- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; De Luxe edition edition (22 April 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857682148
- ISBN-13: 978-0857682147
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 29 x 2.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,260,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne Hardcover – Special Edition, 22 Apr 2011
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|Hardcover, Special Edition, 22 Apr 2011||
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"Morrison has a hit on his hands..." --(Ain't It Cool News)
About the Author
Grant Morrison's credits include Arkham Asylum, JLA, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Invisibles and The Filth. Frazer Irving is a British artist known for the 2000 AD series Necronauts. He also worked on DC's The Authority: Scorched Earth and Marvel's Inhuman.
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I was very excited when I bought this particular instalment in the Batman chronology, as the idea of a Batman throughout the ages seemed like an interesting and fresh take on the best superhero. After a climatic battle with Darkseid, Bruce Wayne is rendered amnesiac and flung into the Stone Age, and is condemned to journey through time, all while trying to regain his memory. Upon reading it, I would have to conclude, however, that it's very much a mixed bag. The cover art promises a glimpse of a different Batman in each era, each visually echoing their particular setting, i.e a tribal, animal-skinned Dark Knight for the stone age. However, while some of this is indeed included in the story, such as the aforementioned caveman Batman and a Wild West, cowboy incarnation, they were for the most part short-lived. In the case of the impressive, Blackbeard-esque pirate Batman shown on the cover, he didn't appear once in the story! All of this I felt was rather misleading and disappointing. Also, those unfamiliar with the context of this saga will find some of the dialogue, particularly during the entropy station segments, rather confusing.
There are still strengths to this series though. As usual with Batman, the artwork is impressive and effectively engrosses you into the world it is portraying. The story, although short, is clever and suspenseful, and Morrison, ever a talented and witty writer, packs it full of references, clues and cameos (two of which that stuck out for me were a laughing caveman named Joker and Jonah Hex as the villain of the cowboy section "Dark Knight, Dark Rider").
All in all, a serviceable enough instalment, but I can't help but fell that The Return of Bruce Wayne didn't quite live up to it's potential. It could have been an epic Assassin's Creed-style historical tale of Batman through the ages, but what we got instead was a good-but-not-great offering that feels a tad rushed and needed bulking out.
Despite my sarcasm above, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne isn't too bad. It's not the greatest Bat-work, but it's an interesting romp through time and space. It also hammers home the fact that Bruce Wayne IS Batman.