Batman: Gotham Adventure #17
DC Comics (October, 1999)
WRITER: Scott Peterson
PENCILER: Tim Levins
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Joseph Illidge
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
Batman intervenes when a mobster appears to be targeting the teen of a poor family struggling to get by. However, Batman learns that he isn’t trying to kill the boy but bring him home. His son and this kid were accidentally switched at birth (learned when the son was killed and the mobster paralyzed during an attack) and the mobster is obsessed with only family taking over the business. Batman arranges the reunion but the boy chooses the family that raised him over his biological father. The mobster agrees to leave the boy alone, and given his insistence that family run the organization he’s worked so hard on you can assume that when he dies so does the organization.
What they got right: This is an interesting case for Batman. Due to his own father issues here is a father who believes in the importance of family but in the sense that only family should take over the business. Batman makes a tough call based on his own family ties. There’s also a fun exchange between Batman and mobster about his men not being too much trouble.
What they got wrong: There doesn’t seem to be enough time to really devote to the emotion of the situation for anyone except Batman (and even that’s just a short exchange between him and Nightwing). We don’t get to see the parents or boy react to the news that the boys were switched at birth, and the scene between the boy and the mobster goes by too fast. I kind of feel this would have been better served as an episode to really capture the emotions of the scene.
Recommendation: Still, what we end up with is a good story. Worth checking into.