Review: Batman ’89: Echoes #3

by Eric Lee
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“Echoes” – Chapter Three
Writer: Sam Hamm
Artist: Joe Quinones
Color Artist: Leonardo Ito
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Review by Eric Lee
Minor Spoilers Ahead!

Batman ’89: Echoes #3 finally gets some answers and the plot really starts kicking into high gear near the end.

Not A Lot of Superhero Action

Writer Sam Hamm is not interested in the typical conventions of a superhero story structure. We had to wait three issues before we saw Batman in-costume fighting. So if you are hoping for your Batman stories to have more traditional fisticuffs in it, the Echoes may be a frustrating comic. But if you want a mystery box story where you are given answers in a deliberate drip-feed, then you will resonate better with this series. It has been a few issues where we finally crystalize what is happening with Bruce Wayne and Arkham Asylum. The answers are fairly satisfying and it makes sense in the context of the world.

It is also nice that we get to see more of Drake Winston. His character is a breath of fresh air in the Batman mythology. He gives a slightly outsider perspective as a person of color- something that even the main continuity is lacking. But in general, Duke’s personality is a great foil for Bruce Wayne’s much more eccentric and aloof characterization.

The Villains’ Personalities

Meanwhile, the villains of Harleen Quinzel and Jonathan Crane (not yet full-on supervillains) also are picking up steam. We still don’t know what their ultimate plan is yet- or even if there is one. That part makes the plot feel slightly haphazard and meandering. Fortunately, their personalities- particularly Crane’s- are so interesting, I am willing to overlook that.

Not enough words can be said about Joe Quinones’ art. It is beautiful and does a fantastic job capturing an 80’s aesthetic, while still having modern visuals. We see him cut loose a bit more visually, thanks to the Scarecrow-esque fear hallucinations. The nightmare visions are perfectly creepy, while depicting a mind that is breaking. It looks down-right gorgeous.


Batman ’89: Echoes #3 is finally paying off some of its plots in a gratifying way. Its lack of a coherent overall villain plan and minimal action scenes can test readers’ patience. However, the characterization, mysteries, and wonderful art still make Echoes a worthwhile read.

All images courtesy of DC Entertainment.

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