Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Time and the Batman

IV. Time and the Batman
So this is where things gets tricky. After the events of Final Crisis, which I am not suggesting you read as it is not necessary for understanding Grant Morrison's run, the story splits in two; in Time and the Batman we see why. Time and the Batman is actually an extra long one-shot that Grant Morrison wrote, which is not connected with the rest of his series, and also the name of a trade that collects together Batman #700-#703. The Trade of Time and the Batman contains Time and the Batman, the two parts of R.I.P. - The Missing Chapters and another one-shot called The Great escape; it's tricky because Batman #701-702 (The Missing Chapters) are chronologically relevant here, whilst the others aren't. I suggest people read Batman #700-#702 here and leave Batman #703 until it becomes relevant later.
Time and the Batman isn't a vital read, but it is interesting non the less.
Time and the Batman is the story of one crime that spans the lives of three different Batmans; whilst the crime is solved by the second Batman the whole story isn't finished until the third. From Batman and Son we know that Damian Wayne becomes Batman in the future, but I don't want to ruin who the second Batman is for readers who do not already know. This extra long one-shot was meant to celebrate the seven hundredth issue of Batman and only it's characters and writer tie it into the rest of the series, it can easily be skipped or left until later. Something that does make this an interesting book is that, even though it was published as a one-shot, it contains art by five different artists.

R.I.P. - The Missing Chapters explains how Batman got into the predicament that he is in in Last Rites, from the ending of R.I.P., and briefly explains all you need to know of Batman's involvement in Final Crisis. I think that reading through The Missing Chapters means that you can avoid reading Final Crisis, unless of course you want to, and go onto the next step of Morrison's run. The first part of The Missing Chapters is pretty good but the second part, for those that have not read Final Crisis like myself, is a bit of a struggle; I think the second chapter is meant to refresh your memory rather than for those that missed Final Crisis completely. These, too, are probably skip-able for people with a limited budget, but it might make the leap to Batman and Robin unfathomable.

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