Batman #686

Writer: Neil Gaiman Artist: Andy Kubert Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: February 11, 2009 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 15 User Reviews: 9
8.5Critic Rating
8.6User Rating

"Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" part 1 of 2! Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN) and superstar artist Andy Kubert (BATMAN, Marvel 1602) join forces for a special 2-part BATMAN event! "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" is a captivating and mysterious tale the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, Gaiman leaves no stone unturned as he explores every facet and era of Bruce Wayne's life.

  • 10
    Major Spoilers - Stephen Schleicher Feb 11, 2009

    I'm enjoying Gaiman's take on the classic "How I Killed the Batman" tales. I enjoyed the heft of the issue thanks to the extra pages, and didn't even mind the $3.99 cover price. The art is fantastic beyond belief - although I've been an Andy Kubert fan since his Adam Strange days. If you are going to buy one Batman title this year - Batman #686 is it, as it earns a well deserved 5 out of 5 Stars. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comics Bulletin - Thom Young Feb 15, 2009

    The overall effect of the Boccaccio- and/or Chaucer-inspired narrative coupled with the fluidic quality of the legendary tales of Batmans demise work together to reveal the mythic nature of Batman. The level of Gaiman's achievement makes me confident that (despite my reaction to his Snow White radio drama and his other recent comic book works) Gaiman really is the great writer that I believed him to be almost 20 years ago. This issue (plus it's conclusion in Detective Comics #853 next month) is a story that everyone should add to his or her library. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Comic Book Revolution - Rokk Krinn Feb 14, 2009

    Batman #868 was an excellent issue. I urge you to run, not walk, to your local comic shop and pick up this issue immediately. Batman #868 is certainly worth the cover price. You will be rewarded with a story that is well crafted and completely captivating from start to finish. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Feb 12, 2009

    We only have half the story here, but it'll leave you begging for more, and wondering, "What did happen?" Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The Weekly Crisis - Kirk Warren Feb 11, 2009

    One thing to note about the issue before making any judgements is that this is only the first half of the story and seems to be grounded in mostly preCrisis era stories, barring the "I'm the goddamn Riddler!" line, and we still have the concluding chapter (delayed until March thanks to Kubert's involvement) to look forward to. So, at that, I'll leave most of the speculation and comparisons to Moore's work until we see how this turns out before making anymore bold claims about this issue. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics Bulletin - Dave Wallace Feb 15, 2009

    Still, on the strength of this issue, I think that I would have rather read Gaimans complete story through in one sitting--but perhaps thats more of an indicator of how much I enjoyed it than anything else. This is one of the best issues of Batman to have been published in a long time (and coming from a big fan of Grant Morrisons run, thats quite a compliment). Hopefully, we wont have too long to wait before the concluding chapter arrives. Read Full Review

  • 8.9
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Feb 11, 2009

    Daniel's Score 8.9 Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    X-Man's Comic Blog - x-man75 Mar 3, 2009

    The whole comic was just so surreal, I couldn't help but to like it, even though I really didn't have a clue as to what was going on. This was one strange comic book... Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics Bulletin - Thom Young Feb 15, 2009

    [Editors Note: Most (if not all) of the following reviews contain spoilers. Thus, you should read them at your own risk if you have not yet read this issue and want to be surprised by certain events.] Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics Bulletin - Paul Brian McCoy Feb 15, 2009

    My only complaint is that it's broken into two parts for no real reason. It would be much better served as a double-sized issue that tells the tale from start to finish. I wonder if it will eventually be collected by itself or grouped with other stories? It would make a nice, but slim, hardback volume. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics Bulletin - Kyle Garret Feb 15, 2009

    Ill be honest: I feel a little bad about reviewing this story after only the first part. The fine line I keep mentioning could go astray in the next issue. But I have more faith in this creative team than that; this issue alone gives them plenty of rope to run with as far as Im concerned. Heres hoping the second half of this story is as enjoyable as the first. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comics Bulletin - Jon Judy Feb 15, 2009

    Ah, perhaps, if there is a comic book shop in the Dreaming, we may still get to read it someday. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Chad Nevett Feb 11, 2009

    While the style may differ, like Moore's ode to Superman, Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert deliver the first part of what looks to be an homage to the past seven decades of Batman stories. The mystery of what's going on may drive the plot, but the stories of how others view the Dark Knight are the real core of this story. Fans of Morrison's run will certainly enjoy what's going on and, hopefully, everyone else will, too. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Feb 18, 2009

    The title of this story is meant to put us in mind of Alan Moore's classic "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" two-part Superman story from 1986. As a result, some will be tempted to compare the two, but it isn't merited. Gaiman's taken a much different approach in his construction of a "final" Batman story. There's a surreal, fluid and impermanent tone at play rather than an authoritative, climactic one. It seems pretty clear to me that Gaiman is taking something of a Frank Capra-esque approach to the subject matter, walking the title character through possibilities and alternate visions of his own life and times. As his guide, I'm guessing he's got Death, the popular Endless character Gaiman created for Sandman #8 a couple of decades ago. The tone of the Batman's guide's narration, coupled with the silhouette at the end of the book, would seem to me to make it obvious Gaiman has incorporated his cute goth vision of the Grim Reaper into this story. In fact, it's so obvious, I Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Raymond Hilario Feb 11, 2009

    “Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader” is off to a not so memorable start. The portrayal and “revelation” of certain characters will never be remembered, as their depiction tampers with history; making you wonder if this is some “What If” story. Also the focus on the multiple perceptions of the Dark Knight isn't a memorial of the past's numerous renditions of Batman. It's a rehashed concept all packed neatly in one book. We've seen this done before in Warren Ellis' “Planetary/ BatmanNight on Earth,” but I guess we can see how Neil Gaiman does it. So expect to hear more eulogies and more stories that summon the Batman from different eras. However as of right now, this book is not measuring up to Moore's notable tale, which makes the title undeserving. This tale is rather starting to look more like a mere “imaginary story;” an account that fans DON'T HAVE TO exactly consider canonical with the Batman lore. Read Full Review

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