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Episode 160

Gerry and Chris are hear to cover the next installment of Bat-Books for Beginners. This time around Batman: War Games Act 2 is covered which includes Detective Comics #798, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #183, Nightwing #97, Batman: Gotham Knights #57, Robin #130, Batgirl #56, Catwoman #35 and Batman #632. Be sure to leave your comments below. Next episode: Batman: War Games Act 3.


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  • Ian Miller

    I think this is where the construction of War Games really starts to break down. Batman trying to take over the GCPD and missing the fact that Black Mask was impersonating Orpheus were out of character moments that only existed to further arbitrary plot points of “the story must go longer, but we must also have lots of tension between Batman and the Big Bad” and “Batman must behave like a jerk to everyone, including the new Commissioner.” Where I really become frustrated is here:

    Batman’s plan went awry at the very beginning because of Batman’s lack of trust in Steph as Robin in not letting her know that he was Matches Malone. So from the start, the plan isn’t going as expected – and yet, everything is going according to plan so that Batman can recognize that it is his plan. That disconnect is where I really lose my suspension of disbelief and start feeling like it’s all arbitrarily constructed to give us the ending status quo and stupid “dramatic” points along the way. It would have been much stronger to have Alfred notice what Stephanie had done in accessing the plan and letting Batman know, than have him “recognize” his own plan – that was already not working as he planned it out.

    Also, I’m assuming that Steph read the whole plan, since she knew where it was going wrong and what was supposed to happen at this later stage in the game with Orpheus – but if Batman’s plan called for an actual gang war that resulted in the leaders being pushed to Robinson Park for a violent, civilian-endandering last stand, why in the world would she be surprised when the war erupted? Why would Batman make a plan that involved a gang war in the first place? It seemed, from Polished Stone in War Drums, that Batman was already working to get the gangs under Orpheus’s control, so why did he need a War Games plan to accelerate that long term strategy? The whole thing is a very interesting idea that just falls apart because of poor craftsmanship.

    As for my favorite Stephanie Brown’s characterization, I agree that this isn’t a great moment for her – but I think that’s the result of really poor writing. She was a lot better in the first part of this crossover, as you point out.

    I’m pretty sure that Zsasz was created around the time of the Knightfall crossover, so Dick never had a chance to face him as Robin, I believe.

    Holding my breath for the last issue…and then War Crimes. 🙁