Batman Universe is the ride of a lifetime. Coming out of DC’s new 12 page giant line, the book has been filled with the wildest stuff you can ask for from the DC Universe. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Nick Derington, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by ALW’s Troy Peter, Batman Universe #6 (reprinting stories from Batman Giant #13 and 14) concludes this standalone Batman story. Bendis, Derington, and Stewart have brought us a fun filled take on Batman drawing from more classic tales of the caped crusader. It’s Brave and the Bold for a whole new era, and with this issue these creators have wrapped up a fantastic and fresh new Batman story.
Unlike 22-page monthly comics, this issue reprints two 12-page stories from the Giant issues. This format greatly enhances the enjoyment of the book. Bendis usually tends toward decompressed comics, sometimes to his detriment. With these 12-page stories, he’s forced to condense his plots, more-so than some of his other works. This results in a well-paced book that may be the best thing Bendis has written since coming to DC Comics. Every 12 issue short story feels impactful and has purpose. Bendis is also a great fit for this take on Batman. His iconic style of dialogue meshes perfectly with the brave and the bold style banter between the caped crusader and his various allies and villains that appear. Heroes and villains alike have great lines and strong voices. This issue also delivers satisfying conclusions to the mystery the entire story has centered around. This has been a crazy Batman adventure, and its only fitting that the finale is equally as wacky.
Batman Universe’s ending takes the Dark Knight to a crazy cosmic level like something out of the Silver Age, and it’s just great. Derington’s art balances the lighter tone of the series with wild inter-dimensional spaces perfectly. Dave Stewart’s colors are explosively vibrant, and work in tandem with the pencils to bring these raw super-heroics to life. Between mystical energy dimensions and splashes filled with characters, this is a visual delight. The art team also does a great job with character’s expressions. Derington’s style works great here to make a cartoon-like aesthetic with a very emotive Batman. He’s much more expressive than what we usually see, and it gives the overall story a great sense of character. It’s a fantastic job by the art team in making something truly unique.
Batman Universe #6 is a wonderful standalone adventure. It’s bright, fun, and incredibly heroic, all of which are my favorite things about Batman. This story feels so fresh, while also drawing from classic Brave and the Bold tales. It’s an accessible standalone adventure that shows off so many great parts of the DC Universe. This is just a delightful Batman story and is absolutely worth reading regardless of your level of experience with the DC Universe. This creative team has brought another classic Batman adventure into the world, and it feels like they were having the time of their lives doing it.