Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Sprouse
Bruce Wayne fighting cavemen, and the future hangs in the balance. With guest appearances and cameos. What’s there not to enjoy?
Bruce Wayne has been hurled to the dawn of mankind. Even when disoriented and half naked, in any era, he is still Bruce Wayne – the Batman – and there’s always work to be done. This time, it involves fighting cavemen, and that’s before crap goes down.
I really like this issue. Maybe it’s just the idea of Bruce Wayne fighting cavemen, but this is fun. It’s the start of a gauntlet that will pit Bruce Wayne against struggle after struggle, against cavemen, pilgrims, pirates, cowboys and so on as he tries to fight his way home.
This is how the first issue should be – introduce the basic premise that is interesting on its own, add in a teaser for good measure and have a low barrier of entry for new readers. It’s self-contained and so far doesn’t require knowledge of the current Bat books or that convoluted mess Final Crisis where he actually “dies.”
Instead, this book is enjoyably simple and straightforward. Bruce Wayne is fighting his way though time on instinct alone (and maybe a utility belt), which is a fun idea in itself. It helps that the cause of his time-traveling misadventures isn’t completely random and out of place like a certain other super hero who made his big comeback from the dead earlier this year.
Then with one single page, we get the hint of a whole other layer of urgency and intrigue to the plot. We learn that there is more at stake than just Bruce Wayne returning to the present, but we’re not told how and why. We learn as the story progresses. It’s a great teaser that hooks readers on for the next issue if they weren’t already.
And of course the guest villain in this issue makes perfect sense. Where Bruce gets that sword in the last page, not so much. But I don’t care. I’m genuinely excited to see the next issue and how Grant Morrison brings back the Dark Knight to modern day.
The setting is dark and barren. The terrain is rocky and the sky is red. Everyone is given an appropriately rugged look for this caveman setting. Hard, muscular, hairy. Bruce really needs a shave.
This book looks as it should. It depicts the characters and setting in an appropriate fashion and gets the job done.
This era’s Bat suit is particularly fitting. A prehistoric giant bat, killed and skinned, serves as one of the more intimidating capes and cowls in Batman’s collection. This is what Batman would probably look like in this world (except for the utility belt and tight pants). The bat’s face and figure are well detailed, from the wrinkly nose, tall ears, fur, wings and teeth clamped down on Bruce Wayne’s head. It’s the kind of get up that can really put some fear into a superstitious and cowardly lot.
Although giving the Boy character a painted-on domino mask… is it truly impossible for any young boy around Batman to not become Robin? That may be a bit much, but otherwise the art is decently above average without being jaw-droppingly awesome.
This first issue is off to a great start in bringing back Bruce Wayne to the 21st century. It’s an exciting beginning to what will hopefully stay an enjoyable ride back to the future, even if there is no DeLorean involved.
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10
Overall (Not an Average) 9/10