Return of the Bat
Credits: Doug Moench (writer), Mike Manley & Joe Rubinstein (artists), Ken Bruzenak (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: Jean-Paul refuses to surrender and attacks Batman. Meanwhile, Selkirk’s men target Catwoman, Nightwing, and Robin. The battle sets Selkirk’s penthouse on fire. Eventually, one of Selkirk’s guards uses a helicopter to shoot at the heroes from above. While trying to control Jean-Paul’s grapple, Batman inadvertently causes it to latch on to the helicopter. They swing above the city, as Catwoman jumps onboard the helicopter, demanding Selkirk give her the neural enabler.
Irrelevant Continuity: In the previous chapter, the “neural enabler” was called the “cybernetic enabler.”
Review: Following the previous chapter’s cliffhanger, you might think this issue would be the climactic battle between Bruce and Jean-Paul. Surely this storyline couldn’t drag on much longer, could it? Now that Bruce has regained his confidence as Batman and Jean-Paul has been exposed as a loon, there aren’t a lot of places left to go, so it’s best to draw things to a close, right? Unfortunately, Batman was released as the first Bat-title of the month. That means the crossover has to continue to drag on until the last Batman title of the month is released, and that’s Legends of the Dark Knight (not counting the two epilogue chapters in Robin and Catwoman.) Instead of a conclusion, the creators have to kill time with some explosions and chase scenes; four issues worth, in fact. In fairness, there is a decent amount of Batman vs. Fake Batman action this issue, which is what the readers have been anticipating for months, but it’s intercut with numerous pages of Robin and Nightwing fighting generic goons, things blowing up, and Catwoman chasing after that nebulous plot device. The flagrant amount of filler is hard to forgive, and you’re just left tolerating these chapters while waiting for the true climax to begin.