Batman Universe was originally included in Batman Giant, a compilation of new and old Batman stories. Subsequently released as single issues, Batman Universe #2 follows Batman and Green Arrow in Amsterdam as they chase after The Riddler and the mysterious Fabergé Egg in his possession.
Brian Michael Bendis is doing thrilling work in the Batman ‘universe’. In interviews, he admitted that he was afraid of writing the iconic character. Despite his fears, Bendis manages to not only tell good Batman stories but adds his own stamp on the character. Batman seems simpler, much of his dark psychology toned down. Bendis depicts him with greater wit and humour but not in a radical way or in a manner that makes him too fluffy or soft. Much of this style occurs between ‘Bats’ and Green Arrow as they chase down and confront The Riddler. The dialogue in these scenes is good. The story is a frolicking adventure, well-paced, fun and entertaining – with some worthy moments of reflection and intrigue as we witness the adverse effects the mysterious egg has on the Riddler.
Nick Derington’s art is masterful. His work, especially on bodies and faces is not overly detailed or realistic but he captures facial expressions and body movements perfectly. The way figures occupy space and the composition of a scene is magnificent. He makes it easy to follow the story as well as the action, a mesmerising feat of visual storytelling. For example, when Batman is led all the way to Gorilla City. The two splash pages showing his entry into the city are glorious. Also good are the splash panels in the Batcave. The colouring and rendering of the holograms and their placing in these cave scenes are also worth mentioning.
Remarkable lettering by Josh Reed is another bonus. His words are smooth with well-placed speech bubbles that don’t interfere with the action. The use of different colours and styles of speech bubbles feels natural and looks good too.
With a great story and superb artwork, it is evident much thought and care went into Batman Universe.
Batman Universe #2
Batman Universe #2 is a refreshing take on Batman and his rogues. This issue can be enjoyed by any casual reader as well as long-time fans.