This morning’s DC news reveal is the return of Bruce Wayne, who was Lost-ed into the time-flux during a big battle with Darkseid at the end of Final Crisis. Since then, Robin has been Batman and Batman’s stinky kid has been Robin. The real Bruce Wayne will return in April in a six-issue mini-series called, surprisingly, THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE. Grant Morrison continues his well-received arc on the character, and artists involved include Chris Sprouse, who will draw the first, 38-page long story, and possibly Frazer Irving. Andy Kubert drew the concept art. Subsequent stories will be 30 pages long.

Morrison expands on his plans to hotel guests nationwide in an interview in USA Today:


The first episode is set in the Late-Paleolithic Era, the second is in Pilgrim-era Gotham Village, and we also get to see Gotham in Western or noir style.

Each of the stories is a twist on a different “pulp hero” genre — so there’s the caveman story, the witchhunter/Puritan adventurer thing, the pirate Batman, the cowboy, the P.I. — as a nod toward those mad old 1950s comics with Caveman Batman and Viking Batman adventures. It’s Bruce Wayne’s ultimate challenge — Batman vs. history itself!

I’ve tried to thoroughly research each time period so that the stories work not only as at least fairly plausible reconstructions of life in the real 17th or 19th centuries but also as romanticized “pulp” versions too, while at the same time referencing the more extravagant history of the fictional DC Comics Universe in the background.

Veteran comics readers will recognize this as the whole “Elseworlds” concept, a long running line of imaginary stories which saw Batman (or Superman) as a pirate, Victorian detective, viking or gay cowboy who went to the mountains for sex each year. The line was scrapped earlier in the decade because it getting really silly. Of course, Morrison has a knack for taking things which are really silly and making them far less silly and much more iconic and multi-layered, so this could be a fine jumping on point for non-veteran comics readers. If anyone can write a story where Batman slays and then dons a giant prehistoric bat-thing, it is surely Grant Morrison.


  1. And to think that after all this time, I never took Elseworlds seriously.

    So I imagine all those books such as Gotham By Gaslight will all be soaring in value in price guides everywhere.



  2. … I actually really miss Elseworlds. I mean, sure, if you’re making them just to make them, they get silly really quickly. But it would be cool if they still had the label around and used it every time a good writer came up with a neat alternate universe to play with.

    Alternate universes are great! Who can forget the What If Vandal Savage Won WWII episode of Justice League? It had Batman and Lex Luthor teaming up as resistance leaders of awesome! Arguably one of the best episodes of the series.

    Also, who can forget the Elseworlds comic where ancient Japan was invaded by an alien and Bruce was a woman? I’m not sure where that came from, but she ended up a ninja resistance leader, proving that Batman is still Batman no matter what, I suppose. Wacky, but pretty cool.

    I’m always more willing to cough up the cash for something that’s a fascinating new spin on a favorite rather than the 4 millionth retelling of the same origin story, so for me, Elseworlds were frequently a win. I’m still hoping for a Star Trek / Galaxy Quest / Random Space Ship Show with the serial numbers filed off Elseworlds of the Justice League or the Avengers, I admit it.

  3. Rick Veitch did this with Swamp Thing only going back in time & teaming up with various historical DC figures like Enemy Ace, Tomahawk etc.
    This is the storline that would have had Swampy meeting Jesus doing the crucifixion

  4. I guess this Grant’s tribute to those stories from the 1950’s where Batman & Robin would go back in time and assume period appropriate costumes.
    Even if it’s just an animal skin while wearing their masks.

  5. Isn’t the original Captain America also lost in a time stream? I mean, it’s been a while since I picked any of those up but,…and, hey,…didn’t his former sidekick also take over being,…aw,…never mind.

  6. DC and Marvel copy each other, Steven Taylor. I don’t think anyone else on the planet has noticed that there’s this constant contest between the two to see who can execute a certain type of story or crossover better.

    Marvel: “You replaced Batman? We’ll replace our Captain America and bring back his dead side kick like you did. In. Your. Face!”
    DC: “You like zombies, huh? Well,we eat zombies like pie every freakin’ day and so do our readers. Hee- ya!”

    Hmn. This can’t be right.
    We’re probably just crazy, right, Steve?