Saturday, September 18, 2010

Batman Odyssey #2 and #3 - DC

Once again, I can't over emphasis how thrilled I am that not only is Neal Adams back . . not only is he doing the character he's probably most famous for, besides Superman, but . . he's also doing the story and art here. What more could we ask for? I liked the first book, but . . I thought it was a little bit confusing. However, the second issue helped to clear that up immensely. Bruce was telling Dick the story of one of his very first outings. It's a time when he was experimenting and trying out . . well, pretty much everything. He was working on his image, his delivery, his impact, his methods and his choice of weapons. Which is really what I think that first story stemmed from . . I think he was trying to explain to Dick why he'd decided to go with the 'no-guns' policy. Also, in the present, the case they're working on is closely related because a lot of what he'd learned in the past has led to his preparedness in the present. In his current case, Batman has 2 fronts to choose from. The Riddler is going after something at the mint, while his clues . . his riddles, has lead Batman to believe that there's also something going down on the docks. And it may be more important. While any attempt at the mint is important, I think Batman believes that it's more of a diversion than anything. Which lead Batman and Robin into a fire-fight at the docks and trying to protect a Professor and his daughter, whom have come to see off his latest endeavor . . a hydrogen based car. The heist is made to look like they're after a shipment of antiquities, but actually I think they're here to destroy the car. Although, even they don't know why. And were never really given a full explanation on how to do it. The issue ends with Batman making a misstep and going down in a tornado of bullets. Obviously though, this can't be the end of the Batman as he's still telling the story. We find out later, in his conversation with Alfred, that everything is an act. Not only did he line his suit with Kevlar and try to limit the impact and damage from such a deluge. But he's also equipped the suit to spurt fake blood out through the bullet-holes. It's all for effect. He wants to give the criminals the illusion that they've taken him down, while amping the impact when he rises again to finish the job. We spend a lot of this issue learning about a lot of Batman's techniques for fighting and overcoming the less experienced criminals that he faces. It was actually really interesting. But I think the main focus of this issue was the Batman trying to figure out what's going on here at the docks. They know that they couldn't really have been after the antiquities. First of all, after Talia's arrival, they find out that they belong to Ra's al Ghul. And anybody who'd try to steal from him would have to be insane. Also, these are pretty large pieces. It would be difficult for them to fence them, let alone move them. So he's left believing that they're after the car. But he can't figure out why. The issue ends with Batman thinking that this all doesn't fit together. 'It doesn't fit. This is a puppet show and all our strings have been yanked . . and we're dangling like fools. This man . . or men behind all this haven't even made their first move. This is just the setup. The first question to which is WHO IS THIS MAN?!' I like the way that Neal is constructing this story. He's using past and prologue the emphasis the important connections to everything. We just have to figure out how the pieces all fit together. And the art? The artwork is amazing. But we knew that was going to be the case. Really, my only complaint about this issue is that the variant cover is simply an uncolored version of the main cover. It's tauted as being a sketch cover, but really . . it's just an uncolored version. It's an 'ok' concept. Really it is. And I think my complaint comes more out of greediness than anything. We have the opportunity for a variant cover here . . a chance to see some more great Neal Adams art. But instead we get the same picture in a different format. Don't get me wrong. I'll probably buy them all. But . . I just think it'd be a little more cool if we could get a different picture. I know. I'm just being greedy. Anyways, I think it's a great series and I can't wait to see more.

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