Thursday, May 7, 2020

Detective Comics #473 (1977)

    (We're continuing our reviews of writer Steve Englehart's run on Detective Comics in 1977.)

   Of all the stories in this eight issue run on the series, this has to be the most "normal" of Englehart's Batman stories - and it's one of my favorites.

   It features the return of the original Robin (now a teen wonder who's moved away to college). 

   He's there to help Bruce Wayne recover from recent trauma, and sticks around for an adventure featuring one of Batman's most famous foes: The Penguin.

   It's surprising how much I like this issue because I was not - to this point - a fan of either the sidekick or the villain. But this issue changed my mind.

   Here we have a Penguin who's crafty, laying down a mystery for Batman to solve, and a threat that may be unstoppable.

   We also get to see (in this issue and the last one) why Robin was such a valuable part of the team.

   It's a straightforward struggle between the two sides, and it's fun to see Batman operate when he has someone to talk to. 

    The art by Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin is phenomenal, with stunning environments and striking character designs - the team just keeps getting better with each issue.

   By now it's obvious that the creative team is having a great time, playing in the rich toy chest loaded with Batman lore.

   The next issue would have them dig deep again, and take a throwaway character - and turn him into an icon.

Grade: A



Mr. Brooks said...

Man-O-Man,I LOVE THIS ISSUE! E/R/A knocked it outta the park! This is the way Batman and Robin should be. No angst, no issues, no condescending. Just The Dynamic Duo, comics' first and greatest super-hero team, doing what they do best: solving crimes and kicking ass (the way God intended).

Sidebar: I had Mr. Englehart autograph the entire run.

BobbyNash said...

I love this era. Great Batman tales.