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Batman Adventures #17

Posted: Friday, August 20, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"Fear Itself"

Writers: Ty Templeton
Artists: Rich Burchett(p), Terry Beatty(i), Heroic Age(c)
Publisher: DC

There will never be another series like the Batman books that were spun from Bruce Timm's animated series. I mourn this great loss to comic book history.

Ty Templeton, Rich Burchett and Terry Beatty were there from the beginning, and it's just that they should usher in the end.

The ending represented by "Fear Itself" is like no other. The ending exemplifies the respect all these creators have for Batman and his history. It exemplifies the respect all these creators have for the intelligence of the reader.

The creative team picks up a thread that has never been explored. The exploration begins as a film noir--almost as if a radio drama by Henry Slesar. The narration relies on a hard-boiled pulp tradition, and surprisingly this also has not been done before in a Batman comic.

Although original, quite possibly the freshest Batman story ever; the creative team still allows readers to say good-bye to familiar characters and trappings. Batman is our Batman. He's the character missing in the post-Crisis DCU. He's the character with whom we grew up. He's the character that makes one's heart swell and makes one feel proud to be a comic book reader.

Rich Burchett does his usual phenomenal work to make the Batman a figure of criminal fear, and for this issue he outdoes himself with the character design of the supporting cast. Because Ty Templeton's story is about something, Burchett reinforces the emotional impact through a gamut of expression displayed in those sleek lines that have almost become a signature of the Bat.

This spectacular comic book has all along been aided and abetted by unsung hero Terry Beatty. Beatty's stark shadow and light enhanced the dark deco feeling of Timm's original intent and helped make Batman Adventures in all its forms memorable.

The Dark Knight can and will still be found in Justice League Unlimited, but this is the end of something special. The last thing I'll say about this series of comic books is thank you.



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