Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Comic Musings I

A spoilerific look at the day's breaking comic book news.

Rickleton over at Nerd Blog made a damn fine about spoilers the other day, but sometimes you can't help but see them sadly.

The Source and various other comic sites today revealed that a new series The Return of Bruce Wayne will be written by Grant Morrison and begin in April.

To be fair, I should have seen it coming after the War of the Supermen announcement earlier in the week, which will no doubt bring Clark back to his own books.

Now anyone who has spoken to me about comics knows that along with Geoff Johns and Ed Brubaker that Morrison is one of my favourite comic writers and I'll pretty much read anything they put out, but this announcement irked me a bit for a few reasons.

1. I sort hoped that Bruce would stay "dead" a bit longer. I'm not naive enough to think that he'd be gone for ever. (Not like I did in the 1990s when I first started reading Batman and Jean-Paul Valley took the cowl after Knightfall.) Plus dispite the hype and initial media hysteria, he was never really dead in the first place. I just hoped that Dick would have the limelight for awhile longer and could have done without knowing that in around September (April + 6 months assuming no slippages - it should be on time as a different artist is doing each issue).
2. Due to the Bruce fighting his way back through time nature of the premise, there's going to be a clamour of peole comparing Batman more to Brubaker's run on Captain America and current DC to current Marvel storylines even more. Even though they are mostly coincidences, after all there's only so many types of story you can tell in pulp fiction.
• Marvel brought back Bucky - Captain America's long dead partner - in a really successful story line, to great acclaim to take a high standing role in the Marvel Universe. && DC brought back Jason Todd - Batman's not quite so long dead, but dead partner - in a ... well the brought him back. I wish they hadn't.
• Captain America died, in a really well written comic. && Batman died in a really well written comic. Technically he sort of died twice, which I'll come to in point 3.
• Captain America is coming back in a series called Reborn which involves Steve Rogers being unstuck in time, reliving moments of his life as his greatest enemy possesses his body. && Batman is coming back, in a story that involves him fighting his way through time back to the present. Tho in both cases it's not 100% certain that they will retrieve their mantle, but with them waiting in the wings it's a matter of even less time than it was.
• Captain America's former sidekick, The Winter Soldier, Bucky is now Captain America. && Batman's former sidekick, Nightwing, Dick Grayson is now Batman.
• Blackest Night, which had been planned for ages since Green Lantern: Rebirth && X-Necrosha, which had been planned for ages since Kyle and Yost started offing X-Men in New X-Men. You could even say that Blackest Night is sort of like Marvel Zombies, but with rings.
• JLApe && Marvel Apes.
• Etc...
Similar but not really comparable (even tho I just did) hmm.
3. I wonder how they'll tie the story in to the two ways Bruce died. Or if they'll even try. One of the things I thought was genius about the way that he died in RIP was that if you were only reading RIP then you got the full story and were ready for the Battle for the Cowl and the "new exciting status quo" that came after it. Or if you were reading Final Crisis then it made sense then. I guess they won't bother and just go with the Final Crisis one, which was the kick off point for the Red Robin series.
4. A mini series? Seriously? Are there not enough bat-books on the stands that it could go in one of those. Maybe kicking off from Batman #700?

I'll still read it tho, when it hits trade form :o) Tho I do wonder how essential Batman & Robin will be, and how it will all tie in to Batman #666, but then I guess that's the joy of the medium. Still, it all looks good for the next chapter in Morrison's Batman epic, it's just a shame this will be the fourth title to feature the storyline.

For a "humourous" take on it, see Newsarama's post on the subject. The best bit being the Gladiator Batman and the line starting "My name is Bruce Anthony Wayne. Son to murdered parents..."

Dick, chin up son, maybe there's a spot for you on a team consisting of Wally West, Kyle Rayner and Connor Hawke for heroes who graduated to their mentor or predecessor's role but stepped down again. Might be a use for the Titans book. Heck, I'd probably read it with that line up.

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