GLX takes a look at Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Walden Wong
Colorist: Tony Avina
Months ago, I was thrilled to hear that Cameron Stewart would be drawing the "Cowboy" issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, Stewart had to drop out. Georges Jeanty was revealed to be the replacement penciller. To be frank, his work drags down the comic.
I've never consider a fan of his work. His work was neither here nor there, from my perspective. In this issue, his work is rough; but not in a good way. From looking at the art, it's clear that this was a rushed job. Jeanty's pencils don't portray the characters well. Sure, most of the time, he tells the story clearly; but his figures and backgrounds are lacking. I'm sure that Walden Wong and Tony Avina gave it their best, as well, but they just couldn't bring the art up to par. I feel that the art team did the best that they could, with what time they had, but I have to place most of the blame on DC.
From what I recall, Stewart was announced as the artist of this comic, before it was revealed that would be drawing Grant Morrison's last issue of Batman and Robin. I also remember hearing that Stewart left the comic to work on an Assassin's Creed project with Karl Kerschl. With that in mind, DC should've had a better grip on things. Perhaps, Stewart could've finished this issue and then moved on to Assassin's Creed. Maybe, someone like Jordi Bernet or Russ Heath could've drawn this issue. I could go on about this, but the point is that DC dropped the ball.
Grant Morrison's script is not his best work, but it's still entertaining stuff. Jonah Hex vs. Bruce Wayne. Thomas Wayne (Dr. Hurt) and Vandal Savage teaming up. They're cool ideas and Morrison handles them well. Sadly, the art lessens the impact of Morrison's script.
The tragedy of this entire comic is that this could've be prevented. If DC had handled things better, this issue could've been something great. Unfortunately, Georges Jeanty's work reminds me of Igor Kordey on New X-Men. Both artists were rushed and both turned in work that was not up to their standards, due to deadlines. Morrison has laid out some great stuff, so far, and I hope that Ryan Sook can step up to the challenge.
6.5* out of 10*
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