I really wish we weren't so awesome, it ruins day-to-day living for everything else.

Merlin: The Wicked Day
Oh, it's wicked, all right.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 2
Arthur sacrifices himself for Camelot... almost.
Merlin: The Darkest Hour, Part 1
Morgana unleashes a ghost army on Camelot.

Batman Odyssey: Shirtless and Caffeinated

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Neal Adams' Batman: Odyssey returns from hiatus, post-DC-reboot, with a new #1. Except, once you look inside, you realize it's the same story that was going on pre-reboot. But this is Neal Adams and he didn't get the chance to finish his (apparently) epic tale of Ra's Al Ghul and his son, Sensei, blah blah blah.

I am not reading this book because there are heists and people killing children and Deadman possessing The Joker, even though that was cool.

No, I am reading this title because five out of the previous six issues have started with a shirtless, hairy-chested Batman talking to someone about what's happening in the story, and as with this issue (#7, labeled #1, but... it's #7,) I read the shirtless parts, set the comic down, and somehow forgot I didn't finish the comic until I tried to review it.

You see, if you want to draw women in to reading comics, start every issue with a shirtless Batman. I mean, in my case, that will just lead to distraction, but the important part is, I am still buying Batman: Odyssey. I eventually get around to reading it, and then I enjoy it. And even if I didn't, SHIRTLESS BATMAN.

Issue #7 actually features FOUR PAGES of shirtless Batman, because he has to catch you up with what has happened in the first six issues. You probably won't remember the story even if you read it, because it was convoluted and sort of insane and involved dinosaur stealing... yes, this book is either crazy on purpose or Neal Adams is some mad genius. It's like comic book crack, only in present-day and glossy and pretty and shirtless.

Shirtless, is what I'm trying to say. Shirtless Recapper Batman.

DC could sell me 52 issues of Shirtless Recapper Batman. Each week, Batman shirtlessly recaps what's happening in all of the DC universe. Every week, I'd buy it. Especially if you had Neal Adams draw it all, and occasionally Bruce stands up and stretches before making more coffee and talking about how much he loves his fancy coffee maker, yes, that is part of the recapping in Batman: Odyssey #7.

Anyway, here's the bulletpoints of what happens in this issue, in order, and with illustrations:

  • Shirtless Batman.
  • Sensei breaks out of Arkham by making his thugs hallucinate wormy bees.
  • Batman rides a giant bat.
  • Batman rides a dinosaur.
  • Ra's Al Ghul discusses tea with Alfred.
  • Batman and Bat-Man and Lizard Robin (from a previous issue) all decide to Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Dick gets so pissed that he can't go, he starts doing furious situps.
  • Ra's Al Ghul puts away dirty dishes.
  • Lizard Robin reveals he's an evolved dinosaur.
  • Instructional page about geodes.
  • Batman and Bat-Man and Lizard Robin arrive in the Underworld.
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I don't know why he's talking about riding it to 51st and Broadway, but who fucking cares, you're buying this issue for Batman riding a fucking dinosaur.

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I swear to Kahless, this is a photoshop. They photoshopped a picture of a geode in here so you'd know where amethyst comes from. I don't know why. Did the three inkers (other than Adams) on this book just get to the geode page and play "NOT IT!"?

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Ellipses, this issue haz them. I counted. Neal Adams used "dot dot dot" 282 times in 25 pages. Since this is the only DC title still in my pull, I don't have another DC book to compare it to. So let's compare it to iZombie, since that's my favorite, and is a Vertigo book, which is close enough. iZombie used ellipses 7 times in 20 pages. That's an 11.28 versus 0.35 ellipses-per-page average.

I want to say it's obvious that Adams doesn't really have an editor, because while the pauses here are mostly in Batman's text bubbles (making him a very Adam West-like Batman), they manage to sneak in to scenes that Batman's not in (albeit less noticeably.) They're in the thought bubbles, they're in the narration bubbles, they're in the locator boxes, they're everywhere. Maybe Chris Conroy and Joey Cavalieri were just too tired to change all the ellipses to commas, or double dashes, or anything other than what they were. I can sympathize. As a news editor, I can say with some veracity that Neal Adams writes comic books like a 19 year old journalism intern. I don't want to bother fixing all their scripts, either.

However, where I would mind these sort of shenanigans coming from anyone else, I repeat for posterity:

Shirtless Batman.

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