Wednesday, February 20, 2013
DETECTIVE COMICS #659 - May 1993
Credits: Chuck Dixon (writer), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Tim Harkins (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: The Ventriloquist teams with fellow Arkham escapee Amygdala to search for Scarface. Batman and Robin follow their trail to a toy store. When Robin is ordered to stand back, he decides to follow the falcon that has been tracking the Batmobile. He soon locates Bird and engages him in a fight. Bane radios in and orders Bird to let Robin go. Meanwhile, a disoriented Batman defeats Amygdala but leaves Ventriloquist behind. The Batmobile’s police scanner reports Zsasz has broken into a girls’ school.
Irrelevant Continuity: Robin makes another reference to his encounter with Bane, which apparently occurred in the same story as Bane’s fight with Killer Croc and his dismissal of Azrael. Robin also comments that Batman has “been sick” recently, referencing stories that are also not reprinted.
I Love the ‘90s: “No justice, no peace” is written in graffiti in the Gotham back alleys.
Total N00B: I’ve never heard of Amygdala before. He’s a large, childlike brute with several mental problems. It seems like he’d be any easy addition to any of the recent Batman video games, but apparently no one’s bothered to use him. An “amygdala” is defined as “an almond-shaped mass of gray matter, one in each hemisphere of the brain, associated with feelings of fear and aggression and important for visual learning and memory.”
Review: This is another chapter of the crossover that doesn’t seem to have an appropriate tone given the circumstances of the story. The Ventriloquist’s quest to locate Scarface is not surprisingly played for laughs (Ventriloquist even creates a new puppet friend, “Socko,” this issue), and the mentally deranged Amygdala is mostly treated as a joke as well, although he stands up to Batman pretty well. I’m also surprised to see Bird get a clear victory over Robin, but then again, I guess it’s not that big a surprise that one of Bane’s henchmen would get a strong heel push. And yet, I have a hard time picturing a mulleted bird aficionado getting the best of Robin, who’s supposed to be one of the better hand-to-hand combatants in the DC Universe to the best of my knowledge. At any rate, it’s another issue of Batman and Robin chasing Arkham escapees that’s so not grim I’m torn between admiring its willingness to have fun and just wondering what the tone of this storyline is supposed to be.