Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Penciled by Chris Sprouse
Colored by Guy Major
Inked by Karl Story
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Andy Kubert, Chris Sprouse

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
I can’t express my joy in seeing Chris Sprouse taking charge of the penciling duties.  I was bound and determined NOT to pick up any installments of this series since Morrison is writing it, but knowing Sprouse was adding his talents to the arc forced me into something I didn’t want to do, and it pays off!

Morrison continually finds ways of surprising me in his inability to write stories that make sense.  This issue starts off with the image of a rocket ship drilled into the Earth and Bruce Wayne standing among the cavemen triumphantly.  Did Bruce Wayne go back in time in a rocket ship?  I seem to recall an image where Bruce Wayne was struck by a powerful set of Darksied's dimension altering eye beams.

With Darksied’s Omega Beams being the obvious time traveling agent for Bruce Wayne, why is Morrison allowing us to think the contrary?  Having this inconsistent addition to the story allows him to use “Bat-like” devices and gadgets Wayne would have used to fight crime in his own time.  But many other questions arise; why was Superman’s cape in the rocket?  What was the dust coming from inside the compartment supposed to symbolize?  The continuity portion of the story in relation to the events of Final Crisis is lacking severely.

With that being said, I can’t deny the enjoyment I had in Morrison’s clever use of Dialogue (or lack thereof).  My first reaction to the cavemen’s unintelligible, yet coherent verbiage forced my left eyebrow to rise up in an inquisitive and questionable manner.  But once I saw how this was aiding the story, especially with Bruce Wayne’s slurred speech pattern, I understood what Morrison was trying to accomplish.  Will Wayne be continually learn and adopt different speech patterns as he travels through time?  At that same token, will the Joker and Robin appear in every time period?  Is Morrison trying to say that the Batman is timeless?  Will Batman have to stop a different version of the Joker continually in his travels?  Is being “Batman” a curse that will never leave Wayne no matter where or when he is?  Maybe Neil Gaiman’s “What ever happened to the Caped Crusader” story will correlate into the canonization of Batman folklore after all.

Like I say above, Chris Sprouse is my hero.  He isn’t the greatest artist of all time, but his art is definitely timeless.  He has that knack for creating visuals that resemble the classic art styles; Black blood spewing from Wayne’s mouth, the wooden body structures, it all works for him some how.  His experience working on Tom Strong definitely shows up here in fine form.  The inking was a little overdone at times, but not enough to become a distraction.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
Morrison sucks, but he certainly knows how to put an impression on his readers.  Even if you hate him with every fiber of your being, you can’t deny, he certainly has a vivid imagination.

Writing: 5
Themes: 8
Art: 9
Overall: 7.33 out of 10


  1. Tsk, tsk. You should know better than to judge Morrison on the first issue of anything he does because that pamphlet will always be his mindfuck before the grand revelation. Trust in the brilliant-minded man. Then again, perhaps that is just my own bias and opinions really are like assholes.

  2. I completely agree with you that Morrison's true colors don't come out until that very end, but I've never been a fan of Morrison's poor taste in storytelling. I feel his writing comes off more confusing than innovative.

  3. Fair enough. Though, I do agree with you on the art. Especially the image on page 32. Very strong.