Writer: Gary Whitta
Art: Darick Robertson, Diego Rodriguez, and Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 24th, 2022
When a Black Out disrupts global communications and plummets the planet into disarray, the world is left questioning…where is Superman and what caused this Black Out? In the bizarre absence of the Man of Steel, BATMAN must mobilize the rest of the Justice League to solve this threat before the world spins into utter chaos. However, he must first halt the crime wave on his own front doorsteps. Let’s dive into BATMAN: FORTRESS #1 by Gary Whitta and see what shakes out!
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I love how this story opens. It’s totally different than other BATMAN titles. It’s more down-to-earth and real giving it a refreshing vibe while creating possibilities that could go in any direction. Yet, BATMAN: FORTRESS does progress exactly as you would think which isn’t a bad thing. What do you think would happen in a large-scale Black Out across Gotham City? Mayhem. Violence. Crime. And of course, some of the most ruthless rogues to ever walk the streets of Gotham probably escaped in the process. However, as you read, you’ll find out that Gotham’s just a taste of the bigger problem at hand.
This concept is pretty intriguing with all its nuances, especially with our culture at large today. We rely so heavily on technology. But what do we do if it’s all gone and can’t work? Our entire communication network is now based solely on this technology and power. So, what do we do when it’s lost? What do we do when panic sets in, especially if it’s global? BATMAN: FORTRESS #1 gets to take a stab at those feelings and brings some of those fears to the surface for the reader in an interesting light.
Sure, BATMAN has a few cliché lines that are a bit corny and some cheesy dialogue to add some humor that seems a bit out of character and out of pocket for BATMAN. But overall, the writing was solid and the narrative beats really hit the mark well. There is even a monologue about society today and ultimately why BATMAN does what he does that was really impactful and summarizes the character well. Yet, it’s the quick wrap-up of events in this issue of BATMAN: FORTRESS that propels my intrigue forward more than anything else. BATMAN makes quick work of Gotham and moves on to something bigger. And that’s the carrot that excited this reviewer the most.
Darick Robertson’s style is certainly unique and hard to explain. It’s almost like highly detailed animation. There is intricate line work and detail in the character’s faces, as well as shadows and renderings that come across as more realistic. Yet, even with the above mentioned, it still seems a bit cartoony. The blending of the two styles is what makes the style so unique. Additionally, Robertson puts tons of detail in the eyes of his characters which is oftentimes missing from many other artists today. Furthermore, I enjoyed his take on the Batmobile and appreciated his interpretation of both the car and the suit. It’s Robertson’s style and technique that led to the classic feeling that I got while reading BATMAN: FORTRESS #1.
BATMAN: FORTRESS #1 by Gary Whitta takes a simplistic concept, molds it into something much larger, dangles multiple loose ends, and hovers speculation over the narrative. The story beats are interesting, the action was enough to keep readers engaged, and the pacing was spot on. Again, the monologuing was a bit over the top at times as well as the back and forth between Alfred and Bruce. Nevertheless, I loved the direction the story is going and I’m excited for what’s next. BATMAN: FORTRESS #1 is different than any other BATMAN title on the market right now, which is what makes it so appealing. I recommend giving BATMAN: FORTRESS a shot, especially if you’re looking for something with a classic feel. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!