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Pirate and Caveman Batman? The Return of Bruce Wayne

Posted by LiveFor on December 9, 2009

Last we saw of Bruce Wayne he was hit by an energy beam from Darkseid and was sent tumbling way back into the past.

The DC Universe at large thing he’s dead and Dick Grayson has taken on the mantle of the Bat. All of this was the brainchild of Grant Morrison.

Next year DC Comics will launch a new six issue series by Morrison called Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. In it we will see Bruce trying to reclaim his memory, his identity and his proper place in time and space.

Morrison spoke to USA Today about the series and here are some of the highlights.

Return is a fairly intricate time-travel story in which the world’s greatest hero, the optimum man, is up against the supreme challenge to his ingenuity and skill. How does Batman get out of the ultimate trap? It has a mystery and an apocalyptic countdown going on, there are some major twists and reveals, and it sets up big changes to the Batman universe status quo.

The first episode is set in the Late-Paleolithic Era, the second is in Pilgrim-era Gotham Village, and we also get to see Gotham in Western or noir style.

Each of the stories is a twist on a different “pulp hero” genre — so there’s the caveman story, the witchhunter/Puritan adventurer thing, the pirate Batman, the cowboy, the P.I. — as a nod toward those mad old 1950s comics with Caveman Batman and Viking Batman adventures. It’s Bruce Wayne’s ultimate challenge — Batman vs. history itself!

I’ve tried to thoroughly research each time period so that the stories work not only as at least fairly plausible reconstructions of life in the real 17th or 19th centuries but also as romanticized “pulp” versions too, while at the same time referencing the more extravagant history of the fictional DC Comics Universe in the background.

This is more for me about putting Batman/Bruce Wayne through my own, and my collaborators’ version, of the ultimate test of who and what he is. So far I’ve had him overcome the Devil, Madness and Death; now we see him, truly lost, amnesiac, and stripped down to basic human survival mode in some extremely hostile environments and unfamiliar situations. He’s the best fighter in his world, he’s one of the smartest and most driven men who ever lived, but we’ve seen him outwit the Joker 10,000 times. This was a way of taking the character off the grid, as they say, and reminding readers what kind of man he is and what he’s capable of. If you wonder why Batman is so cool — here’s why Batman is so cool.

This is an attempt to look at a very familiar character from some unusual angles. And it’s about Bruce and who he is — I want to remind people how the man and the mask are inseparable parts of a terrifying whole.

One Response to “Pirate and Caveman Batman? The Return of Bruce Wayne”

  1. The Russian said

    Can’t wait!

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