Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #3
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Yanick Paquette
Pirate Batman! Blackbeard! My favorite issue yet! I mean, I haven’t personally been covering this mini, but I figured I’d step in and talk about this issue. Now this mini hasn’t really been doing it for me yet, as I mean, I see what Morrison is doing with it, but it has yet to really deliver a hook. Sure, last issue we found out what the purpose of Quantum Leap starring Scott Batman is with this mini, and it was a cool twist, but it’s still jarring to go from issue to issue and get only twenty-two pages of Bruce in a different time period. By the time you start to get used to his surroundings, it’s over, and he’s gone to the next one. It’s the point, I know, I get that, but it doesn’t make it any less jarring when I’m trying to get engrossed, but yeah, I mean, Bruce is getting pulled from time period to time period before has has a chance to adjust, which is the only reason the book gets away with it.
This issue ties back in closer to the first issue, with the cave men and Man of Bats, then with Pilgrim Bats from last issue, and beyond that it ties deeper in with Batman vs Robin over in Batman and Robin. Bruce’s survival instinct and keen eye play a huge role as he navigate a booby trapped cave like….well, like he was Batman.
I normally like Yanick Paquette on art, and I did enjoy his scenes with Bruce, but just like Frazier Irving in the last issue, the pages featuring modern characters searching for Bruce were far and away the weakest. Damien looks like Tim Drake, Congorilla looks like some carved up his face like a turkey, and Red Robin? He’s got fat head syndrome in a bad way. The pirate stuff like great though, lots of detail, definitely fits in with the associated time period, and it’s one thing I do have to say positively about the artists chosen thus far, they all do a great job with the various time period that they’re penciling.
It’s not an easy book to describe though, especially without giving away key plot points. Morrison isn’t writing the most accessible story ever, nor is he writing something that is even remotely new reader friendly, and to be honest, it’s not even that amazing of a Batman story. But Grant Morrison has built a career on shattering the preconceptions of just about anything he’s ever come in contact with, and he’s also notorious for telling a story that doesn’t seem to add up until the end when all the pieces come together.
This issue scores points on being fun, on the grounds that Morrison told a fun and clever pirate story where I was expecting something relatively vanilla (after the last two issues, my buzz has sufficiently died down). I liked the story that I got, not as much the modern things (which harkened directly back to Final Crisis of which I was also not a huge fan), but the pirate stuff was gold. I kinda want to see Yanick Paquette do a straight up pirates book as an artist, because his pirate stuff was just awesome. But it loses points on being a difficult to pick up and read book, especially if you’re not someone who’s read all the lead in material. This book is really just for fans who have been following along, and I honestly pity the person who has never read a Batman comic in their life who tries to pick up and read this.
Tags: Batman, DC Comics, Grant Morrison, Return of Bruce Wayne, Reviews