Batman Returns…With a Vengeance

It’s really no surprise to anyone but just to make it official, Bruce Wayne returns in 2010. April to be exact. Also no surprise, his “ultimate fate” was not what it appeared to be but exactly what we all said it was – being badass throughout history.

The DCU Source blog debuted this Andy Kubert sketch yesterday which is design for the upcoming Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne mini-series. Pirate Batman, very reminiscent of Davey Jones, excited me just a hair more than Cavebatman, who is equally sexy in my opinion, because…well, pirate.
Grant Morrison is penning the series of course, but it will have a rotating array of artists. So far, Chris Sprouse has been announced for the first issue. “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!” Morrison told USA Today.
Some people are complaining it’s too soon to bring Bruce back. I’m not one of them. I’m enjoying Dick in the role a lot more than I expected to but my heart lies with Bruce. That isn’t to say I want Dick to stop being Batman though. Morrison says, “the status quo of the Batman universe will be changed completely after this book.” This could mean any number of things but what I’m hoping for is two Batmen. In a perfect world I’d like to see Dick remain mentor to Damian in Batman and Robin, Batwoman remain as the star of Detective Comics and Bruce to reclaim the Batman title for his own. Though the writer also says, “I’m doing at least another year of stories with Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne in the Batman and Robin book before that book starts to dovetail with Return and we rush headlong and screaming into the next big, earth-shattering, game-changing twist in the life of Batman,” so who knows?
Talk about devestatingly handsome men. Check out ol’ Alfred Pennyworth as designed by Gary Frank. Hummana-hummana! This also comes courtesy of the DCU Source blog and is the basis of a new ongoing line of original graphic novels about Batman and Superman subtitled Earth One. DC says the series will be “spotlighting the most powerful heroes of the DC Universe, with their first years and earliest moments retold in a standalone, original graphic novel format, on a new earth with an all-new continuity.”
Somewhat surprisingly, the writer on Batman: Earth One will be Geoff Johns and writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis will tackle Superman: Earth One. Of course Johns is currently telling the secret origin of Superman. I’m very interested to see what he does with his first chance writing Bruce.
Aint It Cool News was actually the site to give the news and spoke with both authors. “I’ll be straight up with you: I’m not here to change his story into something it was never intended to be so that I can “make my mark” on the character,” said Straczynski, “It’s about respecting the character and his origins. Especially for me, since Superman has always been my number one icon growing up as a kid.” About his book, Johns had this to say, “Some of it the characters will more closely resemble the classic interpretations while others will be wildly different. We’re introducing a lot of new characters and elements to this Batman.”
Nothing makes a great day like some fantastic Batman news, wouldn’t you say? What are your thoughts on these new projects? Yah or nay? Or should I say, ARRGH?

7 Responses to “Batman Returns…With a Vengeance”

  1. Drew says:

    Damn Alfred looks like a pimp about to slap some 'ho back into drug rehab for the rest of her life.

  2. Mike Brown says:

    One of my favorite things that Stracynski did was his Squadron Supreme stuff with a very good take on Superman, albeit one raised by the government, fooled and twisted. But I think, certainly reading that Ain't it Cool News article, that JMS loves, loves, loves Superman and can do one of those modern spins that keeps the character's soul, like Ultimate Spider-Man. I don't really like JMS's stand-alone stories, but if you give him some time to really develop some characters, he will not let you down. And I think we've seen his take on a lot of things in the Squadron supreme stuff– did anyone read that awesome mini series with his take on the Joker?– but I, for one, am very much looking forward to his Lex Luthor, who I bet will very very, very evil.

    And I'm not always the hugest Geoff Johns fan, but if you let him start something, JSA, Hawkman, Teen Titans, it's always good. I bet this will be great. And I really like Gary Frank and am looking forward to his interpretation of some of the classic Batman villains. If there's one thing that Johns understands, it's established villains, which is not, evidently, going to be used in this.

    Oh, hell, I don't know why I'm being so reasonable, I'm just looking forward to the Batman stuff. I'm enjoying Dick Grayson, but I miss Bruce. And although I like the Grant Morrison stuff, I feel like they put stuff like this out because Grant is one weird dude.

  3. I dunno. It feels like DC is sort of copying the mistakes of Marvel with Captain America. Kill off main hero as part of big event. Introduce sidekick as replacement. Don't give sidekick enough time to gel as main hero. Bring back main hero in story that reveals he was never dead and lost in time.

    I'm a little sick of these two companies ripping each other off.

    Honestly, I would rather see Dick as Nightwing, but if they were going to have him be Batman, then they should have planned to stick with it for a while.

  4. Randy says:

    I'm with you, Jill. It's gonna be good to see Bruce coming back. It would be a shame though if Tim Drake isn't involved somehow in Bruce's return, as that is the driving force of his Red Robin crusade.

    Guess we will just have to keep reading.

    And as far as the Earth One GNs go, it seems to me the whole point of it is to create a whole new universe completely devoid of previous continuity. Therefore, it only makes sense to start with origin stories for DC's two flagship characters. At least they're getting the story out of the way as a 'done in one' and then can move on to newer stories.

  5. Amber Love says:

    Cavebatman is totally hot! So is Alfred! WTF is wrong with me? I need to be locked up.

    Not digging the Davey Jones look. I had to really look at that image to see that it wasn't from PotC.

  6. Hank says:

    Fabulous news! Here’s hoping that Batman: Earth One will be to the caliber that All Star Superman was. The art looks fantastic and, of course, it doesn't hurt having Johns writing it. As for the return of Bruce Wayne, I’ve been enjoying the new status quo also but I think it will be a fun ride seeing how Morrison will bring back our beloved Bruce. I can’t wait to see what Bruce the cowboy will look like. I hope the design will have a Man with No Name feel to it.

    I'm betting JMS on Superman: Earth One will be good. I haven't been a big fan of him in the past but I think the editorial at Marvel was behind most of the problems with ASM and Thor. It will be nice to see him jump into something that he can run with without limitations.

  7. Arturo says:

    I like JMS, but revisiting Bats' origin yet again doesn't seem to me to be the best use of the Earth One line. This is especially true of Superman, whose own origins have been recalled and reset seemingly once every other year.

    To be honest, I think Earth One would be better served as a platform for an event like The Return Of Bruce Wayne, where readers can pick it up without it deflecting attention from the regular titles. That way the OGNs become a truly new spotlight, while forestalling concerns about "event fatigue."