Monday, March 11, 2013

DETECTIVE COMICS #660 - Late May 1993

Crocodile Tears
Credits:  Chuck Dixon (writer), Jim Balent (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)

Summary:  As a weary Batman recovers from his fight with Zsasz, Robin follows Bird to his rendezvous with Bane.  Bane soon ambushes Robin in the subway, knocking him unconscious and blindfolding him in the sewers.  He tries to interrogate Robin for information on Batman, but he’s interrupted by Killer Croc, who wants revenge on Bane for breaking his arms.  During Bane and Killer Croc’s fight, the archway breaks, sending Robin and the villains into a strong current.  Meanwhile, Ventriloquist continues his search for Scarface.

Total N00B:  I had no idea Killer Croc was once a respected gang lord in Gotham City at some point in the character’s past.  He also speaks with the typical comic book “lisssssp” given to reptilian characters, which he did not do in the animated series.

Review:  So, yes, I’ll mention again that the story this issue is continuing was not reprinted in the Knightfall trade.  It’s not a huge impediment to the overall narrative, the idea that Bane easily beat Croc before and now he wants revenge isn’t hard to grasp, but it’s a little grating that such a giant book is missing stories that clearly should’ve been reprinted.  At any rate, this chapter moves Batman’s slow crack-up to the background in order to give Tim Drake (who was so Robin, I don’t care what you try to tell me) the spotlight.  And since Chuck Dixon tends to write Tim Drake and Bane very well, it’s not bad at all.  Robin’s still a little generic at this stage, but his loyalty to Batman, even when he’s threatened by someone clearly out of his league like Bane, makes him likeable enough for his own chapter.  There’s also a nice humanizing moment between Batman and Harvey Bullock, which uses Batman’s fragile state of mind to give the reader something you wouldn’t see in a typical Batman story.  I’ve complained about the tone of the previous installments of the event, but this chapter is much closer to the level of seriousness I think the crossover merits.


wwk5d said...

Hmm, I must have forgotten that Sam Keith did some covers for this crossover. Was it just this issue, or did he do others?

Anonymous said...

I think Keith did the covers for Detective during this part of Knightfall and Jones did Batman, for the most part; by Knightquest I think Kelley was doing the covers for both books.

And I totally forgot Balent did fill-in art for this chapter; from what I remember, he wasn't too Image-y when he wasn't drawing Catwoman.

Teebore said...

it’s a little grating that such a giant book is missing stories that clearly should’ve been reprinted.

I agree both that while missing the story doesn't take away from the overall narrative, it's still annoying that something so clearly referenced was left out.

Scott Church said...

I can't believe they didn't include this issue in the TPB. That is the biggest issue with TPB's that I have is that they don't contain the full series or they place issues out of order. I wanted to get the 5 TPB's for Gotham Central because I heard good things about the series but found out that the TPB's missed around 8 issues from the series and it placed issues out of place. That sort of thing just pisses me off to no end. If your going to have TPB, put everything in there in the order they are released.

Anonymous said...

This issue was included.
The plot of this issue referenced an earlier issue that was left out (due to it not being labeled as part of the Knightfall cross-over).

I didn't even remember that Kieth did any cover work for this.

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