Batman: Gotham Adventures #23
DC Comics (April, 2000)
“Do The Wrong Thing”
WRITER: Scott Peterson
PENCILER: Tim Levins
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Frank Berrios
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
Some oil barons Bruce knows have been threatened or kidnapped, and clues eventually point to Ra’s Al Ghul. His plan is to buy up enough oil fields to leave it sit there and create chaos. Batman rescues the kidnapped, who are too scared to finger him as their kidnapper.
What they got right: Don’t be fooled by the short summary. It’s not a bad length story. Much of it involves Batman trying to figure out what’s going on, realizing it’s Ra’s because of the target and who would have the resources to threaten them like that. Throw in a thwarted robbery from earlier and you have the theme of, as Batman puts it “sometimes we have to stop someone from doing the wrong thing for the right reason”.
What they got wrong: But I don’t think Batman calls Ra’s out on his bullcrap. If he wants to leave the oil there, that’s up to him. However, kidnapping and forcing people to sell like a mobster is wrong and Batman doesn’t really call him out on that. Even on the environmental front, and Ra’s is supposed to be a fanatic on that front, he barely calls him out on the people who will die from the ensuing chaos and Ra’s remark about survival of the fittest and that crap. I think it’s the last panel that gets me, after Batman goes to bring the kidnapped oilmen home. “It seems as though you have managed to save lives once again. And in the future, when the earth is a barren waste…will you still feel you did the right thing?” and Batman says nothing. Not calling him out on his fanatic POV, not even a simple “yes” because they’re still innocent people. He says…nothing, leaving that last thought in the reader’s mind and something about that doesn’t sit right with me.
Recommendation: Not a must-have story but not a bad one to check out.