‘Batman: War Games Act 1
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
In a lot of ways, I’m a stickler for tradition, especially when it comes to anything Batman. Why mess with a good thing, right? But even I can admit when I’m wrong. Outbreak is anything but your typical Batman story, and I loved every minute of it.
War has broken out in Gotham. The local gangs are at each other’s throats, and it’s up to Batman to find out why, especially because he recognizes the tactical strategy used as one of his own “war games”—a hypothetical plan to get his enemies to wipe each other out. The problem is he didn’t set these cogs in motion, which begs the question as to who did.
Group effort doesn’t even begin to cover the collection of names associated with this work. Outbreak alone was written by Ed Brubaker, Andersen Gabrych, Devin Grayson, Dylan Horrocks, A. J. Lieberman, and Bill Willingham. Normally I find works penned by a collective can come off as disjointed or cliché. Outbreak, however, manages to avoid all of that. The plot itself is consistent and surprising.
Art-wise, I liked this book. It is extremely detailed and very traditional. I had a slight issue with the colouring, though. Throughout most of the book, colour contrast is used to emphasize shadows without simply blacking everything out. This works for the majority of the book, but there are occasions where characters come off as looking orange because of it. The art was also a collective effort between Paul Gulacy, Brad Walker, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Al Barrionuevo, and Francis Portela, among others. In this case, the collective was a little less successful, but only a little.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely, but be prepared to see some unfamiliar faces if you’re not as well-versed in the Batman universe.