Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Batman: the Return of Bruce Wayne #3 - DC

So far, to me . . this has been the best issue of this series to date. At least Bruce Wayne is a little more coherent in this issue. And, apparently, he appears to be piecing together some of the various memory fragments that seem to be floating around in his brain. Last issue we saw that Bruce had landed at the feet of Blackbeard the Pirate. Which, I guess, is appropriate because I seem to remember reading that there was some pirate activity back in Gotham's early history. Anyways, when Bruce shows up, Blackbeard had just sunk the Black Pirate's boat. He's something of a legend, and he's supposed to have a treasure hidden in the caves and coves under Gotham. So Blackbeard assumes that Bruce is the Black Pirate. Never mind the young boy that's also washed up on shore with them. Anyways, the 3 of them, plus a dozen of Blackbeard's men, head into the caves. This is where we find out that this legend goes all the way back to the pilgrims. Which, of course, we know that Bruce was also here during that time. So when the Pilgrims arrived the last of the Deer Tribe retreated to the caves to join the Bat-People. Or, as they're sometimes called . . Ghost People. And in the caves there's a series of traps that the Miagani have set . . 'the whistling demon . . the breath of the bat . . the bridge of bones . . the river of night.' Meanwhile, while all of this is going on in the past, in the present the JLA is looking into the events and location that lead up to Bruce's disappearance. Well, all except for Superman and a few others that have gone off to Vanishing Point to see what they can find out from that end. And that's where we find out the things that Tim found that finally led to everyone believing him that Bruce was still alive. 'We found bat-symbols carried across the Siberian land bridge into Europe by cavemen and built into 19th century gardens . . all the clues led us to the relic . . nomex fire-resistant fabric, Kevlar hood with built in electronics. It survived 11 thousand years in a cave so it's incredibly fragile . . but we think we found a way to bring it out for close analysis.' It's Batman's cape. And it's got holes in the cowl that match the spikes in the crown, or helmet, that Darkseid had held him prisoner with. Which all adds up to . . Bruce is still alive. However, Superman has to figure out how to stop him from returning. Because he's figured out that, because of the Omega beams, that the energy flowing through him will have some cataclysmic effect should he return to his proper time. And Bruce has come face to face with his own legend. It turns out that this young guy that washed up with Bruce is actually Jack Valor . . the real Black Pirate. Well . . a couple of generations removed. His grandfather was the actual Black Pirate . . the original. Jack just decided to carry on his legacy. Anyways, Jack leads Bruce to the last of the Miagani. They recognize Bruce and want to show him something . . his cowl and utility belt. He leaves the cowl hanging, obviously . . since they find it in the present. But I think he takes the utility belt. At the end of the story Bruce jumps forward again, and . . this time it looks like he's going to meet up with Jonah Hex. I really enjoyed this issue. I think we learned more in this issue than the first 2 combined. Which is cool. They have to stretch this thing out for 6 issues. Right? In the previews for the October books we see that that'll be the month when Batman returns. There's a whole lot of Bat-books out that month. But right now everything is being kept hush-hush. It looks like the landscape of Gotham, and the Bat-family in general will be in for quite a shake-up at that time. And Grant Morrison will be at the helm of the whole shebang. Our 2 cool covers this issue are by Yanick Paquette and Andy Kubert. With Yanick also doing the interior art. I think things are really starting to heat up in this book. And I really can't wait to see what Bruce has to go through next.

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