Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh, Cowboy Batman!
Where do I begin on this one? It’s tough. Well, I guess I should start off by saying that Batman and time travel are two of the coolest things ever. No, not just two of my favorite things ever, two of the coolest things ever.
In The Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman starts off in cave man times and needs to make his way back to the present. The only catch is that by the time he does he will have collected enough omega energy to destroy the universe. This was all the devious plan of Darkseid in the beginning. Are you confused yet?
Bruce Wayne, which is what I should probably be calling him since this isn’t The Return of Batman, Dick Grayson is Batman by this time, only spends one issue in the cave man times and this collection is six issues. After helping cave men, Bruce Wayne jumps from that time to colonial American/witch trial times, then to pirate times, to being a cowboy in Gotham(does that make sense?), to a detective in the era when he was kid/ around the time of his parents murder, and finally to the present.
- Concept. Seriously, I know it’s my go-to for things I otherwise don’t like much, but Batman + Time Travel = amazing idea.
- The art in some of the issues is really good. Issue 1 is well done, but issue #2 where he plays a pre-colonial detective is by far the best.
- Every issue is done by a different artist, so it’s not exactly consistent. In issue 3 (the pirate one) almost every character you see is squinting or has their eyes shadowed. You see the whites of a character’s eyes about 4 or 5 times throughout the whole issue. Also, in the next issue Jonah Hex’s hair looks blonde in one frame, then red in the next. Superman looks scrawny and terrible in issue 2(which is the only artistic downside about that issue).
- Confusing with a capital C-O-N-F-U-S-I-N-G. I read these issues, then re-read them and I still barely know what’s going on. If you don’t know what’s going on leading into this collection than you will be LOST. Aside from being confused about the lead in, the last issue is ridiculous. Even if you are following closely it will still be hard to figure out just what the hell Bruce Wayne is doing.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is yet another case of good concept, poor execution. In this case it’s worse than it usually is, because it deals with the always awesome iconic figure Batman, and one of the coolest scientific ideas, time travel. Most people that love this either knew the continuity way better than I did, or they’re in love with the idea more than the actual finished product. I love Batman, but I almost dreaded getting to the next issue in this. I usually finish a collection in one day, but I had to spread this out over a few days because I just wasn’t excited to read it.