Review: Walmart Batman #4

by Steve J Ray
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“Batman Universe” – Part Two

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artists: Nick Derington & Dave Stewart

We left chapter one of “Batman Universe” on a cliffhanger. The Riddler roped in a flock of fakes to rob a priceless Faberge Egg, donated by legendary DC cowboy Jonah Hex. After some extreme shenanigans Nygma escaped, but not before revealing that he himself had been duped intro committing the crime in the first place.

This story is just so much fun. The first chapter had me grinning from ear to ear throughout. The character interactions between Batman and Alfred, the conversation between our hero and the lady at her window, the stunt battle… hilarious.

The clever part of the issue though, was that it was all true to character, and still made me think. Bendis really delivered a terrifically entertaining story.

This issue continues the quality. The fun is all still there, tied in with some great action and more guest stars than should even be possible in a twelve page short.

Bat Fan Universe!

Nick Derington’s awesome, and his Twitter feed is one of my absolute favorites. He frequently posts sketches, scribbles and some really gorgeous art, much of it Batman related. I’ve been screaming into the sky for years, “Why, oh why is this guy not drawing a Batman book?!? With DC and Walmart’s third Batman 100 page Giant, my prayers have finally been answered.

Derington’s art somehow manages to capture the fun of Dick Sprang and Adam West, yet still feels urban and gritty. It’s cartoony, yet earthy and rich. How does he do it? His facial expressions, his scenery, backgrounds, composition and storytelling are first rate. Great stuff.

Dave Stewart is a highly respected color artist, and this story is prime example why. His off-blue sky in the opening pages really help sell the impression that Batman is really out of his element. We’re used to seeing him in the cold night air of Gotham City, but this location feels hot, arid and dry… and it’s day time! Stewart and Derington make you feel the heat and the dust. It’s brilliant.

Josh Reed also does great work. He places Bendis’ words on the pages brilliantly. Look at the first page, with Batman walking to his left. Suddenly the words, “Now what the hell am I looking at exactly?” come out of nowhere, taking your eye – and Batman’s – away from where he was heading. This enhances just how discombobulating this whole scenario is, and how much of a duck out of water our hero is in this setting.


I’m having so much fun. I really needed this antidote after reading and reviewing the super heavy (yet brilliant) second issue of Heroes In Crisis. This story was a real tonic.

Also… I really want a Jinny Hex mini-series now.


Nick Derington’s drawing Batman, who says that dreams don’t come true?!?

Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment

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