The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Chris Sprouse
Here it is, the long awaited first issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne and…nothing happens. No, that’s not fair of me. Plenty of stuff happens, most of it just isn’t really interesting. We start off introduced to a group of cave men examining a crashed rocket ship. Since all of this is happening right outside the cave we last saw Bruce in, he decides to see what all the fuss is about it.
Apparently getting hit by the Omega Beams leaves you all types of messed up because Bruce doesn’t really say anything intelligible the entire issue, all of his words just run together. The spaceship is examined by Batman and inside he finds a portable bat-signal but it quickly turns to dust in his hand. The other thing he removes from the ship is Superman’s cape.
This time-capsule – the very same one launched by Lois and Jimmy in Final Crisis #7 and it’s contents aren’t really addressed again. Bruce and his pre-historic companions are then attacked by the Blood Mob tribe, led by everyone’s favorite caveman turned super-villain, Vandal Savage. Bruce, Surly, Giant, Joker and Man (his cavemen friends) are all captured, leaving it up to Man’s son, Boy, to save the day.
Seems like not killing the hero when you the perfect chance to do so was originated by Vandal Savage. Instead of killing Bruce (who his people believe to be a god,) he has him tied up and chooses to wait until morning (he claims it will give him some advantage.) Then he goes and gets laid, which, y’know, isn’t something I can knock the guy for.
Boy comes and saves the day, establishing himself as prehistoric Robin of sorts – he’s got a domino mask and everything. Once Bruce is free, he garbs himself in the remains of a giant bat and proceeds to kick everyone’s ass, including Vandal Savage’s. Him and Boy make their escape by jumping off a waterfall, but only Boy emerges. Could this have something to do with the sun which had just been eclipsed moments earlier? Possibly.
The Blood Mob, pissed that they got their skulls bashed in, exile Vandal Savage. Before they can start licking their wounds they’re greeted by the arrival of more time travelers: Booster Gold, Hal Jordan, Superman and presumably Rip Hunter (we don’t see who’s piloting the time bubble.)
The issue ends with Superman claiming that if Batman is able to return to the 21st century on his own “everyone dies,” while Bruce awakens in Pilgrim times about to be attacked by a giant demon…something. Pretty sure it’s a squid, but it might be an octopus.
Not really much else to say about this issue. It wasn’t really Earth-shattering or exciting. I mean, it’s nice to know that the heroes looking for Bruce have a reason for getting him back home other than him being their friend, but…yeah that’s about it.
Don’t want to sell the whole package short so I’ll mention that Chris Sprouse does great on art duties.
Rating: 6/10. Five of these points are for the art. Sorry Morrison, here’s hoping you bring the heat with Pilgrim Batman.