Review – Batman: Fortress #5 – Assembling the Team

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Batman: Fortress #5 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Fortress #5 – Gary Whitta, Writer; Darick Robertson, Artist; Diego Rodriguez, Colorist

Ray – 8/10

Ray: As we reach the halfway point of Whitta and Robertson’s strange high-stakes Batman adventure, the alien menace surprisingly takes a break this issue. They don’t appear and we just get some vignettes of Batman putting the team together for a raid on Superman’s undersea Fortress. First up is Jackson Hyde, who is living it up in the blackout on the beach. He meets a guy, nearly drowns some homophobes, and expresses to Batman that the underwater is the only place still doing fine. But it seems his relationship with Atlantis is more tense in this version, and so he reluctantly signs on. The same goes for Emiko Queen, whose characterization is a bit more spotty than Jackson’s. She seems older and has embraced a more violent version of crimefighting—casually killing some drug dealers before agreeing to work with Batman to rescue Ollie from the aliens. They complete the active team along with Day’l—and Lex Luthor.

Love in the apocalypse. Via DC Comics.

Whitta is obviously having a lot of fun writing this book, and that’s nowhere clearer than in his gleefully egomaniacal take on President Luthor. This is a man who can seem almost comical—right down to including the Presidential seal on his old supervillain armor—but he’s just as competent and evil as any other version. When Batman hesitates to let him into the Fortress to have access to the technology of his arch-nemesis, Luthor makes clear that he will let the world die just to spite Batman if he doesn’t get his way. This issue is mostly a series of vignettes as the final task approaches, but the end of the issue reveals exactly what the Fortress looks like underwater—and it’s an impressive sight to behold. Robertson’s art is an odd fit for this book, looking a bit too photorealistic on some of the characters like Jackson, but when he gets to go big and strange, it’s the perfect match for Whitta’s writing.

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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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