Batman & Robin Adventures #21

Story by Ty Templeton
Penciled by Joe Staton
Inked by Terry Beatty
Colored by Lee Loughridge

So, what’s the story?

bra_21_cover“Why is a Raven like a writing desk? The answer will drive you to madness.” So reads the latest missive from the Riddler sent to Commissioner James Gordon, who recognizes the riddle is the famous unanswerable riddle from Alice in Wonderland. The Riddler is still in custody at Arkham Asylum, so Gordon heads there to question the criminal. Once there, the Riddler manages to take Gordon hostage and make good his escape. Later, he sends a video of himself and a bound Gordon to the GCPD, with four new riddles. Batman is out of town, so Batgirl answers the Batsignal. Bullock blows her off, but Montoya knows Batgirl has Batman’s trust, so she shares the riddles with Batgirl. The caped crusader immediately recognizes that most of the riddles are decoys, but she translates each into an address, and checks out each one. Meanwhile, the Riddler explains to Gordon that he does not want to be caught. He wants to prove his sanity by beating Batman at Riddles. Once he does so, he’ll have “earned” his sanity and freedom from Arkham. After checking on two more locations, Batgirl puts the pieces of the riddle together, and realizes that the Riddler never left Arkham, and he’s holding Gordon there. She heads to the Asylum, and rescues her dad. The she disappears into the night, just like Batman

Another fine Riddler tale by Templeton. This one deals with that age-old question “why does the Riddler leave riddles?” Answer: to prove he’s sane. I’m not sure this take on the question works better than any other, but it works in the context of this story. I enjoyed reading Batgirl’s deductive process. Nice to read an issue that isn’t all fisticuffs.

How’s the Art?

Staton’s pencils with Beatty’s inks are hit and miss. Some panels are gorgeous, such as page 19 when Riddler asks Batgirl “Who on earth are you?” Other panels, not so much. But overall, it’s not bad.

Any continuity issues?

Not that I’m aware of. This would seem to be the first encounter between the DCAU’s Batgirl and Riddler, which I don’t recall being depicted anywhere else.

Anything of interest to customizers or cosplayers?

Not this time.

Is this issue worth my precious time?



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