book review: whatever happened to the caped crusader?

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is Neil Gaiman’s story about the funeral of Batman. It came out at a time when Batman had been “killed,” but this story, because it is a Neil Gaiman story, is full of stories.

Everyone talks about how Batman died, his allies, his enemies, and they’re all different. Batman himself narrates the tale from a confused ghost-like vantage point. “How can all the stories be true?” he asks. And really, this is one of the big meta-questions of superhero comics. So much happens to these characters it seems insane that they could survive them all without going insane.

The other parts included in this volume are some old Neil Gaiman Batman stories, which, well, whatever. I did like Batman and Joker hanging out in the green room before their pages, but they did feel like filler, extraneous to the idea I wanted to think harder on. But you need to feel you got your money’s worth I suppose.

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