One of the things I adore about this story is the setting: pre-Batman Bruce Wayne. Still struggling, still unsure, and a bit of a brat. It’s refreshing to see a Bruce Wayne who isn’t all-knowing and who is allowed to be a jerk. More importantly he’s also allowed to face the consequences of being a jerk. This is something that’s been missing from the main comics for quite some time – much to the character’s detriment.
Fontana crafts a fun, world building story as we see Bruce struggle with his misplaced guilt regarding his parent’s deaths, his new friendship with fellow orphan Mateo Diaz, bully problems, and so much more. However, the most important relationship in this comic (and truly, to the whole Batman mythos), is Bruce’s relationship with Alfred Pennyworth.
Alfred Pennyworth is, for good or ill, the cornerstone of Bruce Wayne’s world and this story really highlights how much Bruce needs Alfred to always pick him up — whether he wants him too or not.
Marcela DiChiara’s & Hilary Sycamore artwork and lettering by Corey Breen definitely serve to enhance the story. The dynamic fight scenes, wonderful quiet moments, and little details about all of the characters give me life. Check the bedrooms at the orphanage (i.e. the story’s focal setting). There are so many subtle details that lesser artists wouldn’t have given us. However, for those of us reading the story who know who the orphanage’s residents eventually become, these details are fantastic little Easter eggs of awesome.
All in all, this is a truly smile-inducing book that parents can read to their children, while thoroughly enjoying it themselves. Batman: Overdrive is a perfect antidote to the quarantine blues.