Neal Adams, one of the titans of the industry, returns to the world of Bruce Wayne in this 12 issue mini series. Adams's resume is that of one of the founding fathers of the Bronze Age of the medium in the 1970s, as well as a champion of creators rights. Read Superman vs. Hollywood for a look at how Adams was influential in Superman's creators getting a cut of the movie's profits.
We begin the story, both written and drawn by Adams, with Bruce talking to the camera, apparently about the image on the cover where he is getting a bullet through his arm. It appears this is the Bruce of today recalling that incident as happening early in his career.
We are taken to that incident, as Bruce, with a gun in hand, is out breaking up a train heist, Bruce gains the upper hand, but gets in a standoff with a Commissioner Rodriguez. The standoff is broken up by Rodriguez getting killed by a Spanish agent whom Batman was helping in the fuel heist case.
The scene shifts to Bruce and Dick Grayson, as Robin, discussing the incident in the Bat-Cave, and the merits of firearm usage and importantly why Batman no longer uses them. This interchange actually happens as Robin gets into a tussle with Man-Bat and features some nifty acrobatics from Robin. Present day Bruce discusses how a mystery was unraveling around him at that time and that it was consuming him.
Langstrom, after being taken down by Robin and has an important message for Bruce about findings that Bruce had wanted, but Bruce would rather hear it once Langstrom reverts back to his human form. With an urgent call from Commissioner Gordon has Bruce and Dick leave Langstrom in the cave to take his anti-serum.
Gordon is at a pier, which Batman suspects is a cover-up for the Riddler breaking in at the mint. Batman though, to the consternation of both Gordon and Robin, decides that the pier is where they should go.
Back in the cave, Langstrom accidentally drops the serum, causing him to have to fly out himself, still needing to warn Bruce about something. He is then menaced by a larger Man-Bat who tells him not to tell Bruce what Langstrom was going to tell him about "the cave."
We cut back to the Batmobile headed towards the pier as we see Batman has added harrier technology to the car as it flies over and makes a nice splash landing into the water. Meanwhile, Gordon is waiting for their arrival as the Gotham Police do not seem to be making any headway with most of their men over at the mint. Batman comes in and informs Gordon that he and Robin will head off the hijackers at the end of the pier as Gordon prepares his men to handle the stragglers.
While this is going on, a professor and his young daughter are hostages in a warehouse where the main guy, with a machine gun, starts blasting up some hydrogen tanks in a car. And that's where we leave off.
Kind of wish this wasn't a four dollar book. Seriously, this felt like a book that should carry the price tag of the day back in the height of the Bronze Age of Batman in the 1970s and in the early 1980s, and in a very good way. Both of the art and writing was great, and really seemed to be out of time, as if I was reading a back issue, though without the smell. Liked the use of humor out of Bruce, fun line in particular was "it's James Bond cubed" referring to the Batmobile that can now fly and float on water. Yeah, come to think of it, Bruce is a street level Bond, especially back in this era. Maybe more Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan than the Roger Moore who was Bond during the 1970s and early 1980s. There is one thing though, I find it a bit off putting seeing Dick Grayson in Tim Drake's, and now Damian Wayne's classic Robin garb. But that is a small nit pick.
It is a great hook to the story, and I can't wait to go along for this ride.
Batman: Odyssey #1:
Reviewed by SteveJRogers