I'm glad they throw that "Batman" above the "Shadow of the Bat" title. I wouldn't want to accidentally buy a Man-Bat comic book.
I guess with one of the comics being "Green Lantern/Parallax," I should have firmed up my vote for Pre-Zero Hour. But even though there's about ten years between Crisis and Zero Hour, Post-Crisis and Pre-Zero Hour are still kind of the same chunk of the DC Universe, you know?
Let me get this straight, Narrator. A place doesn't begin to truly exist until it's been gentrified? I think some people might call it an ending too. And even though you've covered your ass by mentioning its a warehouse district that's been gentrified and not a lower economic district, that's still an ending to a lot of people because why do you think an area gets gentrified? Sure, low property value. But you also need buzz, incentive, and word of mouth to get people to move to the area. So my guess is that these "warehouses" were being used as cheap lofts for artists and a thriving art scene was beginning in this area. And then developers got cartoon money signs in their eyes and the artists were gone soon after. And now it's just a shallow, hollow representation of something that had previously had a real community and a soul.
Turns out he already has a nickname: Azrael! Ugh! I hope he gets killed before he has a chance to continue to exist in the DC Universe. He always reminded me of Cousin Oliver from The Brady Bunch. I just wanted to stick a javelin up Oliver's ass and post him on the front lawn as a warning to future television show writers. I'm not going to defend The Brady Bunch as a powerhouse landmark television show but who the fuck decided the show was more interesting by introducing an annoying little albino troll into it? Staked right next to Cousin Oliver would be Andy from Family Ties and Olivia from The Cosby Show (although she might have used her psychic powers to see me coming and gotten away). Apparently introducing a small child into a series works or else why keep doing it? I guess there's a television watching demographic that only watches shows with totally adorable children in them OH MY GOD they say the cutest scripted things!
Oh! Maybe I should get a cute kid mascot for my site! I wonder if my niece Kameila would take the gig?
Bruce Wayne wants to team up with Val-Jean-Paul Saint Whatever but Azrael is worried that Batman won't let him kill if it comes down to it. Oh, don't worry about that, Jean-Paul! As long as Batman tells you he disapproves of killing and forbids you to kill, you can still kill when the time for killing comes around. As long as Batman doesn't get his hands bloody directly, he's pretty much okay with it. He might give you all kinds of stink eye about it but what's he going to do? Kill you?
Jean-Paul agrees to work with Bruce Wayne and then beats the shit out of him anyway. For, as Bruce puts it, "verisimilitude"! That should be my constant status: "Grunion Guy is feeling verisimilitudinous!" So Jean-Paul beats him down and earns the nickname Johnny "Careful Not To Hurt A Guy's Spine."
Did Larry Hama just get a thesaurus for Easter?
Maybe he would have been better off with a style guide.
I hope some of you got the double period joke at the end of that last sentence!
Tobias Whale wants Bruce to prove himself by using his political influence to find out the route the food convoy will take for its next delivery. Bruce Wayne agrees and heads off to use his political influence on Erasmus Hall.
Or he'll just stand around as Val-Jean threatens the man for the information.
Holy shit! Don't mention cake in front of Tobias! Not in this post-cake climate!
It turns out Whale already had his goons throw Erasmus off of a building after Bruce and Johnny-Paul's meeting. It's all over the news which is playing in the background of their mobster meeting because this is a comic book. Rule One of comic books is that a television set must always be nearby tuned to the local news.
This is an absolutely fair representation of the media. "Your husband is dead, miss! How does that make you feel? What's your daughter crying for? Is she sad at the bloody passing of her father?"
Come on, Grunion Guy! Pull back on the throttle! That's it! That's it! Whew. Recovered! Talking about "journalism" or "media" or "local news" always sends me into a tailspin from which I seldom recover and wind up writing the same rant over and over again. How many times do I need to bitch about the state of news media and journalism? I suppose I wouldn't care so much if they realized they're not doing anything but trying to make money. It's the attitude that they think they're needed that irks the fuck out of me. That boring ass BBC chap on PBS is about the only newsperson I can watch without completely freaking the fuck out and scaring the cat.
Larry Hama. Enough! Give me that thesaurus right now!
For being the World's Greatest Detective, maybe Bruce needs to do a little soul detecting on himself. He thinks he's Bruce Wayne and not The Batman? Laughable! And sad! He just sounds like that girl that protests too much in that Charlie Brown Christmas Special. I think it was Peppermint Patty?
Batman and Azrael are waiting to stop Tobias's hijacking of the food convoy. Azrael leaps off the building when the trucks arrive while Batman carefully takes the stairs.
This is the denouement? When did I miss the climax?! Also, I didn't realize Road Warrior was an hour and a half of denouement!
That's "another think coming," lady. I guess Larry Hama didn't get a book of sayings to go along with the thesaurus and the OED.
Batman confronts Tobias Whale and I'm pretty sure there's some Moby Dick references here but I wouldn't know having never read it. I think it's about a white whale who is drinking buddies with a guy named Ahab who rides around on a gay luxury liner making outfits out of whale dick skin.
Dammit, Bruce! You should have said, "I'm tired of your repartee, so I'm going to end your partay!" Plus I would have gone with the "BLAMMO!" sound effect.
The next big battle is Batman trying to talk Val-Jean out of murdering the last of The Whale's henchmen. She head butts Azrael's helmet and screams, "Butt out, Bat-creep." That, apparently, is too much for Azrael and now he just has to murder her. How can he not? If he doesn't kill her now, the terrorists win. Plus if he lets her live, he might be sent into an existential quandary which will cause him to start singing "Who Am I?"
Planet Brainiac decides it would be a good time to explain the rules of the upcoming contest. Batman wants to try to stop the battle from happening but Azrael just wants an excuse to punch things in the face and then to put a bullet in that face too. They don't know it yet but their opponents are two WildC.A.T.s, Jester and Pilgrim. They have metal chins and sketchy appearances. Pilgrim can "time-slip" because she's probably named after Billy Pilgrim which is like totally smart and shit. You know it's super smart because even that kid in that movie about football, Varsity Blues, was reading Slaughterhouse Five which totally showed how his character was smart and shit. The other WildC.A.T. is named "Jester" because he either pilots jets or says brutally truthful things to people without fear of reprisal.
One more opponent will apparently appear next issue because reality shifts right at the end of the comic book in such a way that even Batman can feel it even though I don't know where he developed his "reality shift detection training." I bet it's Pariah! Or Kingdom Come Spectre! Those are my only two guesses because I can't remember enough about Crisis and Kingdom Come to make any others. I can name characters and seem like I remember stuff though! Lady Quark! Harbinger! Magog!
Convergence: Shadow of the Bat #1 Rating: The art in this issue was that weird kind of sort of realistic art that doesn't quite do it for me kind of art, you know? And the story was that kind of recycled undercover infiltration kind of story that's kind of tired and overdone, right? And it didn't even need to be in this! It's almost as if Larry Hama decided a few pages in that the undercover shit wasn't really going anywhere so he just put the heroes in costumes and let them go toe to toe with The Whale. Although since the WildC.A.T.s time-slipped, maybe their knowledge of the undercover personas of Bruce Wayne and Jean Val-Jean will come into play next issue. I would find that acceptable! Since I have nothing left to say about this comic book, here is a cartoon about some bats that live the Batman philosophy of life.