November 22, 2010

Rebuilding Bruce Wayne

One of the many reasons I'm extremely grateful for Grant Morrison's work on Batman is that, within four issues (Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne # 6, Batman & Robin # 16, Batman: The Return and Batman Incorporated # 1), he's managed to do something I've never thought anyone would be able to do.

Actually, two things - move the character beyond the Frank Miller pastiches of the last twenty-some years, but also really begin to rebuild the character of  Bruce Wayne.

It's one of those so-obvious-it's-easy-to-miss approaches: simply put, Batman is more than just a person who fights crime: he's also a master businessman (after all, he's got to pay for his wonderful toys somehow). It was an approach that Morrison hinted at earlier in his Batman & Robin run, when Jason Todd (as the Red Hood) talked about "rebranding" his crime fighting career.

Granted, transitioning from time traveling Batman (with some extra Kirby-esque pondering) to global crimefighting franchise might not have been easy...but in the space of four issues, Morrison manages to do it effortlessly.

This has been a long time coming, but now may be the time to get on board with Batman - at the very least, Morrison is taking the character in a direction that is creative, unique...and very sorely needed.

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