Friday, July 13, 2012
Back Issue Review: Detective Comics #569 & 570
Mike W. Barr writes the Batman of a different era. He says “Chum” all the time, he makes witty comments, and he calls Jason Todd/Robin “Jay” in the heat of battle. I kind of like this Batman, although he’s actually a bit scary. With modern Batman, he’s angry all the time, right? You know that angry fellow could haul off and beat the crap out of somebody at any moment. With this Batman of the past, Bats might be laughing and making puns then lose it and almost beat a villain to death! It’s crazy!
This story has the Joker trying to reprogram Catwoman to return to her life of crime. At this point, she was trying to get Bats to settle down with her (I like Robin’s reaction to their “alone time.”) Joker doesn’t like this, so he has a strange dude, Dr. Moon, use a CAT scan machine to reprogram Selina’s brain. Dr. Moon is creepy and cool, was the guy ever used again? I love the idea of a “normal” person being able to hang in the Joker’s world. He’s a creeper for sure.
Catwoman doesn’t get a whole lot to do, she spends much of the two issues either being captured or brainwashed. Now, she looks fantastic thanks to Alan Davis’ art, but she doesn’t get to do much in the story. Joker is really just a project manager too; he’s got a gang that does most of the fighting and Dr. Moon handles the brain work. Joker’s an idea man and punching bag.
How many Detective issues did Davis do? I’ve read a couple now, and his Batman is fantastic. I love the yellow, gray, and blue suit best, so seeing it rendered by Davis is a real treat. And boy, few artists can get as much expression and emotion out of a masked face as Davis does here. The 80’s feel of the issue is a strong point, with Joker’s hair and Selina’s costume both looking great.
I’ll leave you with some wisdom of Batman, courtesy of Barr. When Robin has spent a few minutes hanging with a woman of… doubtful character, he says
“Boy, she really knows how to make a guy feel good!”
Batman: “That’s what she’s best at, chum.”
Robin (surprised): “Huh? You mean she’s a… a…”
Batman: “She’s a Lady, chum… just like Selina.”
Wise words, Batman.