blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Detective Comics (1937) #504


So the Joker breaks out of Arkham for no reason other than to create an elaborate room of deadly toys to kill Batman. It’s definitely insane, but also completely idiotic.

This issue makes me wonder if there were (and are) editorial mandates for how often a villain has to appear. Maybe it had been a while so the Joker had to show up–even Batman and Gordon comment on the contrived nature of his appearance–he escaped from Arkham, who didn’t let anyone know because they lost his paperwork… forgetting they had the Joker incarcerated.

Besides that ludicrous element, it’s a fine comic–the artwork is phenomenal and Conway has some great Batman investigating scenes and Gotham City details. And some wonderful close third person Joker narration.

The backup, with Gordon fighting a corrupt cop, is the reverse. A great plot, but Kupperberg overwrites it. Delbo’s weak art hurts too.

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