Thursday, March 16, 2017

As I pick up random comics, a lot of times I note here to pick up the next issue or the conclusion. This time, meh; even if I've got part seven of eight today. From 2006, Detective Comics #820, "Face the Ecaf, part 7 of 8" (I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be "Face the Face," right?) Written by James Robinson, layouts by Leonard Kirk, finishes by Andy Clarke.

We're coming to this one mid-stream, but I do remember this was the big storyline after Infinite Crisis, with Batman returning to action "One Year Later" after leaving Gotham to the care of former Two-Face Harvey Dent. Who has since been framed for murder (including that of the original Ventriloquist and the KGBeast, both jobbed out here) but Bats is working the case, even while he and Robin fight the Scarecrow, and hallucinations of the Thomas Wayne Bat-Man, the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth 2 Robin, and the Earth-Prime Superboy. Batman defeats the Scarecrow, as you might expect; but then trash-talks him, which surprised me.

Batman downplays that as "part of the game," to throw Scarecrow off next time; but it still doesn't sit well with me. He does praise Robin, Tim Drake, for getting past the fear gas and his nightmares so quickly; but Tim shrugs that off: he had lost so much, what was left? Batman does hint at an idea for what Tim could do next; but back at police headquarters, after explaining to Gordon how Dent was framed; Bats takes a moment to speak with a uniformed officer. Explaining he was trying to "undo past wrongs, not make new ones," he tells Officer Harper he knew something about her:

Despite his seeming desire to not make old mistakes, Bats gives her a slightly-nicer version of the "thou shalt have no vigilantes before me/Stay outta Gotham" speech he's given multiple times before. And he almost has a point: just because your grand-uncle was the Guardian or your third cousin was the Red Bee, doesn't mean you're a legacy and should join the Justice Society. It does feel a bit condescending, though.

Then, a Jack Ryder appearance! But only as a talking head on TV, breaking the news of Two-Face's return! Which was a foregone conclusion, wasn't it? Between that and Batman seemingly insuring the Scarecrow would come after him again by rubbing his nose in it, we're finally adding that tag for recidivism! Still, in-story Bats could be justified here: he, and we, know full well Scarecrow is going to get out someday, and Batman may want to make sure Scarecrow comes after him rather than someone that couldn't protect themselves. But overall, this issue didn't sit well with me.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

If I was Batman I'd be talking shit to my rogue's gallery too. Why not!? Like you said, they'll just keep getting out and coming back. Might as well have some fun and fuck with em' a bit.
As I seem to remember, the whole "Face the Face" story but Robinson wasn't widely loved and very much considered one of those disappointments by critics with a story by such a proven writer like Robinson.