Thursday, May 27, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frazier Irving
Lettered by Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by Andy Kubert, Frazier Irving

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
It’s nice to see Morrison bringing things together from his highly successful “Final Crisis” series.  Wayne, still unsure of who he is and where he comes from, embarks on a 17th century, Puritan adventure where his forgotten detective skills begin to resurface in his mind.  Many of the confusing clues left behind by Wayne (unintentionally left mind you) in Morrison’s Batman and Robin series are coming to light one step at a time.  It’s evident that as he travels forward in time, his memory fades away, hindering him from remembering his Batman persona.  While he continues his current mystery, decking out his pilgrim attire, Superman and company find themselves at Vanishing Point in hopes they can discover where their long lost friend is.

While I enjoyed this issue, it did take a while for the story to become exciting.  The story’s set up took a little longer than necessary, plus I found myself continually wondering which one was Mordecai (the name Wayne goes by in this time period) and which was this mysterious, “Feisty Christy” [Christ – ie] keeper of the law.  I’m sure the similar facial features and body structure was a purposeful approach, but this made the first half of the book quite confusing and unnecessarily boring.  The second half of this issue however does pick up and really begins to get at the heart of what Morrison is trying to do.  It’s obvious Morrison either did his homework, or is already well educated in the subject of history because of the religious intolerance, the reaction to those “sketchy” individuals, and the fear of witchcraft permeates all throughout this RoBW installment.  I had hoped Morrison would delve into this 17th century focus a little more, but with the complexity of this story arc, I don’t think it would work like Morrison would want it too.

You might find yourself a little tuckered out by the hefty and loaded dialogue at Vanishing Point where Superman, Green Lantern, and Booster Gold attempt to stop the “archivist” from destroying time.  If you haven’t read final crisis, or aren’t currently reading something related to Batman’s disappearance, this series of segments might become dull and meaningless for you.  However, it does allow for some of the missing and confusing pieces from Final Crisis to be placed appropriately in its slot.  And of course, the revelation of our archivist’s identity was a nice twist.

The art isn’t my personal preference however it fits within the theme of the story.  The dark, painted atmosphere portrays the sinister nature of this society quite well.  For me, I didn’t enjoy the over shadowing of each character and their inconsistency body structures.  I’m not sure I would want a steady diet of Irving’s artistry (which I’m sure to get in Batman & Robin really soon) but this wasn’t at all bad as a one time thing.

I was confused by the significance of Annie.  She seemed to be at one with the mythological realm, but carried the symbol of Superman and Wonder Woman around her neck.  I’ll give this some time, but I can’t seem to grasp how this could be possible and didn’t see how it related to the story.  Hopefully Morrison lets some things out of the water soon.

My Profoundly Climactic Conclusion
A good issue.  It takes some time to get really engaging, but does provide a good chunk of juicy meat for this story.

Writing: 7
Themes: 7
Art: 8.5
Overall: 7.5 out of 10

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