Batman: What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

Batman #686

Cover Date: April 2009
Subtitle: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? part 1 of 2
Writer(s): Neil Gaiman
Artists(s): Andy Kubert, Scott Williams
Storyline: Batman saw his city, thinking he was dead. He saw Selina Kyle - not the one he knew, but he seemed to know her anyway - walk into an inn. She was greeted by Joe Chill - who Batman knew to be dead - then Alfred. He showed her Batman's body. Two-Face was next to show up, followed by Commissioner and Barbara Gordon, Riddler, Joker, Harley, Ivy, and Kirk Langstrom.
Selina Kyle, old and grey - not the one he'd seen before, walked to his casket and spoke: She'd met him "a couple of years before Pearl Harbor." Their relationship had been strange, she eventually gave up her life of crime for him and helped run other criminals away. He did not approve of her methods. Later, she opened a pet store and he came to her for help. She tied him up and let him bleed to death.
Alfred was next to speak. He'd been an actor who joined the Wayne family after his father's death. After Thomas and Martha were killed, Bruce began training and eventually donned the cape and cowl. He wasn't happy until Alfred called his old friends and creates villains for him, including himself as the Joker. Eddie Nash, the Riddler, eventually snapped and shot him in the face.


Detective #853

Cover Date: April 2008
Subtitle: What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader? part 2 of 2
Writer(s): Neil Gaiman
Artists(s): Andy Kubert, Scott Williams
Storyline: The stories continued on - Batman knowing them all, but not knowing if they were him. Poison Ivy. Azrael. Batgirl. Mad Hatter. Joker. Robin. Clayface. Harvey Bullock. Ra's al Ghul. Superman. They all had different stories of his death.
Batman went through a door and realized he'd been speaking with his mother. He saw more things from his childhood, then said goodbye to his life again before being reborn.


Wizard # 208


notes

  • This seems to Batman reliving his many lives - both true and not. The Omega Sanction that Darksied hit him with before he was killed traps the organism in a series of alternate realities, each worse than the previous one. Also, the ability has been shown to transport those struck by it through time and space. [source]
  • The cover to Wizard Magazine #208 was used as the cover for the collected edition.