Review: Batman: Off-World #3

by Eric Lee
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“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 #3  gives the series a sense of momentum, but is constantly saddled with a disconnected feeling with the characters.

This issue does a good job of clarifying where the series is heading and quickly wraps up what was a detour plot at the end of the last issue. It then moves Batman and his Tamaranean partner, Ione, into a more proactive standing. We see the Dark Knight prepared and more comfortable in his alien surroundings. This makes for a very satisfying beginning that starts to converge the plot lines from the first two issues.

Over-The-Top Characters

With that being said, certain over-the-top flourishes in Jason Aaron’s writing may or may not lose readers, like how Batman narrates that it took him literal hours to defeat one opponent, which is a wildly long time to fight. Also, the War Storm Captain is so cartoonishly evil that he offers bonus payment for mutilating opponents.

All of this hyperbole is standard for Aaron, as this is the man who made Dr. Doom into a living planet in The Avengers. However, after a while, these overly exaggerated features make it difficult to relate to these characters on a human level. All of this really stands out with his depiction of Batman, as what we’re supposed to be getting with this title is the Caped  Crusader near the beginning of his career. He should make mistakes and have self-doubt, simply because he’s still relatively inexperienced. However, this rarely comes across in the script. This story feels like a modern, veteran version of Batman who’s supremely confident.

Compared to Batman: Year One, where he frequently stumbles, the “Off-World” version feels highly disconnected, to me. If we have a Batman story where he acts like his normal self, then this makes it difficult to distinguish this tale from any other JLA or alien invasion storyline.

Amazing Art

The art by Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, and David Baron continues to dazzle. There’s a particularly great reveal sequence where we build up the anticipation of Batman’s new space suit- only to be hit with a glorious two-page spread. However, one unfortunate thing about getting a former Green Lantern artist is that the aliens resemble other pre-existing DC ones, as I kept mistaking the War Storm captain for Atrocitus. There’s another alien that looks like a skinnier version of Mongul, so one hopes that we’ll get a wider variety of extraterrestrial looks and designs in later issues.


Batman: Off-World #3 has refocused its plot to give readers a sense of anticipation and excitement. While the action is spectacular, it could lose readers with its exaggerated characterizations of both the villains and Batman.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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