Bruce Wayne Will Return! (Big Surprise.)

A superhero presumed dead but in fact lost in time?

That doesn’t sound familiar at all…Captain America fans riot in the streets!

Sketches from ‘The Return of Bruce Wayne’

While you’re lighting your torches, USA Today reports that the real Dark Knight will come back into the fold with The Return of Bruce Wayne, set to launch in late spring or early summer 2010.

In an ultra-condensed no-footnotes-needed nutshell, Batman met his temporary fate in Grant Morrison’s series Final Crisis. Darkseid shoots Batman with the Omega Sanction weapon, catapulting Bats back in time, though the other heroes believe he is dead. Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, takes up the mantle of Batman, while Damien Wayne, Bruce’s son, becomes Robin. The year-long series Batman: Reborn has continued with Dick as Batman and Damien as Robin. But that’s all about to change.

In the six-issue series The Return of Bruce Wayne, Bruce struggles to regain his memory and return to his time, travelling through different eras, including Paleolithic, Pilgrim, Western, pirate, and so on. Does this mean Batman is immortal or reincarnated, or uses fancy time-travel gadgetry with a flux capacitor? Not sure. But one thing is: Morrison is unafraid to take great leaps and risks, and he promises “major twists and reveals, and…big changes to the Batman universe status quo.” If Morrison’s at the helm, anything can go down.

While the interview with Morrison is a fan must-read, the article shies away from that giant elephant in the room: When Bruce Wayne returns, who will be Batman? Would Dick Grayson just hand back the cape-and-cowl and return to his Nightwing duties? Will Bruce Wayne be working with his son Damien, or will Damien choose to work with Grayson? Once again, anything can happen.

As for me, I’ll definitely read the comic, but always with a level of skepticism I’ve grown with over Morrison’s work. Unlike other authors, Morrison’s Bat-verse comes with a required reading list, as his series constantly references one another. (Case in point why I disliked Batman: RIP so much). And I’ll never forgive him for creating Damien, when everyone knows that Terry McGinnis is Bruce’s real son. We’ll see what happens, but until then, I’m holding off the Batman comics, which I haven’t really kept up on since Neil Gaiman’s farewell. (I do the same thing with X-Men comics since Kitty Pryde. Like I’ll ever read another X-comic again.)

PS-If you voted Bruce Wayne in the earlier “Who Will Return First?” poll, I guess you win. Cyber Bat-cookies to you!

What do you think about ‘The Return of Bruce Wayne?’ How do you think Grant Morrison is handling the Bat-verse?

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