Well, I didn't get a chance to go to my normal place to pick up comics, so I had to settle for somewhere a little closer to home, which orders mostly for their regulars and only has a small number of titles ordered in abundance... but, I still managed to get my mitts on both of the issues I was really itching for, Batman #681 and JSA: The Kingdom.
And I've just got to say, while I thought this conclusion to "Batman R.I.P." was effective in painting Bruce Wayne in an almost indomitable light (even where Joker is concerned), with plenty of good scenes for every member of the supporting cast, what it doesn't do is Conclude "Batman R.I.P.!" What, exactly was ended by the issue? In hindsight, knowing Grant Morrison, this shouldn't be a surprise. But still, do we know Dr. Hurt is not Thomas Wayne? Do we know where the organization started or where Dr. Hurt first felt the need to break the bat? Do we even know if Batman is still alive? Morrison has said the Batman we see in "Final Crisis" is Bruce, and that "Final Crisis" takes place after "R.I.P.," but still, why the lack of a resolution? Why the lack of an epilogue? And if he still is alive, then why do we flash forward six months at the end?
Later on tonight, if I have time, I am actually going to go back and re-read this whole set in hopes of gaining some insight... but I kind of doubt it. If anyone would like to help explain what I'm missing, I'd be happy to learn. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to keep reading.
JSA was a much stronger read, meaning all three of the JSA specials this month failed to disappoint, something you don't normally see from one special, let alone a string of them. This issue centers around the question of the nature of Gog's Miracles, spending a good deal of time on Damage and his new face. The kid has quickly lost sight of all he learned with Liberty Bell and Hourman, and that's especially evident in his actions here. The issue also slightly advances Starman's storyline, something I am eagerly learning more about.
All in all, these specials were a great idea. Where they altogether necessary? No, but in every issue, more was fleshed out about a key player in this game, first Supes, then Magog, and now Damage. More importantly, I feel like Geoff Johns finally has the JSA back up to the momentum he established in the opening months of this series. In two issues, this whole "Kingdom Come" business will be behind us, and while I am just as excited as anyone to move on from the lengthy storyline, I have a feeling history will look back favorably on this dozen-plus issue run.