling. That sneaky butler...

Andy Kubert's art is fantastic and imaginatively chosen. I loved the way he alternated between the many designs for Batman's appearance, paying tribute to the different artists' depictions of him through the decades, as well as drawing different versions of the famous villains too.

While the story has some great moments - in particular the scene when Bruce goes back to Crime Alley, the place where Batman was born, to end it - it doesn't feel like a Batman story despite having the features of one. People read Batman for the action, adventure, the mystery and the sleuthing - none of that is part of this rather slow-moving story. So while it's a clever idea and visually superb, it's not the most interesting Batman book to read.

But then it was never going to go down perfectly was it? Gaiman and Kubert were given the thankless task of putting to bed a game-changing line of comics and pretend to bury the most famous superhero of all time - this book was never going to satisfy the fans because no book could. Despite this, it's not a terrible story - nor a brilliant one. It's a story. It adds to the hundreds of Batman stories that are out there, that are being written now, and that are waiting to be written.

Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader? Nothing and everything. And he keeps going.
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Batman Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader TP
Batman Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader TP by Neil Gaiman (Paperback - 28 July 2010)
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