Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My girlfriend would say "stall" is usually step one of my "plotty plans..."

We saw Mr. Nice, Mastermind, and the Perfessor some time ago; if you recall, they were the Batman Adventures shout-outs to DC editors Archie Goodwin, Mike Carlin, and Denny O'Neil. And today we're checking out their second appearance: from 1994, the Batman Adventures #20, "Smells Like Black Sunday" Written by Kelley Puckett, pencils by Mike Parobeck, inks by Rick Burchett.

Even though the Perfessor is busy working on his memoirs, and Mr. Nice is too nice for his line of work; Mastermind is able to convince his cohorts to band together for one more job. Step one: break out of prison, which the Perfessor manages in a cakewalk.

Step two: stall. Mastermind leads the Dark Knight on a merry chase through Gotham, but it's a ploy to keep Batman occupied until it would be too late for him to stop Mr. Nice; and Mastermind had weaseled a promise out of him: stop being nice until midnight! Unburdened by his good nature, Nice is a virtually unstoppable fighting machine, and has a free run at the nuclear missiles at Fort Briggs!

As Mastermind sing-songs "I'm a nuclear power!" he may have counted his chickens before they've hatched. Although Batman can't get there in person, he's still able to call Jim Gordon to stop Mr. Nice, who can't turn away from his character after all.

Neither the best nor most essential of stories, but still well-executed fun. There's probably a moral or two here somewhere, but I was wondering how often Batman falls for that sort of distraction: he can't be everywhere at once, after all.

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