For everyone who ever thought that the George Clooney outing as the Caped Crusader, Batman and Robin, would be the dumbest Batman story ever told, longtime Batman writer Grant Morrison would like to prove you wrong. By the way, if you don't want this story spoiled -- even though I think it's got high enough levels of silly-toxin to be spoil-proof -- don't read on past the gap.
OK, still here? Well, according to this story, Bruce Wayne will lay down his cape and cowl, and thus "die" as Batman, after being shot by his father, Dr. Thomas Wayne. Yup, you know, the Thomas Wayne whose death when Bruce was nine caused the young man to develop an obsessive thirst for justice. That same thirst drove him to his double life as Batman. See, ol' Tom apparently faked his death and, well, who cares because this is beyond dumb, even when we consider we are not dealing with the most logically coherent of media, the comic book.
Of course, since we're talking about a comic book character, chances are good he'll come back. After all, Bruce Wayne has handed off his cape and cowl before, when he was badly injured by the criminal Bane in the Knightfall storyline. In the end, this is likely to be another so-called "stunt" story, like Knightfall or the Death of Superman tale from 1992. And again, in comic books as in soap operas, death is only temporary, so all of the "end of Bruce Wayne as Batman" talk coming from the publisher is very likely a lot of hooey.
But, whether it's "killed" or killed, the idea that Thomas Wayne is behind this ranks very high on the dumb-o-meter. Next we'll find out that Martha Wayne, Bruce's mom, didn't die either, and she sent herself forward in time to become Selina Kyle, the Catwoman. On the other hand, forget I said that. Morrison may go back to writing the title someday and it now seems likely he wouldn't understand it's a joke.