Chezkevin vs. Knightquest: Part 1

It was a while ago, almost two years, that my friend donated her comic book collection to me. She was moving and she didn't have the room to hold the boxes and shelves of her comics. I inherited pounds and pounds of paperbacks, hardcovers and a full long box of floppies, mainly from the late 90's.

A number of issues from the "Batman: Knightfall" series was a part of the collection, the years-spanning storyline where Bruce Wayne was crippled, passed on the Batman role to another guy, and then took it back. Even including the issue where, yes, Bane breaks the bat. I read through most of it while I was housesitting for a high school teacher of mine, and now I've gotten ahold of Volume 2: Knightquest. This is the one where Jean Paul Valley, a once-brainwashed assassin assumes the role of Gotham's dark savior at Bruce Wayne's behest. Let's go ahead and take a look at these stories. It's pretty big and I wanted to talk about each storyline, so I've split it up into two posts.

Knightfall Vol. 2: Knightquest
by too many people to list here
Collecting DETECTIVE COMICS #667-675, BATMAN #501-508, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #19-28, CATWOMAN #6-7 and ROBIN #7
$17 on Amazon

Detective Comics #667-669

Jean Paul Valley goes on his first adventures as Batman. He kicks Robin out of the Batcave. This was back when Tim Drake was Robin, and back then he even had a tunnel right from his house to the Batcave! Jean Paul Valley even seals that up, claiming that he doesn't need a "hindrance or a security risk."
(I don't think they ever resolved this cliffhanger from 668. . .)

Anyways, Batman takes on these two cowboy sharpshooters, who perform heists throughout Gotham. Their big target is the "Money Train," Gotham's nightly delivery of the day's take in train fare. It's millions of dollars, and a chance for Batman to show off his new Batmobile, a thing that runs circles around the original Batmobile that can run on the tracks of Gotham Rail system.

Batman #501-502
Batman fights a man called "Mekros," a hired assassin in sophisticated armor, who's hypnotized himself to become the perfect killing machine. A good foil for Jean Paul Valley, who was hypnotized before he could be aware it.

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #19-20
"Tally Man"
Batman takes on the "Tallyman," a spindly assassin with springs for limbs and who's obsessed with marking down everyone on his hit list. There's some plot where some crime boss hires him to take down another crime boss. Ultimately, Batman is the last guy on his hit list, the 67th (or 68th?), and takes him down.

There's a nice flashback that explains why Tallyman is the way he is, because his entire family was abused because they couldn't make his rent. Another Batman villain whose life in crime was caused by some childhood psychosis. The two-parter also doubles as a "Jean Paul Valley's Origin" story, in that he tries to go deep in his memories, back to understand "The System," the hypnosis training he underwent to become an assassin for the Order of St. Dumas.

Detective Comics #670
A quick one-shot featuring Dr. Freeze. It starts out as a cute mystery, in that you're asking "Hey who is that guy and why is he in a giant block of ice." It eventually turns into a "Hey Batman's about to kill this guy. It's not the same Batman that you know and love!"

Batman #503-504, Catwoman #6-7
It's a crossover between the Bat- and Cat-titles! Gotham City's having an International Exchange Summit, and it's the target of some terrorists. Catwoman undergoes some thievery in order to prevent the terrorists, and Batman's convinced that she's the terrorist instead.

Interestingly, he's as enamored with her as you might expect anyone would be with anyone wearing a skintight catsuit, and in a confrontation he says without meaning, grr, I'm gonna tie you up:
Batman #671-673

The Joker's back! And this time he has a new Batman to play around with. In this storyline he's making a real-life movie titled, "The Death of Batman." So basically, he's just doing his usual stuff except this time he's making it for a film.

There's a cute "Ebert & Roeper" reference in there:

Otherwise, it's the same as usual, with the added touch of Batman about to kill Joker, but stopped by the GCPD.

Batman kill count: 0. Batman-attempting-to-kill count: I dunno, 6?

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #24
"The Immigrant: Rosemary's Baby"

Maybe my favorite of this paperback. Don't let the title fool you. Nobody's having a demonic baby in this comic book. Batman investigates an illegal child trafficking system, spurred on by the attempted thieving of an illegal immigrant named "Rosemary" and her search for the baby she had to sell.
The children in this story act as a better foil to Batman than any of the other stories. It's maybe the beginning of the search for his humanity.
That's about all I'm willing to write for today, So I'll go ahead and split this up. My last half of Knightquest will be coming I DON'T KNOW, WHENEVER I WANT I GUESS by next weekend.

6/7: Read part 2!

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1 comment:

Carlos said...

The reference is to Siskel & Ebert, not to Ebert & Roeper.

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