Have you seen that episode of “Battlestar Galactica” where the Cylons show up every 33 minutes and they have a timer on board every ship and when the clock runs down they all freak out because the thing they fear and hate the most is about to come back? Well that’s how I’ve been with the DC release schedule and “Batman Odyssey” only this month the book came early! Can you imagine Captain Adama if those toasters had shown up 10 minutes early? He would’ve ****ing lost it! And that’s how I feel. And yes this is the first and last time I will compare myself to Edward James Olmos.
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve given “Batman Odyssey” consistently low scores. It’s clearly not going to turn into a good story or even a coherent story anytime soon so from here on out (there’s only one more issue left– knock on wood) I’m going to set aside the usual 10 Point Scale of Batman Comic Book Quality and will instead award points for insanity. As far as I can tell, the only real reason to pick up this book is to see how far Adams will take the craziness. Did he just throw in a few Egyptian gods? There’s a point! Did the Egyptian gods just say they are actually result of ancient genetic experiments? There’s another point!
Everyone should read at least one issue of “Batman Odyssey” but make sure it’s the craziest one possible. So here we go. Naturally, when I say the crazy thing it’s likely going to spoil it for you so if you’d like to skip to the end and just look at the Insanity Score Total, I won’t be offended. Hell, I won’t even know you did it!
Bruce Wayne is finally wearing a collared shirt? Minus one point!
Flying on giant bats? +1
In the center of the earth? +1
Giant bird named “The Roc” that just showed up for no reason, but it’s actually the terror of all the hollow-earth folk? +1
Batman blew it up within 2 pages and the guts sprayed everywhere?+1Neanderthal Batman and Dinosaur Robin? Oh, you better believe that’s 2 points! +2
Wait…the story is cutting back to the unseen writer who is jotting down Bruce’s story. He’s telling Bruce that he skipped over an important plot detail. But, since the story is so jumbled and nonsensical I didn’t notice a thing. But apparently it was big. So now Bruce is going to rewind an issue and tell the story of the Engineer Undergods’ Domain. So…we’re going to see the Egyptian Gods again. I guess I’ll give all that like three points. +3
Batman traverses the River of Death and faces a one eyed purple people eater…it’s the same image as the cover. They didn’t even create an original cover for this book, they copied this page and then mirrored it so Batman is startled on the left hand side rather than the right. *sigh* How? How did this get… how? I realized Adams has a lot of capital. The man’s a legend, but… Jesus. A giant purple horned monster with a giant eye? That’s like 5 points. He has to run out of jacked-up thing to add to this story sometime soon! +5
It’s wearing pants. +10
Turns out this thing is a Cyclops from Greek mythology. Not only that but it calls Batman “Batman” without asking for his name, so Batman instantly deduces that the cyclops is a telepath as well. +2
This has to be one of the finest moments in “Batman Odyssey” hands down. The creature read Batman’s mind to find out how Batman was going to defeat him. It turns out that Batman was going to use a “Henway”
“What’s a Henway?” you ask.
“ABOUT TWO AND A HALF POUNDS. WHY DO YOU ASK?” — Batman
Boom! he uses a giant flashlight built into his belt and blinds the monster who calls for his wife and son to help. They all have a philisophical, telepathic discussion about what it means to take a life. Seriously, if you have a girlfriend and you’d like to get her into reading comics– hide this one. Hide it. +10
Alright, the book gets really bad for a few pages. Not the typical “this doesn’t make any sense” or “that’s crazy” terrible, but it jumps to a few different points in time and it’s unclear what’s actually going on. The art’s still nice though, and the colors of this issue feel sharper that usual. Annnd a few pages later we see that Superman, Clark Kent, has been the unseen reporter this whole time. That’s not really crazy, though. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why he’s writing this AND recording this when he said on the first page of this issue that he would never get to publish it. Also, if it’s Superman– why does he have a band-aid on his hand? What catastrophic event had to happen to make Superman wear a band-aid? Oh and we lose a few more pages as Bruce explains that this has been Ra’s Al Ghul all along, BUT that was already explained in THE LAST ISSUE. So what the hell is going on?
I’ll tell you what, Bruce explains that he knew all of this already. He knew everyone was being played by Ra’s this whole time. Does that make sense? No! So why did he “play along”? Well he did it so he could go to war in the underworld and learn that there is a time to kill. In fact, he outright states “I could kill Hitler and sleep like a baby.” +5 points for seeing Bruce Wayne say that.
So that’s it. The moral at the end of “Batman Odyssey”, the reason Adams wrote a story about Batman traveling to the center of the earth to join neanderthals, aliens, and Jazz MAGICians in a battle against trolls, T-Rex, giant birds, and cyclops was so Batman could learn that when killing is unavoidable, he must kill. But there’s one problem, we’re not at the end of “Batman Odyssey” — it’s never over. Ever. There’s still one more issue left AND we’ve still got like 5 more pages left.
The final pages are fine. Pretty normal really. At least as normal as the first couple issues of this series were. Turns out Batman and Sensei didn’t fight and everyone came home and told Ra’s Al Ghul that he’s a dick. Sensei’s men come for Ra’s, there’s a brawl, and a note for a “Final challenge” that leaves Batman to say — and it might be the first time he’s ever said this himself– “Same bat time, Same Bat Channel” +1
FINAL SCORE: 40 Crazy Points (I think, you might want to run through and count it again. I’m exhausted)
Is that good or bad? Well, I don’t know. I think it’s high. Like I said, it’s my first time measuring “Batman Odyssey” on this scale. It’s still a terrible comic and something nobody looking for a well-written story should spend $3.99 on. But if you’re looking for something really weird and zany then this is a great one. Sure, you’re missing out on shirt-less, hairy chested Bruce, but this may be one of the best, loopiest issues of Odyssey yet!