Grant Morrison is a master of dreaming up ideas that hark back to the era of adventure serials. It’s a breath of fresh air during a time when prevailing storytelling wisdom is to go as dark as possible – especially in a medium which has always had at its core an element of wish fulfillment.

The Return brings to a climax the events that Morrison has been building on for some time in Final Crisis and Batman and Robin. After the big showdown with Darkseid, Bruce Wayne is sent spiraling backward through time, landing in the Paleolithic era with no memory of who he is. Bruce has to somehow make his way back to the present, unaware that doing so will have catastrophic consequences. Along the way, the Dark Knight journeys through the Witch Hunts, crosses swords with Blackbeard, shoots it out with Jonah Hex in the Old West, matches wits with a noir femme fatale and jumps to the end of time itself.

Also included in this deluxe edition hardcover is a supplemental sketchbook section, featuring Morrison’s character designs and thumbnail sketches, as well as designs by the various artists.

Grade: B+

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne is currently available.