Review – Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three #4 (DC Comics)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Alan Burnett, Paul Dini
Artist: Ty Templeton
Colorist: Monica Kubina
Letterer: Josh Reed
Release Date: 12th April 2023
There’s a lot to enjoy inside issue four of Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Three as Alan Burnett and Paul Dini’s narrative treads an enthralling line between a nostalgic nod to the animated series’ televised episode “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne” and a genuinely not-so-funny backstory to the tragically criminal Straightman. In fact, this second instalment to the writing team’s “Crack-Up” storyline projects such a sentimentally strong atmosphere of heart-breaking tragedy that it would surely be viewed as one of the critically acclaimed cartoon’s most touching tales had it aired on Fox Kids back in the early Nineties.
Furthermore, the issue arguably does a first-rate job of further incorporating the likes of Harley Quinn’s “least favourite ex-boss” and Task Force X into the Dark Knight’s pulp noir universe, courtesy of a wonderfully well-penned cameo in which Amanda Waller once again shows she’s not adverse to witnessing a tiny, blonde-haired infant being swallowed whole by King Shark if it means making a point; “Oooh! All these bad peoples fighting! This no place for baby! Buh-byeee! Lemme go, bait-breath! I’ll kick out those teeth faster than you can regrow ‘em!”
Ultimately however, it is probably the sadistically selfish behaviour of the Joker who steals the show as he seeks revenge upon Professor Hugo Strange for “trying to con Pengy, Harv, and me into buying Batman’s secret identity!” Determined to once again give his right-hand man a booster brain blast to keep our act fresh, the Clown Prince of Crime will clearly stop at absolutely nothing to get his way, even ordering the memory-addled Captain Finley to cold-bloodedly strangle nurse Gretchen Gallway to death with his bare hands.
Of course none of these scintillating shenanigans would successfully convey quite the impact that they do if not for Ty Templeton’s dynamic artwork and Monica Kubina’s colours. Between them the artists genuinely bring the horrific trauma of Straightman’s origin to life, as well as add plenty of “Bash” and “Klong!” to the action-sequences when the dynamic duo finally get a lead as to the potential whereabouts of the thief who stole Waynetech’s prototype battle suit, and intercept them at Gotham City’s old Eastside Carnival.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag
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