Writers: Alan Burnett and Paul Dini
Artwork: Ty Templeton
Colours: Monica Kubina
Letters: Joshua Reed
Cover Art: Dave Johnson
Release Date: 1st April 2020 via ComiXology (CLICK HERE)
With many of us in some form of lockdown or self-isolation, there’s not much in the way of new comics to get our teeth into. The decision to safeguard distribution schedules as well as the distributors, albeit a sensible one, is something that’s not really the topic here. Anyhow, DC have still managed to treat us to some new digital wares in the form of Batman: The Adventures Continue.
One can tell a lot from the answers you see online to the perennial question of, “who’s your favourite Batman/Joker?” For instance, if Conroy and Hamill don’t feature on the list, it’s safe to say that those folks have sorely missed out! For me then, and I’ll admit to the bias upfront, this new digital-first series was a wonderful distraction from what’s going on out there and a fond trip of nostalgia to the continuing adventures of Batman. It was remarkable how easy it was to slip into the story and completely immerse myself in this sorely missed version of Gotham!
The blurb pegs this as what we would have seen if the creators hadn’t stopped making the seminal animated TV series. As I’ve said, it looks and feels great, but I’m not without a few quibbles. Tonally, the noir hits hard and fast. Strong contrasts of black and white in both imagery and lettering get you quickly in the mood as this gruff and determined Bats tracks down and efficiently dispatches a theatrical Bane. I’ve spoken about this trick recently in reviewing the current main run of Batman ,and I’m a huge fan of leaning into the World’s Greatest Detective’s foresight and planning. Sure, he can hold his own in a fight but for these types of stories, I wanna see the detective play out.
After a monologue-fuelled kapow of an opener we settle into the story proper with a new adversary rampaging downtown. The techno-giant is clearly more than a match for the unprepared crusader and so he’s left to accept the damage and follow up later. As an interesting twist, we also find out that Supes is missing, and Clark isn’t answering his phone, which foreshadows Lex’s arrival in Gotham. Declaring his stop as a flying visit to Bruce during a swanky party, we clearly know there’s more to this than meets the eye.
I mentioned quibbles earlier and they are only minor. I love the look of this book overall but found some of the panel’s details a tad too rounded, with the end result feeling a bit too cartoony. But this is based on a cartoon I here you say!? True, but the animated series aesthetic managed to, for the most part that I can remember at least, maintain that Burton-esque look throughout. There’s plenty of that here, but it sometimes loses that sharp definition.
If you’re a fan of the animated series and you enjoy a good Batman comic then you will definitely be wanting to pick this up. The Adventures Continue has everything you want in a good story, as well as the welcome return of characters like Alfred and Bullock; even if only for a few panels. The lovely little touches like the Iceberg Lounge billboard really flesh out the worldbuilding and warm the cockles. We’ve been lucky with such a good mainline Batman run of late, and this new series compliments it brilliantly.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster