Review: Batman: Off-World #2

“The Things We Do for War”
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza
Color Artist: David Baron
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Review By Eric Lee

Minor Spoilers Ahead!

Batman: Off-World #2 is an entertaining comic, but ultimately ends up feeling a little vapid.

There’s a lot to like about Off-World, as it’s cool to see that Batman will always be Batman, no matter what wild, new environment he’s in. Writer Jason Aaron also continues to play with the Dark Knight’s ultimate character trait: he does not give up and will always continue to better himself. With that Aaron gets a lot of mileage. The comic is at its best when it showcases the main protagonist’s defining traits.

There’s also some character development with the supporting cast. Of all of the new characters introduced in the story, Punch Bot is surprisingly a top favorite. Throw in some fantastic art by Doug Mahnke and we got ourselves an easy winner… right?

Kind of.

Shallow Plotting

Beyond the stylistic plotting and incredibly detailed art, Off-World is starting to show its seams narratively. While Aaron’s clearly adept at creating awesome superheroic moments, the secondary plot of the reason why Batman went to space doesn’t advance at all. That thread from the last issue ended unresolved and has not been picked up or referenced since then.

So far, the pacing is breakneck until the last scene of the issue. Then, the plot makes a bit of a left turn in a new direction. The final cliffhanger is odd because it feels like a completely different thread is being introduced. This all leads to an abrupt ending that could evoke a lackadaisical response from readers.

Furthermore, the characterizations of there’s of the secondary characters are fairly thin and one-note. Yes, it’s still amusing to see Punch Bot and Ione get a couple of good scenes, but we don’t get much beyond that. To be fair, it’s not clear if they will see a larger slice of the action as the series progresses. Perhaps then we will see, it’s only the second issue, after all.

Conclusion

Overall, Batman: Off-World #2 is a fun diversion that doesn’t seem to ever rise above its premise. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it may be an indicator that this series could become a forgettable adventure. I hope that’s not the case.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment


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