Monday, October 18, 2010

The Return of Bruce Wayne #5(of 6)

Overall: This issue starts off in the present with the Justice League planning what to do in the event Bruce was able to return to the present, since his reappearance would lead to... I guess the end of the world or some similarly dramatic plot device. While that is going on, Bruce is now in the recent past, and is tasked with playing the role of detective in the deaths of his parents. It seems his maternal grandmother feels that Thomas Wayne(there's that name again!)faked his own death and had her daughter(Bruce's mother)killed. And so Bruce(along with a femme fatal named Marsha Lamarr)dig into the case, meeting up with Martha's parents, searching Wayne Manor and getting closer all the while. Unfortunately for Bruce, Marsha betrays him, since her goal in this whole scenario was to impersonate Martha and sully her reputation. To this end, Marsha and some satanists knock Bruce out, take him to a crypt at Wayne Manor and tie him up, so Marsha(as Martha)can murder him on camera. Marsha sets Bruce on fire, but before she can finish the deed Bruce is once again pulled through time. Back in the present, bells begin to ring in the JLA Watchtower(why bells?)which Red Robin somehow figures is signaling Bruce's return to the present. Sure enough, Bruce, wearing a cape of wires and sporting a cybernetic eye(for some reason)comes strutting out of some transporter bubble.

Well, on the plus side, I found myself enjoying this story for the most part. I know, I'm surprised too! The middle of this comic was actually pretty good, with Bruce investigating the death of his mother and interacting with her family. Of course it all went to hell in a hand basket when Marsha is revealed to be a secret satanist, who was intent on destroying Martha's reputation(which doesn't make much sense since Martha was, you know, dead...), and then to top it all off, Robo-Bruce emerged from the transporter. What I wonder is how the hell Grant was able to explain this storyline to the editors at DC. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as he was going over this mini-series... At least then maybe I might have been able to figure out what this whole sad ordeal was supposed to mean. God do I need some crib notes to help me figure out what the hell is going on here...

Score: 5 1/2 out of 10."In the name of the first red rock and the rage, and the angels and dukes of the dark side inferno pits." Did Grant mean for those words to come out together or did he just pick a bunch of random words out of a dictionary and type them out?!


  1. Lmao, these three reviews have been wonderful. Grant obviously loves whistling because it brings the rats in his cave closer so he can hit them with a stick and have dinner that night.

    Robo Bruce? Really?! Sure, why the **** not?! And man, I commend you for reading all this crap. I gotta ask though X, what the hell is the deal with Thomas Wayne?! Are we supposed to believe that Black Glove guy is REALLY Bruce's dad and he's such a jackass he wants to kill his son and wife and he's immortal?! God I hate Grant Morrison sometimes.

  2. "Lmao, these three reviews have been wonderful." Well I'm glad to know that my mental anguish amuses you, JT! :D

    Oh, and your whistling line had me literally ROLLING, JT! Rolling I say! It makes perfect sense! He's obsessed with whistling because it's saved his life so many times!

    As for Thomas Wayne, I just don't know... I HATE that it looks like Grant is doing a butcher job on Batman's origin. I really hate it. Batman's origin(as is)might be the greatest comic book origin of all time(which is amazing, since it's like 70 yrs old!)and it looks like Grant is hellbent on changing it up. I'm telling you, if it turns out that Bruce's father was some sort of crazed, manipulative, immortal demon-worshipper, I... I don't know what I'll do, but it'll be ugly. That would completely change so much of Bruce's origin and motivation for being Batman up... I mean what's next, Superman really wasn't from Krypton, he was actually a government experiment gone wrong? I want to see just how royally DC is going to screw up the Batman mythos. I can feel a full rant post coming on VERY soon...

  3. Yeah, your anguish makes me feel great. Think Bill and Dale. And I'm NOT calling you Bill, before you say it and I feel like a jerk :P

    Lol glad you enjoyed that. It makes sense for crazy old Grant, the man who lives with rats, old candy bars and a typewriter.

    Ouch, you just mentioning that Superman thing kinda annoyed me, so I see what you mean with them messing up Bruce's mythos. I'm hoping that this is all squared away soon and Grant fixes things because right now he's like a bull in a china shop.

  4. Nope, too late. Now I feel like Bill. And that depresses me. :-(

    "Like a bull in a china shop"? JT, you are ON tonight! Awesome.

    Anyway, think of it like this. It looks like Grant is trying to say that Bruce's father is some bad guy from way back. On top of that, Bruce's old man had his wife murdered in that alley and faked his own death. Now, Bruce's whole reason for being Batman is because he wanted to make sure that no child suffered through the random crime that took his(by all accounts)loving parents away from him. It's why he always has a soft spot for kids like himself(Dick Grayson, Jason Todd originally). Now, Bruce finds out that the crime wasn't random, but was set up by his old man, that his father is an evil mastermind, and even better that his father isn't even dead! What's Bruce's motivation for being Batman now then? This whole "Thoms Wayne is an evil bastard" turn takes the whole "random crimes turned young Bruce Wayne into... The Batman!" thing away! I so don't want to see that happen... I was annoyed when Marvel tried to say that Spidey's powers were actually magic based, but this would make that look like nothing.

  5. Lol I'm sorry X. You can be Thatherton if ya want. Or Boomhauer.

    Haha well thank you X, thank you kindly. It's true though. I love how this is a bash Grant thread now.

    Why do you have to take something that isn't broken and toy with it. Moreso, why do people LIKE this stuff? Overall it just sounds absurd and dumb. I mean do I have to come back in 4 years and read ALL this stuff just to understand it?! And if THAT's the case, why fake your death in the first place when you could've just has Martha killed. Also... why would you leave Bruce as a witness? So much stuff sounds stupid when you think about it.

  6. HA! Hmm, now that I think about it, I don't really want to be anybody from KotH!

    "Moreso, why do people LIKE this stuff?" I think that's the thing that has me the most perplexed actually. I guess there are some people out there who just CAN NOT see the flaws of a writer they consider their favorite no matter what he/she cranks out. Hell, you know that Ed Brubaker is my favorite writer, that doesn't mean I give EVERYTHING he writes a 10 and can see no wrong in his work. Sure, most of his storylines are amazing, but even he'll occasionally put out a stinker(like the first storyline for Secret Avengers). When I opened Return #3, I expected to hate it based on the first two issues, but I was still hopeful that it would prove me wrong(which as we both know, it didn't!). I just don't get why some fans refuse to condemn certain writers no matter what they write...

    I STILL can't quite figure out the Thomas Wayne thing... Was the burglar supposed to kill Martha and Bruce and he screwed up and shot Thomas instead(if so, that was one HELL of a screw-up!)? Was only Martha supposed to be shot? And if so, what about Bruce? Plus, with how obsessive Bruce is with things, as he got older, wouldn't his detective instincts have told him that there was something fishy if his father did indeed fake his death in that alley? You'd think that eventually it would dawn on Bruce that the whole scene was a set-up. All I can hope is that eventually Grant leaves DC and whoever is in charge undoes everything he's done these past few years(sort of like Marvel did with the Magneto thing when Grant left), returning Bruce to his classic origin and forgetting all about this Barbatos crap.

  7. Lol what's wrong with being Boomhauer? Boomhauer or Joseph, pick, pick now!

    Exactly. Like we joke and stuff but if Walker wrote something else I was interested in I'd read it, just cause I didn't like the Mad Hatter thing won't keep me from reading it. Just like I like some Grant stuff and I'll admit some of it is amazing, I still love Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul as one of my favorites but this current stuff is crappy. Hell, I'm loving Bryan Q. Miller's work but if he wrote a crappy issue I'd admit it.

    Exactly X. I can't understand why you would ever try to villainize Bruce's father. We've always heard how generous he is and how the whole city went to crap after the Wayne's death because they were the only good people left for the most part, so why turn around and say "Thomas was a evil s.o.b, oh and by the way he faked his death, purposely killed Martha and changed his face so his trusty butler and Son would never recognize him.

  8. Boomhauer is just so unlikable to me! He's just so scuzzy! Does that mean I have to be Joseph? I guess in a way that makes some sense...

    Dude, exactly! I don't know if anybody on the Net ripped on Bendis as much as I did for the past two years, but recently he's kicked it back into gear. That doesn't mean I'm gonna keep on saying he sucks, because lately he doesn't. If Grant would put together a good Batman story that made sense and didn't mangle Batman's 70 yr old origin(which DC should have made off-limits, btw), I'd be the first to say it was awesome. Hell, I've always raved about Grant's New X and Marvel Boy work. But his Batman work has just been SO bad!

    That's what I mean! Thomas Wayne was always a real stand-up sounding guy. Hell, he was a dr and all. Now all of a sudden he's an evil, immortal, satanist?! Hell no! To be honest, I'm hoping Grant will pull a swerve and say that the evil Thomas Wayne wasn't Bruce's dad, but some crazy ancestor or something.

  9. Lol if by some ways you mean one obvious way that I hadn't even thought of until you pointed it out :P

    The funny thing is, they changed WW's origin a bit, and changed Supes' past a bit but Batman is always pretty much off-limits for good reason, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    I was hoping the swerve would be something like Thomas Wayne (Black Glove one) is like Joe Chill or some crazy stuff, I just don't know.

  10. Exactomundo mi amigo! X = Joseph DOES actually make some sense... :D

    Yeah, because like you said, Batman's origin DIDN'T NEED to be fixed! I mean, who can't understand what motivates Bruce? He has THE perfect comic book super-hero origin. I mean it's literally perfect. And when something is perfect, you DON'T change it!!! Well, unless you're Grant Morrison and DC I guess...

    Eh, I'd even take that over this Black Glove Thomas Wayne actually being Bruce's father. I really don't want to see that happen...

  11. Lol now you just gotta be half Native American, have a wispy mustache and be freakishly tall for a thirteen year old.

    I remember reading an Interview where Grant says that Batman's like a sandbox for him to play around in but he has to fix everything before the next writer takes over. At this point I just want him to fix everything and move on, let him go write JLA or some stuff I don't feel obligated to read.

    Man... if he's doing all this crazy time traveling stuff with Bruce, who let's face it, outta all DC heroes, he's one of the ones that could actually be real if someone was crazy, dedicated and rich enough, Imagine what he'd be doing with Wondy or GL or Flash or Superman.

  12. Well I was freakishly tall as a 13 yr old, the other things might be a bit tougher to accomplish though...

    Well, at least he knows that he has to fix everything before he leaves. You know, I wish I would have known that years ago, I wouldn't have bothered reading any of the Bat-comics these past few years! I'd have just stuck with back issues!

    HA!! Can you IMAGINE Grant Morrison taking over Green Lantern?! It would be practically unreadable!

  13. Haha, can't grow a mustache X? Even a wispy one?

    See that's another thing. I don't get why they "killed" Bruce anyway, only for Grayson to be Batman for like a year or maybe a little longer. Because it gave Damian a role he pretty much had, promoted Dick and Tim and demoted the hell outta Jason. But there's so many OTHER comics with Bruce still as Batman that you never really got the feeling that Dick was Batman, that's why whenever I reviewed Batman comics I always had to put (Grayson) next to it.

    Haha. "So today we find out that Kilowog is actually Soranik Natu's mother, having had a sex change that was brought upon by the Guardians. Meanwhile Hal Jordan was bullied in highschool by Guy Gardner which pushed him to strengthen his Will, and he then saved Kyle Rayner from being hit by a car driven by a distracted John Stewart!!!!"

  14. Well I can now! Just not when I was 13. Hell, I couldn't grow a full goatee until I was like 24 because I couldn't get my damn mustache to grow in!

    JT, that is so on the ball! There were SO many times in my reviews I'd be like, "So Batman(Dick Grayson)did..." Because he just never seemed like the real thing. Plus in a comic like Superman/Batman, Bruce was still Batman for like 80% of the stories since he's been lost in time, so yeah, go figure. Like you said, what exactly did "killing" Bruce accomplish? Damian was gonna be Robin regardless eventually, which meant Tim would have had to go solo anyway. Dick became Batman, but we all know he's not going to ever BE Batman(if you know what I mean), and Jason, who SHOULD have finally found redemption after Bruce's "death"(I mean they had the perfect opportunity for a Jason face turn when he went to the Cave to listen to whatever message Bruce left for him!!!), just became a lame Batman rip off before becoming an even bigger joke as Grant's Red Hood. Yeah, these past few years were quite forgettable...

    "Meanwhile, Carol Ferris was impregnated by an evil futuristic version of Hal Jordan, who was then revealed to be Hal's great-grandfather, unbeknownst to everybody! After saving Kyle from John's out of control car, Hal discovered that it wasn't actually John behind the wheel, but his dreaded enemy the Lamp! Hal and the Lamp battled and Hal was attacked by Kyle, who mistook Hal for Hal's evil great-grandfather(who Kyle met in a dream 33 days ago). The Lamp managed o make good his escape in the ensuing chaos and Hal and Kyle's battle was halted by John Stewart who emerged from a magical Stop sign, where Sinestro had left him!" Hey, it's pretty easy writing like Grant! :P

  15. Haha, meanwhile I've been growing a beard since I was like 15, 16. I wish I couldn't because shaving is an annoying thing. So Joseph Gribble, you up for killing a panda? Lol

    I agree 100%, and what annoys me is Tony Daniel is the one that made Jason a big heel in BFTC, and he wasn't even supposed to write it. If I recall Judd was originally going to write it which I'm positive would have led to Jason being redeemed as well, but instead we saw Tim get his ass whooped, Damian get shot, Jason kill a bunch of cops for no reason, and then get beat up by Grayson, only to return later as a Red Head with a Phallic Helmet.

    Lol the best part was you pulling a Morrison and adding that treacherous villain known only as The Lamp! He'll really "Light you up!"....ugh... now I really AM Grant!

  16. Dude, it REALLY is! Women don't get that, but shaving is pretty annoying!

    Huh, I didn't know that... O gotta admit, I did indeed enjoy the beginning of BftC, but the end of issue #2(with Tim getting impaled)and all of issue #3 REALLY sucked... Between that and Grant's unfortunate take on Jason, it's been a bad two years to be a Jason fan...

    Yeah man, we could EASILY become the next Grant Morrison. Just write the most absurd stories and create a bunch of really lame villains... Let's see, there's the Lamp, the Pencil, the Rug, hell, the choices are endless!!

  17. Right? Hell I really only shave every two weeks and it's still annoying. Hell, If I had to shave everyday I'd go insane.

    See, and I liked the idea of each character getting a comic to themselves like one for Tim, Jason and Dick. And yeah, outside of Lost Days and the Red Hood movie, this has been a crappy time for Todd Squad members ;-)

    Lol The Doorknob, The Poster, The Desk, The Chair, The fan and The Bookshelf. Boom, new Secret Six.

  18. That's the good thing about going to college, I don't have to shave everyday. Once a week is good enough for me. Now if I had a career, I'd be a slave to my razor.

    Yeah, but does the DVD and Lost Days really make up for the absolute crap DC has dumped on Jason before? I say nay! Sorry, I watched that new Avengers cartoon earlier tonight and have Thor on the brain...

    HA!!! The Doorknob... Ah Grant, you crazy bastard...

  19. I know what ya mean. The best part is just growing your beard out just so you don't have to shave it. You gonna do that no shave November thing?

    I'd say kinda because it helps give Jason more fans and tell more people about him that may have not been acquainted with our Middle child known as Jason.

    Haha, yeah, Grant's one crazy S.O.B.!

  20. Nah, after about a week it starts to bother me too much.

    Yeah, I guess anything that brings some attention to Jason is a good thing... Provided it's GOOD attention and not Grant Morrison attention! :P

  21. Ah, I think the most annoying thing is when you wake up with stuff in your beard from your covers and stuff. Man that annoys me.

    Yeah, anything not a PHALLIC HELMET!!!