It’s kind of sad to see a comic book pretty much meet your worst expectation, but that was Batman #701, the first part of two “missing chapters” that bridge the gap between Batman RIP and Final Crisis.
The problem is, of course, that writer Grant Morrison already DID that in Batman #682-683, making at least this first issue pretty pointless – which is, I’m sure, what most folks felt when they read the solicit in the first place (“Why do they think this story needs telling?”).
I mean, it’s still well told (Morrison goes in depth into Bruce Wayne’s personality, which was nice), but it’s a well told reiteration of what Morrison has already told us in Batman #682-683 – only taking 22 pages to tell just the FIRST part of the story when it took, like, five pages TOTAL to tell the tale in Batman #682-683.
I suppose DC just had a gap in the Batman schedule and they wanted to fill it without conflicting with Morrison’s current stories in Batman and Robin, which is fair enough, but why not just have Morrison and artist Tony Daniel do a completely untold tale? A two-parter telling the story of some untold Batman adventure would have been a lot better than re-telling a “missing” tale that wasn’t actually missing. If it is responding to people who complained about the lack of an super duper extremely straightforward “What happens between RIP and Final Crisis #6” story, then, well, A. Who cares about those people? and B. why address it over a year and a half later?!?
It’s particularly odd coming from Morrison, who has not “wasted” a single issue of Batman or Batman and Robin until this point. Maybe #702 will have some great twist that will make up for #701 and the two-parter will be ultimately worth it, but it sure is not off to a good start.