Review: Sci-Fi Meets Brooding Heroes In ‘Batman: The Adventures Continue #2’

by James Ferguson

The influence of Batman: The Animated Series knows no bounds. It’s an absolute classic and a favorite of just about everyone that’s ever seen it. That’s why I was so excited to see more from this world in Batman: The Adventures Continue. After such a long time, how would the creators fare jumping back into this style? So far, I can tell you with confidence that they’re doing phenomenally well.

Batman: The Adventures Continue #2 features the second part (and seeming conclusion) to “Hardware,” a fascinating story from writers Alan Burnett and Paul Dini that has Batman coming face-to-face with Lex Luthor after fighting a giant robot all for the head of Brainiac. There’s a lot going on in this relatively short comic and yet it delivers more than most full issues do.
The comic has a healthy mix of the classic look and feel of the cartoon while also adding in newer elements such as an experimental armor akin to the one Batman wears in The Dark Knight Returns. Even with this, it maintains the old school style. Yes, it’s a bit more modernized, but it’s not like people are using cellphones or electric cars yet. It’s the kind of future you’d expect from films and serials of the 1940s.

The robot is a perfect example of this. We have an idea of what a big robot would look like after seeing decades of them terrorizing cities and fighting kaiju. This one is more akin to something out of The Day The Earth Stood Still. It’s skinny and lanky, yet nimble and frightening. It’s certainly a bold opponent for the Dark Knight. Artist Ty Templeton did a great job with the design work here and the artwork in the comic all around.
Templeton is no stranger to Batman: The Animated Series, returning to this world without missing a beat and delivering some fantastic artwork. The wide shouldered heroes are back and it’s like they never left. These character designs are classic and will never get old. DC recently released a series of action figures in this style too, showing how they’re still just as relevant today.

Colorist Monica Kubina creates a fun sci-fi flair to the scenes with the robot, bringing in a bright green light reminiscent of legendary alien movies and of course, Brainiac, since his noggin plays a role in all of this. This creates a nice contrast with the blacks and greys that Batman is found brooding in.
Throughout the entire story, Batman has an unparalleled confidence. Yes, he’s facing off against one of the smartest, richest, and most capable people in the DC Universe with Lex Luthor, but at the end of the day, this is Batman. He’s going to outthink and outfight anyone that comes in his way and he shows that here in spades. Letterer Joshua Reed delivers Batman’s inner narration with confidence that stops just shy of cockiness. It’s more like a matter of fact.

Batman: The Adventures Continue is a welcome sight and exceeded my expectations for this series with only two issues. The final pages allude to a new threat stalking Gotham City and I cannot wait to see how that plays out for the Caped Crusader. This comic is just so good.
Batman: The Adventures Continue #2 from DC Comics is currently available digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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