Saturday, July 25, 2009

Batman: Streets of Gotham #2

This was a lot stronger than the premiere issue last month. Paul Dini picks up with the Firefly as he spreads suffering throughout Gotham with his firebombs. Batman and Robin are on the case, but they're having a hard time actually getting to Firefly's hideout. Dini includes a nice little sequence as another vigilante shows up and tries to help restore order a little more violently than B&R would prefer. This shadowy stranger sure knows the heroes, but neither one of them recognize him. My initial guess would be someone like Bork from Kurt Busiek's Power Company, but surely that's too obscure for this high-profile title.

Black Mask eventually shows up to reign in Firefly, only to find that Firefly has burned out the explosives that Mask had infected him with. I really dug the totally random nature of Firefly's actions, he's in this for no real reason other than to cause fire and pain. Dini has a nice line of dialogue where Firefly admits that he loved the pain of burning out the explosives. Firefly really comes across as a sick dude. When B&R arrive to stop Firefly, they have to choose between letting Black Mask get away or catching Firefly, and they end up choosing Firefly. I totally don't understand why Mr. Zsasz would help Black Mask like that, but I find Zsasz so scary I'm happy to see him used at all. In the chaos of the issue, Tommy Elliott escapes from his cell in Wayne Tower (that didn't take long) and he shows up with the press giving away Bruce Wayne's money. Is it really that easy to replace rich people?

Dustin Nguyen does a decent job dealing with the copious action this issue. What really impressed me was the really cool take he has on Firefly's suit. The goggles looked neat and aerial combat scenes were nicely put together.

Marc Andreyko and Georges Jeanty have another nice backup with Manhunter investigating Jane Doe. I dont' remember her too well but I feel like I've seen her before, I'll need to research. Kate Spencer's is such a fiesty and confident character I've always liked reading about her and I'm glad we're getting these backups. I wish I could mix and match which backup went where, actually, since I think this is stronger than the Question backup currently appearing in Detective Comics.


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