Now I am not what one would call a die-hard Batman fan. For me, he is far more enjoyable in team setting, with the Justice League or the Outsiders. His ‘Network’ has a reach that touches nearly every Earth-bound corner of the DC Universe. However, Batman’s fate through the Final Crisis and the Return Of Bruce Wayne was hardly the Dark Knights standard territory, except maybe in the pages of the Brave And The Bold and of course the aforementioned JLA.
Still, such an experience can hardly leave a man unchanged, even one as obsessive and pragmatic as this one.
In Batman The Return we see the start of those changes, and some feel a little more familiar than others. A thousand G. I. Robots on order? Echoes of The Kingdom anybody? They keep creeping in, Magog vs Captain Atom in Justice League Generation Lost, the creation of the Emerald City in the recent JLA/JSA crossover. Who would have thought that one Elseworlds novel would have had such an influence?
Return is rather a strong word as well. Bruce Wayne was already on ‘The Road Home’ while he was still bouncing ‘Returning’ through time. Scheduling this so that it came out in chronological order would have been a nightmare, and now it’s all over I rather admire DC for throwing any attempt to the winds and telling each section of the story almost simultaneously.
So, Batman The Return sets up a nice new villain deep in the shadows by the original name of Leviathan. Batman Inc however gives full range to Grant Morrisons inventiveness and hopefully his encyclopedic knowledge of comics history will come into play. This is enough for me to jump back in to the Bat-titles, waters I have not played in since the days of Contagion.
World’s a-changing. Hop on to enjoy the new dynasty. For as long as this one lasts at least.