Thursday, 16 April 2020

Batman: The Adventures Continue #2 - DC Comics

Hurling its audience straight into the aftermath of Lex Luthor catching the Dark Knight rummaging through the super-villain’s secret scientific laboratory in Gotham City, Alan Burnett and Paul Dini’s script to Chapter Two of “Batman: The Adventures Continue” must have delighted the vast majority of its readers with its fast-paced fisticuffs and surprise conclusion. In fact, the revelation as to what became of Superman following his battle on the far side of the moon with Brainiac genuinely must have caused a few bibliophiles to drop their jaws in amazement.

To begin with however, Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego must first escape the hydraulically-enhanced clutches of Metropolis’ “expert engineer”, and considering that the Caped Crusader only “has about ten seconds of consciousness left” before the evil mastermind crushes his neck with his exo-suit, things look as bleak as they ever have for the crimefighter’s survival. Enjoyably though, the narrative for “Hardware” shows Batman as the consummate quick-thinker, rather just a hero who resolves his problems with punches, and whilst his utilisation of Brainiac’s severed head is arguably a little contrived, the resultant effect of witnessing Luthor being blasted halfway across an airport is very gratifying.

Just as satisfying is the writing pair’s decision to have Alfred Pennyworth unknowingly spot the flaw in Lex’s invulnerable giant robot, as opposed to the world’s greatest detective figuring it all out on his lonesome. The butler’s observation that the automaton “even has room for a co-pilot” immediately unlocks the key in Wayne’s mind as to the mighty machine’s fatal weakness. But again, the bibliophile is kept completely in the shade, if not deliberately wrong-footed, by Batman’s somewhat surreal Obi-Wan Kenobi impersonation of “That’s no cockpit. That’s a battery.”

Making this delicious collaborative confection even sweeter is Ty Templeton’s artwork, which perfectly replicates both the look and feel of the "Batman: The Animated Series”. The Caped Crusader’s subsequent sky-battle against a seemingly fearful Luthor whilst wearing his heavily armoured Bat-Bot suit is as pulse-pounding as the damage it causes to Lex’s aeroplane is severe, and doubtless took many perusing this “digital first” comic book back to their time watching “Fox Kids” in 1992; “On my way my friend. Faster than a speeding bullet.”
Writers: Alan Burnett & Paul Dini, Pencils & Inks: Ty Templeton, and Colors: Monica Kubina

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