I didn’t think the first face I would see in issue #2 would be as bad as what greeted me in issue #1 but I was wrong. I opened this up, took one look, laughed out loud and threw the comic back to the table. Jeez… the first panel looks like an old Asian man taking the angriest poo of his life, but in actuality it’s none other than Bruce Wayne, who showed up at the end of last month’s issue alive and well. This, of course, proved the theory that the Batman we saw die in a fish-related explosion was really Dick Grayson all along. Man…Someone needs to write a story in which Dick Grayson has a good death. In just the past 6 months I’ve also seen him go out like Hilary Swank in
Anyway, this comic is bad. End of review.
- You love Andy Kubert’s artwork
- Batman Odyssey was actually pretty cool (check out my review. I assure you it’s for a real book, not a random assemblage of insanity– it was a published book)
- You like the feel of these matte pages
- …that’s all I got, sorry.
What? You want something more substantial? Fine.
Elderly Bruce Wayne has been away somewhere the whole time Dick and Damian have been serving the city as the new Dynamic Duo. It’s never explained where Bruce has been vacationing beyond Damian making a crack about an “old folks home” but that’s pretty doubtful considering Alfred’s still working full time as the butler in Wayne Manor. I really don’t see Bruce retiring, especially without Alfred in his employ, but that’s a whole other discussion. The point is that the fight scene looks great but it’s filled with dialogue in which Damian sounds exactly like Sylvester the Cat. No, you read that right. Go back and check, I’ll wait. Yeah, I said Sylvester the Cat, as in the feline with a speech impediment and taste for small yellow birds– THAT Sylvester the Cat. Writer and artist, Andy Kubert, has fun writing things out phonetically a few times in this issue and I’m not sure which example is worse.
After the battle in the Batcave, Damian finds solace back in the Catholic Church (who knew Damian was so super Catholic?) where a priest who may or may not be Jim Gordon offers advice. This discussion ends with the priest shouting from the confessional “It is then that you can truly become the Batman!” thus blowing any semblance of privacy and letting the whole cathedral know that a famous crimefighter is present… sigh. I don’t even think we’re halfway through the comic at this point, people.
Damian finally becomes Batman out of a desire to prove himself to his father and honor the legacy that fish-blowed-up-Dick Grayson left behind. After much playing of online chess on his personal computer, enough time finally passes on the business computer for Damian to locate where the Joker was last sighted– Arkham Asylum (as if it would be anywhere else– look, it’s going to be there, ACE Chemical, or Amusement Mile. Pick one). Then, just as it seems like we’re really going to get an interesting mystery of some kind we cut away to a single page in which Batman is being treated by a grotesque nurse who has a monologue that runs the entire page AND IT’S SPELLED OUT PHONETICALLY AGAIN! This time, though, it’s in a… I guess Kubert was trying for a Bostonian accent or maybe a Harley Quinn accent… I think that the nurse might actually be Harley Quinn… maybe… or maybe I’m trying to hard to find something of any kind of importance about this page because it comes out of nowhere. I was going to read back through all her dialogue to look for some kind of hint but the phonetic spelling is painful to read. Literally painful.
There’s some more action near the end and we even get a villain who does more than die within 1 or 2 panels, but really the comic just flies by. I wish I could say painlessly, but it’s not painless. It’s bad and thankfully brief.
This would be a better comic if it was released like a Mad Libs and we got to fill in the speech bubbles and narrative boxes ourselves. Look at the comic, it can be absolutely beautiful– but don’t read it. Seriously, there are some gorgeous panels here and I love the colors that were used throughout. Only when anger or confusion is meant to be expressed on the faces of characters do these illustrations look bad. It’s a really good-looking book! It’s the “everything else” that I don’t want any part of.
I definitely don’t recommend this one. The artwork looks really great as long as no character is yelling– then it looks downright silly. But overall it’s a nonsensical story with really bad dialogue and characterization. The spirit of Batman Odyssey is alive and well in this book… I thought it was over but apparently I gotta cast a horcrux back into the firey chasm from whence it came in order to end this madness. *sigh* at least the newest form Odyssey‘s has taken is only 4 chapters long and not 13.