It sounds like the Masked Manhunter's past life is going to be made silly again
What will happen next is important for the character, but just as important is what has come before. The past is prologue, as they say, and Morrison considers every Caped Crusader story going back to 1939 true in its own way:If this is how things turn out, they'll be doing to Batman what Marvel did to Kang the Conqueror when, in 1986, during an adventure the Avengers had in Limbo, Immortus tricked Kang into grabbing hold of a sphere containing the past memories of all the other Kangs from alternate timelines he'd sought to get rid of (which can be read about in the Kang: Time and Time Again trade, which I own), which sent him nuts, at least for awhile. The only difference is that if DC, and Morrison, do as this suggests, it'll be too silly for words, and downright pointless. Even if it all turns out to be just hallucinations.
"'Batman R.I.P.' incorporates the sum total of the experiences that made (Batman) the character we're familiar with today. Of course, he's had too many adventures to reasonably fit into one man's life, but many of them have covered the same ground and can be considered en masse.
"I divided various decades into the years of a roughly 35-ish Batman's life and found that the whole story considered as a 70-year-long publishing 'arc' has all the highs and lows of someone's real life story, with appropriate emotional markers along the way. The whole obsessive backstory with the three Robins is amazing to consider just on its own.
"Seen this way, Batman's entire life becomes a crazed plunge downwards into increasingly more difficult, bleaker scenarios. He's really had a hell of a time and most of that within the last 20 years. There are so many different strands to follow when you take the approach that it all happened."
"All" meaning every story, no matter how goofy, weird or laughable. Morrison has incorporated absurd science-fiction Bat-stories from the '50s, ridiculous Bat-spinoffs like Batwoman and Bat-Mite, even a throwaway bit about a temporary police commissioner from 1947 ("Detective" No. 121).
During the 70s, DC had wanted to make Batman more plausible and serious. Now, as with many other heroes in their stable, they're doing the exact opposite.
Most significant, though, are the many stories of Batman's brain on drugs. Morrison continues:Are they saying Batman, with all his riches and intellect, doesn't have what it takes to research and brew up counterchemicals, among other medicines, that can protect him from negative effects of these various poisons? There's something not right about this.
"In 'Batman' Nos. 682-683, for instance, you'll see some interesting theories about Batman's regular and repetitive contact with chemicals of various kinds -- poisons, hallucinogens, sedatives and stimulants -- which has been a recurring feature of his adventures since the very first published exploit, 'The Case of the Chemical Syndicate' (in 'Detective' No. 27, 1939). That's an aspect of the overall mythos I didn't think had been examined a great deal, so I staked the territory for myself and used it to help build and deepen Batman's character, and to explain certain anomalies in plots or behavior."
And at the end, we'll see why Bruce Wayne is Batman -- just as he stops being Batman.And what's that meant to imply? That Bruce Wayne is...crazy? Sorry, but by now, if that's what they're insinuating, it'll only add insult to injury.