blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Batman 367 (January 1984)

Moench makes an endless amount of strange narrative choices this issue. Only a couple of them are bad, but the rest might go either way.

The lesser bad one is how he handles Poison Ivy’s return. The issue is a direct sequel to her last appearance but there’s no flashback and almost no explanation of the previous events.

The worse bad one is the lame soft cliffhanger. Bruce brings Jason along on patrol and calls him Robin, even though Bruce previously said he couldn’t be called Robin. Big yawn. Moench’s fumbling the pair every issue now. He’s pacing it all wrong.

The strange bits include Bruce’s lack of interest in Alfred’s problems, Gordon’s recovery and the continued presence of Vicki Vale. Moench seems to be building these elements towards more importance, but he’s not giving any hints.

It’s a shame he’s not as effortlessly subtle with Bruce and Jason.

One response to “Batman 367 (January 1984)”

  1. Back in ’83 this was the issue that got me back into being a Batman reader; I really enjoyed it. In fact, your criticisms–Moench’s narration and Bruce calling out for “Robin” was great stuff to me. Maybe it’s a case of having to have been there since this was years before The Dark Knight Returns rendered most of the Moench run irrelevant. I was pleased to see that elements of this story later found their way into the “Eternal Youth” episode of Batman: the Animated Series.

    On the whole, I enjoyed Doug Moench’s first run on Batman though it’s interesting to learn that most–presumably younger–people don’t share my positive appraisal of it; especially if they’ve grown up with the likes of TDKR, B:TAS, and the Nolan Trilogy. Of course, before the age of the internet, I really had no way of knowing what people thought outside of the comic’s lettercol.

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