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Batman: Gotham Adventures #54

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2002
By: Ray Tate



"Masterwork"

Writer: Scott Peterson
Artists: Tim Leavins(p), Terry Beatty(i), Lee Lourdige(c)
Publisher: DC


It has gotten to a point where I believe Scott Peterson can do no wrong on Batman Gotham Adventures. This issue, he concocts a black comedy which satirizes the goings-on over on the so-called continuity Batman books while coming up with a nice little mystery.

He begins with humor, and even in this story Batman cracks some very, very sly jokes. The writer in the story “Ms. Staines” bleeds purple prose all over her narration for Batman. So verbose is this description that it actually blocks our view of Tim Leavins characteristic Batman pose. So wordy even the Batman at one point explains how he deduced she was present by saying, “I heard you overwriting.” See, you need not ridicule the man to give him a sense of humor.

As the story progresses, you see how the hack writer fictionalizes the more realistic Scott Peterson’s scenes. Sometimes while she describes the scenes horridly, she shows a comprehension of the Batman’s rationale.

The humor does not get in the way of the story nor does it place the story outside the realms of continuity. The scene for instance in which Tim Leavins shows the Batman in action saving Robin from a nervous gun man exemplifies how dangerous their chosen crusade can be, Batman’s experience in saving lives and why he hates firearms.

When the antagonist stands revealed, the villain uses a very strange weapon that would normally call into question the entire plausibility of the story. When you think about it, the weapon is so unusual and so unnecessary that only this particular type of villain would choose it. The villain’s end may seem like a shameless deus ex machina, but given the villain’s nature, this is a fitting comeuppance, and Batman’s grim joke at the end serves as fitting punctuation.



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