Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DETECTIVE COMICS #671 - February 1994

The Cutting Room Floor
:  Chuck Dixon (writer), Graham Nolan (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)

Summary:  The Joker convinces studio head Barry Zedmore to finance his film, "The Death of Batman."  Joker sets up a confrontation at the city college, where men in movie monster masks menace student Cindy Brookes.  Batman saves her, and soon finds himself infatuated with Cindy.  He returns to the college to investigate and finds himself in another trap.  He races to Cindy’s dorm room, only to discover Robin’s body being thrown out of the window.

I Love the ‘90s:  Cindy has a Fabio poster in her room.  Joker is also using doppelgangers for Siskel and Ebert as his advisers on the film.

“Huh?” Moment:  Barry Zedmore complains to one of his producers that it’s 4:00 AM in LA when he’s on the phone.  That makes it 7:00 AM on the east coast.  In the very next panel, Joker tells Zedmore and his producers (who are being kept in a cage), that they need their rest for tomorrow’s early shoot.  So they’re going to sleep for 24 hours?

Review:  This marks the beginning of the “Joker Makes a Movie” storyline Dixon has been teasing for months.  Largely a parody of Hollywood, it’s obviously a bit silly, but also a welcome break from the general bleakness of most AzBats stories.  Oddly enough, the Joker’s nom de plume while making the film is Joseph Kerr, which actually is the name of an animation writer.  One that has even written Batman episodes featuring the Joker.  It’s also a bit strange to see Graham Nolan’s interpretation of studio head Barry Zedmore, because he looks a lot like Joel Schumacher, even though I’m not sure if Schumacher was even announced for Batman Forever by this point.

Both Dixon and Moench have apparently decided this month to explore Jean-Paul’s budding sensuality, although Dixon is much more subdued than Moench.  In this story, Jean-Paul is merely developing a crush on a co-ed and engaging in slightly inoffensive stalking.  In Batman, Jean-Paul is driven into hormonal overdrive merely by meeting Catwoman for the first time.  (The implication being that he needed a change of the Batsheets.)  I think Moench got more mileage out of the concept, although in fairness, Jean-Paul’s discovery of women in just one aspect of Dixon’s story.  The bulk of the issue is spent mocking Hollywood, and right down to the Joker’s ponytail, it’s pretty amusing.  One advantage of the multi-title, shared continuity format is that one title can go a little crazy for a few months while the other books carry on the “important” storylines.

1 comment:

Steven said...

I don't have much to add except that I [i]loved[/i] this arc as a kid, and still enjoy it quite a bit to this day.

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