Chapter by Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
You know, I’m just not in the mood to discuss death and mourning like I have been. Death is a part of life. It’s unavoidable, whether we die of natural or unnatural causes. (Or in the DC universe possibly supernatural.) Mourning is also important. It helps us to accept that death has happened, that someone we love and care about is no longer with us and our lives have to go on. And yet at some point we do have to go on. This may be an opening better served in the third arc, but you can focus too much on death that you never really live.
Take Batman for example. Actually, first take Spider-Man. Peter Parker became Spider-Man due to an accident but didn’t really become a hero until his uncle died. He also lost his fiance, which sent him into an emotional spiral for a while, but he ended up finding someone else, marrying (though Marvel wants to forget that–TOO BAD!), and living his life. Bruce Wayne on the other hand never really did. He had Alfred and later the various Robins and Batgirls to pull him from the edge (although some writers want to keep pushing him towards that edge), but the “millionaire playboy” persona is just an act, a way to help Gotham in ways a costumed vigilante can’t and to fund said costumed vigilante’s activities. But even in his purest incarnations, not too far over the edge that he’s dangerous to himself as well as others but not so far over that his adventures are downright silly (well, maybe a little silly on occasion to break up the tension) Batman is the “real” identity, an obsession of a boy who couldn’t save his parents to try to keep other children from suffering the same tragedy. Crimes that mirror his own victimhood tend to bother him more than any other because it’s more personal. He never can find love except with someone just as obsessed as he is or at least willing to accept that part of him. Really I don’t see this upcoming marriage to Selina going well. I could be wrong, since it worked in an alternate reality or two.
But right now this book is still in the grieving chapter, as characters come together to deal with their loss. The body is buried but the man who used to inhabit it was already gone. So….what now?
Chapter 14: Funeral For A Friend part 4