Batman Universe #1 (of 6) Review

by Olivier Roth on July 10, 2019

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Nick Derington

Colorist: Dave Stewart

Letterer: Josh Reed

Published by: DC Comics


Oh man, where to begin with this issue? First, for those that may not know, Batman Universe is a compilation of the original story by Bendis & Derrington that was published in the Wal-Mart exclusive 100-page giants last year. As a Canadian, I totally missed out. And now, after reading this issue, I’m really glad that DC chose to reprint this story. 


First, Nick Derington’s Batman is amazing! His Batman is amazing; his Riddler is amazing; his two characters that I won’t spoil look amazing; his layouts are amazing; everything is amazing! I’m sorry for the overuse of the word amazing, but that is truly the only way to describe this beautifully laid out issue. I’m always a fan of an artist who properly utilizes panels and page layouts, and that is exactly what we get in this issue. The 6-panel set-up for the first two pages that provides a point-of-view of what Batman sees immerses you into the story followed by a sense-defying splash page to cap it off - AMAZING!


What makes Derington’s pencils and layouts even better? Dave Stewart’s pitch-perfect colors throughout the entire issue serves to elevate Derington’s pencils from page to page and I like that it has shades of the Allreds (Mike and Laura) everywhere in the issue. It really is a feast for your eyes and perfectly encapsulates what this medium does best: visual-storytelling. 


Oh, and the plot? Amazing as well! I don’t know what fire was set under Brian Michael Bendis once he joined DC, but he has been creating some of my favorite work of his in the past year and change. I was already a massive fan of his Superman, Young Justice, and Naomi, so I had high hopes for his Batman. And you know what, all expectations were met… and then some. 


Bendis already garnered brownie points with me by utilizing the Riddler as the villain in this first issue (my favorite Batman rogue), but what really sold me is the interplay between Batman and Alfred throughout the entire issue. Alfred was never once present “in person”, but his interplay with Batman as he plays Overwatch to Batman was fantastic. Bendis’ usual snappy dialogue perfectly fits the relationship between Batman and Alfred, that of the rebellious child and anxious father-figure. 


One thing I would be remiss to mention is that I believe this is also the introductory story for one Jinny Hex that has been appearing in Young Justice. It’s a fun, brief introduction, but you can’t help but feel like she will play an important part going forward. 


I can’t recommend this issue enough. 

Our Score:


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