Death of the Dark Knight
Final Crisis claims a hero.
by Jesse Schedeen
January 14, 2009 - Spoiler Alert: Those with an aversion to spoilers, and moreover, those who read things that say "Spoiler Warning" can keep on reading only so they have something to bitch about later in the Comments, should really look the other way. Right about now...
A hallmark of any event comic is a string of major deaths. Civil War led to the assassination of Captain America. Infinite Crisis culminated with the death of Superboy. World War Hulk... did something to the Hulk. We're still trying to figure that one out.
Final Crisis has had its own share of deaths so far, but the big kahuna came with Final Crisis #6 today. If you haven't read issue six yet, you had best turn away now. We're about to get spoileriffic.
For those that have read the issue, or just don't care to, let us all light a candle in memory of Bruce Wayne, Gotham's silent protector. DC promised Final Crisis #6 would reveal the "final fate" of the Caped Crusader, and boy, it sure did. If we're to believe that last page, Batman is nothing but a corpse now.
To recap: Last year, Batman was embroiled in a storyline called Batman R.I.P. In this story, a secretive organization knows as The Black Glove plotted to destroy Batman from the inside out. Many readers assumed Bruce would not make it out of this struggle alive, but he proved them wrong. Final Crisis began shortly thereafter. A battered but very much alive Batman was investigating the murder of the New God known as Orion, when he was ambushed by Darkseid's followers.
Since then, Batman found himself strapped to one of Darkseid's torture machines, which has forced him to relive his past memories as it attempts to replicate an entire army of Batmen. Fortunately, Bats overwhelmed his captors and retrieved his trusty utility belt. The belt concealed the same bullet that killed Orion. Batman loaded a gun and, breaking a rule he has adhered to since the deaths of his parents, shot Darkseid dead.
Unfortunately, he wasn't quite fast enough to prevent his own death. Darkseid fired his own Omega Sanction beams at the Caped Crusader, vaporizing him seconds after Darkseid himself fell.
You don't get much deader than being flash-fried by Omega Beams.
Many assumed Batman would die, and it turns out he just had one last fight in him before heading to the great Batcave in the sky.
As we all mourn for the greatest crime fighter who ever donned a cape and tights, we also look ahead to what happens next.