Batman: Fortress #1 (of 8)
Written by Gary Whitta
Art by Darick Robertson
Color by Diego Rodriguez
Lettering by Simon Bowland
It’s Batman! And he’s a damn good detective. An alien ship is in Earth’s orbit disrupting all communications and power. Complete hell is breaking loose and Superman is nowhere to be found. It’s up to Batman to gather what members of the Justice League he can in order to save the world.
This first issue of Batman: Fortress by Gary Whitta and Darrick Robertson focuses on Batman’s plan and gives the breakdown of what’s going on in the streets of Gotham. I think it’s good to have a solid background story to portray impossible concepts realistically enough to build genuine connection and suspense, not to mention a thick juicy plot. After all, every great Batman story portrays him achieving the impossible.
I know I’d #$?@ myself with the knowledge the entire world is blacked out. I’d accept my death immediately, especially if someone like Superman gave up on us by going AWOL. To top it all off, the aforementioned worldwide blackout caused a huge breakout at Arkham Asylum, releasing hundreds of ill-moral humans onto the streets. Whitta is no stranger to building a good story; he’s smacked us right bang in the middle of it so I trust he will take this on an extremely interesting and exciting route.
The opening panels of Batman: Fortress have quite an uneasiness around the anticipation built with thieves advancing on such a personal item belonging to Bruce; his mother’s purls. We then loop back to the purls, later on in the comic as Batman enters Crime Alley, obviously a very distinctive part of his origin. We can see his emotions are still conflicted, not controlled. This gives a nice insight into his psyche.
Knowing Robertson’s work from The Boys I was expecting all kinds of brutality that’s not to be found in Batman: Fortress, but it’s early days yet. Additionally, I have to mention the details Robertson brings to the background. I know it’s funny but it’s true; I would have that carpet in my room. In seriousness; every crevice is thought about in Wayne Manor and it drew me straight in.
I’m not sure if Robertson draws on all black backgrounds but it reminds me of Batman: The Animated Series and how the intro was done on solid black paper. “Dark Deco” is what the producers called it. It gives a moody dark tone that I love so much about Batman. Robertson certainly delivers whichever method they have. Complemented by Rodriguez’ fantastic manipulation with colours; the pair bring a noir aesthetic to each page of Batman Fortress.
We get quality banter between Alfred and Bruce which I will forever adore. Seriously, who doesn’t love them? Gordon and Batman have a funny exchange regarding him not knowing about The Purge movie; it’s funny to me when writers remind us Batman is typically isolated from pop culture and completely focused on his work.
Simon Bowland does a great job ensuring we don’t lose any of the story in the details. The words are never overlapping or intruding over the art. I find it disheartening when you’re given boxes of dialogue covering up some of the best work at times. I know letterers have to be very patient in order to get things right.
It’s evident this team is committed to delivering a true detective tale with plenty of twists in a dystopian world. It’s hard to say much about it for now, but I know for sure I’ll be keeping an eye on where Batman: Fortress is going. This team has certainly piqued my interest and earned a spot on my pull list.
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