blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Detective Comics (1937) #511


Conway finds the right mix of Batman and Bruce Wayne antics for this issue. Robin’s in it too, which means there’s even less page time for Batman–Conway gives Dick his own subplots to deal with. It’s too soon to tell how they’ll tie into Bruce’s subplots, which here are concern for Jim Gordon’s career, the return of Vicki Vale and his position as a businessman.

Most impressive is the villain. Some costumed madman is terrorizing Gotham while Bruce has all sorts of stuff going on. The villain’s got a wacky power–he induces hallucinations in people–but there’s no origin, there’s no hackneyed villain moment where he tells Batman all his plans. He’s just the bad guy Batman’s got to deal with this issue.

It’s a really well-produced issue–Chiaramonte’s not the best inker for Newton, but the art’s still excellent. The fine narrative structure overcomes any deficiencies.

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