"Here’s how Neal Adams described the first volume in a Newsarama interview: 'In the first six issues, moving up into the seventh issue, I tell you these stories that seem to be separate stories, having nothing to do with one another.' That is the most concise plot summary I can imagine."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.
The writing and plot are simply weird
in every way, and as such the comic has developed a following to track the insanity of it all.
Batman: Odyssey provides examples of:
- Beneath the Earth: Featuring trolls, giant bats, dinosaurs, wizards, and all-around weirdness.
- Carpet of Virility: Naked Bruce Wayne.
- Crazy-Prepared: Batman, Batman, Batman. Specialized weaponry? Check. Faux Death tricks? Check. Rigging Robin to explode? ... Check.
- God Guise: The Egyptian Gods are actually ancient genetic experiments. Wait, what?
- Hollow World: Neal Adams does not believe in plate tectonics.
- 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.
- Nested Story: Naked Bruce's recollection is not the only flashback going on, which makes things rather confusing in the early issues.
- Our Hero Is Dead: Batman is killed by his one weakness. Bullets. From a gun. He's faking it.
- The Starscream: Sensei wants to take over Ra's Al-Ghul's underworld empire. It turns out "underworld" is literal.
- 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.
- The Reveal: The person who Naked Bruce is telling his story to? It's Superman.
- Unstoppable Rage: Batman nearly beats a fake Riddler to death after he believes that he shot a little girl.
- What's a Henway?
- Writer on Board: Neal Adams is an advocate of "Expanding Earth Theory".