Batman Adventures #16

Written by Kelley Puckett
Penciled by Mike Parobeck
Inked by Rick Burchett
Colored by Rick Taylor

So, what’s the story?

ba1_16_coverThe tale begins with Batman on the Joker’s trail. He’s immediate caught in an explosion that sends him back to the Batcave, wounded and needing Alfred’s care. Meanwhile, a chance encounter with children sends the Joker into a jealous rage when he sees he’s being depicted a loser, always defeated by Batman, in comic books. He tracks down the artist and kidnaps him, forcing young Anthony Baldwin to draw the Joker’s exploits as they happen. Anthony then sends the art to his publishers, who continue to print. While Batman recovers, Joker attacks the cryptographers’ convention, arranging for a coded message to be sent to Batman as to where and when to meet. Batman takes the bait and heads for the miniature golf park Joker has specified. Once there, Batman is subdued and fitted to a mini-golf/rocket death trap. Naturally, this can only be triggered by a hole-in-one, which the Joker can’t seem to manage. By the time Joker gives up putting, Batman escapes, and manages to subdue the Joker with Anthony’s help.

I’ll go ahead and say it: This is one of my favorite comic books. Not just of the animated Bat stuff. I mean of any comics. This is that good. The characters are spot-on. Joker is crazy, and flips between amusing and deadly. Batman is stubborn. It’s a classic Batman versus Joker story. And the self-referential humor is great. It’s a comic book about a comic book. (Ironically, “Gotham Adventures” would become the real comic’s title years later.)

How’s the Art?

Fantastic. And the visual pacing could not be better. One of my favorite parts of this book is the cover. It’s actually the first panel of the story. That’s brilliant! I’ve never seen that done before or since. And I know many of the faces in this issue are friends and staff of the creative team. Nice touch.

Any continuity issues?

No. This tale could fit in just about anywhere.

Anything of interest to customizers or cosplayers?

Oh yeah. Joker in a 1920s style fur coat! Joker as a chef! Joker in a crazy golf outfit! It’s great stuff.

Is this issue worth my precious time?


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