Time to look at a Batman collection based on the hit DCAU series! This one brings 7 issues so we get a nice assortment of enemies and even Superman gets to show up! That’s what I like to see and it’s always fun to take a look at the good ole days of Batman. The DCAU may be gone, but that doesn’t mean that its legacy has to go along with it right? Also, I rarely actually read Batman comics so it’s even more incentive to read this one.
The first story is basically a brawl between monsters. Man Bat decides to come back into town and Dorian is also paying everyone a visit. (The Werewolf thing from one of the Catwoman episodes) Throw in a random scientist who turns into a monster and things definitely get dicey. It was an all right comic, but I can’t say that it really caught my attention the way that some of the others did. I was never a fan of any of the villains in the story and that certainly makes a difference. Batman’s always hardcore though and he knew how to end the dispute.
We can’t forget about the Two Face comic next! He broke out of jail and decides not to do the same for the Joker. Batman still wants to save Harvey since they used to be friends, but he is certainly long gone now. Batman still takes some risks that he doesn’t need too like getting in front of the gun and daring Two Face to shoot without his coin. That’s definitely quite the risk, but it works and one should never doubt the Batman’s methods. It was a fun story and with Two Face, it’s always personal.
Next up, we saw an Environmental Protector get poisoned so Batman realizes that the only one who can save him is Poison Ivy. The villain has to decide if she wants to help. The guy did play a big role in helping the plants and that’s her goal so it makes sense to provide some assistance, but it’s always fun to make Batman sad as well so it’s a tough choice for her. Not to mention that the assasins who were after the guy are still around as well. Will she make the right call? This was a decent story as well even if the villains were just guys with guns. Sometimes, even a villain can be helpful if you can find a shared goal and some are definitely more devious than others. Remember that Poison Ivy started off as an extremest before really going over the deep end. She’s not the same kind of villain as someone like the Joker.
Two ninja show up one day to take Batman down for the count. Batman’s one of the greatest hand to hand fighters of all time so he certainly has no reason to be afraid of these villains, but why do they want to hurt him? Turns out that it’s about revenge since Batman took one of their clan down back in the animated series. It was all for good reason of course, but they will hear none of it. This is the best story so far and it definitely has the most action from the bunch. An old man also gets a lot of hype here since the ninjas obey him without question. It’s a complete story and definitely one that makes Batman look good.
Next up is the big story and it surpasses the ninja one as the best in the collection. Superman and Lex are in town, which means that things will get dicey for Batman. Lex wants to strike a deal with the government, but so does Bruce Wayne. This means that both of them are making some tough deals. Meanwhile, Maxie Zeus is also back in town and his thunder “abilities” are no joke. Batman and Superman agree to work together, but Superman has to make sure that Batman doesn’t try to profit from this as Bruce Wayne. I feel like that part was a little iffy though since Lex basically is a villain so why shouldn’t Batman accept his government offer? Lex’s was clearly shady and basically illegal so I don’t see what was so unethical about Batman accepting the contract. Still, it does leave room for a little tension between the two characters. I also liked the confrontation between Batman and Lex Luthor of course. It was very well done and unlike the newer Justice League comic where Batman lost the verbal debate, he clearly won it this time. Batman had the upper hand from start to finish and he never let up on the pressure. I expect no less from the Dark Knight!
After that is the weakest comic of the bunch. Scarecrow decides to turn over a new leaf and becomes a teacher. He grows attached to one of his students, but found out that she has begun to hang out with the wrong crowd and decides to teach this guy a lesson. Batman arrives at the scene and takes down both of the villains. There’s no real action here nor are there any likable characters. The Scarecrow isn’t even one of Batman’s more interesting opponents. I want a super powered tussle or a mystery, not a random human who decides to use his power to attack people in more of a normal life situation.
Finally, we have a comic where another Batman shows up. Let’s just say that being Batman isn’t a game so you need to tread lightly when you take over the costume…or it could get deadly. I’ll admit that I don’t remember who the villain in this comic was. I do know that the new Batman underwent a strict training regimin under the real deal and even became a bit of a track and field expert. I feel like there may have been a tragic end here or the guy just forgot about being Batman, but either way it was a decent issue.
The art is fairly solid in this collection. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s not supposed to shatter what I thought was possible for a comic. It’s clear and that’s certainly the important thing here. The art is good and allows you to read through the stories. In the end, we can’t ask for much more than that now can we? With 7 issues included, I’d say that the collection is of a decent length. It shouldn’t take you too long to finish it, but long enough that you won’t feel cheated with the price.
Overall, Batman Adventures had more ups and downs than the Superman one. It wasn’t quite as consistently good, which is why it ultimately gets docked a point. The story with Superman was solid though and we had some other good stories while also having some clunkers. If you’re a Batman fan, you should enjoy this collection. I wonder if the library will be ordering the first two volumes anytime soon. There are definitely a lot of Batman Adventures to read and one day I’ll probably have read them all. Until then, I wonder how long it’ll be until I read an other Batman story. Hopefully not too long since he’s still one of the best comic book characters out there. It’s just that most writers don’t really know how to handle him and go for true grit instead of compelling stories.