Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Batman: Dark Detective # 4
By Koppy McFad

June 18, 2005 - 03:48

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Steve Englehart
Penciller(s): Marshall Rogers,Terry Austin
Cover Artist(s): Marshall Rogers,Terry Austin


This miniseries reunites the team who brought out the classic "Strange Apparitions" stories in Detective Comics many years ago. It also reunites Bruce Wayne with Silver St. Cloud, the woman he loved and lost in those stories. So far, the results have been mixed. The stories have been strangely retro, with a Bruce Wayne who can openly express his feelings to another person and a Batman who is not the unbeatable fighting machine that we see today. At the same time, the stories are also distressingly modern-- with decompressed storytelling, laconic pacing and long sequences of talking heads. This issue for example, focuses entirely on a Scarecrow-induced flashback where Bruce remembers how he beat off a killer who tried to silence him after his parents were murdered. This is an unnecessary addition to Batman's history that just muddles events and the whole dream sequence just wastes space. Part of the greatness of Englehart and Rogers' initial run was how economical and well-paced it was. They had one of the best Penguin stories of all time, told in just one issue. This miniseries has been a pleasing diversion but it falls far short of being the classic that the first Englehart-Rogers-Austin run was.

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