Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I need to set up a tag for 'recidivism.'

Here's a random one from the quarter bin: Batman: Gotham Knights #46, "Scared Straight" Written by Scott Beatty, pencils by Roger Robinson, inks by John Floyd. And it hits on something we've seen before here: Batman vs. recidivism.

The Spook, a hypnotist and escape artist, is up for parole after serving seven or eight years. Although it seems like he's reformed, since he passed up a couple easy escapes from Blackgate like during the Bat-quake, Batman tells his crew that this time they're going to be 'proactive.' At a halfway house, the Spook seems rough, but still seems clean; telling a young would-be offender "Addiction is a prison. Escape it." But, Robin and Nightwing keep a watch on him, and catch him using hypnotism to short-change a clerk.

Being forced to return the money would be bad enough, but the Spook's day gets worse when the Russian mob, on a tip from KGBeast, pick him up as a prospective asset. When he arrives at a mob warehouse, he finds the Bat...girl. Cassandra beat the hell out of everyone there as an example, and sends the Spook home with a videotape to hammer the point home: Batman isn't alone in Gotham. (The tape actually displays a "self-destruct in five seconds" message.) The next night, Batman tells the gang that the Spook violated his parole (attempted armed-robbery, although he didn't really have a gun) and turned himself in. Did they pressure him into a bad decision? Yes, probably; although Bats says they just showed the Spook he still had some rehabilitating to do.
A surprisingly dicked-up issue, especially since Bruce is funding Bane's world travels at the time...

The back-up Black & White story is much more fun: a writer pitches and pitches his idea for a coffee-table book on the crazy old architecture of Gotham City: buildings shaped like blenders, cash registers, toasters. But, he's told those are dated and camp, and he might be forced to do a book on gothic design and gargoyles instead; when he finally gets a taker...from Signal Publishing, a division of Wayne Enterprises...
"Urban Renewal" Written by Will Pfeifer, art by Brent Anderson.

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Guys like the Spook and Calendar Man just can't catch a break can they?

Love, love the Brent Anderson rendition of the old 50's Batmobile though. Did you post that because we talked about that recently? You sly dog you.

CalvinPitt said...

Batman's right, I am thinking what he thinks I am.

I kind of hate it when heroes do things like that, pressure the villain until they snap. Like Batman doesn't have enough problems, why antagonize a guy who might be prepared to stop being a problem?