white_tiger: Tigerzord! (A Hero Deep In Thought...)
[personal profile] white_tiger
For a month, comic book-wise at least, all Bat-related issues are shelved to reintroduce the return of The 'Bat'Man...Bruce Wayne in the DC Universe. The cliffsnotes are as follows - for about over a year or so now, Bruce Wayne was believed to be dead by everyone who knew him from the first Robin, then-Nightwing and now (one of 2) Batman Dick Grayson, to the Man of Steel Superman.

Only one person believed that he was still alive, and for almost a year - but only a few months DCUwise - he had alienated himself from his family and friends to find evidence to support his theory: Tim Drake, former Robin and now donning the identity of Red Robin. Tim discovered that Bruce wasn't only alive, but lost in time. Eventually the others came around to that same realization and Tim reconciled with his family before informing them of his findings.

The 6-issue miniseries titled The Return of Bruce Wayne hasn't been completed yet, issue 5 having only come out today, but it chronicles the Dark Knight's journey through time as he attempts to reclaim his memories of who he is.

As for the October-related month...





Bruce is back but has only revealed himself to a few people (as of press time), one of them being Tim Drake/Red Robin as it was discovered in Batman & Robin #1. What was also discovered? The fact that Hush-who's face is changed to look exactly like Bruce-is being kept secure and was required to masquerade as said billionaire to throw Vicki Vale off the trail of her revealing the Batfamily's secret identities to the world.

He may have gone a little bit too far by kissing her, though.


Red Robin™ #1


Tim has gone globe-hopping yet again, this time having crossed the 'Pond and made his way to Amsterdam strictly for business - trying to keep the Council of Spiders, at least 2 of them, from killing the mayor of Gotham City. He does so, but according to his mentor - who seems to have temporarily donned a souped up ninja suit complete with speed force energy and having connections to the Justice League teleporter - he has to get better at improvising.

"...I feel like a student again!"

An unexpected tease is tossed in when Tim notes, inner voicewise, that his new cooler suit is with Cyborg pending for some wiring upgrades. Still, the former Boy Wonder is put to the test when Bruce decides to gauge his son's current skill level as well as his own after becoming the 'inside man' for the Spiders. Ironically, Tim was planning on pushing Bruce as well. Their inner voices during the following page as 3 members are brought down and arrested is gold:

"We're so in synch it's like we never skipped a beat. But I know him - what he's thinking - proud of us, but worried we've left him behind, concerned I've bitten off more than I can chew, that I've agreed to live in too many shades of gray..."

"He's worried that I'll try to overcompensate for my time away...run roughshod over his well-earned independence."

"He's right to be worried."


Despite the unsettling knowledge that Ra's al Ghul knows that Bruce is back, and the disbelief of Alfred actually admitting to Vicki's face that Bruce and Batman are one and the same-though he mentions that he'll deny as such later-I enjoyed this issue as I knew I would. Bruce, in the pages of his White Casebook, mentions Tim's pros and cons -

"...This new persona as Red Robin, born of darkness has found the light. But it is a light filtered through images of gray that concern me. Not because I fear what Tim will become, but because I fear he will try to become too much like me. His strength lies in his ability to balance the dark with the light and understanding that ultimately order can't be won without a healthy embrace of chaos. His weakness lies in thinking that eventually, it will all have to be done by one man - himself.

"So, my task with Tim is one I have to work hard for myself as well: never to forget you have allies in this war, that you need those allies and friends...and to try, just a little bit, to enjoy those ties a little more, because they're so fragile...."



Batgirl™ #1



As the Spoiler, Stephanie Brown was, in Bruce's words 'a variable I could barely control.' These days as Batgirl, she's known to be in the wrong place at the right time. Said quote is proven right beyond the shadow of a doubt as Batgirl confronts Bruce still in disguise with his high-tech ninja suit. Unlike with Dick and Damian, he took it easy on her. She reminds him of Dick in his early Robin days due to her wisecrack/talking comments 'in that regard.' I found it very humorous when she believed she was fighting Amazo.

Obviously Steph's a variable Oracle, aka Barbara Gordon can barely control herself. When requested that she stand down while the Birds of Prey step in, she actually had her fingers crossed. Stephanie handled an ambush thrown her way rather well, as Bruce was invisible during said ambush (another one of his suit's abilities). Ultimately, Stephanie did find Bruce as it appeared that he was going to assassinate someone from either the Wayne family or Lucius Fox's. And once she revealed what she knew he revealed who he was.

"...All of this today...this was all some kind of trick? Some kind of GAME?!!"

"It was a test. And I have to admit you've done...admirab-"

SLAP!


Bruce found Stephanie sometime later, in her Batgirl guise and despite the silence from the former-other than noting "You slapped me in the face."-the latter spoke her mind: that even though she's glad to see him alive, and that he missed the zombies which was a Blackest Night plug, she was worried that he would take her new life away. And when she saw his face she wasn't afraid, but angry. She stated that she refused to give up being Batgirl, and was about to buy back the sell but Bruce asked if that was what she really wanted.

"Yes."

"Then say it."

"I want to be Batgirl."

Cue meeting from Alfred to Bruce later on in an alley off Crime Alley. The closest person he has to a father, and it was quite awesome to see this moment take place. Bruce did note that Stephanie, as well as Wendy are both the daughters of criminals and that they would both need watching possibly from Barbara despite the whole 'trust' factor. Alfred mentioned that "...You didn't need to test the young Ms. Brown's mettle."

"She's got Alfred sticking up for her...good for you, 'Ms. Brown.'"

Bruce replied that it wasn't about whether or not he needed to test Stephanie, but that she needed said test. The previous Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, was brought up during this meeting. Bruce hasn't gone looking for Cassandra since his return because he knows exactly where she is. Tim has been in regular contact with her, not to mention that apparently when Cassandra 'quit' being Batgirl...she was following Bruce's orders and did precisely what he asked her to do in the event of his death or disappearance: hand over the mantle of Batgirl to Stephanie Brown.

Bruce mentions in his White Casebook improvements about Stephanie - while she's formerly a 'liability,' a loose end and a variable, as Spoiler her skill was outweighed by her need to please and obsess - as well as how much his return will have on her goal as Batgirl: "...Brown's now a 'wild card' in the best of ways. As the only low-profile member of the family team organization, Stephanie has an invisibility the rest of us do not have the luxury of possessing. Like the others, Brown has shown growth in my absence. Unlike the others, my return may have the least impact on her operation - one not born of fear, but of hope for a brighter tomorrow. Who knows?

"Maybe there's room for hope in Gotham, after all."


Indeed, Bruce. Indeed.
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white_tiger: Tigerzord! (Default)
White Tiger

February 2011

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