Mr. Lacer’s birthday present from me was rather late this year, but in my defence they’ve only just released this, and I knew this was worth waiting for. Both me and Mr. Lacer are massive fans of Neil Gaiman (in fact, hold the front pages, Mr. Lacer recently shocked me by actually going out and buying a book, all by himself, bless, he only normally buys Terry Pratchett and even then he hopes someone else will buy it for him, he normally just reads a select few of my cast me downs, namely anything by Neil Gaiman and Dexter, but he got tired of waiting for me to buy Gaiman’s Fragile Things, so he brought it, he would have brought Stardust to, but it didn’t have the right cover . . .), anyway, me and Mr. Lacer are big fans of Neil Gaiman, we both read his blog, so off course we knew that he’d been asked to write the final Batman, we didn’t go as far as getting the comic when it came out but I was rather pleased to find out that it was coming out later as a book.
So, Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? is a lovely, shiny, hardbacked copy of parts 1 and 2 of the final story, illustrated by Andy Kubert. It also includes a further three Batman stories, also written by Gaiman; A Black and White World, Pavane and Original Sins, which has When is a Door? within that story. This was my first experience of any of Gaiman’s comic writing, it feels sort of wrong that I’m not breaking my teeth on Sandman first, the series he’s most famed on, but the price of those books (although understandable, they’re big books, puts me off), so some Batman was a good start. I really liked Whatever Happened?, it looked at how all the people in Batman’s life saw him and how death wasn’t necessarily big, it can happen with the small things to, like being shot trying to stop in a street robbery or drowning in an attempt to save a child, (which of course in real life, to real people, those things would be epic but when you’re Batman and you’re used to being inches away from death from god knows what, they’re little).
Out of the other stories, I really liked A Black and White World, an interesting take on comics, were the Batman and the Joker are behind the scenes of the comic in the green room, practising their lines. The other two stories didn’t really feature Batman at all, concentrating instead on the villains and how they effected other people.
Now, I just have to wait for Mr. Lacer to finish Fragile Things, it could be a while . . .