Batman Odyssey: Bats Gone Plum Loco

Not to grind up a legend of the caliber of Neal Adams, a man who has helped shape the Batman we’ve come to know over the years, but his current project is really out there and it leaves me wondering if the big man will save this one from being a total train wreck. Yes, sir, “Batman Odyssey” continues on its journey, astonishing readers who have yet to make head or tail of it. And the book is only on its fourth issue. The darn thing is supposed to go for twelve issues.

Maybe Adams was high when he wrote this, even if it’s just high on life, because it does have a hallucinatory quality to it, what with its flashbacks that lead nowhere and its abrupt changes and unusual verbosity. But this thing certainly has legs, and hands and feet and they seem to jump right out at you due to Mr. Adams’s amazing use of foreshortening. There is some beautifully trippy art to be found here. It reminds me of a trippy three-issue Spider-Man special from not too long ago.Three issues! Not four times that. Not a dozen, only THREE.

I flipped through the four current issues at my local comics shop, intrigued by all the offbeat Bat imagery, and taken by the fact it was both drawn and written by Neal Adams. This looked like just what the doctor ordered in more ways than one. I won’t call it one of those “it’s so bad it’s good” situations, although a case could be made for that. I think what’s happened here is that someone let a kid into the candy shop and forgot to check in on him. Adams has Batman packing heat, endlessly talking gibberish, gyrating from one impossible position to the next, in histrionic rants with Alfred and, all the time, we seem less and less clear on where the story is going. Adams is just having way too much fun. He is Neal Adams after all. Let the man have his fun. That doesn’t change the fact that this Batman is plum loco.

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Filed under Batman, Comics, DC Comics, Neal Adams

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