Okay, now I get why Conway’s wasting time with Dick going to the circus–it’s to introduce Jason Todd (pre-Crisis Jason Todd, who has the same origin as Dick, but blond hair).
What’s funny about that story is how out of touch Batman is with the Gotham underworld–Killer Croc (who I don’t think Batman even knows about yet) is shaking down businesses for protection money and it’s off Batman’s radar? Those late nights with Vicki Vale must be taking their toll.
Otherwise, Conway spends the majority of the issue on reintroducing his Eisner homage, the Squid, as Gotham’s new crime boss. It’s strange to see the Newton and Alcala art (which looks more like Gene Colan than Newton with any other inker besides Alcala) realize such a strange-looking villain in an otherwise realistic approach.
The issue’s fine… though, again, Conway’s plot relies on Batman being moronically overconfident.
Squid; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.