Over the past week, the DC Blog very quitely (and often late in the afternoon/early in the evening on a Friday when some members of the comics media are out drinking!) released the unfinished version of all six covers to the upcoming six issue mini-series, Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne.

Folks, I’m ready to go ahead and call this: Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne is going to be the greatest comic book series of all time! Look at the covers! How could it not?!

Cave Man Batman!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Pilgrim Batman!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #2
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #2

Pirate Batman! Arrr!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #3

Cowboy Batman!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #4
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #4


Hard Bolied Detective Batman!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5

Batman Batman!

Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6


The most exciting thing about this mini-series? It would seem that literally anything can happen. Grant Morrison originally claimed that there would be no Pirate Batman, that the Pirate Batman character design that DC released was just something that Andy Kubert was playing around with. But now we’ve got ourselves a Pirate Batman cover. At this point I’ve got to think that this series can go one of two ways. We can take the covers literally and expect a series where Bruce Wayne travels throughout time, making stops along the way in the major genre points, before he returns to present day Gotham City. Or we can take Grant Morrison at his word and these covers are just fun pieces of imagery: Metaphors for Bruce’s journey through time. We’ll see. I, for one, am hoping that Morrison’s statement is just a feint and that we’ll actually get one shot stories in all of these different genres. I would love to get to see Grant Morrison play around with pirates, cowboys, hard boiled detectives, et al.

We’ll find out in May when Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1 is scheduled to hit. Grant Morrison is writing, Andy Kubert is on covers and character designs, and different artists are on the interiors. Chris Sprouse is set to draw the first issue, and Frazier Irving the second.

(And just to head off the inevitable question, Morrison has said that Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne is designed as the capper to the Batman story he began in 2005, but also written in a way that people who haven’t read any previous issues — or who have only read some — can have a fun, self-contained-ish story on their own.)


  1. Who else thinks it’s going to end with Bruce Wayne causing the death of he’s parents?

  2. Puritan Batman! I love it!

  3. The cover for the first issue is very Frazetta.

  4. What! no Ninja Batman? Pirate Batman is a fav.

  5. @edward  That would be cool, but I can’t think of any way that wouldn’t absolutely destroy Bruce/Batman as a person.  He might fail at saving them, but causing their deaths I think would break the character.  Bruce feels like he can make a difference by becoming Batman, but without that ability to make a difference I think he would be lost in despair.

     But that’s just me.

  6. I’m soooo looking forward to the Solomon Kane-ish Puritan Batman. And the pulp detective Batman. I want to see what Morrison does with these concepts.

  7. @Spoons: it depends on the story. Bruce is placed in the position: If prevent the death of your parents, everyone in gotham eventually dies.

  8. This has the potential to be so much fun. Issue 2 could have a Marquis (Guy Davis) vibe. 

    Woefully missing from the lineup: Samurai Batman, Viking Batman, French and Indian War Batman, Pop Art Batman, Hippy Batman, Hillbilly Batman, Space Race Batman, 70s Exploitation Batman, Malibu Batman, and Dot Com Boom Batman.

  9. Return of Bruce Wayne starts in May. i wish it started in April

  10. Whoa Batman-Batman! That’s crazy

  11. I’m really, really, really looking forward to this.


    I just hope a lot of other people aren’t expecting this to be a silly gimmicky thing. "Caveman Batman!" etc. isn’t surface-level silliness on the same level as "Cowboy Ninja Viking!" or "Hit-Monkey!" or whatever, not when Morrison’s writing.

    Will the anachronisms be cool on that surface? Yeah, probably. But there’s also sure to be a lot of weird intricate Morrison mystery stuff going on, especially as the series wears on, which will turn off people expecting straight surface-level silliness.

    Causing the death of his parents? NO WAY. Morrison is going to include some Wayne Family history stuff, but he’s not going to screw with the origin like that. At most we’ll get clues that "the Devil" or the Black Glove might have been behind Joe Chill, but that’s not too big of a change from anything, since any crime can be looked at that way ("the Devil made me do it").

  12. All seafairers fear the Dread Pirate Wayne! 

  13. @CaptD29e: You’re right. It got pushed back a month.

  14. In the sixth issue I want to see Bruce Wayne punch out Hush for impersonating him.

  15. My favorite has to be the Pirate Batman cover. It looks like he’s mid-song during The Pirates of Penzance.

    Also, Morrison’s Batman run continuing after this mini?

  16. Awesome. This should be so much fun!

  17. I got a feeling the final Batman image could be the last. I mean really those gunmen got the goods on him.

  18. @BobDigi76 — ahahaha… ok, that would be a hysterical way to end the series. "He fought his way through time until… oops. Nevermind."

  19. Bat-Beard the pirate walked into a bar with a ship’s wheel as a belt buckle.  The bartender said "what’s with the belt?"  Bat-Bear replied "Arggghhh!  It’s driving me nuts"

    These look beautiful, but like the return of cap, I still think this series is too soon. If this is 100% better than battle for the cowl, it will be mediocre.  This does remind me a little of Hickman’s "Dark Reign: Fantastic Four" mini.

  20. Fun, fun, fun.

  21. Aside from no Ninja Batman or Zulu War Batman; I am so excited for this mini! Can’t wait!

  22. So Bats is immortal like Doc Savage? or is he time hoping like Cap Reborn?

  23. @daccampo: It would be like BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.

  24. Spoons and edward both make good points.

  25. I gotta tell you I am not impressed. there is nothing in any of these that remotely interests me.  I was however listening to another podcast and someone mentioned that when he "return" it would be awesome if he came back a broken man. I know he was broken down after RIP and it would almost make sense but Bruce Wayne travelling through time, really?

  26. Looks awesome.  I can’t wait!

  27. The question for me is, will this be a literal trip through time, or figurative.  So much of that Zurr’En’Arr (not spelled correctly) happened in Bruce’s head that we have no idea where and when these books might take place.  I mean, Red Robin aside that is. 

  28. Maybe he meets Vandal Savage in the stone age and finds out the secret of immortality. Then he actually lives through thousands of years of history rather than just time hopping.

  29. @Cripper: Well, Bruce is literally lost in time. That much has been established.

  30. Sam Spade Batman wins!

  31. I think I’ll be calling Bruce Wayne Doctor Who-Wayne now. I just hope he has a TARDIS or something.

  32. Dig the Purtian Batman.  Would love a mini on a gotham by gaslight victorian batman also

  33. I’m telling you now. there should have been a super fresh early 90s batman

  34. @CatEyedFox: That would be awesome if it could happen. I’ve been asking for a GLC/Dr. Who team up though.

  35. Sam Spade Batman and Black Beard Batman are so awesome. I can’t wait.

    I hope they do full stories for each of those covers. I don’t want 2 pages of Bruce kicking Pirate ass and then he slides to some other thing. 

  36. What about early to mid 00’s Emo/myspace Batman? He’d have a black hoodie, a pair of Chucks, some plugs in the bat ears of his cowl and eyeliner! and now he’ll be listening to "At The Drive-In" when he mopes in the batcave…….. the sad thing is I totally used to mope around in eyeliner while listening to At The Drive-In :~(

  37. I’m really not too amped about this, thus far.  It seems a little hokey and contrived to me.  Let the crucifixion of Adam begin.

  38. I kinda wish there was a cover between thousands of years BC and the 1700’s.  It’d be nice to see something like a Medieval Batman, Viking Batman, or Gladiator Batman, and not have them all crammed into roughly the last 200-300 years.  I’m sure it’s story related though.

  39. I like how all the covers create a composite bat-symbol in the background of the covers.

    I saw it all put together somewhere, but I can’t find it again.

    Looking forward to this.

  40. I love the way Kubert draws the Gotham skyline. It emmediatly envokes a very specific mood that screams Batman with that retro 30s architectural design sense mixed with modernism. It reminds me of TAS and the fliescher superman cartoon

  41. @Slotckhart – that’s a great idea. I’d love to see a Gladiator Batman and even an Egyptian Batman. They’re all western too. Maybe pull an Aztec Warrior Batman and Eastern Mystic Batman.

    I love seeing different interpretations of the Iconic components of Batman. None of the interpretations are the same and if you weren’t told you may not be able to pick out that the Pirate is Bruce but once told it’s so obviously him. 

  42. I have been  waiting for this for more than a year now, since it was first speculated after Final Crisis. I think it’ll be great, but I think people are just gonna have to go with it.  You can’t have too many expectations as to how you think it should go, as Morrison doesn’t always go that obvious route.  Me, I’m along for the ride. It looks wild and it looks like territory Bats hasn’t been to since the 60s.  Also I understand that this and the Batman and Robin series were going to kind of wind up Morrison’s uber-storyline, but he came up with some more ideas and he’s planning to follow them up.  He could be around for a while and I can’t wait to see what he does.

  43. Elseworlds becomes canon.

  44. Batman was gone?

  45. Wow, I’m gonna have to buy this in issues and trade!!  Two Morrison Batman titles per month for six months??!!  What more could you really ask for?  Morrison on Green Lantern?

  46. Anyone else hear the Quantum Leap theme tune when looking at these covers?

  47. i agree with Conor, this will be the greatest comic of all time

  48. I don’t want Bruce back yet.  Of course he is the best, but we could’ve had a year or two more of fun.  Unfortunately, we had to stay on Grant Morrison’s F-ing schedule.

  49. @marshak75: Well, he *is* the writer, and it *is* his story. Whose schedule should we be on?

  50. @conor we should be on Damian’s schedule of course

  51. @edward: clever, but paradoxical, and I’m hoping Morrison is better than that.

  52. Maybe we’ll get a cameo from Sarah Jessica Parker’s Witch great great something or another in issue #2.  We can only hope.

  53. Ugh, enough of Kubert Batman — I love the idea of Frasier Irving Batman, however.

  54. Pilgrim Batman looks like he’d get burned at the stake for being a warlock. And really, that period of time seems way too close to the whole pirate thing. IMO, they should’ve gone Stone-age, Roman (it could’ve been Emperor Wayne or The Passion of The Batman!) or Egyptian, dark/middle ages (he’s the freaking Dark Knight and they miss the opportunity to put him in ARMOR?), pirate OR cowboy OR Victorian, then hard-boiled detective and modern. Spread the years out a bit, y’know?


  55. @Diabhol: Aw man! Medieval Batman sounds awesome!

  56. @conor…I’m just tired of non-committal by Marvel and DC.  They seem to be in such a hurry "to shake things up" and "have lasting consequences for the Universe," but they end updoing a 12 issue run and then go back on it all.  Personally, I would’ve liked to see Bruce gone for about 10 years in our time.  Why not??  It worked for Barry Allen for 30 years.  There are tons of stories to be told about Dick as Batman or anyone else for that matter.  Captain America and Spider-man are the same over at Marvel.  Spider-man’s whole black costume/brand new day thing was ridiculous.  I haven’t been reading Cap, but  I love the idea of an ex-brainwashed Russian spy who has to be the symbol of freedom and justice in America. 


    Anyway, what I should’ve said simply is that Grant Morrison only works when he wants to.  The guy is in such high demand that he is probably one of the few writers in comics who rarely does what an editor wants.  I just think we are missing out on a lot of good potential stories because Grant Morrison is in the mood to tell us this particular story so that’s what we’re going to get while he’s on his way to pub for a pint and a bag of crisps after he cashes his paycheck and thinks of some "real" comics story he can write about non-costumed angst ridden people.

  57. …Is Caveman Batman wearing an actual dead bat over his chest? Outstanding.

  58. What if Batman was Joe Chill?  Well, it’s Morrison after all…Those covers are cool, and I bet the series is a nice hit for DC.  There are still tons of Batman fans.  I hope Morrison does a spectacular story, the covers alone make you want to read them.

  59. Grant Morrison has yet to fail me so I am lookin forward to it . The Solomon Kane Batman has definetly piqued my interest . I would love to see a Mongol Batman , so Mr Morrison if your reading this …

  60. I remember the line of toys that was Legends of the Dark Knight that had a Batman of many eras. I got the Samurai Batman. It’d be cool if they incorporated that in there. I like to have seen a Samurai Batman drawn by Andy Kubert.

  61. I remember that toy line.  I had a cyborg batman, an azrael batman, and a classic.

  62. Having Bruce be the cause of his parents deaths? I hope not. It would destroy one of the best origins ever. It’s been told time and time again, but, with the core intact (except in some elseworlds stories, which stand apart). There’s things that can be changed, but I don’t think this should.

  63. SO awesome but i honestly want hippie batman fighting the man

  64. I love the idea of incorporating all the elseworld versions of Bruce into the continuity.