Credits: Doug Moench (writer), Klaus Janson (artist/colorist), Ken Bruzenak (letterer)
Summary: As Robin and Alfred watch over the comatose Batman, Robin flashes back to three weeks earlier. Two-Face, after escaping Arkham during the breakout, targets mobster Legs Lyman. He kills Lyman and leaves his body inside a museum as a clue for Batman. Batman pursues the case, dismissing Robin’s offer for help. Two-Face, now leading Lyman’s gang, ambushes Batman and forces him to crash the Batmobile into the river.
Irrelevant Continuity: Klaus Janson’s Batmobile is extremely off-model. For some reason he’s decided it should resemble a ‘70s Cadillac.
I Love the ‘90s: I guess I’m obligated to mention the title of this series. DC curiously decided to run Showcase as a twelve-issue series every year, renaming it to match the new year every January.
Review: DC somehow decided that this Showcase two-parter deserved to be reprinted in the Knightfall trade, as opposed to all of the early Bane appearances, the original “Venom” storyline, or the Sword of Azrael miniseries. I guess they felt obligated because the covers list this storyline as official chapters of “Knightfall,” even continuing the numbering from the Bat-titles, and didn’t want readers complaining about missing the all-important thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the crossover. I imagine “Knightfall” only crossed over into Showcase in order to give the lower-selling title some attention, because this is by no means an essential story for the event. With the removal of a few lines of dialogue and the quickie framing sequence, this could easily occur at any time in early ‘90s Bat-continuity. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this were an inventory story that just ended up in Showcase because Batman was obligated to appear in the book for a few issues out of the year.
Of course, none of this means the story is bad when judged on its own merits. And in its defense, it’s a nice-looking Klaus Janson comic with better-than-average colors and lettering for the era. But aside from a cute bit about the Brontosaurus during the museum scene (it’s “the only dinosaur with two names” because scientists originally mixed up two species when naming it), the story’s extremely flat. And the awkward placement of the arc ruins the flow of the overall storyline, as it requires the narrative to flash back three weeks for no good reason.