Jun 14, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 476: Batman #683, January 2009
"This Batman has a reputation," Mokkari tells Simyan at one point in this issue. At which point I thought, "Well, if you know his reputation, how can you possibly think that what you're doing will work?"
Of course, it doesn't. This issue fills in the action implied in Final Crisis of Mokkari and Simyan's failure to create an army of clone warriors fueled by Batman's pain and grief, emotions that they find, too late, that Bruce turns into weapons in and of themselves.
It's been a long while since I read this comic, and I'd forgotten the beauty of the final two pages. I'm going to quote them in full here. Bear in mind, this is the last issue before we come to Final Crisis #6, a moment of finality in Batman's existence. But in these last two pages, narrated by Alfred, Morrison shows us the same kind of understanding of Batman that All-Star Superman shows us of the Big Blue Boyscout.
"'Alfred,' he said not long ago. 'If anyone ever asks for an obituary, tell them Batman's big secret was the classic whodunnit?
'Only it's not about who killed Batman but who kept him alive all these years.'
And he stopped there, leaving the rest to me.
The whereabouts of Batman remain unknown.
...I can see him now, in the grip of implacable forces, innumerable foes.
Somewhere without hope.
In a place where all seems lost.
And I know this...
The enemy will look away, just for a moment, underestimating him for that single fraction of a second too long.
And no matter how dark the night...
...there will be no hiding place for evil."
That just about says it all.