Like one of his own Batarangs, it's never long before the original Batman swings back around into the forefront of the DC Comics Universe. Though Bruce Wayne took the brunt of DC villain Darkseid's deadly Omega Effect at the end of the publisher's "Final Crisis" event, the wait began almost immediately to see when he'd return in his pointy-eared splendor.
That wait ends next week with the shipping of "Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne" #1 from Grant Morrison and Chris Sprouse. The first of six time-hopping issues, the comic presents the Dark Knight in caveman times as the earliest step towards his own return to the fray in modern day Gotham City with future installments being drawn by Frazer Irving, Yanick Paquette, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook and Lee Garbett. Today, DC unleashed the first four pages and covers for Sprouse's issue via their blog The Source, and CBR has the whole preview here for a quick click through.
"Andy [Kubert] just went to town with the idea of what Batman might look like if he'd developed in these different time periods," Morrison told CBR of his cover artist's kick start to the series last December. "How would the bat-equipment work? How would you get the mask effect? Or the effect of a cape? If you look behind the six covers Andy's done – they all join up into one big image – Bruce is mostly wearing sort of conventional period clothes, dictated by the in-story logic. In the first story, Bruce is actually stripped to the waist, as we saw him on the last page of 'Final Crisis.' All he has is his utility belt."
Look through the preview now and check on back with CBR later this week for a chat with Morrison about "Return" as well as the shocking twist end to his most recent "Batman & Robin" arc!