Pete Stone here. Neal wanted me to write something to promote Batman:Odyssey – The Hardcover Collected Edition and I didn’t want to do the usual sell job. I wanted to be as honest and sincere as possible. So, I’m gonna start with – you’re crazy if you don’t buy this book.
On October 10th, 2012 Neal Adams’ greatest Batman story will appear as a complete story…a NOVEL, if you will. 13 chapters of perhaps the most fantastic art Neal has ever done. Am I gushing about this? Yes. As someone who has seen the art and story as it was created, I had my doubts. Issue after issue was written, penciled and inked…some inked by Neal, some by other brilliant and famous inkers like Kevin Nowlan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Scott Williams, Paul Neary and even a few spectacular pages by Michael Golden. And all of us breathed a heavy sigh of relief when the project was completed. 13 issues…of Neal Adams…wow. I’m not sure any of us thought he could do it.
When it came out – the reviews were harsh and (in many cases) unfair. But we all knew Neal was going to get smacked around on this one. He hasn’t touched Batman in a long time. No big deal. We’re done. 13 issues. End of story. Let’s move on.
Then…DC sent us the Hardcover Collected Edition when Neal was out of town at a convention.
Then…in our lobby…a group of us opened the book. There was complete silence for a long time. 13 issues. Penciled and rendered by the very best people working today. It’s hard to find a bad page. New ideas. New characters. New WORLDS to explore! We, the people working around Neal every day, had to admit it…Neal’s still got it. No, that’s not fair. He’s actually gotten BETTER. Much, much better. There will be critics, but there always are. This is not the Batman of old. He’s young and brilliant. He’s the Batman who can beat anyone in the DC Universe, face any problem, survive any death trap. As a fan, you might disagree with Neal’s interpretation of Bruce Wayne…you might not like that Robin is still Dick Grayson and just a smart-alec kid…you might think Talia should be the assassin she is today…you might not like Aquaman’s long hair…you might think dinosaurs are silly…but read it. ALL OF IT. Twice. Three times. THEN…and ONLY then…will you understand this epic story.
Come to a convention armed with your best arguments. Fight with Neal, disagree, argue, bicker even…but give it a chance. Batman: Odyssey is just that. An Odyssey. A trip through all of Batman’s past, present and possible future. Even Neal’s harshest critics have to admit some of these spreads are AMAZING. It’s not Bob Kane or Jerry Robinson or Dick Sprang or Alan Davis or Frank Miller or Alan Moore or Brian Bolland. It’s Neal Adams and it’s new. And it’s different.
But…different isn’t bad. Sometimes different is awesome.