Batman: Fortress #4 – Gary Whitta, writer; Darick Robertson, artist; Diego Rodriguez, Colorist
Lightning – 8.5/10
Ray: This out-of-continuity sci-fi thriller has been a bit too direct with its politics at times, but its slightly edgier take on the DCU is surprisingly engaging. In the last issue we saw that Lex Luthor is still president here, and Batman has been forced to call him in for a heist on the Fortress of Solitude as one last desperate way to turn the lights back on. This sarcastic take on Luthor as a showman is hilarious, and he and Batman make a surprisingly engaging team. But things are going from bad to worse in the Arctic. First, the Fortress has been taken over by Superman…somewhere, probably to prevent exactly this. Then the aliens hunting Superman show up, and they seem… surprisingly reasonable, wanting to relate to Batman and coming close to explaining why they’re really here. Then, naturally, Luthor tries to get his bodyguard to shoot them, and the whole mission goes up in smoke.
With Luthor proving to be a dead end as an ally, Batman turns to a different and unlikely source: the squirrel Green Lantern D’ayl. Ch’p and D’ayl, got it? As best I can tell, this is an original character, not the second GL B’dg squirrel, and it’s basically Rocket Raccoon. A sarcastic rodent-based superhero thief who’s always up for a heist. That doesn’t mean he’s not funny, and he makes for a fun sidekick when Batman seeks help at a secret desert sanctuary where Detective Chimp runs a self-sustaining camp and bar. This segment goes into surprisingly adult territory, aside from allowing Whitta to deliver a “Humans Suck” speech on climate change and other topics, but even if it’s a little bumbling, it convinced me how unconventional this team is. Batman is gathering is. With two issues remaining, there’s plenty of story left to explore in this slightly off-kilter take on the DCU.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.