Book 1 of Batman Odyssey, is at your stores now. I did a signing at Mid-Town Comics today Saturday, a few hundred people came.

Most had more than one copy. Heck, most had more than three copies. We talked about all the clues and delayed fuses that were set in Book 1.

1. Who was the new Manbat? Clues are everywhere.
2. Why did Batman say, “We will face this Riddler?” Why did he phrase it that way?
3. Why has Batman chosen to go to the Piers, instead of the Mint? Was there something in Riddler’s poem/riddle, that we didn’t get?
4. Why does Batman say, that his story begins on his very first case?

These and other mysteries, will have to be cleared-up. But here’s an interesting gag in the first book, that only one person on the signature line, picked-up on. If you flip the cover up and down to page one, you’ll quickly see Batman’s identity.

Now this one is between you, me, and the fencepost. Way back in the day, Ras Al Ghul greeted Batman in the Batcave, and revealed he knew Batman’s secret identity, which apparently, he did. I would argue this. There’s absolutely no way, that after all the hundreds of attempts, that even a brain like Ras Al Ghul, could figure-out Batman’s secret identity. I just don’t believe it. But let’s take the high road, and assume he could figure it out. Would he also somehow, have the ability to figure-out how to get into the Batcave? When in fact, there woud be no reason to suspect that such a thing as a Batcave actually existed. I don’t buy it for one minute, and yet, there he was, with Ubu, big as life, standing in the Batcave. Totally wrong. So how did he get there?

One more little question. Who is Bok?

Guys and Gals. This story lays down clues to what you’re going to discover, like the first episode of “Lost”. As you read the 12 issues of Batman Odyssey, you will see what I mean. Welcome to my adventure.

Does this count as a blog?

8 Comments on

  1. Hello, Mr. Adams:

    I got my copy of Odyssey down here in Mexico at my local store. I am lucky I did not run into Comisionado Rodríguez or The Maniaco. Is the latter based on Sergio Aragones, who I know is a good friend of yours? Is this a homage to your first Batman tale "The Secret of the Waiting graves"? That story took place in Mexico.

    IAnd I am guessing the giant bat is… UBU!

    Anyway, thanks for letting us enjoy your art on what is and always will be your character: The Batman.

  2. Hi Neal,

    Congrats on your return to The Batman. I've been waiting about thirty years for this…and that's a LONG TIME.

    The first issue of ODYSSEY was very enjoyable and exciting, and I'm looking forward to future installments.

    A few comments on the artwork:

    1) Generally it was very good, with fairly solid storytelling. And I loved that double-page spread on pages two and three. The shot of the Caped Crusader atop the speeding train was superb.

    2) I thought the inking was a little too scratchy throughout, with too many unnecessary ink lines. You need to tighten it up a bit.

    3) I wasn't crazy about the paper stock DC selected. More traditional-looking comic art, like yours (which maintains the integrity of the line-art and uses the coloring primarily to complement it) always looks better on uncoated paper–like the old Baxter paper from the eighties, or the stock that TwoMorrows currently uses for most of their magazines.

    4) Try to stay away from those "photo montage" panels, like the background on page one, some of the Bat-Cave scenes, etc. Those rarely work (even Kirby couldn't do them successfully) and they usually stand out like a sore thumb. The art would look better if you just DREW all that stuff.

    Anyway, in spite of those relatively minor drawbacks, I really enjoyed it, as I said, and I'm anxiously awaiting issue 2.

    By the way, I'm also anxiously awaiting the second episode of the Super Delicious Ingredient Force from Continuity and Taco Bell! "To the El Camino!" LOL!! Forget the Batmobile…that was priceless!

  3. Hi Neal,

    A friend asked me to get back to him with my thoughts on Batman: Odyssey #1 after I'd read it.
    Here's what I was moved to write:

    ….. It's great to have Adams back on a full story.

    First & foremost, this is fun. This is Neal's 21st century Batman story, it's clear that he's not interested in doing a carbon-copy of his classic era, but he is seeding the story with elements of that period. And if the first issue is any indication, he's having a blast doing so.

    The page layouts are fantastic – a treat to behold. I'm a big fan of unconventional panel sizes – when they're done in service of the narrative – and from the opening train sequence to the conclusion at the piers, Adams' choices only enhance the mood & deliver dramatic impact.
    The way the characters move across the page – I have to say this: His depiction of Batman in hand-to-hand combat remains unmatched. The transition from balletic grace to violent impact – so seamlessly illustrated – It's a master class in defining this character.
    It gave me the feeling that I hadn't seen a Batman action sequence in a long time.
    Which is true, in a way – I hadn't seen a new Neal Adams Batman action sequence in quite a while.
    Similarly, the body language & physicality of Robin is a perfect expression of the exuberant, still-learning version of Dick Grayson that resonates so strongly with most fans.
    The acrobatic sequence with Man-Bat is, once-again, character-defining – Robin's upbringing with The Flying Graysons appearing front and center.
    The facial expressions – the "acting," if you will – is top-notch. That alone is worth the price of admission for fans who love these characters.
    Overall, I think the art is excellent. Excellent by Neal Adams standards, which is a cut (or 20) above most others.
    He's made some different illustration choices, some stylistic changes, it all works, and damn, it's beautiful to look at!

    On to the story itself: This is Batman as Detective. For which I thank Neal. It's an aspect of the character that is too often neglected.
    Judging from the number of hints & clues seeded throughout the story, Adams is asking his readers to do a little detective work as well.
    There's a great deal of information in this first issue, a lot of mysteries raised, and I think that bodes very well for a 12-issue series.
    With the story working on 2 levels – the flashback to an early case of the inexperienced Batman's & the older, with-sidekick version dealing with current events that somehow tie in to that earlier case – there's a lot that has yet to unfold, but all of the information is presented in a way that suggests it will all come together in time.
    I enjoyed the dialogue. It's a bit different than what my expectations were, but after a second reading, I felt it reflected an affectionate playfulness in the handling of these characters. Again, this is Adams' Batman story for the new century – Some of the relationship dynamics are being presented in a slightly different light.
    I particularly enjoyed Batman's inner monologue on pg.12 where he acknowledges being self-centered & inattentive to Robin.
    Not exactly Silver Age stuff.

    I would be remiss if I didn't mention the number of "Cool!" moments in this issue: The Batmobile, the second Man-Bat, the bat-wings.
    As I said earlier, Adams seems to be having a blast with this, & that translates onto the page.

    Probably the highest compliment I can give is this: I'll probably be buying another copy soon because the one I bought yesterday is already getting dog-eared from repeated viewings…
    …And I haven't been able to say that for about thirty years.

    Welcome back, Neal. I didn't realize how much I missed ya!

    Thanks, Neal!!
    Hope To See You In San Diego,
    Frank Juliano

  4. All I got to say…
    It's AWESOME!!!!

    I love the car and the gadgets..

    I'm excited and can't wait till the next issue.

  5. Hello, again, Mr. Adams:

    I guess you must be leaving for San Diego, if you are not there by now. Anyway, about Bok. I don´t really know who he is, but… Bok can hurt you! right?

  6. @Gustavo

    Yup, It is Sergio, and it is an homage to him, and by golly, it is Ubu, but the two questions you haven't asked for all these years is; 1) With all of the criminals in the world trying to find the identity of Batman, how could Ras Al Ghul find in in less than 24 hours, and 2)Let's say that Ras is a present day Professor Moriarity (which he isn't) what would ever make him think to search for a cave under Wayne manor? Why would anyone assume Batman has a Batcave? Makes absolutely no sense. Bruhoohahahaha

  7. Batman: Odyssey is great, Neal Adams already brilliant art is far refined than before and the story gets interesting with each issue.

  8. Hello, again, Mr. Adams. I just saw a Special Limited Edition HC collection of the first six issues of Odyssey on sale on ebay Germany. Did you know about this?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.