Review – Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

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We knew this would happen the second he was presented as “dead.”  Sooner or later, Bruce Wayne would return.  Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 by DC is the beginning of the journey as Wayne begins his journey through time.  Written by Grant Morrison there’s a lot I liked about the series, and a lot I hated.

The problem as a whole for DC, to me, is the history is very dense.  If you don’t know it, there’s a lot you don’t get.  This knowledge of continuity often makes or breaks issues, and in this case it comes close to breaking it.

The issue picks up on the heals of Final Crisis.  The series picks up as Bruce is paying his respects to Anthro as Anthro’s tribe investigates who the mysterious man in the cave is.  It’s another Morrison take on the superhero mythology and man vs. god.  The problem is, if you didn’t read Final Crisis, this would go over your head.

There’s other references to earlier Morrison work that he’s been building upon, and if you know those, you’ll really dig this.  If you don’t, or know some, you might not enjoy it as much.

It’s the perfect example of “DC dense.”  Here’s hoping for a more open and accessible Batman post his return.

Plot: Morrison does a lot that’s great here.  Anthro’s tribe is very distinct in their speech patterns and the language barrier is set up in a cool way between them and Wayne showing the issues they have.  The Savages are also set up quite well in this way.  There’s a interesting twist towards the end that makes this mini series not as quite straight forward as you’d think.  Overall, I think this will be a limited series that will have to be judged not by a single issue, but the work as a whole.  Rating: 7.5

Art: I dug Chris Spouse’s pencils and the inking by Karl Story and coloring from Guy Major adds to it.  There’s just enough details, but it’s not over powering.  Each issue will have a different artist as Wayne travels through time, so it’ll be interesting to see how they compare to each other.  But Spouse was a very nice start to get it going.  Rating. 8.25

Overall: I really wanted to like this series.  But not being immersed in DC mythology my enjoyment was handicapped.  The issue was enjoyable nonetheless and I want to see how the next five issues goes knowing a lot is going over my head.  And that says something good about it right?  Overall rating: 7.75

Recommendation: Buy if you’re a die hard Batman or DC fan

Page count: 38 pages    Price: $3.99     Release: Wednesday 5/12/2010

DC provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.