The conclusion to Batman RIP has finally arrived. Two months after the end of the story, and in a different comic altogether, yes, but the final fate of Batman is now (kinda) known. Spoilers, obviously.
As those who read this week's comics have apparently already seen, Bruce Wayne is dead. He died at the end of Final Crisis #6, meeting his end while trying to save the planet from evil god Darkseid in DC Comics' much-delayed blockbuster, and if you need proof of his demise, you not only see him being hit by Darkseid's Omega Beams, Superman appears on the last page holding his corpse. Case closed.
Or is it?
Aficionados of Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics - where Crisis' villain Darkseid comes from are somewhat familiar with the Omega Beams, and the effects they have on people. Particularly the effects they had on the title characters from Kirby's Forever People, in the sixth issue of that series, where they too were hit by the Omega Beams, and apparently died... only to be sent back in time, as was revealed in the next issue. While we're not sure what the explanation is for the skeleton in the Batman costume, we're sure of one thing: Somewhere, somewhen, Bruce Wayne is alive... and waiting for whenever DC Comics are ready to bring him back.
Final Crisis [DC Comics]