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Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
by Fried Gold
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/7746417.stm

I haven't been much of a comic reader for the past year, so don't know if this is anything worthwhile. Initially it sounds like a reaction to Captain America last. Have any of you been reading the storyline? Is it something organic, or just a publicity thing?


Who would be the next Batman? Will there be a phone vote for Jason Todd?

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:34 pm
by Pacino86845
I read one of the comics in this line and the Bane storyline flashed before my eyes... back then I was young and prone to gimmicky crap, and now... NO MORE!!

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:41 pm
by so sorry



"Using science which we mere mortals cannot even understand, the Eradicator put Superman in a Kryptonian rejuvenation matrix that massaged him back to life," said DC Comics editor Mike Carlin, explaining the hero's return.


I don't know why, but that line cracked me up.

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:41 pm
by burlivesleftnut
Fried Gold wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/7746417.stm

I haven't been much of a comic reader for the past year, so don't know if this is anything worthwhile. Initially it sounds like a reaction to Captain America last. Have any of you been reading the storyline? Is it something organic, or just a publicity thing?


Who would be the next Batman? Will there be a phone vote for Jason Todd?


There was very little set up to the even, even though it has been like the ONLY Bat-event I have found interesting. Morrison's entire run on the book so far has been stellar, especially the couple of issues that introduced The Black Glove. I predict Bruce Wayne will not die, but he does seem to be going batshit insane.

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:00 pm
by Fried Gold
I kinda assumed that it'd be fairly well written with Morrison involved, although I know many feel his work is hit and miss. The last DC story I kept with properly was 52, and I'm currently reading the trade of his All-Star Superman - both I've liked - but I started to get fed up with storylines that crossed different titles, especially when I can't get them.

Might have to give these a look though once they've got a compiled release.

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:36 pm
by Leckomaniac
burlivesleftnut wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/7746417.stm

I haven't been much of a comic reader for the past year, so don't know if this is anything worthwhile. Initially it sounds like a reaction to Captain America last. Have any of you been reading the storyline? Is it something organic, or just a publicity thing?


Who would be the next Batman? Will there be a phone vote for Jason Todd?


There was very little set up to the even, even though it has been like the ONLY Bat-event I have found interesting. Morrison's entire run on the book so far has been stellar, especially the couple of issues that introduced The Black Glove. I predict Bruce Wayne will not die, but he does seem to be going batshit insane.


Burl speaks truth. Morrison's run has been gleefully insane. I mean, it started with Ninja Man-Bats! Truthfully, it is crazy cool and I really love Tony Daniels art (even though some disagree). Basically, Morrison decided that all the crazy, goofy shit from the silver age should be considered a part of Batman canon. To the extent that it basically would drive any one crazy (especially a man who dresses up like a bat at night). The result has been a glorious amalgamation of the goofy, the insane, and the brooding macabre. It has been a wonderful ride.

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:06 pm
by Leckomaniac
So, it has concluded. Today saw the last issue of BATMAN R.I.P. released and it was something. What a frakkin ride this all was.

Batman is now gone. And the Battle for the Cowl begins!

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:11 pm
by Lord Voldemoo
I don't wanna read the thread because I fear spoilers...but someone just tell me: publicity stunt or serious ongoing change??

edit: at least as far as we know right now...

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:30 pm
by Leckomaniac
Lord Voldemoo wrote:I don't wanna read the thread because I fear spoilers...but someone just tell me: publicity stunt or serious ongoing change??

edit: at least as far as we know right now...


Well, the story certainly isn't a publicity stunt, per se. I mean, the hype surrounding it is obviously for publicity but the story IS far reaching with many implications. It really is just an amazing Batman story. For my money, it will be the story that elevates Batman to the level of supreme bad ass. But ultimately, it is nothing more than a story about Batman doing what he does best with an ending that raises serious questions about the future.

But I certainly recommend checking it out.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:37 am
by Worst Part's Almost Over
This even got a mention in the Metro! That's the free newspaper we get on the buses in the UK. It was on page 3 and frankly I'm stunned.

But I can only hope it's a publicity stunt cos from what I've heard this sounds like a naff send-off for Batman.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:48 am
by Hermanator X
Yeah its every where.
While browsing the daily mail website for a chuckle at the most evil newspaper in the world, I noticed they were running the story too.
But they also have the last 4 pages of the book readable on the article!! Cant imagine DC being too happy about that, but they look like official released images and not just scans of the book.

Re: Batman RIP

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:31 am
by Fried Gold
Lord Voldemoo wrote:I don't wanna read the thread because I fear spoilers...but someone just tell me: publicity stunt or serious ongoing change??

Serious ongoing publicity change stunt.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:50 am
by Gerald Fried
...and apparently now neither Batman or Bruce Wayneare actually dead.

Is Terry McGuiness going to pop up now?

Batman: Battle for the Cowl

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:08 am
by TheButcher
From Newsarama: Tony Daniel - Batman: Battle for the Cowl's Field Marshall
Vaneta Rogers wrote:It may have been the end of Bruce Wayne as Batman, but Grant Morrison's "Batman R.I.P." storyline has also opened the door for Tony Daniel to tell the story of what happens next.

After penciling "R.I.P.", Daniel will both write and draw March's Battle for the Cowl, the three-issue mini-series focusing on how Gotham City – and its heroes and villains – deal with the absence of Batman.

Newsarama spoke to Daniel about the mini-series to find out why he wanted to write the story, what readers can expect from Battle of the Cowl, and where that "Batman and Robin will never die!" image might show up again.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:47 am
by Seppuku
Batman and Gaiman together? Christmas just came early for Nacho.

Now to see if Gaiman can get Bats' voice right. Hopefully this means he's branching out beyond the Gods shooting the shit genre.

Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:41 am
by TheButcher
From io9: Gaiman's Batman A Lover, Not A Fighter

Graeme McMillan wrote:Neil Gaiman has been showing off a couple more pieces of art from his upcoming Batman story, "Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader," giving another hint as to what Batman we can expect to meet.

The images, from Gaiman's two-part Bat-story celebrating the history of the character in the wake of the recent Batman RIP storyline, show a more classical side to the caped crusader - arresting Catwoman (in her 1950s costume, interestingly enough) amid moonlit gazes into each others' eyes, and talking a panicking Riddler down instead of just punching him. Apparently, Gaiman asked artist Andy Kubert to reference various popular artists from Batman's history in this story, and so these images may be a shout-out to the more mellow Batman of the '50s through '70s than a glimpse of Dark Knights to come.

Re: Comic Book News & Previews

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:00 am
by burlivesleftnut
TheButcher wrote:From io9: Gaiman's Batman A Lover, Not A Fighter

Graeme McMillan wrote:Neil Gaiman has been showing off a couple more pieces of art from his upcoming Batman story, "Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader," giving another hint as to what Batman we can expect to meet.

The images, from Gaiman's two-part Bat-story celebrating the history of the character in the wake of the recent Batman RIP storyline, show a more classical side to the caped crusader - arresting Catwoman (in her 1950s costume, interestingly enough) amid moonlit gazes into each others' eyes, and talking a panicking Riddler down instead of just punching him. Apparently, Gaiman asked artist Andy Kubert to reference various popular artists from Batman's history in this story, and so these images may be a shout-out to the more mellow Batman of the '50s through '70s than a glimpse of Dark Knights to come.


I merged this into the Batman RIP thread since this kind of ties in with that.

And this looks amazing. I am genuinely excited about this story. I hope it's the classic everyone thinks it will be.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:29 am
by Leckomaniac
Whoa.

Those pics look gorgeous. If nothing else, this book will look awfully pretty. I love that this is whatever happened to the caped crusader? instead of the dark knight. No more uber-gritty Bats please! How about he solves a few crimes, eh?!?!

Based off of those images, I am really impressed. I have high hopes for this story.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:32 pm
by The Vicar
Looking forward to this. Like the direction and the artwork.
Would "Bale"man talk the Riddler out of his gun?
I think not.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:41 pm
by burlivesleftnut
From the new comic Wednesday thread:

burlivesleftnut wrote:...I still have no idea how FC 6 tied into Batman RIP. They are both written by the same writer but for fuxxake there are like two totally different conclusions. I wish someone would come along and explain how RIP fits into FC continuity.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:46 am
by Leckomaniac
burlivesleftnut wrote:From the new comic Wednesday thread:

burlivesleftnut wrote:...I still have no idea how FC 6 tied into Batman RIP. They are both written by the same writer but for fuxxake there are like two totally different conclusions. I wish someone would come along and explain how RIP fits into FC continuity.


I think we'll have to wait and see until issue #7 comes out next week to figure this one out completely. My guess is that RIP runs right up into FC, with Last Rites taking place concurrently with issue #2 of FC.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:32 pm
by burlivesleftnut
I guess I am just kind of pissed. I was kind of digging the wtf really happened to Bruce Wayne shit, and now FC put a big exclamation point next to that question mark. I mean, I know in the long run it doesn't matter because Bruce will be back, but THAT'S FUCKING BATMAN! I guess I can't believe they killed him.

Also, curious that this makes less news than Captain America. Marvel must have better marketeers than DC.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:10 pm
by Fried Gold
burlivesleftnut wrote:From the new comic Wednesday thread:

burlivesleftnut wrote:...I still have no idea how FC 6 tied into Batman RIP. They are both written by the same writer but for fuxxake there are like two totally different conclusions. I wish someone would come along and explain how RIP fits into FC continuity.

The answer to this is that Final Crisis was complete and utter rubs.

I think Morrison was trying to kill both the person that is Batman as well as the whole ideology behind Batman - when he finally has to use a gun and shoot someone (even Darkseid) that is when Batman has failed and thus is dead.

Or something.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:48 pm
by burlivesleftnut
What is "rubs"? Not familiar with the term. Same as "shit"?

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:28 pm
by Fried Gold
burlivesleftnut wrote:What is "rubs"? Not familiar with the term. Same as "shit"?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rubs {Article 1}

Batman: Battle for the Cowl SPOILERS!!!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:50 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:38 pm
by Fried Gold
So Battle for the Cowl seems to just be a Batman retread of Reign of the Supermen.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:27 pm
by Nachokoolaid
Seppuku wrote:Batman and Gaiman together? Christmas just came early for Nacho.

Now to see if Gaiman can get Bats' voice right. Hopefully this means he's branching out beyond the Gods shooting the shit genre.


I never noticed that you posted this, but yes, VERY EXCITED. I actually discovered this a while back by accident by browsing around Amazon, and it was linked to something else Gaiman had done, and I was like, "What is thiiiiiiiiisssss???" NICE.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:47 pm
by Fried Gold
Just finished part 2 of the Neil Gaiman story.

So...barring any Black Lantern resurrection, one assumes Bruce Wayne is properly dead (or as dead as one can be in comicland).

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 2:48 pm
by so sorry
Fried Gold wrote:or as dead as one can be in comicland).



which is to say he's alive and well in 4,234 other dimensions.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 4:00 pm
by Fried Gold
so sorry wrote:
Fried Gold wrote:or as dead as one can be in comicland).



which is to say he's alive and well in 4,234 other dimensions.

I think you mean 52 dimensions...

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:20 pm
by buster00
hmmmm i'm beginning to think batman is not really dead at all

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:42 am
by burlivesleftnut
Douches. He's not. Final Crisis showed him alive in pre-historic times.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:53 am
by buster00
Image

"Panthers are a superstitious, cowardly lot..."

BATMAN R.I.P.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:40 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:43 pm
by burlivesleftnut
buster00 wrote:Image

"Panthers are a superstitious, cowardly lot..."


Haha, I like that. But it almost looks like he's beating the panther because it and Robin were having some sultry bestial fun.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:59 am
by TheButcher

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:36 am
by Fried Gold
burlivesleftnut wrote:Douches. He's not. Final Crisis showed him alive in pre-historic times.

I read somewhere about an idea to make Bruce Wayne a new Vandal Savage type character.

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:32 am
by TheButcher

Batman and Robin #1 Annotations

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:39 am
by TheButcher
From Geniusboy Firemelon: Batman and Robin #1 Annotations

Timothy Callahan wrote:Like my previous annotations/commentary on Morrison's Batman, this is not so much a scholarly look at a comic book page-by-page as it is me making fun of stuff and/or pointing out what I notice. I may point you in directions you hadn't yet considered, but I would never guarantee anything that foolish.




From Funnybook Babylon: Batman and Robin #1 - “Batman Reborn Part 1: Domino Effect”

David Uzumeri wrote:And we’re back after those messages! Finally, the main narrative line of the Batman books returns with Grant Morrison at the wheel aided by the ever-incredible Frank Quitely. And, in an all-new team-up, Alex Sinclair on colors, which leads to such interesting effects as the sky behind Wayne Tower looking like a badly compressed .GIF. While this issue is significantly more straightforward than the past few issues of Morrison’s Batman run, I have no doubt that things will get complex and trippy eventually, and until then it’s probably best to keep up continuity with these annotations, no? Besides, they’re fun.




From Super Villain: Emma Peel Sessions 11 – BATMAN! I mean LEADER! I love the leader!

sean witzke wrote:Anyway – BATMAN AND ROBIN #!

Everyone has tackled this book and I’m attempting to cover the small area that hasn’t been hit by Jog, Andrew, Plok, Duncan and Amypoodle - the thing is, at a certain point everyone is reading into this book and it’s maybe the least complex thing Morrison has written in five years. That’s not to say it’s simple, or that theres not much going on – but it’s the straightest action script that Morrison has written since New X-Men was kicking off. At a certain point we’re all just seeing what we want to see. But, with that disclaimer here’s what I’m seeing.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:34 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:51 pm
by DennisMM
Boo! I say, boo! Quitely should draw all the covers.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:55 pm
by Fried Gold
Quick thoughts, having the three new "Batman: Reborn" titles:

Batman & Robin - I don't like the Damien character. Grayson seems a bit bland. The artwork is lovely.

Batman - A much better continuation from Battle for the Cowl, and Grayson seems like a much deeper character.

Red Robin - My favourite of the bunch.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:25 pm
by DennisMM
A TBer has been calling Grayson a "silly, grinning knob." I'm not seeing that myself. I like B&R largely because of the art, but also because it's straightforward. Not so many of the bizarre elements seen in Morrison's bat stories before Wayne's death. RR seems ill-motivated to me - why does Tim think Bruce is alive? Other than that, it's an entertaining comic.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:22 pm
by Fried Gold
Two series for 2010 from Grant Morrison:

- The Search For Bruce Wayne
- The Return of Batman

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:10 am
by buster00
I've gotta say, I'm really warming up to Frank Quitely's artwork. He's been practicing how to draw humans, and it shows.

Re: Batman RIP (Holy Batman, Batman!)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:51 am
by DennisMM
I just read Batman and Robin #4. Philip Tan's artwork is good, but now the book looks like any other Batman comic. One of the best aspects of Quitely's art was that he could draw night scenes and other dark situations while still making the figures and scenery visible. He suggested shadow without obscuring everything in black. Tan isn't as successful, and the result is less satisfying to me. Still a good book, but I think I'll save my three bucks.

Batman: Odyssey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:33 am
by TheButcher

Re: Grant Morrison's Batman Novel

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:39 pm
by TheButcher
Fried Gold wrote:Two series for 2010 from Grant Morrison:

- The Search For Bruce Wayne
- The Return of Batman

From Teatime Brutality:
Five Books of Forever: When Novels Overlap.
Bleeding Cool
Sayeth Rich Johnston...

It took a long and winding path to get to this story. But here we go.

The Search For Bruce Wayne.

The Return of Batman.

Two series by Grant Morrison kicking off from Summer 2010. After his apparent death (twice) and revelation that Bruce Wayne is stuck somewhen in the past (possibly crossing the spirit path of Captain America, I dunno) word is that DC will be bringing their world’s greatest detective in rubber back in a series of series, the details of which are completely unknown (to me, I mean) save for their working titles (which may be old) and that it’s all part of the Big Grant Morrison Batplan for 2010.

If all this is true, then 2010 will see a hell of a lot of Morrison material on the shelves.
Joe the Barbarian and SeaGuy Eternal are confirmed from VERTIGO, he's staying on Batman and Robin, and then there's Multiversity.

It makes me wonder if maybe 'Search for Bruce Wayne' and 'Return of Batman' aren't series but rather perhaps story arcs that'll be told simultaneously in Batman and Robin and Batman. I could easily see DC wanting Morrison to Bendis-up and write both titles and, as everyone's noted, Batman will reach #700 at round about the time Batman and Robin reaches #12, the issue Morrision originally planned to finish with. It'd be a terrible shame if that book were still running Winnick filler in it's 700th issue.

The Return of Bruce Wayne

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:25 am
by TheButcher
Leckomaniac wrote:As expected...

The Return of Bruce Wayne

Sounds awesome. Batman vs. History Itself! So fucking Morrison.


Thanks for the link.
Check out this interview from USA Today:
Grant Morrison on return of original Batman

John Geddes wrote:Where in the world is Bruce Wayne? Or, to be more accurate, when in the world is Bruce Wayne?

It has been nearly a year since comic book readers last saw Wayne, better known to most as the original Batman. While battling a god-like villain named Darkseid during DC Comics' Final Crisis series, Batman was hit by an energy beam that sent him hurling out of control to an unknown place in time. Bruce Wayne hasn't been seen or heard from since. Until now.

In 2010, DC Comics will launch a new series created and written by legendary comic book scribe Grant Morrison. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne finds the original Batman trying to reclaim his memory, his identity and his proper place in time and space. The series marks the return of one of comic book's most iconic characters and, Morrison says, begins an important new chapter in a complex series of Batman stories that the author has been developing and intertwining over the past five years.

Morrison recently took time with USA TODAY's John Geddes to answer questions about the upcoming series and provide some insight and hints about where the story will lead.

Q: In Final Crisis, the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, is hit by the Omega Beam during a battle with the villain Darkseid. This beam sends Wayne spinning into the unknown, cast off into the time stream. He is thought to be dead by both friends and enemies. In the aftermath, the role of Batman is assumed by the original Robin, Dick Grayson, and the role of Robin is assumed by Bruce Wayne's son, Damian. What else should readers know as a lead-in to The Return of Bruce Wayne?


A: Could there possibly be anything else to know after that masterful summing-up?

To be honest, I don't think readers need to know even that much in order to enjoy Return. Although it's also the latest chapter in the long-running, "definitive" Batman epic I've been trying to pull off since 2005, Return has been structured and written to read as a complete story on its own — everything a new reader needs to know will be in the pages of the book itself. Read all the graphic novel collections together, however, and a much bigger, more complex and involving story will emerge.

Return is a fairly intricate time-travel story in which the world's greatest hero, the optimum man, is up against the supreme challenge to his ingenuity and skill. How does Batman get out of the ultimate trap? It has a mystery and an apocalyptic countdown going on, there are some major twists and reveals, and it sets up big changes to the Batman universe status quo.

Q: It's my understanding that Return will follow Bruce Wayne through different eras as he makes his way — presumably — back to the modern day. Any hints on which eras we might see Bruce exploring in his quest to find his proper place in time?

A: 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 — Batman vs. history itself!

I've tried to thoroughly research each time period so that the stories work not only as at least fairly plausible reconstructions of life in the real 17th or 19th centuries but also as romanticized "pulp" versions too, while at the same time referencing the more extravagant history of the fictional DC Comics Universe in the background.

Q: How many issues are planned for The Return of Bruce Wayne series?

A: There are six issues of Return. The first one's 38 pages long, the rest are 30.

Q: Without giving away any spoilers, how will/would the return of Bruce Wayne to the present day affect the dynamic of the current Batman & Robin duo? Might we see Damian Wayne develop into a new character?

A: As I mentioned above, the status quo of the Batman universe will be changed completely after this book. This is the beginning of a new and different take on the idea of Batman as we approach the 010s — the latest of these ever more fleeting and flimsy modern decades!

Q: There are certain readers out there who will undoubtedly complain about yet another rebirth or reincarnation of a famous comic book character. What about Return is going to be different from these past stories in which iconic characters have been brought back to life?

A: As we saw at the end of the Final Crisis book, Bruce Wayne was never dead, only AWOL, so this was never a literal "back to life" story. And I like to think the series will have a wider general appeal than some of the continuity driven "death and rebirth"-type stories we've seen before.

This is more for me about putting Batman/Bruce Wayne through my own, and my collaborators' version, of the ultimate test of who and what he is. 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.

This is an attempt to look at a very familiar character from some unusual angles. And it's about Bruce and who he is — I want to remind people how the man and the mask are inseparable parts of a terrifying whole.

Q: You're a writer who has never been afraid to experiment with storylines involving major characters. What are some of the challenges you face when developing stories specific to such a high-profile character as Batman/Bruce Wayne?

A. The challenge is to keep everything familiar while making what appear to be far-reaching changes and having characters react as if those changes are permanent!

Batman needs to be eternally young, renewed like some pagan Fertility King to suit the changing tastes of his audience in each fresh generation. Batman can never grow old or die — and stories, no matter how good, which depict these events cannot be considered "canon." Batman was born in 1939 and would now be a sprightly 70-year-old if he aged like the rest of us. The "real" Batman, however, enjoys godlike immortality and must always be 30-ish moneyed orphan, Bruce Wayne, who dresses as a bat to fight crime. The trick is to tell stories which expand the limits of how far you can go and still maintain the integrity of the basic idea. And everything has to be done with the knowledge and understanding that I — as the current writer — am only a tiny link in a long chain of all the people who already have or will one day tell stories about Batman.

Q: Your writing for Batman over the years has seen you interpret the character through a variety of lenses (a Zen-warrior, a darkly philosophical detective, the traditional hero, etc.) With Return, what type of Bruce Wayne are we going to see?

A: All the elements that make up this great pop icon will be upfront — his intellect, his detective skills, his martial arts abilities, his heroism and compassion and grit. His chiseled cheekbones! In this series, in particular, he represents us, humanity, at our very best and most resourceful. And, in the first issue, we get to see the many advantages ninja training has over the traditional caveman grunt-and-lunge technique.

Batman's story begins with Bruce Wayne, kneeling by the bodies of his murdered mom and dad. To me, at the most basic root of Batman is the story of the ultimate survivor. The Return of Bruce Wayne— a title that becomes increasingly ominous as the story progresses — puts that aspect of Batman under the microscope.

Q: Themes play such a huge role in most, if not all, of your writing. Is there an overarching theme running throughout the story of Return?

A: Survival. Not only the physical survival of our hero but the survival through time of memories, grudges, artifacts, ideas. What persists? What endures?

Q: Over the years, you've been involved with some of the most well-known and beloved characters out there — Batman, Superman, JLA, X-Men and Fantastic Four, just to name a few. Are there other iconic comic characters you'd like to reinterpret or for whom you'd like to develop storylines?

A. I'm very happy with the take on the Captain Marvel/Shazam universe that appears as part of the upcoming Multiversity series of books, but that's it for the moment. Along with Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman, I'm part of the consulting team at DC Entertainment involved in rethinking some of DC's big characters for the screen. So between that and the comics, I think I've had my say on just about every comic book character I've ever had any interest in.

Q: Who else comprises the creative team attached to Return? Can you speak about how it's been to work with this team?

A: I haven't seen any of the art yet. The book launches in the summer and each issue is drawn by a different artist, so that side of it has barely got underway. I know Chris Sprouse is penciling the first one, so I'm fairly confident it'll be the best comic set in the Late Paleolithic Era that you'll have seen for a very long time. I'm a huge fan of Chris' work, so I'm keen to see what he's done. I think Frazer Irving might do the second one, cementing his reputation as the comic world's most prominent Puritan Goth Adventure artist.

Q: Aside from Return, what new work can readers look forward to from Grant Morrison in 2010?

A: Mostly Batman work — 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.

I'm slowly working my way through the Multiversity sequence of books and loving it. I've set myself the task of making each issue the best superhero story I've ever written, so I'm growing them patiently and all together before I hand the scripts out to artists.

There's also the Joe the Barbarian book with Sean Murphy, which starts in January at Vertigo and is my first new, creator-owned comic for a while.

For more information on Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, check out the official series announcement on the DC Universe blog.


From THE SOURCE:
DCU IN 2010: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE hits in April