Detective Comics 531 (October 1983)

One could just read this issue for the art. Alcala beautifully complements Gene Colan. He sort of brings out the lusciousness, but reigns it in just enough. Colan’s never too lush; Alcala is never reductive.

The story’s not bad, but Moench doesn’t quite sell Jason Todd, detective. He investigates, but without any finesse. The scenes where Jason’s talking to potential witnesses flop; no one would talk freely considering Jason’s suspicious behavior.

For the finish, Moench makes an incredibly odd choice–he doesn’t reveal the villain’s face. I had to reread it to make sure I wasn’t missing it.

Moench’s ambition outpaces his skill on the difficult Bruce and Jason character drama.

The Green Arrow backup has decent, if strangely constrained art from Jerome Moore and Mike DeCarlo. Joey Cavalieri makes a funny Superman peanut butter joke. It’s nowhere near as bad as usual.

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