Don’t go into Batman: Odyssey expecting to do something so pedestrian as “understanding the plot” or “comprehending a character’s motives.” There is no plot, at least not as we understand it. And while there are certainly recognizable characters such as Batman, don’t get too comfortable with them.
The series opens with Bruce Wayne speaking to an unseen companion. He’s relating one heck of a tale, if the amount of word balloons is anything to go by. Wayne is also shirtless and, depending on your personal take on Batman, surprisingly hairy. The exact nature of who is telling what story to which individual gets pretty hairy, too, but don’t get too caught up in it all.
At one point, a Man-Bat or two appears in the Batcave and attacks Robin while the Boy Wonder and Batman are having a philosophical debate about guns. The duo manages to escape while Batman makes a joke about seals. Robin forgets that the Batmobile can turn into every other vehicle known to creation and proceeds to freak out during the escape.
Aquaman’s beautiful hair
At other points in Batman: Odyssey, Bruce also holds up a train car, which then explodes in one of the most supremely confusing detonations in all of comics. At this point, you have also probably realized that Batman is telling at least two, if not three, different stories at once. Also, in one issue, he pulls out a banana and begins eating it.
Eventually, Aquaman shows up. His hair is glorious and very, very 1980s. Bruce Wayne goes diving with him and has a freakout when he encounters a whale.
If you haven’t guessed, there is only the barest hint of a plot in Batman: Odyssey. It’s as if Deadpool has somehow infiltrated the Batcave and taken copious amounts of mind-altering substances before going to town on a banana. Neal Adams, the writer of this insane fever dream, has simply said that “I cannot give you an overview of the plot”. This is one beautifully bonkers Bat-comic.
Don’t forget: even icons like Batman can get a little strange sometimes.