By: David Hine (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Andy Owens (inks), Guy Major (colors) & Todd Klein (letters)

The Story: The imposter crisis runs amok as Gothamites dress up as Joker and Batman and cause mayhem.

What’s Good: This is a clever little story for what it is.  After reading Batman #702 and then spending time reflecting on what exactly Grant Morrison is trying to do with his Batman saga, it was kinda nice to have this Detective story that requires ZERO reflection on comic events from two years ago, no digging out of back issues to re-examine past events and no angst about whether the day will be saved in the end.  This is just a lightweight Batman story.  Period. [And I mean lightweight in the good sense]

The concept of Gotham residents dressing up like Batman or being drugged into carrying out the wishes of Gotham’s villains isn’t exactly new, but Hine does a nice job of making this story fresh.  It even has a sense of humor.

It took me a few panels to get settled into McDaniel’s art, but then I really liked it.  It gives the issue a fairly whimsical, Tim Burton feel which mostly fits with this sort of Joker-lite story and Guy Major deserves credit for his nice use of bright colors.

What’s Not So Good: Nothing epic here.  If you want epic, go read Morrison’s stuff.  It is a little hard to even tell when this story takes place or even whether this is Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson under the cowl.  I would tend to assume that this is a “current” Dick-Bats story, but the characterization/look/feel was more Bruce Wayne.  I’ll be honest:  those sorts of things DO bother me a little bit.  I can appreciate a fluffy story, but I still would like to know when it is taking place. How hard is it to have Damien or Tim blast though a single panel to say “Hey!” and clear that sort of thing up?

And, are there any benevolent pharmaceutical companies in the comics universe?  You know, the kind that produce beneficial products instead of things laced with Joker gas?  It also seems awfully easy for wack-jobs to start pharmaceutical companies in comics.

Conclusion: Like movie popcorn: Fun, but not filling.

Grade: C+

– Dean Stell

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Conclusion