Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SHOWCASE ‘93 #8 - August 1993

Bad Judgment
Credits:  Doug Moench (writer), Klaus Janson (artist/colorist), Ken Bruzenak (letterer)

Summary:  Batman is rescued in the river by Two-Face’s men and brought to their hideout.  Two-Face holds a mock trial for Batman, accusing him of breaking their alliance during his days as D.A. Harvey Dent.  Robin and Alfred locate Batman and create a distraction that allows him to escape.  When Two-Face soon corners Batman several stories up, Robin throws his bolo at him, knocking Two-Face off the building.  Batman rescues Two-Face and rebukes Robin for playing by Two-Face's rules.  In the present day, Batman wakes from his coma and tells Robin that he actually made the right decision.

Irrelevant Continuity:  In this era of continuity, Batman and Harvey Dent were allies until Dent became obsessed with Boss Maroney and began breaking the rules.  Maroney goes on to become the mobster that scars Dent’s face in court during Two-Face’s origin story.

Review:  This doesn’t feel as shallow as the previous installment, even if it is clearly filler.  In this chapter, Moench plays up Harvey Dent’s past relationship with Batman, which was ruined after Dent became increasingly obsessed and lost sight of reality.  Years later, Batman’s now pushed himself to the edge and is suffering from his own poor judgment.  Apparently, the idea is that Robin, with his youthful verve and innocence, is the most clear-thinking individual in the entire story, although I would take issue with this.  As Batman points out, Robin had no way of knowing if Batman was capable of catching Two-Face when he knocked him off the edge, which would’ve made Robin culpable in Two-Face’s death.  Batman, in any context, would not abide this.  (Let’s ignore that article.)  Batman chewing Robin out for this is perfectly in-character and consistent with the moral code he’s displayed throughout his career.  Having Batman come out of his coma and spontaneously change his mind isn’t just a cheap ending for the story, it’s not consistent with everything we know about Batman.  I can see the point Moench is trying to make, but the story he’s crafted doesn’t support his argument.

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