Detective Comics #575
Written By Mike W. Barr
Pencils By Alan Davis
Inks By Paul Neary
Colors By Steve Oliff & Gloria Vasquez
Fear the Reaper? Who in their right minds would do that? Well, Batman for starters. Mike W. Barr and Alan Davis, who is probably the best artist in comics who’s hasn’t gone out of his way to change his art style brings you a tale to follow up Batman: Year One. Hell, even in the introduction that Barr wrote for the Trade paperback, says that he can’t live up to the awesomeness that is Batman: Year One, so there’s no point in trying. He did however try to add to that mythos and bring in a colorful bad guy for Bat to go toe to toe with. Enter the Reaper.
This issue starts off with newly minted Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon on some late night talk show. No, it’s not funny like Letterman, but some Meet the Press type
show, with a woman who’s the host and just can’t seem to let Jim ever finish his sentence. Thankfully, Jim Gordon isn’t as crooked as the cops in Springfield and just toss her in prison. “Break ‘em away, Toys!” Jim talks about how Batman so far is working with the Police to save Gotham and quite frankly, would rather have Batman with him than against him. Makes sense to me. Across town a group of punk kids are robbing an apartment and run into the Dark Knight. I thought it was a great line when the kids tell Batman that they thought that since they were just small time looters that Batman would think that they were too small or their crime was too petty for Batman to notice. Batman replies that “No crime is too small for him.” He then takes the kids flashlight and beats him and his friends with it. That was nice of Batman to give a little speech. Most cops would just start knocking heads. And not wearing skintight fighting gear. But, I’m not going to complain.
We get introduced to Rachael Caspian and her father who he himself is back in Gotham after twenty years. Strange how his disappearance from Gotham coincided with the original (O.G.?) vigilante known as the Reaper seems to up and vanish. I bet those two things have nothing in common. (Lies.) Rachel is good friends with Dr. Leslie Thompkins and she she’s good friends with Bruce Wayne they all go to lunch one day. Bruce of course puts the moves on Rachel when he learns that she all about right making might. It doesn’t hurt that she’s good looking to Bruce. But Bruce get’s left high and dry when he learns that Rachel is getting ready to become a Nun. Ohh,that’s got to be a blow to poor, old Brucie. Either his ex’s end up dead or a bad guy. Maybe he’s just best being left alone if you ask me. Which you didn’t. But screw it, I’ll add my opinion. Hey, it is MY rant. Deal with it.
Rachel’s Dad, Mr. Caspian (Does this guy ever get a first freaking name?) goes to him bedroom and breaks out his Reaper gear. He’s the bad guy? Oh, no? Not like I didn’t see THAT coming!!! Surprise!!!! Yup. (Sarcasm.) So the Reaper sets out to rid Gotham of crime and all that Jazz. He then heads right over to the red light district and starts attack hookers. You know, instead of attacking the pimps and guys who bring the stuff into Gotham. Nothing like sound logic to make a comic book seem legit. Aw, I kid. This books has a dude fighting crime and kicking ass in his underwear. So I can’t really fault the logic here.
Back at Wayne Manor (Room?) Bruce and Leslie and Alfred are all chi chatting and drinking tea when the Bat signal hit’s the night sky. Bruce runs to become the Dark Knight, but Leslie tells him that he should stop all this nonsense, because one day he’ll leave and never come back. Bruce knows that, but he makes her a promise to come back alive that not. Let’s see if he can, shall we? Batman gets word of what’s the score from Jim Gordon and rushes off to the red light district. But not before giving Jim a pipe to help him beat his smoking problem. Wait, what? That’s like me giving a crack smoker some Meth and then wondering why the poor bastard is still shaking and selling everything he owns to get high. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Or Batman for that reason. Wow, Batman came off as a total Moron just now.
Batman hit’s the red light district and goes toe to toe with the Reaper. Reaper is all like George W, Bush, back when the Iraq war started. ’You’re either with me or against me.” The Reaper then gets congress to authorize funds to invade Batman. Or they just fight. Ok, yeah, they fight. Batman holds his own until the Reaper is all like “Screw this!” and starts shooting at Batman. Batman gets away from the bullets by getting close to the Reaper, but being too close ain’t good either and get almost cut to small bits by the Reaper’s blades. Batman lifts a manhole and takes the sewers back to Wayne Manor. Batman is in bad shape when he gets home and Alfred and Leslie work through the night to save him. Still wounded Batman figures that to stop the Reaper he’s got to fight fire with fire. Sing it with me folks, Batman’s got a gun!!!!! What he does with it next, well that’s for the next rant.