Batman 391 (January 1986)

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I could kind of guess the finish. Not all of it–Catwoman coming into play is a surprise, especially after Moench gives her a nice farewell with Batman at the open–but it’s predictable. I wonder if it was editorially mandated or if it was always Moench’s idea.

Mandrake is really impressive this issue. There are no scenes with Robin looking like a chimp; there are some crazy “Batman with eyeballs” panels full of despair. Mandrake also draws Batman as something of a behemoth in the action scenes. It’s visually compelling to be sure.

And Moench writes an effective script. He’s able to whitewash the things he never spent enough time on and turn them into backstory for better moments. He’s sort of fixed his two big problems–Robin and Batman as realized characters. These last few issues, he’s fixed them. Jason too.

Maybe not Bruce, but baby steps.

B 

CREDITS

Death Comes as the End!; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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