Thursday, October 14, 2010

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 (of 6)

After a bit of a stumble last issue, this issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne brings us back to the top.

But before we look at the story, I have to say how fantastic the art by Ryan Sook is (with inks by Mick Gray). His lush, stylized work is perfectly suited to this "film noir" storyline, with great use of shadows, craggy-faced henchmen, beautiful women and the ornate settings around Gotham City.

Which makes it a shame when, 22 pages in, a different artist takes over. That's no slam on Pere Perez, whose style matches reasonably well with Sook's - it's just a bit jarring when styles change in mid-stream. It's a problem this mini-series has experienced before, and it seems to be a curse that's following writer Grant Morrison around. (I'm looking at you, Final Crisis.)

There's certainly nothing wrong with the writing here - Morrison seems to be having a lot of fun playing with the "hard boiled detective" genre here, as Bruce Wayne awakens in a hospital bed with no memory of being shot or traveling through time, and quickly finds himself involved in the mysterious schemes of a beautiful woman.

The story is really picking up speed now, as we see the answers to some puzzling earlier scenes and we start to understand the depths of Darkseid's reasons for launching Batman through history.

Despite the art problems, this is an excellent series - hopefully the wait for that final issue won't be much longer.

Grade: A


1 comment:

Dwayne said...

While I've been reading this book, it kind of reinforces an opinion I already had -- I like my Batman origin nice and simple. I think the idea of a young boy witnessing his parents' murder and making it his life's cause to fight crime is perfect in its simplicity.

"Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot... I must be a creature of the night..." What more do you need?

Stories like this are just too much overly sweet frosting on a perfectly baked cake.