REVIEW: ‘Batman: Universe,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Batman: Universe #5 is written by Brian Michael Bendis, with art by Nick Derington, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by ALW’s Troy Peteri. Previously, in Batman Universe #4, the series ended on a cliff hanger as Vandal Savage shot Bruce Wayne.

This issue picks up where the final panel in the previous issue left off as Bruce lies on the ground calling out to Alfred in a last-ditch attempt to avoid death. However, Alfred can’t hear him since his communications are offline. While Bruce clings to life in hopes that Alfred finds him in the backstreets of Gotham and the whereabouts of Green Lantern remain unknown, Vandal Savage drives away with the elusive egg in hand. But just as Batman thinks all is lost, Nightwing shows up to aid in the investigation.

Batman: Universe #5 offers us more insight into what the Faberge egg really is. Considering it clearly has time-traveling technology, it is no wonder a man like Vandal Savage wants to get his hands on it. The twist as to what the egg truly is felt like a shot to the heart, coming almost out of nowhere. The issue moves fast and while all of it takes place in Gotham during the same year, meaning this issue does not have the time skips of the previous, a lot of the action sequences end up feeling outer-worldly.

Batman: Universe #5 is a wordy comic, at times too wordy. Despite its words, Bendis is not able to get the banter between Batman and Nightwing quite right. That being said, there are still a lot of funny moments that capture the dynamic between the characters. Derington’s art also does well to capture the duo’s body language. Nightwing’s more graceful and elegant fighting style contrasts well with Batman’s more brutal takedowns. Stewart’s art compliments Derington’s art well and in the final sequences, the coloring was incredibly important and helped show the power of the alien technology within the egg.

Much like the ending panels of Batman: Universe #4, Batman: Universe #5 feels like an entirely different series than the remainder of the issues. This is something I mention in my previous review and while this is not necessarily bad, it does make the series feel disjointed. The series continues next month with Batman: The Edge and, considering the climatic conclusion, there is no telling where the series will go next. If nothing else, Batman: Universe has at least proven to be unpredictable.

Batman: Universe #5 is available now wherever comic books are sold and online.

Batman: Universe #5
3.5

TL;DR

Much like the ending panels of Batman: Universe #4, Batman: Universe #5 feels like an entirely different series than the remainder of the issues. If nothing else, Batman: Universe has at least proven to be unpredictable.