“Echoes” – Chapter One
Writer: Sam Hamm
Artist: Joe Quinones
Color Artist: Leonardo Ito
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Review by Eric Lee
Minor Spoilers Ahead!
Batman ’89: Echoes #1 kicks off the next adventure starring Michael Keaton’s Batman in a rousing and intriguing opening chapter.
Gotham has been in rough shape since the end of the first mini-series. Batman’s missing and imposters are getting killed trying to replace him. There’s something else strange going on, too. To make matters worse, there’s a psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel who seems unusually obsessed with both the Dark Knight and the Joker.
An Interesting Set-Up
Echoes really takes the time to set up the characters and their updated status quo in an engaging way. Writer Sam Hamm seems to have a much better hold on pacing. The plot unravels at a methodical speed, while still letting moments breath. Compared to Batman ’89‘s breakneck pace, where Hamm tried to stuff way too many ideas into one story, this one feels deliberate. You get a great sense of where all the characters are and there’s a brewing mystery that undercuts it all.
This all leads to a really exciting cliffhanger page reveal. Without spoiling it, the issue’s ending definitely made me wonder what the heck was going on, in the best way. The book’s light on the Batman action, but it more than makes up for it with all the intriguing plot twists.
The last page reveal is completely hinged on the strength of artist Joe Quinones, who was simply made for this project. His love for the Tim Burton-inspired setting and character designs comes off on every page. When Quinones is not lovingly recreating characters and sets from the films, then he’s carrying the late 80s- early 90s aesthetic across every scene. He also has a firm handle on actors’ likenesses, while still giving them an appealing, comic book feel.
Batman: Echoes #1 is a bit of a slow burn, but it succinctly sets up the world of the characters and introduces new plots and twists in an organic way. I’m personally excited to read the next issue.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment