Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Comic Batman reaches end of road

Batman RIP (image courtesy of DC comics)
Bruce Wayne has fought crime in the comics since 1939

Warning: If you do not want to know about the plot of Batman RIP, stop reading now.


Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne has apparently been killed off in the latest issue of the superhero comic.

Scottish writer Grant Morrison revealed earlier this year that Wayne would either retire or be killed in a clash with crime syndicate Black Glove.

The story - Batman RIP - sees Batman shot by villain Simon Hurt, who claims to be Wayne's father Dr Thomas Wayne.

Morrison told BBC News there would be "a lot more twists and turns to come" before the story was finally resolved.

'Definitive story'

"It's great that it stirs up such passion," he said.

"Nobody loves Bruce Wayne more than me, and I hope everybody understands that this is part of the great ongoing adventure of Batman."

The caped crusader first appeared in comics in 1939, and has spawned a 1960s TV series and a host of films.

The "death" of Wayne's father - shot alongside his mother by a robber when he was a boy - was the catalyst for the young industrialist to become the vigilante crime fighter Batman.

In the final scene, Hurt tries to escape in a helicopter after shooting Batman.

But the wounded superhero throws himself at the helicopter, causing it to crash. The comic story ends without a frame showing Wayne's body, however.

Batman
Bruce Wayne has fought crime in the comics since 1939

Morrison, from Glasgow, told BBC News on Friday that the next two issues of the Batman comic would see a "summing up" of the superhero's career before "the absolute, final fate" of Bruce Wayne was revealed in a sister publication, Final Crisis, in January.

"It's the end of a story that goes back to 2005, a story to tell the definitive story of Batman," he explained.

"We wanted to see what would happen if the most evil, richest people in the world decided they didn't like Batman, and decided to take him apart piece by piece and destroy him.

"And then have Batman come back, and we could see why he's so great," added Morrison.

The storyline included clues which dated back to Batman comics from 40 years ago, he added.

Wayne may be dead, but publisher DC Comics shows no sign of bringing to an end the Batman franchise.

Frontrunners to take over as Batman include Tim Drake, who has been Robin since 1991, and Dick Grayson - the original Boy Wonder - who now protects Gotham City as Nightwing.

It is not the first time a superhero has met an unfortunate end in the comic world.

Last year, Captain America was killed after being shot by a sniper in New York.

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