The main line of Batman titles has been shrouded in darkness recently with the finale of Tom King’s Batman run and tie-ins to the “Year Of The Villain” event, but in the pages of Batman Universe, the Dark Knight has been on a much lighter adventure through space and time. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Derington, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Troy Peteri, Batman Universe is a delightful take on the character that pulls a lot from DC Animated Universe shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, giving Batman a less dour demeanor while depicting his fantastic world with vibrant artwork full of personality. The series has taken readers to alien planets and the Wild West in order to team Batman with guest stars like Green Lantern and Jonah Hex, highlighting the vastness of the DC Universe and revealing how the titular hero fits in each sector.
Batman Universe comes to an end with this week’s issue #6, and this exclusive preview reveals Batman’s latest strange new surroundings: the inside of a broken White Lantern ring. As expected from a Bendis comic, there’s a lot of playful dialogue, starting with Batman’s monologuing and ending with a Guardian who places the wrong emphasis on syllables, reinforcing his alien nature. The artwork captures the serene nature of this surreal space, with the wavy pastel background adding gentle motion behind Batman’s stillness. There’s extremely effective contrast in the layout of these pages, with Derington breaking from an eight-panel grid with a two-page splash that dynamically captures the chaos of the fight raging around Batman’s physical body. This creative team has had a lot of fun playing with different toys in the DC sandbox, giving Batman fans a story that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still maintains high dramatic stakes.