Current Reviews


Gotham Adventures #59

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2003
By: Bruce Tartaglia

Writer: Peterson
Artists: Levins (p), Beatty (i)

Publisher: DC

I enjoyed this issue tremendously. This title in general never gets bogged down with more than a thread or two. It is a somewhat lightweight, "to the point" kind of title. I enjoy the series in general, but this issue in particular struck upon a timely theme and at the same time, on an aspect of Bruce Wayne that I have rarely seen explored: his corporate responsibility.

We all know that Alfred plays a critical role in Bruce Wayne's nocturnal activities, but this issue suggests that so too does Lucius Fox, WayneCorps' CEO. Bruce Wayne has a social and corporate responsibility which throughout the 1990s, were concepts that very few people took seriously or even thought about. Since the year 2000, numerous stories of corporate scandal have been running through the world financial pages. By now, probably everyone knows the names of Enron, Adelphia, Xerox and Tyco to name a few which have helped to wipe out investor confidence - why invest if your money is just going to line some jerk's pocket? This issue takes a topical and significant current event and handles it in an intelligent, straightforward way that remains true to the title.

My greatest disappointment is that this thread will probably not be explored more. Given my earlier comments about this being a "to the point" title, I don't expect it to expand on this idea, but I think the sibling Batman titles might want to do so. To some extent, I have always wondered if Bruce could do more good as the head of WayneCorp than he could as Batman. Usually, any good done by WayneCorp has been a knockoff comment without holding any real character significance. Along these lines, I always thought that Luthor and Wayne should square off a bit. If Gotham is so horrible, wouldn't a bit more WayneCorp engagement help the city? Why does "Luthor's" Metropolis has traditionally looked so much nicer than Gotham? Couldn't Bruce do more in this regard?

I think the arguments about this can go back and forth a bit, but I think it could be and should be touched upon. This issue is the closest I have seen to Bruce Wayne's responsibility as a board member of WayneCorp and how important that responsibility is.

Also, the art has its traditionally simpler line work but again, I prefer that because I get tired of 'sketch noise' which is intended to add detail, but in fact just adds clutter. The storytelling of page twelve was especially nice as well as the character juxtapositions of Bruce Wayne and Batman on pages 17 and 19.

So, as usual, the Gotham Adventures team provides a strong straightforward adventure that tells a good story well. For me at least, the title remains a joy to read.

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