DC Comics 2021
Written by Tom Taylor
Pencilled by Andy Kubert
Inked by Sandra Hope
Coloured by Brad Anderson
Lettered by Clem Robins
Equilibrium unmasked! Falling further behind the villainous Equilibrium, Batman enlists the help of the European Alliance of the Bat in hopes of turning the case around! With Squire in tow, the Dark Knight attempts to thwart a mass execution in Belgium in brutal, epic fashion!
I really, really like this book and I’m not a Batman fan. I grew up with Dick Grayson and Bruce was only kind of there and depending on who was in his books meant I would pick them up and over the last decade or so he’s gotten way too dark for my tastes. So to see him in Europe instead of Gotham and to see the new Squire by his side changes how we see him and yes Alfred is gone and this pain is tempered a bit by what is in front of him. Though let’s hypothesise for a moment on what would happen if Ducard were to become the new Butler at Wayne Manor? Opens up a new world of possibilities if you ask me and he’s an old mentor and knows Bruce’s secret as much as anyone close to him does.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter really manages to flesh them out extremely well. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story we see aspects within the story begin to take centre stage and the reader becomes even more engaged in what is happening.
I am enjoying how we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. How we see the layers open up new avenues to be explored and how we see Bruce admit that he’s off his game is something that is beautifully done within these pages. The depth, dimension and complexity that is added to the story is fantastic. How everything works together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is impeccably achieved.
The interiors here definitely have some complete wow moments like seeing Bats and Squire through the display. Equilibrium definitely has a sleeker style than the grittier looking Batman and I kind of wish we’d see them both in that sleeker style. Don’t get me wrong, the work suits the characters extremely well, it’s just personal preference. How we see backgrounds being utilised throughout to expand and enhance the moments as well as how they work within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a great understanding for how colour works.
This is what we need more of. Seeing foreign heroes in their own setting and having folks like Bruce coming to town to work with them on cases or vice versa, they work cases with him, because North America isn’t the only place we find super powered individuals. This book really does a heck of a job of taking non-traditional Batman fans and making them fans of this story. It also shows us that Bats is best when he’s working with a young partner and while his son isn’t ideal maybe it’s time he took on a new apprentice that isn’t a Robin. With some exceptional writing and spectacular characterisation that is all brought to life through these stylistic interiors that creates the perfect storm.