Comics Reviews: Batman 377, Detective 544, Batman & the Outsiders 15, Firestorm 29, Vigilante 12

Batman 377 coverBatman #377 – “The Slayer of Night” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts in court, where Natalia Knight (aka Nocturna) is petitioning to adopt Jason Todd after he was removed from Bruce Wayne’s custody last issue. Bruce argues that Natalia is not a suitable parent because of her connection to Anton Knight, the Night Thief, who recently broke out of prison. The judge rules that Anton’s crimes can’t be held against Natalia, especially since Anton exonerated her when he as captured. Bruce raises some more points (looking rather desperate), including the fact that they should ask Jason what he wants. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 377, Detective 544, Batman & the Outsiders 15, Firestorm 29, Vigilante 12”

Comics Reviews: Batman 376, Detective 543, Batman & the Outsiders 14, Firestorm 28, Vigilante 11

Batman 376 coverBatman #376 – “Nightmares Inc.” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with a rich dude named Simon Platz, who brings his date into his mansion for a drink. Things take a dark turn when the lights don’t work and Simon finds his butler dead on the floor. His date is stabbed by a weirdo in a red cloak and then a bunch of monsters jump out of the darkness. Luckily for Simon, the whole thing is a joke; the red-cloaked guy is called Nightshade and works for a company called Nightmares Incorporated, who do elaborate horror set-ups like this to give rich people a few thrills. Nightshade and his two assistants (appropriately named Schreck and Lee) leave Simon and his friends to party, although I’m sure Simon will have to change his pants first. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 376, Detective 543, Batman & the Outsiders 14, Firestorm 28, Vigilante 11”

Comics Reviews: Batman 375, Detective 542, Batman & the Outsiders Annual 1, Firestorm 27, Vigilante 10

Batman 375 coverBatman #375 – “The Glacier Under Gotham” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with some poetry and a number of drawings of Gotham encased in ice. Yeah, Mr. Freeze is the villain (how did you guess?), but the drawings come from one of his henchmen, a guy named Sammy who’s quite adept at fantasy depictions but couldn’t make it as a commercial artist. The other members of Freeze’s gang (especially one named Lou) don’t really share his vision of freezing Gotham, saying it’ll bring the Army down on them. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 375, Detective 542, Batman & the Outsiders Annual 1, Firestorm 27, Vigilante 10”

Comics Reviews: Batman 374, Detective 541, Batman & the Outsiders 13, Firestorm 26, Vigilante 9

Batman 374 coverBatman #374 – Pieces of Penguin” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with a robot penguin toddling toward a jewelry store late at night. The robot explodes and the Penguin (naturally) shows up to loot the place before disappearing. Batman and the cops arrive soon after and Batman finds the head from the robotic penguin, which tells him who he’s dealing with. Back at Wayne Manor, Julia tells Alfred that she got a job at Picture News. Alfred is surprised Vicki hired her, since it’s obvious to him that Julia has the hots for Bruce Wayne. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 374, Detective 541, Batman & the Outsiders 13, Firestorm 26, Vigilante 9”

Comics Reviews: Batman 373, Detective 540, Batman & the Outsiders 12, Firestorm 25, Vigilante 8

Batman 373 coverBatman #373 – “The Frequency of Fear” – Doug Moench/Gene Colan/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with Jason (Robin) Todd being called to the cemetery by Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock. The graves of Jason’s parents are empty and he freaks out, but things get even worse when he sees Batman lying dead on top of the headstones. As Gordon and Bullock put things together and realize Batman was Bruce Wayne and Robin is Jason Todd, crocodiles crawl out of the graves to attack. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is all a nightmare and Jason wakes up screaming, with Bruce and Alfred looking on in concern. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 373, Detective 540, Batman & the Outsiders 12, Firestorm 25, Vigilante 8”

Comics Reviews: Batman 372, Detective 539, Batman & the Outsiders 11, Firestorm 24, Vigilante 7

Batman 372 coverBatman #372 – “What Price, the Prize?” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one gets heavy into the world of boxing, so I assume Doug Moench (and maybe Don Newton, since he’s credited as co-plotter) were big fight fans. Dr. Fang is still hot to fix a championship bout and make a ton of money betting on an underdog. Fang settles on an up-and-comer named Tommy Dunfey, currently ranked tenth in the boxing scene. He sends his goon to talk to Dunfey’s trainer (Rudy) and suggest that Dunfey might have a chance against the champ. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 372, Detective 539, Batman & the Outsiders 11, Firestorm 24, Vigilante 7”

Comics Reviews: Batman 371, Detective 538, Batman & the Outsiders 10, Firestorm 23, Vigilante 6

Batman 371 coverBatman #371 – “Nine Cradles of Death” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with Thomas Blake (aka Cat-Man) in prison in some kind of trance-like state, a condition he’s been in for weeks. The prison doctor diagnoses cataphoria or catatonia (Doug Moench really goes overboard with the cat stuff in this issue) and tells Blake’s cell mate (Collins) not to worry about it. Collins is a little freaked, but goes about his daily life and ends up talking in his sleep about some loot from a big robbery that he stashed in some catacombs. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 371, Detective 538, Batman & the Outsiders 10, Firestorm 23, Vigilante 6”

Comics Reviews: Batman 370, Detective 537, Batman & the Outsiders 9, Firestorm 22, Vigilante 5

Batman 370Batman #370 – “Up Above the Sin so High” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

As we saw last issue, Batman is in Montreal helping Alfred and Julia, so Jason (Robin) Todd is on his own back in Gotham. He gets tired of studying, so he heads out on patrol and finds a couple of thugs busting up an arcade. The thugs work for Gotham’s newest crime lord, Dr. Fang, and they’re trashing the arcade because the owner bought his machines from someone other than Dr. Fang. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 370, Detective 537, Batman & the Outsiders 9, Firestorm 22, Vigilante 5”

Comics Reviews: Batman 369, Detective 536, Batman & the Outsiders 8, Firestorm 21, Vigilante 4

Batman 369 coverBatman #369 – “Target Practice” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with Julia and Alfred in Montreal. Julia is telling Alfred how her adoptive father, Jacques Remarque, died of a supposed heart attack, falling off a bridge into the river. His body was never recovered and Jacques left a letter telling Julia that Alfred was her biological father. Julia suspects Jacques may have been murdered and it seems she may be right, as a sign above her and Alfred is shot and falls toward them. Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 369, Detective 536, Batman & the Outsiders 8, Firestorm 21, Vigilante 4”

Comics Reviews: Batman 368, Detective 535, Batman & the Outsiders 7, Firestorm 20, Vigilante 3

Batman 368 coverBatman #368 – “A Revenge of Rainbows” – Doug Moench/Don Newton/Alfredo Alcala

This one starts with Jason Todd (who’s now officially Batman’s new sidekick) still trying to come up with a name for his costumed identity. They’re stuck until Dick Grayson shows with a suggestion of his own. Across town, Crazy Quilt is talking to a scientist named Kinski who’s built a device to help Crazy Quilt regain his eyesight (which he lost fighting Robin back in Batman 316). Continue reading “Comics Reviews: Batman 368, Detective 535, Batman & the Outsiders 7, Firestorm 20, Vigilante 3”