The Return of Bruce Wayne #2 hit the stands Wednesday and it was f*ing awesome. I don’t review Grant Morrison’s work because, by own admission, Morrison’s writing reduces me to a rabid fanboy. In keeping with this tradition, this is not a review, a recap or even commentary on the story. I have left those tasks to more capable writers than I.
If you permit me, I want to get a bit panoramic and talk about the idea of an Oeuvre. As I was reading David Uzumeri’s fantastic Annotations: ‘Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne’ #2 it dawned upon me: one of the reasons Grant Morrison stands out as one of the mediums finest writers, of all time, is because for the last 20 years or so Morrison has been diligently constructing his Oeuvre at DC.
What do I mean by an Oeuvre? Dictionaries usually give one of the two following definitions: 1) a work of art 2) a body of work; the total sum of output produced by an artist, writer, or composer.
I am going rely on a slightly modified, modified in order to account for both the periodical nature of comic book writing as well as the comic book industry’s division into two mainstream publishing houses and a myriad of smaller independent publishers, version of the second definition. I propose the following definition of an Oeuvre: a body of work, displaying an underlying unity, that not only originates in a shared universe but irrevocably refashions the precepts of that such universe.
Stan Lee has an Oeuvre. Niel Gaiman has an Oeuvre. Jack Kirby had several Oeuvres.
With this latest mini-series, we can now add Morrison to this illustrious list. His oeuvre ranges from as early as Animal Man (and perhapsJLA) to the Kingdom, 52, Seven Soldiers, Final Crisis, Batman, Batman And Robin, and now Return of Bruce Wayne. More-over the goal of his oeuvre, which firmly stated is summed up by Morrison’s much repeated maxim “It’s all in-continuity,” is finally coming to full fruition. Read the rest of this entry »