Credits: Doug Moench (writer), Jim Balent (penciler), Frank McLaughlin (inker), Willie Schubert (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: The Malevolent Maniaxe burn down the warehouse, forcing Batman and Ballistic to rescue the unconscious smugglers while they escape. Batman and Ballistic then travel to a nightclub owned by Raf Luxor, another figure from Abattoir’s past. They run into the Maniaxe again, and during the melee, Luxor is killed. Batman forces one of the Maniaxe to reveal who placed the hit, which leads to Batman and Ballistic confronting Henry Etchison’s lawyer. Batman takes a list of Henry Etchison’s properties from the lawyer, while Ballistic collects the bounty and decides to leave Gotham. The lawyer is left for the police as Batman continues to hunt the Abattoir.
Total N00B: I can only assume that Raf Luxor played a role in the previous Abattoir storyline.
Review: Thankfully, this moronic digression with Ballistic and the Maniaxe is over. Even though there’s a lot of running around, the plot’s barely advanced as the same characters just end up confronting each other under the same conditions, followed by more pointless fight scenes. Ballistic exits the story when he simply steals the blood money without completing the job, contributing absolutely nothing to the plot. If this was supposed to be the showcase that decided whether or not Ballistic got his own series, he didn’t fare any better than Joe Average or whatever the last loser’s name was. Moench does virtually nothing to make the character likeable or even slightly interesting. As a straight man for Batman’s cruel, dismissive one-liners, he’s good for one solid joke throughout the entire storyline. Having accomplished that, he needs to be returned to Extreme Studios. And, ugh, there’s more of the Malevolent Maniaxe to tolerate this issue. Painfully unfunny and just flagrant page filler, I pray that no one revives them before this event is over.