Comic Book / Batman Odyssey
This is as sane an image as you're gonna get in this story.
"I cannot give you an overview of the plot."
Neal Adams illuminates his readers

Batman: Odyssey is a Batman miniseries drawn by legendary illustrator Neal Adams, one of the defining artists of Batman. On the downside, it is also written by Neal Adams, which leads to some... issues. It is very, very strange.

Over drinks, Naked Bruce Wayne tells a story to a friend sitting Behind the Black. The story he tells is meandering and bizarre even by comic-book standards, but eventually coalesces into the tale of Batman traveling Beneath the Earth to battle a deadly enemy, rescue Talia Al-Ghul, and solve an ancient mystery.


  • Accent Depundent: Batman resolves one of the Riddler's riddles by rhyming "order" with "water". As some reviewers pointed out, this really only works if the speaker has a really thick Boston accent.
  • All Myths Are True: Trolls, gnomes, aliens, wizards, Egyptian gods, cyclopse and the Roc, are all denizens of the Underworld.
  • All Trolls Are Different: The trolls encountered in the Underworld are scrawny, cowering humanoids with grey-skin, blue-hair, and green-eyes who "thrive on abuse and small rewards." They also happen to be the oldest upright creatures on the planet, and a product of "separate evolution". Whatever that means...
  • Artistic License Biology: Primus and his people: They are a race of "evolved dinosaurs" descended from the raptor line with five fingers, ear flaps, hair, and mammary glands. Oh, and Neal Adams has no idea how bat anatomy works.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: Adams seems to have a passing knowledge of paleontology, and gets a few things right, including the correct spelling of T. rex, and the portrayal of neanderthals as intelligent and human, but still manages to make some common anatomical errors in the illustrations. And then there's Primus. Just Primus.
  • Author Appeal: Neal Adams believes the world is hollow, and thus Batman fights foes in a Lost World Beneath the Earth. Most of the characters which appear are also his co-creations.
  • Bad Boss: Sensei casually kills his own underlings, and even forces them to fight to death for little apparent reason. Batman is a pretty bad boss too, the way he talks to Robin and Alfred.
  • Bald of Evil: Sensei.
  • Bat Deduction: Batman deduces the name of an old lady on a train, Sylvester the wizard's musical instrument of choice, and the existence of the Egyptian gods! How? He's a detective.
  • Beast Man: Some of the Underworld's residents.
  • Beneath the Earth: Featuring trolls, giant bats, dinosaurs, wizards, and all-around weirdness.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Neal Adams likes playing around with foreign language translations of "Batman" such as "Senor Murciélago" and "Fledermaus Mann".
  • Brick Joke: Alfred's "Tiniest violin in the world" joke, and the ice axe Batman threatens the reader with, are both (surprisingly) alluded to again near the end.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Talia verbally, and physically beats up Ra's al Ghul after she learns about how he used her.
  • Captain Obvious: Characters frequently point out things that the reader, and other characters can clearly see.
  • Carpet of Virility: Naked Bruce Wayne.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Everyone!
  • Crazy-Prepared: Batman, Batman, Batman. Specialized weaponry? Check. Faux Death tricks? Check. Rigging Robin to explode? ... Check.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover (see page image) shows Batman riding what appears to be a badly-drawn pterosaur. This never happens anywhere in the comic. There are pterosaur-like creatures in the underworld, but they look nothing like this.
    • He does, however, ride a giant bat. And a tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Considered to be The Ace in DC fandom, this Batman seems designed to annoy the reader as much as possible.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred. Even more so than usual.
  • Deus ex Machina: Aquaman shows up at the perfect moment to defeat Ubu, and is never seen or heard from again for the rest of the story.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Taken to eleven. Batman is able to grab a gun out of an aggressor's hand so fast that the tracer originates from a location the gun isn't even in anymore.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: Sometimes more than a dozen on a single page.
  • Erotic Eating: Nude Bruce eating a bananna.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Batman chews out some scientists he meets in the underworld for making their kids live in there with them, thus "denying them the surface world". To clarify: the underworld has wizards, living dinosaurs, mythical creatures, cool technology, and the freaking Library of Alexandria! Contrast this with the Crapsack World of Gotham.
  • Giant Flyer: The giant bats used as mounts by the people of the underworld.
  • God Guise: The Egyptian Gods are actually ancient genetic experiments. Wait, what?
  • Gorn: Batman getting shot, El Maniaco getting shot, Batman getting shot, The Joker slicing a guys face open, Batman getting shot...
  • Hollow World: Neal Adams does not believe in plate tectonics.
  • Humiliation Conga: Poor Ra's al Ghul.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Sensei is so incredibly badass that he can stem blood loss through sheer force of will. Even Batman is awed by his "discipline."
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: This exchange between Talia and Ra's al Ghul:
    Talia: I'm safe because my beloved crushed my kidnappers. Kidnappers my father paid. THAT MY FATHER PAID!
    Ra's: Daughter, control. What poison has this witless idiot been filling you with?
    Talia: PAID... so that I can be used for bait... to draw my aged brother... the Sensei, out. Why? Why? why? So he can humiliate you by killing me... YOU SCUM!
    Ra's: But... you escaped... I sent Batman.
    Talia: Batman? So he would kill my deadly brother... while you sipped ouzo and watched sports.
    Ra's: Sports? What? I don't...
  • Latex Perfection: Ruben Blades (later Irons) has this for impersonating the Riddler. Not that they needed it, because when the mask gets taken off, they looked identical anyway.
  • Macho Camp: Bruce's hirsute forearms take up 90% of his introductory splash pages. He's about as sharp as a Calvin Klein model (deploying the Dreamworks Face on numerous occasions), pitches fits and takes naps like an overgrown child, and arguably is a bigger threat to public safety than his rogues gallery.
  • Mind Screw: A meandering plot that wanders from flashback to flashback, fights coming out of nowhere, Batman verbally assaulting Alfred, all narrated by a shirtless Bruce Wayne. Things like coherency and sanity do not fly here.
  • Mood Whiplash: All over the place.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bruce Wayne.
  • Multiple Gunshot Death: Batman's takes multiple pages and winds up looking like a very bloody dance number. Needless to say, it doesn't stick.
  • Mythology Gag: Batman at one point actually says the line "Same bat-time, same bat-channel" from the 1960s TV series.
  • Nested Story: Naked Bruce's recollection is not the only flashback going on, which makes things rather confusing in the early issues.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Included among Batman's allies in the underworld are wizards, aliens, "evolved dinosaurs", neanderthals, "animen", and Egyptian gods.
  • Offing the Offspring: King Epochh kills his own son out of some vague sense of honour. Ra's al Ghul plan is to manipulate Batman into killing his son Sensei.
  • Off-Model: When Batman begins threatening to shoot a train full of civilians (It Makes Sense in Context... kinda), it scares the mustache right off the conductor! This was fixed in the collected edition.
  • Only Sane Man: Deadman's role seems to be to comment on the ridiculousness of the situations in the comic, and the Batman franchise in general.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The thugs hired by Sensei can not decide what accent they speak with.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Batman is killed by his one weakness. Bullets. From a gun. He's faking it.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: They're wiry, pointy-eared humanoids with bulbous noses.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The whole comic is an extended one for Batman and pretty much everyone else.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Sensei.
  • Ptero Soarer: The creature ridden by Batman on the cover, as well as the one that attacks Robin are never explicitly identified, but they certainly fit the criteria.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Though the Joker is depicted as a genuine threat, he accuses Batman of wasting his entire life chasing and arresting circus clowns. Bruce searches his mind for a rejoinder and can't come up with one.
  • Reckless Pacifist: A big theme of the story is that, no matter what, Batman will not kill. Doesn't stop him from unloading multiple clips into a crowd of civilians on a train that's about to blow up to incentivize them to get off it, though.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Throughout the story, new characters show up with no introduction, and everybody just acts like they've always been there. The most blatant examples have to be Sylvester the jive-talking beatnik wizard, and the Roc, which had apparently been terrorizing Jamroth Bok's people for years before Batman blew it up.
  • The Reptilians: Primus and his people. Humanoid to the point that they don't really resemble reptiles that much at all.
  • Retcon: "El Maniaco" goes from being the person helping Batman to stop the train from blowing up to being the one blowing up the train between issues. Practically lampshaded, as when the thugs jump off the train, he notes "it's as if they were never here", which from a plot perspective is pretty much true.
  • The Reveal: The person who Naked Bruce is telling his story to? It's Superman.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: One of the Egyptian gods is an anthropomorphic hippo who does not resemble anyone in particular from Egyptian mythology. To make matters more confusing, he is addressed as "Wepwawet". Wepwawet was a wolf, not a hippo.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Not exactly on an "irrelevant" topic, but one issue has most of a page devoted to various characters', in various time periods and layers of the narrative, discussion about "shooting [Batman] in the face".
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Everyone. It's like they think they're in a Shakespeare play. And they're all played by William Shatner.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Batman and Talia have their moments.
  • Snake Talk: A very sssstrange example from Batman of all people.
    Batman: Sssssscum! Stay with me.
  • Smoldering Shoes: A variant. In the infamous scene where Robin is blown up, the victim's still-intact boots and mask are seen being flung from the blast. Subverted though, as the Robin comes back in the next issue, with the explanation that he was wearing "directional explosives" and so was safe from the blast. Where he got the spare pair of clothes from is never explained.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Batman, and - to a lesser extent - Robin both come across like this. Even Alfred has his moments, where he offhandedly states that he'd willingly kill Ra's al-Ghul.
  • The Starscream: Sensei wants to take over Ra's Al-Ghul's underworld empire. It turns out "underworld" is literal.
  • Stripperiffic: Talia's dress. It even changes shape between panels, to better accommodate the Male Gaze.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A train blows up in the first issue, and the explosion lasts several pages! A much gorier example happens later when Batman blows up the Roc. Between the two, Robin.
  • Super Dickery: Several examples, but the one where Batman detonates Robin after Robin gets himself captured takes the cake. Naked Bruce explains in the next issue how he designed Robin's armor to self-destruct without harming him... somehow.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: The younger Batman in one of the flashback sequences carries guns. And uses them. Outside(?) of the flashbacks, he decides the best way to teach Robin not to use guns is to give him one.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: And how!
  • Totally Radical: Sylvester the clarinet-playing wizard talks like this.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Inevitably, one of the prehistoric creatures encountered in the underworld. The dinosaur people traditionally ride, and even eat them.
  • Unfortunate Names: Dr. Slattern? Does Adams know what that word means?
  • Unstoppable Rage: Batman nearly beats a fake Riddler to death after he believes that he shot a little girl.
  • Verbal Tic: This is really the only trope which this can go under, but everybody has absolutely bizarre speech patterns, being generally grammatical but just utterly weird.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Batman gut-punches a thug, causing him to throw up.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Narrator!Bruce for the first few issues.
  • What's a Henway?: A good way to beat a "civilized psychic psyclops" apparently.
  • Wizard Classic: Sylvestor, and his fellow wizards.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The real Riddler.
  • Writer on Board: Neal Adams is an advocate of "Expanding Earth Theory".
  • You Keep Using That Word: Neal Adams' grasp of language is... interesting at times, contributing to the general weirdness.