Missed Directions

The Dork Knight Returns

by C.E. McAuley

14 April 2010


Don’t do this to me Grant! DC I beseech thee!!! Do not bring back Bruce Wayne—at least not as Batman.  And please, for the love of God, please do not bring him back in the manner depicted on the sketches in the back of Booster Gold #29.

Gang, this is not a teaser, it’s the cause of what can only be described as a vascular event. First the pain hit my eye and then my temple, finally I realized what I was looking at. However, without a magnifying glass I cannot be 100 percent certain. What follows? My speculations and reflections on the six frames of the apparent covers for the “Return of Bruce Wayne”.
Cover 1: Is this a primordial Batman with big bat ear headgear fending off evil primordial beings? Vacation time, Grant.

Cover 2: I can only think that in this frame Batman has evolved to become some kind of Puritanical vigilante dressed in a pilgrim hat and bathed in flame.  Really?!

Cover 3:  Batman as a swashbuckling pirate. Enough said.

Cover 4:  Some kind of cowboy Batman on horse being pursued. No further comment necessary on this frame.

Cover 5: Classic era detective Batman clad in fedora and overcoat. Exhaling. And finally. . .

Cover 6: Batman as Batman. Neat, huh?

For those of you who are willing to read anything Batman no matter what, I give you “The Return of Bruce Wayne”. But, this doesn’t look much like the return of Bruce Wayne to me. This looks like the Return of Batman – Winged Freak Edition/The Dork Knight Express. In a previous post, I’ve already addressed the reasons I believe Bruce Wayne should be brought back as other than Batman.

My reasoning was based not only in mythology, but the integrity of storytelling. Is my mind open to a rousing new tale by Grant Morrison taking Bruce Wayne through the ages as a result of Darkseid’s Omega Sanction? Sure. But, it’s a big sucker punch to the current storyline (which is working out quite well, again, gentlemen will agree to disagree) and, frankly, a cheap marketing shot on the part of DC Comics; albeit one everybody saw coming. Bringing Bruce Wayne back into the present timeline is a missed direction at doing something strange and amazing with the character on a semi-permanent basis somewhere in the distant past. But, I suppose I shouldn’t judge a six-shot comic series by its covers.

I guess only one thing’s certain at this point: Dick Grayson’s gonna be pissed.

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