Graphic Novel Review: Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

09:31 17 February 2012

(Titan £14.99)

THE Batman is dead.

Bruce Wayne lost his life in final battle with the insidious New God Darkseid as part of the reality-shattering Final Crisis conflict, his desiccated remains retrieved by Superman for a private burial service afterwards.

Except he didn’t.

In fact, Darkseid sent Wayne spiralling backwards through time to a prehistoric era, and replaced his body with that of a failed experiment in cloning to prevent his comrades from trying to find him in the depths of history.

Stripped of his memories, his costume in tatters and his utility belt empty, the man who was Batman is destined to live out the rest of his existence struggling to survive in a world of barely evolved cavemen, forever cut off from his friends and family.

But Bruce Wayne is far more than just an ordinary man. His drive, determination, resolve and ingenuity has made him one of the most dangerous human beings to ever walk the planet, and thank God he’s on the side of the angels.

Not only does he succeed in establishing the roots of a bat-inspired mythology which will develop throughout the centuries, but he also begins leaving evidence and clues in the past which will prompt his allies in the present.

But as he begins to piece together his true identity, Wayne finds himself catapulted forwards in time, fighting evil in one era after another as he slowly reassembles the remnants of his shattered self.

Whether it’s tackling witchfinders in puritanical times, treasure-hunting with the legendary pirate Blackbeard, fighting as a masked outlaw in the Wild West or trying to bring justice to a Gotham blighted by gangsters, the essence of Bruce Wayne cannot be denied, as he bounces between eras on his quest for answers.

But as his Justice League allies come to realise that their friend is actually alive, albeit lost in time, they also deduce Darkseid’s games of destruction are far from over. For the closer Batman comes towards the present day, the more deadly he becomes… The New God has turned him into a doomsday weapon aimed at the 21st century, and if Bruce Wayne is ever to return, it could mean the end of everything.

The epic conclusion to the first stage in writer Grant Morrison’s epic Bat-saga, this volume features a who’s who of artistic talent including Chris Sprouse, Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, Ryan Sook, Lee Garbett and Andy Kubert, each lending their remarkable stylings to a different aspect of Wayne’s journey home.

Not a book to read on its own by any means, as The Return of Bruce Wayne draws on several years’ of plotlines both in the main Batman book and the Final Crisis series, but a fitting coda to the entire Batman RIP narrative, and a first-rate exploration not only of Gotham City’s twisted history, but also cementing Bruce Wayne’s reputation as one of the greatest heroes not only of his era, but of many others besides.

Highly recommended.


Other Entertainment Stories

Mon, 17:17

The Exmouth Macular Support Group is holding its monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 6, 10.30am-noon – and not Monday, October 5 as incorrectly stated in last week’s Exmouth Journal.

Read more
Sunday, October 4, 2015

Ever wondered what your favourite panto baddies get up to for the rest of the year?

Read more
Saturday, October 3, 2015
The cathedral choir. Photo by Matt Austin.

Exeter Cathedral Choir is appearing at All Saints’ Church in Exmouth’s Exeter Road to sing evensong at 6pm tomorrow (Sunday, October 4). The event coincides with All Saints’ harvest thanksgiving.

Read more
Friday, October 2, 2015
Evening Light by Ernest Ager

Exmouth Art Group’s 69th annual exhibition opens today (Friday, October 2) with a wide range of work on show, an initiative to encourage younger artists to display their work, plus live entertainment and refreshments.

Read more
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An interesting programme of winter talks has just been announced by The Axminster Historical Society.

Read more
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Pip Utton

Is Margaret Thatcher appearing at The Beehive?

Read more
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
The cathedral choir. Photo by Matt Austin.

Exeter Cathedral Choir is appearing at All Saints’ Church in Exmouth’s Exeter Road to sing evensong at 6pm on Sunday, October 4.

Read more
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

● There will be a quiz night at Honiton Conservative Club on Saturday, October 10, at 8pm.

Read more
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Simon Lane.

Now in its 64th year, SeatonMusic is again offering an exciting season of music from some of the most talented young musicians from Britain and Europe.

Read more
Monday, September 28, 2015
Joining Exmouth's Centre Stage for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a choir of 7-11 year olds.

Multi-award-winning Centre Stage is busy in rehearsal for its next production, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - A Youth Group Production.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications