Bat-Time

Time and the Batman: written by Grant Morrison and Fabian Nicienza; illustrated by Frank Quitely, David Finch, Tony Daniel, and others (2010): Collecting Batman 700-703, this collection could also have been titled ‘Loose Ends’, as it comprises one double-length anniversary story, two ‘missing’ chapters from the previous Batman R.I.P. storyline (‘missing’ in the sense that Morrison could only tell them after that story was over, as they gave away certain plot points), and a bridge issue leading into The Return of Bruce Wayne.

The art is top-notch throughout, and Morrison gets his loopy on with the 700th anniversary story, which spans hundreds of thousands of years and features several different Batmen (Batmans?) in several different time periods, though the three lengthiest stories focus on Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Damian Wayne.

Morrison pulls in one of the Silver Age Batman’s weirdest story ideas — a time machine that essentially hypnotizes people into different eras (!) — as a prelude to The Return of Bruce Wayne, the Batman time-travel story to end all Batman time-travel stories. Well, until the next one anyway.

Enjoyable but short (about 120 pages, padded with pin-ups and diagrams of the Bat-Cave), this is best enjoyed by completists or by people who find it remaindered, as I did. As a hardcover, it’s worth $10-$12, but not the original +$20 cover price. Recommended.

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