REVIEW: ‘Batman: Universe,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Originally published in Batman Giant #5 and Batman Giant #6 from DC ComicsBatman: Universe #2 is written by Brian Michael Bendis (Superman, Action Comics), with art by Nick Derington, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Josh Reed. Previously, Batman was hunting down the Riddler after he stole a Fabergé egg. But things quickly unraveled as it became clear the Riddler was not quite acting like himself. Now, with the help of Green Arrow, he travels to Gorilla City in order to learn more about the mysterious egg.

Similar to the previous issue, Batman: Universe #2 is a hilarious delight. The Batman Giant series, and thus Batman: Universe, have a more lighthearted tone than other Batman books currently on the shelf. The Riddler’s shotty riddles and Green Arrow’s reaction to them felt like banter you would see on a sitcom. Riddler might be most well-known as being part of Batman’s famous Rouges Gallery, but he is a formidable opponent for Green Arrow and the two have gone up toe to toe multiple times in Green Arrow’s solo book. At this point, Batman can take down the Riddler fairly easy but Green Arrow, on the other hand, struggles.

Riddler getting the upper hand on Green Arrow means that Batman must continue investigating the Fabergé egg on his own. With the help of Alfred, Batman tracks the riddler down to Gorilla City, home to a race of super-intelligent gorillas that gained their powers from a meteorite. As Batman explores Gorilla City and further unravels every clue he has found so far, he discovers just how powerful one little egg can be.

Between Green Arrow’s sarcasm, Batman’s dry humor, and Alfred’s sass, there is a lot to love about Batman: Universe #2. Bendis does well to keep the story funny. Additionally, while the mystery of the Fabergé egg isn’t revolutionary, it is a whole lot of fun.  Derington’s art fits the tone and script of the series to a T.

His style walks the line between cartoony and overly realistic with relative ease. Batman: Universe #2 doesn’t delve into the Dark Knight’s own psyche, or deal with Batman’s PTSD, or feature the Dark Knight taking a villain and their dastardly evil plot that will murder millions in horrible and violent ways, so understandably, the art can afford to be a bit more whimsical and fun.

Overall, Batman: Universe #2 feels like a story out of the Justice League: Unlimited cartoon or The New Batman Adventures – which is a pretty high compliment. The cliffhanger at the end of the book keeps the story engaging and has me on the edge of my seat waiting in anticipation for the next issue. With only six issues in the series and the entirety of it already released in Batman Giant, I have no doubt the story will continue to visit beloved parts of the DCU. If you are a fan of Batman or any of the more kid-friendly Batman cartoons, this is a must-read.

Batman: Universe #2 is available in comic book stores everywhere now.

Batman: Universe #2
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Batman: Universe #2 feels like a story out of the Justice League: Unlimited cartoon or The New Batman Adventures – which is a pretty high compliment. The cliffhanger at the end of the book keeps the story engaging and has me on the edge of my seat waiting in anticipation for the next issue.