Batman deadHoly sales gimmick! Batman’s dead.

Well about as dead as Jason Todd.

The Batman R.I.P. story arc concluded this week with (if true) the lamest superhero death ever.

Batman escapes being buried alive in a straitjacket only to die punching his way into a helicopter, which crashes into the water and explodes. Flash-forward 6 months and we see one of the men responsible bragging that Batman (and Robin?) is dead just before a Bat-signal shines down on him. Of course that Bat-signal could be from anyone, maybe even a new Batman.

Perhaps Dick will take up the mantle. After all, Barbara Gordon recently commented how the jaded Nightwing was sounding more like Batman. Another possibility is the return of Azrael, which has already been heavily hinted at with notes on Rip Hunter’s chalkboard reading “Jean Paul Valley Lives!” & “Azrael comes and goes.” Azrael’s reflection was even on the cover of Gotham Underground #8. And with Batgirl in the process of recruiting multiple people to fill in for the Gotham’s protector, can there be any doubt what’s coming…

Reign of the Batmen!

And just like in Reign of the Supermen! the real deal will eventually return to stop an evil cyborg batman (i.e. ReMAC). But Batman isn’t Superman. He can’t just soak up some rays and come back to life. He must still be alive but where is here?

Well the epilogue reveals that the phrase “Zur-En-Arrh” which triggered Batman’s psychedelic alternate personality “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh” originates from Bruce mishearing his father say “they’d probably throw someone like Zorro in Arkham.” Could this be a hint that we’ll be seeing Batman incarcerated at Arkham? Perhaps to prove that he’s not Batman while a substitute takes his place. There’s even a video game due out next year called Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Who’s the world’s greatest detective now?

Me that’s who!