Tuesday, July 19, 2005

BATMAN #642

This was another of those issues where something isn't sitting quite right and I can't quite place what it is.

Andersen Gabrych's Batman is more his father's son than most; early in his run on Detective Comics, Gabrych had Leslie saying that Bruce should have been a doctor and that was probably a bit of an avatar moment. His Batman isn't as much dark as he is determined; Bruce is hopeful instead of stubborn and maybe doesn't take himself so unremittingly seriously. The whole "I could practice my tai-chi, but I'm actually going to sit here and brood" scene brought that out well. There's nothing really wrong in that idea as a concept, so maybe I'm just feeling the dissonance between a Batman who literally fights to save Killer Croc and, say, Brian Azzarello's incarnation who thrilled to bad guys peeing themselves. It's not as if Bruce hasn't been wondering about Croc since the Hush storyline. The old school dialogue in that scene probably didn't help, although I am at a loss to suggest alternate text.

For the part of the story that was away from the Bat, it was a pleasantly textbook example of what happens when you catch a tiger by the tail. Black Mask and Mad Hatter have Killer Croc under control, but are not sure how well or for how long. Croc's (really, really gross) scratching at his implant could be instinct or he could know what's there; we never really get a sense either way. Doesn't matter very much as his reaction upon its discovery would be the same and Batman gets there in time to save Hatter for prison, but after Croc's little moment of sympathy for Hatter's girls. The bad guys were fun and, in the larger scope of things, harmless, which is what you want in what amounts to a filler issue.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lungworth said...

No Red Hood, no Winick, less Black Mask, Batman acting like less of a jackass and more like a person... this was, in fact, one of the first Batman issues I genuinely liked in a long while. Can they just dump the inane Jason Todd/Crisis arc and stick to doing "filler" plots like this?

Wed Jul 20, 02:19:00 AM EDT  

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