Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DETECTIVE COMICS #672 - March 1994

Smash Cut
:  Chuck Dixon (writer), Graham Nolan (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)

Summary:  Batman rescues Cindy, who the Joker has disguised as Robin.  When he later checks on her in the hospital, he discovers she was discharged to the care of an “Allen Smithee.”  The Joker sends a false clue to the police and media, leading them to the Monarch Theatre.  Batman, meanwhile, investigates an old silent movie studio and finds himself caught in a series of traps based on old movies.  He’s drugged and chained to the wall, feet away from Cindy, who’s trapped inside a water tank.  The Joker is nearby, dressed in an homage to Casablanca.

“Huh?” Moment:  Batman, who’s wearing armor and a full face mask, is somehow drugged by getting hit in the face with pies.

Review:  More parody, as the Joker complains about Batman ruining his three-act structure, before setting up a series of death traps based on old movies.  Dixon even throws in a reference to the old film pseudonym “Alan (or Allen) Smithee” during Batman’s pursuit, which was not a well-known fact at the time, so I’m assuming he’s writing this out of a genuine love for old movies.  And it’s entertaining, but not very deep.  There’s a nice scene that has the new Batman reflecting on why his predecessor obsessed so much over the Joker and cursing himself now for dismissing him earlier, but other than that, the issue covers the same ground as the previous one.


cyke68 said...
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cyke68 said...

The recaps of this arc read like an extended Batman: TAS episode (not that that's a bad thing). I never realized they got so much mileage out of the AzBats one-off stories where he's just doing his thing. I guess I thought the whole Knightfall/Knightsquest/Knightsend epic was a lot more... calculated. Actually, I can see the logic. Doing it this way at least creates some illusion that we're looking at a new status quo. It might have that big trade dress at the top, but it sure sounds like business as usual (and you'd best get used to it). Of course Bruce will be back, but the timing isn't so neatly telegraphed.

It seems like overall, DC did a much better job of sticking to the plan (that is, having one) with respect to the major characters and big stories than Marvel in the '90s (shutupArmageddon2001istheexceptthatprovestherule). Maybe because the concept of things being written by committee was a relatively newer phenomenon for Marvel? Or maybe I just have more familiarity with the particulars of Marvel's shortcomings.

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