Detective Comics #576
Written By Mike W. Barr
Pencils By Todd McFarlane
Inks by Alfredo Alcala
Colors By Steve Oliff & Gloria Vasquez
Batman Year Two continues with hurt feelings and Bruce Wayne trying to get down and dirty with a nun. Who knew DC comics would publish such a tale. As this was a second part to a four part story penciler Alan Davis is replaced for some reason with Todd (I really only want to draw Spawn in Spider-Man like poses) McFarlane. I don’t know why this happened but it was pretty much Todd’s big break in the comic book industry. I wonder if the editor who hired him would be taken aback by the fact that Todd owns those crappy Mark McGuire balls. Oh, well.
This issue starts out with Bruce down in the cave and he’s using the gun that killed his folks and he’s practicing his marksmanship.
Bruce then heads back up to stately Wayne Manor for breakfast with Leslie and Alfred. Leslie is going to cancel her lunch plans with Rachel but Bruce decides to just go meet her instead. Like I said, Bruce is coming on to a soon to be nun.
But hey, we also get the origin of the Reaper. Hey, he also gets a first name other than, Mr. Caspian. It’s Judson. Shit, with a first name like Judson, I might just be fine and dandy with people calling me Mr. Caspian. His story is that while bringing his wife and daughter back from the circus he’s wife is gunned down. So instead of going to see a doctor he decides that it would be best to dress up in red leather and fight crime. Hmmmmm, makes sense to me. Hell, in another place and time he and Bats would be best friends, kind of like Dexter Morgan and Jimmy Smitts. Minus all the beer and breaking into jail to kill KKK members. But other than that, it’s totally the same.
So Bruce and Rachel meet for lunch and in the course of the meal they share a moment and they kiss. Oh, that Bruce, he just can’t keep his blue gloved hands to himself. The night comes and Batman goes to see Gordon, and Batman tells Jim that he’s going to have to go it alone against the Reaper. In a bit that sounds like it came right out of the Dark Knight, soon Gordon will have to curse his name, but trust that Batman and Jim Gordon are both fighting for the same thing.
We head over to Gotham airport and a mob boss from Metropolis is coming to Gotham to talk to the bosses there. With the Reaper killing pimps and dealers the mob can’t move it whores or drugs. Now that’s how you fight a war on drugs. By killing all the jerk asses. Clearly the Reaper is on to something. Obama should take note. Back at the airport the Mob boss hit’s the ground and the Reaper makes his way to do some killing, but the GCPD and Gordon shows up to protect him. But Batman gets the drop and rescues the mob boss. Fleeing into the night. Which is pretty much Batman’s MO! Gordon takes some solace in the fact that he’s captured the Reaper. But the Reaper just ain’t having all that and makes a break for it, too. Word is he had plans for later that evening.
So Batman brings the mob boss to his little mob meet up. I always liked the fact that the mob is a roomful of “tough” guys but help but make play dates with other mob dudes. It’s like an ice cream social. But you know, with more guns and drugs. So Batman breaks down his plan. To join forces with the mob and together they can bring down the Reaper. You know when Batman comes to get in bed with the mob that shit is pretty much going downhill, if you know what I mean. The Mob agrees but want Batman to do a team up. With whom you might ask? Why, It’s the mob’s favorite enforcer slash all around piece of shit, Joe Chill. You know, the dude who also killed Thomas and Martha Wayne! Teaming up with Batman. MIND BLOWN!!!!! So how does Batman work with a dude who killed his folks? Something tells me they won’t be making up and going out for tea and cookies anytime soon! Some come back in a week and find out how this team up works and if Batman can trust the mafia (he can’t).