Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Comic Book Review: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Penciled by Georges Jeanty
Inked by Walden Wong
Colors by Tony Avina
Letters by Travis Lanham
Cover by Andy Kubert & Cameron Stewart

My Awe-Inspiring Opinion
The mystery is beginning to unravel; with only two issues left, Morrison is beginning to shown signs of what this whole “Waynes throughout time” is all about. Our rip roarin’, Wild West Batman comes in contact with the descendants of himself and Mr. Vandal Savage, and the ever popular cowboy, Jonah Hex, brings in his own sense of twisted justice as well. Bruce attempts reclaiming a box with the bat symbol across the top which contains something quite valuable. But the evil doctor Wayne wants this box for himself as it is believed to contain great power. Now Bruce must fight his own blood (again) for the greater good.

Like everything Morrison does, issue #4 has a lot of confusion and strange continuity factors that don’t really add up. However, as unimpressed as I was with this chapter in the Return of Bruce Wayne, it is the better of the four books that have come out thus far. I was actually able to engage myself into the story and feel the sense of drama and angst with every page turn. Morrison did turn it over with this issue giving a truly dark storyline, but the mystery is still so convoluted and inconsistent that I still can’t figure out if Bruce Wayne knows who he is or not, along with many other details throughout the book.

Jeanty’s art is what really saves this story. One thing I have to give the RoBW series credit for is its attention to detail with each period of time it focuses on. Jeanty, in that same degree, brings a very gothic sensibility to the old West, displaying a world infested with cowboys and outlaws, but still giving us that dark feel that a Batman comic should have.

I’m not sure I like Batman as a cowboy. The cover gives off the illusion that the costume could look cool, but once I first saw Bruce in his Wild West cape and cowl, not even the impressive lightning and night sky in the background could overshadow the sheer hilarity of how ridiculous he looked.

The layout of the book was put together very well. It starts out in that standard way, giving a panel after panel look, and then moved on much more intricate and interesting stylizations. From overlapping, to twisted and tilted pictures towards the end really makes this book shine despite the story within.

My Awesomely Climactic Conclusion
I hate on Morrison quite a bit, but to be honest this book is fun to read despite its issues of inconsistency and confusion. Sometimes Morrison does well with action packed stories. I do believe that this mystery of the Wayne family line being generally filled with evil people is interesting and could explain some things about Bruce himself, I only hope Morrison doesn’t screw this up and cause more confusion in the DCU to add to the already existing discontinuity .

Writing: 7
Themes: 8
Art: 9
Overall: 8 out of 10

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