Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne

batman the return of bruce wayne cover trade paperback tpb
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10

Some good art

Overly confusing story, some really bad art

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman:  The Return of Bruce Wayne

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Chris Sprouse/Frazer Irving/Yanick Paquette/Georges Jeanty/Ryan Sook/Pere Perez/Lee Garbett

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:   2011

batman the return of bruce wayne #2 cover

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Reprints Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6 (July 2010-January 2011). Bruce Wayne is dead, but the Justice League uncovers evidence that he is actually hurdling through time. Bruce finds himself in the early days of Earth, as a Puritan witch hunter, facing Blackbeard, a cowboy, and a detective in a noire drama on his path to return home. Bruce however doesn’t realize that the trip to the present could destroy reality and that it has been Darkseid’s plan all along.

Written by Grant Morrison, Batman:  The Return of Bruce Wayne is a DC Comics event mini-series.  The collection is a tie-in with Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis and his Batman: R. I. P. storyline. Each issues features art by a different artist and Chris Sprouse, Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, Ryan Sook, Pere Perez, and Lee Garbett contributed.  It was received with positive reviews and most events of the story seem to have stayed intact with DC’s New 52 relaunch. It has also been released in a deluxe hardback edition with extra sketches and storyboards.

I find this book very frustrating and confusing. I’m a big Grant Morrison fan and read most of his Batman run in addition to his other works in the DC and Marvel Universe. This series however really killed my interest in the work he had been doing with Batman. I like the Batman, Inc. and Batman and Robin series, but I just couldn’t follow this storyline.

batman the return of bruce wayne #3 cover

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3

The multiple artists I feel actually hindered the story in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Sometimes the art was inspiring and other times it was outright bad (an example would be the horrible rendition of Booster Gold by Frazer Irving in issue #2). I feel if you are really trying to tell a concise story that it helps when the writer and artist really work together to tell the whole event. The jumping art was just as frustrating as the jumping story.

I’m still not entirely clear what happens at the end of this story and how it meshes with events in Batman and Robin. I really liked Grant Morrison’s run on JLA because he showed he could write standard super-hero stories with bigger arcs that still felt original. Doom Patrol and Animal Man were fun but they were adult and bizarre. This story falls in between the two and I think it suffers as a result. Batman is too mainstream to be pushed too hard, and it can alienate readers.

I can’t recommend Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. It is important to understand what is going on in Batman how Batman, Inc. came about, but a basic summary would probably less of a waste of time (or money if you are thinking of buying it). Batman has been better and Morrison has been better. I wish they had found a happy medium with this series.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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