Thursday, August 15, 2013

BATMAN #503 - January 1994

Night Becomes Woman
:  Doug Moench (writer), Mike Manley (artist), Ken Bruzenak (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)

Summary:  Batman spends the night consumed by thoughts of Catwoman.  The next day, Commissioner Gordon asks him to protect the trade summit from terrorists.  Batman suspects Catwoman is involved, following her previous robbery of the chemical warehouse.  He tracks her down and, to his surprise, finds her to be his physical match.  She exits the fight, after stealing Benzotrilene, a harmless chemical than could double for the deadly Xyklon-C.  Batman vows to stop her.

I Love the ‘90s:  The story makes a few references to the 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.  Later, we’ll see that the trade summit is happening at the Gotham equivalent of the Twin Towers.

Review:  I have to admit that Doug Moench gets a lot more out of Jean-Paul’s first meeting with Catwoman than I would’ve expected.  It’s obvious that Jean-Paul’s “programming” is intended to have some thematic links to Christian doctrine, although the creators have been careful to avoid any overt religious bashing.  This issue explores Jean-Paul’s repressed sexuality, which is absolutely enflamed after his first meeting with Catwoman.  Apparently unaware of how to deal with “those” kind of feelings, Jean-Paul finds himself reverting to the type of twelve-year-old who's obsessed with, say, Jim Balent’s Catwoman.  “I did dream about her…all the way to darkness.  And the dreams were…shameful.”  And this isn’t the first double-entendre.  The story’s filled with them: “Maybe I’ve fallen, and fallen hard…but she still goes down.”  Batman’s also going to “penetrate her mystery” and “make the cat howl.”  I love the idea that Jean-Paul isn’t even consciously aware he’s doing this; anyone somehow unaware of the sexual connotation of these terms would take this as typical Batman dialogue.  And, oddly enough, this does work in humanizing Jean-Paul a bit.  He’s not so far gone that he can’t develop a crush, which makes him more interesting as a lead.


Anonymous said...

I don't even remember those double meanings from when I first read this issue, but now that you point them out, I can't believe I didn't see them before; Moench could be a pretty funny guy, huh? lol

thinkingcog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thinkingcog said...

Looking like the AzBats who got the cream...