Friday, February 22, 2013
BATMAN #493 - Late May 1993
Credits: Doug Moench (writer), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Tim Harkins (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: Zsasz takes hostages at the Bates Home for Girls, threatening to kill a hostage every time the police intervene. After Zsasz kills two policemen sent to stop him, he’s confronted by Officer Montoya. A fatigued Batman breaks in just as Zsasz takes Montoya captive. Batman defeats Zsasz as the hostages escape. Meanwhile, Robin continues to track Falcon, and Mayor Krol pressures Commissioner Gordon to resign.
Irrelevant Continuity: Robin describes Falcon as one of “the three jamokes that blasted the Riddler.” Again, this refers to a story not reprinted in the Knightfall trade paperback.
Dramatic Exits: Officer Montoya pulls a Batman on Harvey Bullock by slipping past him while he’s discussing Zsasz’s standoff.
Approved By The Comics Code Authority: A lot of blood in this one, including the slit throat of a police officer. Even the title of this issue is written in blood.
Total N00B: What’s the deal with Zsasz’s eyes? Is he supposed to be wearing ‘80s New Wave sunglasses? Is this supposed to be some Sienkiewicz-style expressionism meant to symbolize insanity?
Review: Okay, this is closer to what I assumed “Knightfall” would be. And, unfortunately, it represents a lot of the post-Miller Batman material that I don’t personally enjoy. A “realistic” serial killer that Batman somehow isn’t able to punch out in two panels, bloody murders everywhere, and ridiculous psychobabble trying to sell the idea that Batman’s no different than the villains he faces. This was almost novel once, but I think the expiration date on this material was out even before 1993. There has to be some line between making the stories serious enough to suit the event and just inserting Batman into Silence of the Lambs. So far, the storyline has veered between two extremes and neither is quite right. Also, I guess now is as a good as time as any to point out how much I dislike most of Kelley Jones’ covers. Apparently, DC felt that he was bigger draw than Aparo, Nolan, and Breyfogle, which seems crazy now. These comics were published in 1993, though, so it’s possible they were right.