Connect with us

Comic Book Reviews

BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE (2020-) #1-2 review

Published

on

Batman: The Adventure Continues (DC Comics)

Synopsis

Issue #1: From the visionary producers of Batman: The Animated Series comes all-new stories in this seminal animated world. In this opening chapter, S.T.A.R. Labs in Gotham City is attacked by a giant robot that steals an entire room from the laboratory. Who’s controlling the robot? How will Batman stop the mechanized menace? And what does it all have to do with Lex Luthor’s sudden appearance in Gotham?

Issue #2: Batman’s in the clutches of Lex Luthor and his powerful robot as the mad genuis races to open the vault he stole from Wayne Industries and claim his prize! The Dark Knight will need to utilize experimental tech if he’s going to topple the billionaire before he leaves Gotham, but where is Superman and why can’t Batman get in touch with him?!

Review

If, like us, you were gripped by the world of Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series then you’ve no doubt been a happy fan in the last couple of years.

DC Comics has continued to re-print the original comic book adaptions of the show, with brilliant artwork by Ty Templeton. They’ve also recently upgraded the show to HD and released a wonderful Blu-ray box set of both BTAS and Batman Beyond.

Well now you have even more to celebrate as original series contributors (and legends) Alan Burnett and Paul Dini have returned to that world for a new comic book continuation and they’ve brought Templeton back to recreate that dark deco art style.

We’re going to do things a little different with this series and review it in full arcs rather than individual chapters. The first arc, dubbed “Hardware,” sets up an on going mystery but also serves as a soft return to the world of BTAS.

It starts out feeling like any other issue of a comic set in this world, or even like a standard episode of the series. Batman is taking on Bane and it’s just another normal night, that is until a giant robot starts attacking a Wayne Tech facility.

The first issue in this two-issue arc showcases a wonderfully elevating sense of pace. It’s clear from the outset that Dini and Burnett have a plan for this series. We’re not simply revisiting this world for nostalgia, there’s more going on. But more on that in a moment.

Issue one is constructed to perfectly re-acclimate the reader to the world. We aren’t introduced to too many characters, there aren’t specifically any new characters thrust in to the centre of the narrative from that outset. Instead we’re given time to enjoy that nostalgic sense of glee about the world of BTAS. More specifically this series is based on the revised designs from The New Batman Adventures era of the show.

After the familiarity of Bane, we step in to the unknown with the giant robot and we learn that someone (more on that reveal later) is watching Bruce. This setup gives us a taster of what Burnett and Dini have planned before we step back in to almost familiar territory with the reintroduction of Lex Luthor.

Though he wasn’t a staple of the BTAS series, he did appear in Superman: The Animated Series, and so is a signifier that the world is opening up some more in this continuation. Lex factors in to an exciting cliffhanger ending which leads in to an equally satisfying second issue and end this first arc.

Chapter two escalates matters further by bringing in Braniac, Superman and a very The Dark Knight Returns inspired Batsuit. It masterfully ups the ante and cements Burnett and Dini’s plans to take the series in to new territory.

In a mere matter of pages they’re able to add a new layer of complexity to the narrative as Lex’s plans unfold. We continue to exist in new territory as Batman takes on Lex without the aid of Superman. Though more mainstream comics have explored this pairing more, this continues to be new territory for BTAS.

Of course this would be a Paul Dini story without some kind of bait-and-switch. It comes in the latter pages of this book when we discover that giant robot, under the control of Lex Luthor, is in fact being powered by an entrapped Superman.

What follows is a more classic-style team up between the Worlds Finest as they take down Lex. It brings the arc full circle back to familiar territory and serves as a great introduction to this reimagined classic.

But before we close out there’s time to check in with that mysterious character who is watching Bruce from the shadows. Whilst it’s never explicitly stated here it’s made obvious to the reader that this is Jason Todd, resurrected after being killed by Joker.

Bringing in Jason opens up a whole world of possibilities which the TV series never covered. It certainly ups the danger-factor of BTAS’s Joker, although we saw some of that in the uncut Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, and allows Burnett and Dini the opportunity to play with characters who haven’t previously been reimagined in to this world.

Outside of the story Ty Templeton picks up the world like he never left it behind. Panels aren’t overly complicated and perfectly recreate the dark deco world of Gotham and its inhabitants. Anyone who has watched the show or read previous comics will know exactly what to expect.

Verdict

The first arc of Batman: The Adventures Continue serves as an excellent introduction to new readers and a brilliant reintroduction to old fans. It’s like returning to an old comfort blanket.

7/10

Batman: The Adventures Continue is written by BTAS scribes Alan Burnett and Paul Dini with artwork by Ty Templeton. Grab your copy now on digital from ComiXology.


Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @GetYourComicOn, or on Instagram at GetYourComicOn. If you have a story suggestion email feedback@getyourcomicon.co.uk.

Advertisement

Sign up to our newsletter

Become a Patron

Advertisement

Trending

GetYourComicOn.co.uk is a property of Get Your Comic On Ltd. © 2021 All Rights Reserved. Images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies/owners.