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Batman: Off-World #4
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Batman: Off-World’ #4 introduces a new extraterrestial enemy for the Dark Knight

A new threat and a new look into Batman’s head.

The first half of Batman: Off-World saw Batman training to defeat all manner of alien foes. In true Jason Aaron fashion, it also featured some outlandish concepts, including robots designed to be living punching bags, aliens that felt truly…well, alien thanks to Doug Mahnke’s design work, and sidekicks (including a giant alien wolf.) Now in Batman: Off-World #4, the Dark Knight faces a new threat in the form of the Blakksun Mining Company, who fund a slave trade throughout the galaxy.

The only problem is that Blakksun has heard of Batman as well. Since he’s been cutting into their business, they want him dead. Enter the Thanagarian: a bounty hunter who’s wanted for multiple crimes across the galaxy and gunning for Batman’s head. Even with his newfound skills, does Batman still stand a chance?

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I mentioned before that Off-World is chock full of the off-the-wall concepts that populated Aaron’s comic book career, but he also used those concepts to ground his stories in human emotion. In the case of Batman, fear is that primary emotion. He’s fighting to be the best he can because the moment he falls, Gotham City will be overrun with chaos and death. In fact, it’s the thought of that failure that keeps him going – which is a perfectly Batman response to a situation that’s out of his control.

Mahnke keeps adding more variety to the alien species that populate this galaxy in Batman Off-World #4, especially when it comes to Blakksun’s owner Lady Wrath. She is rail-thin, yet the way she carries herself exudes strength. Her chalky white skin and glowing red eyes are the stuff of nightmares – and that’s not even getting into what she does to her victims once they’re in her grasp. Jamie Mendoza’s inks add layers of cruelty to Lady Wrath’s every expression, which is sure to send a chill down readers’ spines. That’s not even getting into the Thanagarian; his armor is sleek, menacing, and his wings look far deadlier than Hawkman’s ever did.

Finally, I can’t praise David Baron’s color work enough. He’s working with every hue possible here; there’s neon pink and sea green and cobalt blue – and that’s just referring to the aliens viewers will encounter. The colors really pop when Batman encounters the Thanagarian; the former’s dark blue armor provides a striking contrast to the latter’s red and white armor.

Batman: Off-World #4 starts the back half of the series with a new threat and a new look into Batman’s head. So far this comic has been firing on all cylinders, and signs point to it ending just as strongly as it began. One can only hope that between Off-World and his stint on Action Comics that Aaron gets to cut loose on other DC icons.

Batman: Off-World #4
‘Batman: Off-World’ #4 introduces a new extraterrestial enemy for the Dark Knight
Batman: Off-World #4
Batman: Off-World #4 starts the back half of the series with a new threat and a new look into Batman's head. So far this comic has been firing on all cylinders, and signs point to it ending just as strongly as it began. One can only hope that between Off-World and his stint on Action Comics that Aaron gets to cut loose on other DC icons.
Reader Rating1 Votes
9
Jason Aaron uses the out-there sci-fi concepts to dig deep into Batman's state of mind.
Doug Mahnke designs some cool villains in the form of Lady Wrath and the Hawkman.
David Baron's color work is a visual spectacle.
8
Good
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