What’s up for the Bat, who will be in a bunch of projects in the coming year:

1.  BATMAN 3.  In a surprise move, the studio has agreed to let George Clooney reprise his role for the third film, after troubles on the set of Terminator Salvation made them back away from Christian Bale.  Kidding, of course.  Far as I know, it’s still the team supreme: Bale and Nolan.  And director Christopher Nolan has no desire to film it in 3D.  Hoo-freakin’-ray.  I can’t stand 3D.

2.  THE RETURN OF BROOOOOOOSE.  Grant Morrison’s “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne” miniseries will chase Bruce through time, where he was sent skipping like a stone by Darkseid. It’s the perfect story for Morrison: Non-linear, heavily based on concept, and inherently told in unconnected chapters.  Reading Grant Morrison is like watching every scene in a great movie in random order and with a few key background scenes missing altogether: It doesn’t make sense until you see the whole thing.  Twice, at least.  And then you still feel like you missed something.

3.  TIME MASTERS.  Alongside that series, DC will run “Time Masters: Vanishing Point” in July, which will feature Superman, Green Lantern and Booster Gold(!?!) trying to snatch Mr. Wayne out of the timestream.  It’s so bizarre how similar the treatments of Batman and Captain America have been, from being lost in time to the assumption of the super-identity by another character to the fact that Bats, like Cap, apparently will not retake his title when he returns.  In interviews, DC folks have been saying that Grayson will be Batman for the foreseeable future . . .

4. BUT NOT THE RETURN OF BROOOOSE.  . . . Which is a good thing, actually, because Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Robin” book is easily the best DC book on the stands right now, and the only one I’d say classifies as a “can’t miss” comic.

5.  DAVID FINCH, who recently signed an exclusive contract with DC Comics, will do his first non-cover work on Batman #700.  I can’t think of a more fitting project for his dark, violent specialties.

6.  KICK ASS!  And don’t miss Nic Cage’s (apparently ad-libbed) tribute to Adam West in the Kick Ass movie.

7.  KIDDIE BATMAN!  Or Batman: Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network, if you’ve got kids under twelve who require a kinder, gentler dark knight than the one in Nolan’s films.  It’s been renewed for a second season.  Plus, it’s voiced by that curly haired weirdo from The Drew Carey show!

8.  BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD.  DC has released a trailer:

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