Batman Adventures #1
DC Comics (June, 2003; digital edition I’m not sure of because comiXology’s credits on this and last week’s are kind of messed up)
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Phil Felix
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Harvey Richards
EDITOR: Joan Hilty
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
“Who Am I?”
WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILER: Ty Templeton
Set in the DCAU but only having Justice League at the time, these new stories continued Batman’s adventures in this continuity. At some point the Penguin has become mayor of Gotham City and declared Batman an outlaw to be brought to justice. That doesn’t stop him from going to Arkham to stop Ra’s Al Ghul’s men from attacking the inmates. One tries to stab Poison Ivy but her altered body doesn’t stab so easy. Two-Face’s coin is stuck good side up so he ends up helping Batman. The assassins escape but Batman can’t stay around because the police have arrived.
This story is long enough that I could give it a regular review but honestly most of my problems are personal and I’m having trouble separated critic from fan at this point. The art is good and story is told well. The mystery of why Ra’s wants to eliminate Arkham’s inmates could make for an interesting story. Then you have Penguin becoming mayor and I start losing interest. The idea of a hero’s longtime villain becoming politically prominent is getting close to trope territory. Lex Luthor becomes President, both J Jonah Jameson (more of a pest than actual villain but I’m counting it) and the Kingpin becoming mayor of New York while Norman Osborn heads SHIELD’s replacement, and now this. I’m over this gimmick. I’m not sure how I feel about Ivy’s new all-plant body but Harley isn’t happy she didn’t tell her.
The back-up story has Batman dealing with “The Cavalier” a man who acts like he’s Robin Hood, dresses in a rejected Zorro costume, and is really a crook. Given Batman’s love of Zorro, even more than the Grey Ghost, really puts the man on the Dark Knight’s bad side. As a short story it works okay.
It’s hard for me to recommend this one. On the one hand the stories aren’t too bad, but on the other I am so over “villain becomes mayor (or President or whatever) tales that I lose interest. This one you may have to judge for yourselves but it’s not a story I’m interested in tracking down.