Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #4
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Georges Jeanty
Cowboy Batman is by far the best of the Batmen we’ve seen thus far in this mini. I’m serious, Caveman Batman was boring, Pilgrim Batman did nothing, and Pirate Batman was kind of awesome. But Cowboy Batman? Such a bad ass. I mean, he’s a Cowboy, and he’s Batman. How can anything about that not be awesome.
The Old West is the perfect place for his character, too. I mean, think about it, Bruce has been appearing in places where someone needs the dark angel of vengeance to come in and help make things right, and like, this book opens up with a household getting massacred. This looks like a job….for Batman!
Vandal Savage returns, having last appeared as the antagonist in the first issue, and this time around he’s hired Jonah Hex to kill this strange masked man that is disrupting his men. This is a nice little touch, as the immortal Savage should be a recurring character (well, only because he was already used once), and you can’t tell a western in the DCU without Hex. Just can’t be done, and I mean, why should it be? You have this awesome western character, use him. It might wash the bad taste out of the mouths of the embarrassed minority that went and saw his horrible movie.
Savage needs to be used more, as he is a pretty fun choice of villain for this book, and with any luck that’s Morrison’s plan. If this immortal villain has memories of dealing with the Bat across time then he’s going to remember him in the present and act accordingly. I want to see this, this could be insanely awesome. Batman vs Savage!
The whole issue feels like a giant western movie, and it works. I’m not even a fan of the genre and it works. There’s a lot of action, interesting characters, and hey look, Morrison even continues his Wayne family stuff by setting up the Bat shaped property. I do wish I knew what was in that Bat logo book though, I mean, I do, especially since before this issue I thought it was a stone box. Yeah.
Georges Jeanty pulls off my pick for best artistic run on this mini so far, as the entire issue looks gorgeous. I mean, I figured they’d go all dark and gritty with the cowboys, and I didn’t actually realize that Jeanty is the same guy that draws Buffy Season Eight, so I was very pleasantly surprised. I hope DC can find some work for him soon though, as Buffy is getting ready to come to a close and he is deserving of some more high profile work.
Overall? It was a great issue, a ton of fun, and even better than last months Pirate Batman. Two issues left before Bruce is back, so it’s seeming like Morrison is going to have his work cut out for him to wrap this up and keep the momentum growing in the process. Here’s hoping that Noir Batman is even better than the Cowboy!