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Review: Batman Odyssey #2

Batman gets shot. A lot.

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Batman's experiences with guns fold over eachother as he recalls daring escapes on the top of an exploding train as well as a nearly-avoided catastrophe with hydrogen cars.

The Good

Neal Adams is a certified legend of comics art and you need to look no farther than this issue to understand why.  His compositions are elegant, his layouts are continually creative and the amount of detail and dynamism at his command is endlessly startling. Seriously, he's even able to make a page of a shirtless Bruce Wayne talking to the reader about his adventures just pop out of the book. There's also something intrinsically appealing about reading a Batman comic that's this brazen. This wild story isn't hindered by a single restriction inherent in continuity. Also, I give him credit for his mastery of getting sympathy points because the little old lady Batman saves in this issue had to be the most pitiful little old lady I'd ever seen in comics. My stomach was practically in knots over the prospect of her getting hurt.

The Bad

The dialogue here is strange and more than a little jumbled. There are lot of turns-of-phrase that haven't been in the popular parlance for a long time pressed against modern slang that doesn't quite sound right along with some bizarre asides, like Batman noting that he can't leg press 2,500 (?!) pounds. Batman, in particular, seems to switch from being a no-nonsense man of science to a jive talkin' smart ass. The coloring also was a bit inconsistent, with texture fills and a perpetual sheen that didn't quite integrate with the art as a flatter style might've.

The Verdict - 3.5/5

This feels like another contender for Scott Shaw's Oddball Comics column because the central inspiration behind this seems to be "Batman getting shot." There are portions where Bats is doing the firing with two big pistols, of course, but the central recurring image is really about him getting absolutely lit up by barrage of fire. It's on the covers and it's on a lot of the pages many times. That, plus the carthweeling dialogue really remind me of All-Star Batman in that I suspect Adams might've done a lot with this his tongue firmly in his cheek.