The DC Animated Universe is one of the most iconic things that DC Comics has ever produced. And Batman: The Animated Series is arguably the most popular content that the company has produced. That has been shown with how often DC Comics revisits that Batman: The Animated Series timeline through their comics and movies. Now DC Comics has decided to go back to the DCAU but this time revisit The New Batman Adventures time period, which saw a time jump from the original BTAS. This new comic, Batman: The Adventure Continue, looks to be taking place some time before the events we saw take place in this time period during Return of the Joker. What previously unknown Batman stories do Alan Burnett and Paul Dini have in store for us? Let’s find out with Batman: The Adventures Continue Chapter 1.
Writers: Alan Burnett and Paul Dini
Artist: Ty Templeton
Colorist: Monica Kubina
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While swinging through the city Batman reflects on how clear the night sky and bright the Moon is.
Batman eventually finds Bane on a rooftop. As soon as they start fighting Bane is able to grab Batman and hold him over his head. Bane suddenly feels weird and passes out. Batman reveals he tagged Bane with a dart half an hour ago that caused him to pass out.
Nearby a big robot attacking buildings. Batman swings over just as the robot kicks a GCPD car across the street. Batman goes to check on the cops to make sure they are safe and sees Detective Harvey Bullock. Detective Bullock in not so nice terms asks what is going on.
As Batman tries to stop the robot someone watches the fight with the robot from the shadows. The person reflects how they forgot how fun Gotham City can be and how it looks like the fight with the robot will be getting personal.
The robot attacks a lab and immediately attacks all the scientists inside. After knocking out the scientists the robot starts taking one of the devices in the lab.
Batman catches up and tries to stop the robot. The robot quickly puts Batman on the defensive with its weapons. This gives the robot a chance to escape.
Batman continues to give chase to the robot as it goes through the streets. Batman throws explosive batarangs at the robot but it does not damage it at all. The robot throws a semi-truck at Batman and then flies away.
Later, at the Batcave, Bruce Wayne is unable to track where the robot went and is unsure of its origin though he doesn’t think it was extraterrestrial. Alfred wonders why Bruce thinks that. Bruce reveals the device that the robot stole was alien hardware that Superman gave him so Wayne Enterprises could test it as a favor.
Bruce then wonders what the suit Alfred brought him is for. Alfred reminds Bruce there is a cocktail party he must attend. Bruce doesn’t want to go. Alfred reveals there is a surprise guest he would be interested in.
Later, at the cocktail party, Veronica Vreeland expresses her confusion over how they keep going from being in a relationship to being just friends. Bruce says he is just not the marrying type and being friends is best. Veronica says she knows that is not true as Bruce has shown himself to be a family man with how he adopted another boy recently. Bruce states that Tim Drake is his ward. Veronica thinks the boys Bruce adopted should have a mother.
Suddenly, Lex Luthor appears and interrupts Bruce and Veronica’s discussion. Bruce introduces Veronica to Lex. Veronica is very familiar with what others have called Lex as the Mastermind of Metropolis. Lex tells Veronica not to believe everything she hears and asks for one-on-one time with Bruce.
After Veronica leaves Bruce tells Lex he is surprised that he wasn’t informed about Lex being in town. Lex reveals he has been in and out of town recently because he does not want to spend too much time in Gotham City after the events with Joker nor does he want to attract Batman’s attention.
Lex then talks about how unlike Batman that Superman would have crushed the robot that attacked Wayne Enterprises the previous night. Bruce asks for Superman’s number for some help but Lex reveals that there have been no signs of Superman being around as of late.
Lex then asks Bruce what the robot took, referring to it as “they.” Bruce catches that and says he isn’t sure what was taken.
Later, back at the Batcave, Bruce tries to contact Clark Kent but only gets his voicemail. Bruce takes this as a sign Superman is not on Earth because Clark would’ve heard the news otherwise. Bruce finishes putting on his Batman gear to investigate things.
Over at Claremon Airfield, Batman quickly takes out a guard watching over a secluded landing strip where he did a drug bust a month ago.
Inside the airfield’s warehouse Batman discovers the robot that stole the alien device from Wayne Enterprise, which appears to be turned off. Batman attaches a scanning device so Alfred can figure out what it is.
Batman then finds the stolen alien device. Before he can figure out what is going on Batman is struck from behind by Lex in his power suit. End of issue.
The Good: Batman: The Adventure Continues Chapter 1 does exactly what it needed to do. It gets you back into the world of The New Batman Adventures without missing a beat. This issue very much feels like an episode of the animated series.
That is really what catches your eye right away about Batman: The Adventure Continues Chapter 1. Ty Templeton captures the look of this distinct version of the DC Animated Universe that it comes across as an episode of The New Batman Adventures. That helps a lot in getting the reader back into remembering who this version of Bruce Wayne was at the time. Capturing that design also helps in making the flow of the entire story better because you immediately understand which continuity you are in.
Alan Burnett and Paul Dini use that to the benefit of Batman: The Adventure Continues Chapter 1 as we do see an older Bruce Wayne in action. With how long he has been active Bruce as Batman is much more about thinking ahead of his opponents compared to the original Batman: The Animated Series. That is something that comes with age.
It also goes along with the narrative that Bruce isn’t as fast as he once was. We immediately see that with how easily Bane was able to catch Batman after the one punch is thrown. But while Bruce may be physically slower he has made up for it with having plans in place to make up for that. The darts he used on Bane are a good example of that. Even thinking how he has to change the doses so it works faster shows him thinking ahead in case he has to use it again on Bane.
Having the story in Batman: The Adventure Continues Chapter 1 directly tie into the World’s Finest crossover was a good move. This immediately allows Dini and Burnett play with this time period before Justice League as only Batman and Superman know each other. More specifically it looks like this story is tied to the events of the “Legacy” series finale for Superman: The Animated Series as both Batman and Lex Luthor make reference to Superman being off-world. Its small world building things like this help get fans back into the mindset of the DC Animated Universe continuity.
It’ll be interesting to see if the alien device that Lex had his robot steal is somehow tied to Superman’s disappearance. Burnett and Dini continued to emphasize a connection there. What importance that alien device has will be interesting to see fleshed out more in the next few chapters.
Bringing in elements from World’s Finest also opened things up for us to see more interactions between Bruce and Lex. This isn’t something we got often after World’s Finest since most of their interactions afterwards were as Batman and super villain Lex Luthor. It was a refreshing change of pace as we got to see some of the unsteady business relationship these two share. Bringing up the fact that Bruce and Lex’s companies still work together in some capacity also opens the door for more stories beyond this opening arc.
The Bad: Batman: The Adventures Continue is a series built for fans of the DC Animated Universe. There are a lot of references being thrown at the reader that if you did not watch either The New Batman Adventures or Superman: The Animated Series there will be a lot missed. Especially if you didn’t watch the World’s Finest crossover between the two shows. That is heavily referenced in this issue and may lose readers who are just picking this up because it is a Batman comic without prior background in the DCAU.
Overall: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, and Ty Templeton wasted no time getting us back into the DC Animated Universe with Batman: The Adventures Continue Chapter 1. Burnett and Dini do not skip a beat when it comes to writing this version of Batman, Bruce Wayne, and Lex Luthor. Templeton’s artwork adds to that as he captures the style from The New Batman Adventures and makes it work in comic book form. For fans of the DCAU this is a must buy comic.
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