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Batman and Vandal Savage leap through a portal after the White Lantern ring in Batman Odyssey #6, DC Comics (2019). Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington/DC Comics

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DC’s alternate timeline Batman is a dead ringer for John Wick

Blame Vandal Savage

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

This week saw the conclusion of Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derington’s Batman Universe, originally published as a 12-part comic available only in brick-and-mortar Walmarts, reprinted in six issues over this year.

As you might guess from the title, it’s a wide ranging story with a twisty turny plot that is best summed up as “Batman hunts a Fabergé egg through time and space to keep it from the hands of Vandal Savage — and you’ll never guess what’s inside it.” At the story’s climax, Savage uses a powerful space artifact to erase “Batman” from existence, but since he has no idea about his secret identity is, he just creates a timeline in which the superhero hunts him down anyway as Bruce Wayne.

And it turns out that, to Derington and Bendis, a man who can go as hard as Batman but can’t actually be Batman looks ... pretty much exactly like John Wick.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? I’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor, me, enjoyed over the past seven days. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” Let’s get started!

Batman Universe #6

An alternate timeline’s Bruce Wayne, with a beard, shaggy hair, a black suit, thin black tie, and gloves — he looks a lot like John Wick is what I’m saying — interrogates the Riddler in Batman Universe #6, DC Comics (21019). Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington/DC Comics

You were so busy asking “Could John Wick kick Batman’s ass?” you forgot to ask “What if John Wick is Batman?”

Batman #84

Selina Kyle and Thomas Wayne fight crime together in the Flashpoint timeline, in Batman #84, DC Comics (2019). Tom King, Jorge Fornes/DC Comics

A lot of the post-wedding Batman stuff has been hit or miss for me, but this one-and-done backstory in King’s penultimate issue was a hit.

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #10

Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel struggles as her suit forces her to excessively beat a supervillain, in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #10, Marvel Comics (2019). Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung/Marvel Comics

A little while ago Ms. Marvel got a brand new costume made out of mysterious space material that wasn’t at all suspicious, and the costume chickens have finally come home to roost.

New Year’s Evil

Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya talk about mourning a relationship even though it was unhealthy, in “Little Christmas Tree,” one story in New Years Evil, DC Comics (2019). Vita Ayala, Elena Casagrande/DC Comics

Some of the stories in New Year’s Evil were just OK, but Ayala and Casagrande drawing a line between Batman: The Animated Series alumnas Harley Quinn and Renee Montoya hit me right in the feels.

Thor: The Worthy

Jane Foster/Thor whirls Mjolnir and recalls all those who have lifted it before, including Beta Ray Bill, Captain America, and ... Wonder Woman! in Thor: The Worthy, Marvel Comics (2019). Kathryn Immonen, Tom Reilly/Marvel Comics

Another anthology one-shot, Thor: The Worthy, was supposed to be for legendary Thor writer-artist Walter Simonson to take another turn on the character, but forgive me. I’m a simple woman. You throw in a reference to the time that Wonder Woman was worthy, I put it in the roundup.

The Dreaming #16

Hyperion Keter explains the discoveries that allowed him to technology his way into killing dreaming itself, in The Dreaming #16, DC Comics (2019). Simon Spurrier, Marguerite Sauvage/DC Comics

The Dreaming is so deep into its full plot reveals right now that I don’t want to say anything about the story, so as not to spoil it. Suffice to say: I am loving this series and what Spurrier is doing with it and how the series’ artists are bringing it to life.

X-Men #3

Three members of the Hordeculture ecoterrorist group, all old ladies, taunt Emma Frost, in X-Men #3, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu/Marvel Comics

This week in X-Men a group of radical pensioner ecoterrorists kicked Cyclops’ ass, stole a bunch of flowers of Krakoa, and said some very rude things about Emma Frost.


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