Brian Michael Bendis’ first solo outing of The Dark Knight, Batman Universe comes to its dramatic close with colorful fights, a universe without Batman, and an iconic homage in this Wednesday’s Batman Universe #6!
Before going into the details of Batman Universe #6’s story, let’s mention something about the last five issues. As a long time fan of Batman who has read a multitude of Bat-centric stories, the last five issues of Batman Universe have been part of one of the best Batman stories in recent years. That statement out of the way, Batman Universe #6 continues this greatness, ending what may be one of the greatest Batman mini-series of all time. Let’s get into why issue six is so great.
Batman Universe #6 accomplices what every good ending should—it wraps up all loose ends in a satisfying manner. No thread feels unspooled, no door left open, but most importantly, Bendis doesn’t leave the story open for a sequel. Granted, a sequel could happen, but Batman Universe #6 isn’t written to bait for one. Instead, Bendis makes the mini-series a self-contained one and done story. This format works out for the best, especially for someone just wanting to read one story.
There are a few cases where Bendis’ knack of heavy word usage (dubbed “Bendis Speak”) shines through and bogs down the gorgeous art. But, this heavy word usage comes with the writer’s territory, especially when it comes to detective stories. Bendis does use the dense wording to his advantage in the credit page, as the page has a nine bubbled dialogue from Batman.
At first, that amount of dialogue bubbles on one page may scare you, but Bendis and artist Nick Derington use this moment to great effect. Derington uses a single page with the credits adorned on the top while Bendis has Batman recite the last five issues as a recap page for readers. This is due to Batman recording his adventure thus for into his armor’s recording device. When starting said recap page, I thought to myself, “great a long-winded Bendis Speak,” but once the dialogue finished I knew It was worth writing about, due to how smart of a page it was.
The duo of Derington on art and Dave Stewart’s colors for Batman Universe may be the Batman dream team of the years. Derington’s lines are simple, easy to follow, yet elegant in its execution. Each panel complements each other, while the double-page spreads are used to their max potential with the Green Lantern Battle, and a trip through time being immensely awesome. The scope seen during the Green Lantern (GL) vs. Vandal Savage is huge, with multiple GL’s flying around fighting Savage and scuba gear, jetpack ninjas.
During the latter of the issue, Savage and Batman ensue in epic fisticuffs that transports them through various defining moments of the DC Universe. During the two page spread, Derington gives each moment its own panel as the duo can be seen in the background. But, Derington’s beauty doesn’t stop at just double pages, as he makes even the simplest moment look gorgeous in its presentation. Derington’s art is amplified by the flamboyant colors Stewart brings to issue six.
Stewart keeps Batman a few shades darker than all the environments and characters surrounding him to help build a great contrasting color scheme while making him stand out. That is until Batman is in the White Lantern suit that’s damn near blinding. Stewart mixes in a fair amount of bright-colored pages that never seem too bright. Instead, these images brightness comes from the shades of colors Stewart uses that greatly complement the manner Batman is colored.
The abundance of dialogue seen throughout Batman Universe #6 is immense. Luckily, ALW’s Troy Peteri’s lettering helps a great deal in the bubble dense areas but doesn’t save it in the smaller panels. This isn’t due to Peteri’s lettering, as he had the hard job of fitting in a multitude of words into small panels. When there’s breathing room on the page/panel, Peteri’s lettering is excellent with his ability to make the art visible while still guiding the reader’s eyes.
A Huge Batman Universe Out There
The creative team of Batman Universe is a reader’s dream for a Batman mini-series. Aside from some heavy dialogue cluttering the gorgeous art, Batman Universe is a must-read for any fan of Batman, or soon to be fan.
Memorable Quote: “I’m Batman.” – Batman
I mean, it doesn’t get much more memorable than that! Plus, the art portrayed on this page is gorgeous, and I hope they release it as a poster.
The first few issues of Batman Universe had me thinking that it’ll end up being one of my favorite Batman mini-series. After the release of the final issue, I can say, “yes, it is.” But we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think below!