Friday, August 23, 2013

SHADOW OF THE BAT #24 - February 1994

The Immigrant - Rosemary’s Baby
:  Alan Grant (writer), Vince Giarrano (artist), Todd Klein (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)

Summary:  Batman encounters Rosemary, a woman who’s illegally traveled to America to retrieve the infant she sold earlier in Central America.  Batman researches the case and finds a connection to the Rayo Fertility Clinic.  While staking out Dr. Rayo’s home, Batman discovers a van delivering babies.  He forces the van to crash and rescues the children inside.  Rosemary’s child is retrieved, and Batman pauses for a moment to reflect on his own mother before resuming his crusade.

Miscellaneous Note:  “Rosemary’s Baby” is an obvious allusion to the movie.  This baby is just a normal, innocent child, however.  Unless we get a sequel in the New 52…

Irrelevant Continuity:  “The System” allows Jean-Paul to instantly speak Spanish.

I Love the ‘90s:  The term “illegal immigrant” is used repeatedly, which might not happen today since the phrase is now considered “politically charged.”

Review:  I have to question why any of these Shadow of the Bat issues are included when there are numerous stories that affect the major storyline that are left out of the book.  As a psychological study of Jean-Paul, there’s a solid premise here, but I don’t think anyone would tell you that it’s required reading for this era.  Grant’s constructed a story that touches on Jean-Paul’s knack (and distaste) for detective work, requires him to reflect on his mother (or who he thinks she might’ve been, since he can’t remember her), and forces him to deal with a domestic situation that requires more than punching and kicking.  Hypothetically, this should open the door to a real examination of the character.  Unfortunately, the entire issue is marred by Batman’s decision to attack a van filled with babies.  He literally runs the thing off the road, then acts shocked that the infants might be in danger.  What kind of a moron is this?  This scene, combined with Vince Giarrano’s nasty early ‘90s art, makes the issue pretty unbearable.

1 comment:

Adam Farrar said...

They're getting a lot of issues out of Jean-Paul's missing mother. If I remember the first few issues of the ongoing Azrael series (which I remember enjoying but haven't ever reread) he's a test tube baby essentially cloned from his father with animal genes spliced in. He either doesn't have a mother at all or was carried to term by a surrogate gorilla. But I wouldn't stake my life on the gorilla part.

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