BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #5 (OF 6)

Review by: ComicBookGuy37

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Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art by RYAN SOOK & PERE PEREZ
Cover by ANDY KUBERT
Variant cover by RYAN SOOK

Size: 40 pages
Price: 3.99

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne has been a fun ride, so far, but it also feels like a failed experiment. The sporadic release schedule has, in many ways, hurt the story; particularly, the ability of Grant Morrison to build a compelling narrative through the fractured state of Bruce Wayne’s time-travelling mind-set.

This penultimate issue takes us into far more familiar territory than its predecessors, tying into Morrison’s current arc on Batman and Robin, as well as linking us into the murder of Bruce’s parents. It feels cathartic for us to be taken back to the start of everything in order to build towards a more satisfying conclusion.

The cover tells it in the best way possible: This month, Bruce Wayne is a private detective; a gumshoe or, at the very least, someone who thinks they’re a private eye. The story is focused around the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne and ties in the ongoing Doctor Hurt thread that goes back all the way to R.I.P. It’s clear from this issue, as with almost every other Batman comic he pens at the moment, that Morrison has always had an incredibly intricate plan for the Dark Knight, and here is the confirmation many Batman fans so dearly craved.

The artwork by Ryan Sook is a perfect fit for the world of Batman, painting a gritty and realistic canvas of Gotham City. The transition in the second half of the book from Sook to Pere Perez also feels natural, to the point where it’s hard to notice the shift unless you know the distinctive styles intimately.

The next issue will confirm for many people whether or not the experiment of a time travelling Batman worked or not, but the plethora of poor scheduling choices on the part of DC may hurt the impact of that final segment of an otherwise brave and meticulously executed story.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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