REVIEW: ‘Batman: Universe,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Originally published in Batman Giant #9 and Batman Giant #10 from DC ComicsBatman: Universe #4 is written by Brian Michael Bendis (Superman, Action Comics), with art by Nick Derington, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Josh Reed and Tom Napolitano. Previously, Batman, with Green Lantern, found his way to Dinosaur Island in hopes of tracking down the mysterious Fabergé egg. Now, Batman and the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, have teamed up with Jonah Hex, the original owner of the egg. In this time-traveling adventure, the trio must work together to find the mystery behind the egg and stop Vandal Savage from gaining control of it.

After suiting up in more cowboy-appropriate attire, the three travel to find Savage but Bruce and Hal have no clue how or if they can get back to their time. With Hal’s ring nearly out of power, time is not on their side. After coming face-to-face with Savage, Batman finds himself in a world of trouble.

Jonah Hex, Batman, and the Green Lantern look absolutely ridiculous standing next to each other, but it works. The gang’s wildly different personalities play well together, particularly the banter between Hal Jordan and Jonah Hex. Jonah Hex is the stand-out of the issue and Bendis does a great job of showcasing his off the wall personality next to Batman’s more stoic nature and Hal’s goofy demeanor.

The final confrontation with Vandal Savage is tense and a lot of the pages during it use the traditional nine-panel grid. Derington does a great job of using the space and making the action flow. The choice to use the nine-panel grid makes the action feel faster and as if it is all one continuous movement. Derington’s art, as always, is fantastic with his designs of Jonah Hex a particular stand out. However, the best moment of the comic is the final page. It draws fantastic parallels to Batman’s own history.

My only gripe with the issue is in the last few pages there is tonally shift that makes it very different from the rest of the series. As much as I loved the final page, it is much darker and alludes to much more depressing themes than anything else previously explored in the series. That being said, it is still an excellent issue and the book that marks the end of the arc. However, the story will pick back up with a new series next month.

Batman: Universe #4 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Batman: Universe #4
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TL;DR

My only gripe with the issue is in the last few pages there is tonally shift that makes it very different from the rest of the series. As much as I loved the final page, it is much darker and alludes to much more depressing themes than anything else previously explored in the series. That being said, it is still an excellent issue and the book that marks the end of the arc.