Recently reviewed by me at CBR: Batman #681 about which I write the following sentences: "Is this issue a satisfying conclusion to 'Batman R.I.P.'? Yes, as the events of recent issues are explained and put into context more explicitly. But yet we're left with plenty of unanswered questions about the larger picture, and the final few sequences seem too abrupt, as if we're flashing toward too many previews of things to come even as some of the dangling threads have been left unresolved."
Read the entire review HERE.
Note: I stand by this spoiler-free review, even though I do say that the "true identity of Dr. Hurt" is revealed. I'm not sure I would say that anymore, because the more I've thought about it, the more I realize how ambiguous the reveal is. When I read it (twice) right before writing my review, it seemed pretty clear that Hurt was being revealed as the Devil. But as you can see even in the review, I conceded that we were left with many unanswered questions.
I do think Batman #681 is a three-and-a-half-star book, since it does plenty of things really well (basically all of the Joker stuff until his ambulance-fall-off-the bridge, the Club of Heroes arrival, the super-plans of the Batman, the flashback with the poison, the betting on Batman, the Zur En Arrh/Zorro in Arkham bit) and other things not so well (the rushed fragments of ending, the lack of a resolution or full explanation, some of the artwork). Still, as I mentioned in a comment on my annotations, I think Batman has been "by far" the best Marvel or DC ongoing series over the past six months. There's more to discuss in any single issue of this series than in a year's worth of other mainstream comics. And anything that provokes thought and discussion is better than something that doesn't as far as I'm concerned.