Bruce Wayne may be stranded in prehistoric times instead of dead, but if you thought bringing him back would be easy, think again. DC have unveiled The Return Of Bruce Wayne, a time-travel tale hyped as "Batman vs. history itself."
As we all know, Batman's alleged death in DC's big Final Crisis series actually just saw him dumped amongst cavemen with his trusty utility belt, while Dick Grayson took over the cape and cowl in current times. But today's announcement of the six-issue Return series shows that getting him back to the future is going to require a lot of pitstops - and alternate Batman costumes. Writer Grant Morrison explains:
The first episode is set in the Late-Paleolithic Era, the second is in Pilgrim-era Gotham Village, and we also get to see Gotham in Western or noir style. 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... So far I've had him overcome the Devil, Madness and Death; now we see him, truly lost, amnesiac, and stripped down to basic human survival mode in some extremely hostile environments and unfamiliar situations. He's the best fighter in his world, he's one of the smartest and most driven men who ever lived, but we've seen him outwit the Joker 10,000 times. This was a way of taking the character off the grid, as they say, and reminding readers what kind of man he is and what he's capable of. If you wonder why Batman is so cool - here's why Batman is so cool.
With each issue illustrated by a different artist, The Return Of Bruce Wayne is set to launch in April next year. We were sold as soon as we saw those costumes. Is it too late to lobby for 1980s New Wave Dandy Batman?
Grant Morrison on return of original Batman [USA Today]