Batman Universe #1 // Review
Once only exclusive to Walmart stores across the United States, Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derrington (Doom Patrol) finally bring their take on the Dark Knight to readers and shops worldwide. Covering the material from Batman Giant #3-4, the Caped Crusader must embark on a mystery in the search of The Riddler. Derrington delivers his unique, near- retro, and beautifully polished pencils to the series. By far his best work to date.
Following a lead from clues obviously left behind from The Riddler, the Caped Crusader gets himself into a bit more than he bargained for. Facing a host of Riddler look-alikes, Batman must wade through the emerald sea of people in order to catch the one and only Edward Nigma. Making his way to a small desert town Batman comes face to face with Jinny Hex, current Young Justice members and ancestor of the infamous Jonah Hex. Learning all he can smart the young girl the Dark Knight discovers the true Riddler with the help of an unexpected friend showing up at the nick of time.
After his run with Gerard Way on Doom Patrol previously, Derrington had continued to make a name for himself and truly display his expertise for the medium. His signature style has a simple elegance that compliments Bendis’ street level drama and absolutely elevated the material. From his creative camera angles to just the sheer artistry of his pencils, Derrington is at the top of his game. With Dave Stewart on colors to bring that saturated pop, this issue truly leaps off of the pages and soon store shelves as well.
Brian Michael Bendis brings his A game to the title. After nearly two decades over at the house of ideas, Bendis left Marvel for DC to helm both Superman and Action Comics titles. Now with this Batman Universe storyline, Bendis feels completely within his element as he deals with the more ground-level threats, for now. Standing more akin to his time on Daredevil than his other current works with Young Justice and soon to helm Legion of Superheroes, this title presents a light-hearted take on the Dark Knight while still managing to keep the serious undertones.
As the Walmart Giants continue to come out each month, readers can expect a lot from this series as well as the multitude of other once exclusive stories to the retail behemoth. Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derrington deliver a fun story for all ages as Batman takes on an actual detective role to uncover the truth. Whether within the specials themselves or in the lovely single issue format, this series is not one to miss.