io9 caught up with Batman and Robin scribe Grant Morrison and asked him about his upcoming miniseries The Return of Bruce Wayne. Grant also filled us in on the We3 movie, Joe The Barbarian, and his take on comic continuity.
In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, we're going to see Batman travel to different historical epochs. For example, we'll see Pirate Batman and Caveman Batman, who appeared in old-school Bat-yarns. What was your motivation for this and what was DC's reaction when you pitched it?
First off, Batman also wore a kilt at one point! As for DC, they said, "OK, if anyone can do, it's you." I guess my inspiration is this – I like to pretend that every story that ever happened to Batman was real and is part of this one guy's life. Even the Adam West Batman – let's just say there's this one year where Batman and Robin were out living this crazy and kooky life, and while the criminals were out killing people, they were just acting like lunatics. The next year might be the Neal Adams Batman – suddenly Robin's gone and we have a more brooding Batman.
We've seen his origin scene a thousand times, we've seen his parents getting killed – I thought to myself, "What part of Batman's life haven't we talked about for a long time?" And it was those weird 1950s adventures or the Adam West Batman that everyone thought was really uncool when Chris Nolan's movies came along. Batman comics used to be brightly colored! Batman would fight aliens! I wanted to do that stuff again, but in a more realistic, contemporary light.
In Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman will be wending his way back to present. Will any of his actions affect the DC Universe's past, à la Back To The Future?
There's a lot of ramifications specifically on the Batman universe – we'll see certain past events from Bruce Wayne's perspective. A big part of the plot line is what happens when he gets back. It's not necessarily a good thing when he does.
In both Batman R.I.P. and your current run on Batman and Robin, we're seeing many plots involving the sordid past of the Wayne family. Will these dark secrets be addressed in Return?
The whole thing is kind of set in Gotham, and every time Batman jumps forward, we have some connection with someone or something affiliated with his family tree. All of his relatives are based on actual characters from Batman comics.
How about Damien and Dick? What's in store for them?
Batman and Robin are moving into their final arc – "Batman And Robin Must Die." It's about putting them in the worst possible situation I can imagine for them. Bruce comes back shortly after issue 16.
Total shot-in-the-dark theory – are you Oberon Sexton?
Not at all. I've done that before with Animal Man, but the Batman universe? It would be terrible if he took off his mask and it was baldy old me.
Similarly, is your current Vertigo miniseries Joe the Barbarian autobiographical?