Nice work, Matt.
And you're absolutely correct: DC dropped the ball on this.
Comparing the two deaths is also apropos. The Death of Superman had meaning and weight. Sure, Doomsday came out of nowhere, but he ran through everyone and everything that stood in his way. He was set up to be shown he was a bad motor-scooter. The Batman death couldn't have lived up to that.
Batman had another thing going against it, too. Don't forget, readers have gone down the path of a Wayne-less Batman before. Don't forget Knightfall, when Bane broke the back of the Bat. Essentially, DC is retreading common ground with all of this, which is why readers have a sense of ennui. Literally, it's already been done. We had Azreal as the Bat for what, six months?, before Bruce was on his quest to regain his cowl.
So, yes, there was a great opportunity missed by DC with this. If it was an epic story, it would have been much better. Instead, they let Grant be Grant, and got a muddled "event" for their trouble.
Morrison is a genius, no doubt, but he's hit or miss. I still contend that The Filth is either pure garbage, or it's too smart for me to fathom. I quite honestly don't know.
I'd say that Marvel has been firing on all cylinders as of late. I'm talking the past few years. They've done a better job in revitalizing themselves than DC has. You may not have liked the stories, but you have to admit that for their universe, the landscape has dramatically changed. DC? Not so much.
If prices were better, I wouldn't hesitate to start someone on just about any Marvel book right now. DC? Maybe the Green Lantern. That speaks volumes to me.
DC needs to get on the stick in order to truly be Marvel's Distinguished Competition.
Again, nice column.