Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman - The Dark Knight #17

Hatter continues his plan, whatever that may be, by operating many hat kiosks in Gotham, selling, you guessed it, HATS. Of course, each of the hats have Jervis' mind control chips in them, but it's not that clear as to why just yet.

After some research in the Batcave, Bruce finds some notes of interest in Jervis' accounts, later bringing them to the attention of Gordon. Bruce goes into detail that Jervis is using his financial influence to purchase and fund businesses, stores, and events, where he uses his thugs to kidnap people. Bruce figures out where Jervis may strike next, and gets Gordon to send undercover cops to an approaching charity banquet, meanwhile Mad Hatter is still holding his deadly auditions.

We start to see some of Jervis' childhood at this point, and surprise, surprise, it's not all that bad. He's got a group of friends who stand up for him against bullies, a crush named Alice, and a good homelife with his father. Hell, Alice even says yes to a date with him. CRAZY, I know. Yet, in real life, Jervis is just a dick of a director... snapping people's necks and what not.

Just as Bruce is about to head to the stakeout, Alfred gets a few words in about recent events (no, not what you're thinking about) including Natalya, telling Bruce that both of them know that she wasn't just another one of his dates.

Fast forward to the charity event, and sure enough the Tweeds try and kidnap some kid, Batman stops them, and they speed off, being tracked by Bruce. Flash back to Jervis' memory, and hell, the date goes well for him. What the hell is wrong with this kid then?!

This leads to that, that leads to this, and Bruce finds his way to Hatter's hide out... oooor not. You see, Hatter is hiding in an abandoned missile silo, and well, Bruce can't find him, so bye bye! Knowing he's not ready to face the Dark Knight, Jervis lets out a sigh of relief, then drinks his own tea, starting to trip balls.


The Good:

Overall, this issue was just pretty fun. There was a pretty noticeable amount of dark humor all throughout, mainly with Hatter and how he just casually murders people. Yeah, it's screwed up... still pretty funny, though. Also the... well, let's say "twist," that Jervis didn't have a screwed up childhood (so far, for all we know) caught me off guard. The fact that this isn't just the Scarecrow and Penguin story again where they had bad childhoods and blah blah, bad guy stuff, makes me interested to actually see what went wrong, rather than thinking "oh, well of course" given how bad the character is in present day.

The Bad:

The ending was just abrupt, like last time. Doesn't exactly end on anything to hang on to, the ending just comes and goes. I also feel like Alfred probably could have gone, "Oh, there's a bunker there" by looking up records or something, I don't know... that would make for a short story arc though.

The Bottom Line:

This issue definitely had a bit more substance than last, and I'd like to say that EVS' art is even a tad bit better looking here, or so it seems to me. Overall, I'm really enjoying the sort of "classic" Batman feel this book has at the moment, and the slight variation of the Mad Hatter's past (as compared to the Penguin and Scarecrow arcs) has kept me interest a bit more than I would have expected. Still, the similarities between this and the other two arcs Hurwitz have done, makes this issue especially hard to actually stand out from that pack.


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