Batman: Gotham Adventures #8
DC Comics (January, 1999)
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
A police inspector friend of Batman’s in Paris contacts him after hearing about Boston Brand’s murder. Another member of the League Of Assassins is operating there and may be Batman’s chance to find the Sensei and shut the organization down. (Although if you’ve watched Batman Beyond you know that won’t happen…or at least it won’t stay shut down.) Batman and Batgirl journey to Paris to find him and learn that the “ghost of the Quasimodo” is running around the streets fighting bad guys. The Bat-team brings down the assassin and they and the inspector take him to an old church turned into housing until the place burned down. There they meet the alleged hunchback ghost, a former police officer named Alain Mauricet, who tried to use the chemicals that turned Matt Hagen into Clayface to fight off his cancer, only to have caused that fire, “cooking” the chemicals into a stone-like state. Now he follows Batman’s example, and helps Batman get the information he needs. And it looks like the inspector will have his own Batman.
What they got right: I rather like the concept of the “Hunchback’s Ghost” or whatever name he eventually takes since being made of “stone” is a good take to work with. There’s actually some good story potential and according to the DC wiki the only Alain Mauricet I could find was an artist at DC so nice little nod there. It’s too bad he never shows up again.
What they got wrong: STOP REMINDING ME YOU RUINED DCAU’S MAN-BAT’S HAPPY ENDING! I prefer the cartoon version where the Langstroms are free of the curse of Man-Bat and get to live the rest of their lives in peace than Kurt somehow reverting to Man-Bat for no good reason and living in the bowels of the Batcave. And police scientist or no, how did Alain find out the formula for Renuyu when I’m sure Roland Daggett never released that information and Alain is in Paris and never worked for his company?
Recommendation: I wouldn’t mind seeing this concept get a regular series or at least another team-up with Batman. I want to see more of this character. Give it a read and see if you agree with me.
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