Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin take the Mobius chair-bound Batman back to Gotham City in “Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman” #1, where the godlike Dark Knight explores his power to change the city’s complexion. Tomasi opens the tale with a discussion (like so many before) between Batman and Commissioner Jim Gordon. Gordon lights the night one more time to initiate the conversation, and the Bat-signal plays a pivotal role in the commissioner’s appeal to his most revered ally.
Tomasi underscores Batman’s slipping grasp on humanity through the duo’s conversation, but reminds readers that — no matter the influence — Batman is still dedicated to his mission. The writer slips in a humorous bit before zipping across Gotham City. Tomasi uses the lens of Gotham to investigate the chair’s hold on Batman and to illustrate the Dark Knight’s newfound abilities, juxtaposing the concepts and weighing them out, coaxing readers to choose a side.
Pasarin follows “Justice League” artist Jason Fabok’s lead and packs detail upon detail into every single panel of the issue. Through diverse perspectives and character placement, Pasarin keeps the story flowing and the action kinetic despite the limitations of a sitting protagonist. The artist stacks up expressions and gestures to elicit emotional resonance from readers, and inker Matt Ryan amplifies those appeals with heavy shadows, as every Batman comic requires. Colorist Gabe Eltaeb adds cosmic glow to Batman’s attire, visually describing the energy coursing through and around the Dark Knight, as his chair becomes more and more a part of him. Eltaeb’s colors are perfect for balancing the dingy Gotham setting with illuminated elevation and he does a fine job of keeping this comic in the same color space as “Justice League.” Dave Sharpe’s letters are plentiful in this comic, as Batman is more about words and thoughts than action and fisticuffs. Still, the letterer brings a nice amount of sound effects and exclamations, while giving the Mobius-empowered Batman a distinct, almost frightening growl of a voice.
“Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman” #1 is the first of a series of one-shots which follow the Justice Leaguers-turned- New Gods. I’m not sure the stories are necessary, but they do provide a nice bonus outlet to the “Darkseid War” story from “Justice League.” The effects of their newfound powers would most likely be lost in between the packed panels of the main title, but — in specials — readers can selectively consume more of their favorites. I won’t be getting all six of the comics, but “Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman” #1 is a nice read with a smart creative team. It might not alter the flow of the “Darkseid War,” but it certainly does offer Bat-fans a chance to see how Batman tries to avoid the absolute corruption inherent in absolute power.