May 31, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Batman: Fortress #2 (June, 2022)

Batman rallies the Justice League for a counterattack against the alien invaders.

OK, so the basic premise to this mini-series, one that I assume is set in-continuity (not always the case with a DC mini-series) is that Batman has to stop an alien invasion when Superman is missing.  But there are other heroes.  Why can’t they help?

Issue:  Batman: Fortress #2, June 2022

Writer:  Gary Whitta

Artist:  Darick Robertson

The Plot:  After the Earth’s power was knocked out by aliens, Batman, the Justice League, and a military task force hit back.

Commentary:  Well, if I wondered why other heroes weren’t going to be helping Batman, this issue explains why.  Batman meets with the rest of the Justice League for a quick bit of planning, and then they head off with a large squadron of fighter jets to hit the alien craft over the Indian Ocean.  Now, this being issue #2 of 6 (I think), I know that they aren’t going to succeed.  But that’s OK.  Instead, I get to see what kind of plan they put together, and yes, Superman is still absent.

Oddly enough, so are the Green Lanterns.

However, it does go badly, and most of the League–Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Hawkman, and the Martian Manhunter–are captured or killed.  Batman believes the former as they make good hostages.  The Flash is injured.  Cyborg is cut in half.  Batman alone seems to get away with only minor injuries, and he’s too much of Batman to take Alfred’s suggestion of getting a good night’s sleep and then attack the problem afterwards.

Man, I love the way Robertson drew Bruce’s glare when Alfred dared suggest such a thing.  Likewise, I love that Alfred is utterly unfazed by it.

Still, this is Batman, and he does think there’s more going on here, including the possibility that the aliens might not be simply invading.  He even thinks they might not be hostile, and the final few pages suggest Batman may not be wrong.  Whatever’s happening has as much to do with Superman as it does anything else, and though the mystery of what these guys want with Superman may be revealed in the final pages, there are still a lot of avenues still to cover with this story.  Batman doesn’t know exactly what these guys want, and if it comes down to his skill set to stop an alien invasion, it will need to be something done his way.

Frontal assaults don’t work, but the Dark Knight thought he saw something familiar during the attack.  He’ll have to do something.  Besides, I think I know what the title Fortress might be referring to.  This isn’t just a Batman story.  It’s a Batman story showing his interaction with Superman’s world.  And I am on board for more of that.

Grade:  A

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