blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Detective Comics 536 (March 1984)

5641Much of the issue consists of Alfred whining to his daughter about being the only father she has left. Yes, the poor woman is distraught, but it’s like Moench couldn’t come up with anything else for Alfred to do. Whine or be an action hero.

Similarly, Batman doesn’t have much to do. Moench doesn’t let Alfred have the whole story–because Alfred couldn’t deal with Deadshot–but he can’t insert Batman into it because he plum doesn’t belong. It should be Alfred’s story and it isn’t.

The mystery of the stolen paintings also gets ignored for Deadshot’s big escape sequence and the chase. Moench’s not exactly desperate to fill pages, but he definitely doesn’t have enough story when both Batman and Deadshot are unengaged participants.

The Green Arrow story ends with a big movie mystery reveal of the villain. Cavalieri has some goofy lines, but it’s much better than usual.


Facing the Dark, Blindly…; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Green Arrow, The Black Box IV: Short Fuse; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Shawn McManus; inker, Sal Trapani; colorist, Nansi Hoolahan; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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