|BATMAN: THE ADVENTURES CONTINUE No. 17, December 2020|
Throwing the utterly homicidal Joker together with the equally psychotic Scarface, this final instalment to the “Batman: The Adventures Continue” series of digital first comics definitely provides its audience with a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute journey through Gotham City’s underground rail network. In fact, apart from a brief visit to Harley Quinn’s shared apartment with Poison Ivy for a super-swift interrogation scene, the titular character is repeatedly portrayed simply kicking in as many doors as he can during a ferociously-fast investigation into both the location of some stolen CX explosions, as well as the Clown Prince of Crime’s diabolical plans for them; “I’ve had enough trouble tonight. And now Crazy’s with Insane. This could get a lot worse before it gets better.”
Intriguingly however, Alan Burnett and Paul Dini do add an extra element to their serious sleuthing narrative by depicting the Ventriloquist as literally being in two minds as to whether he wants to be partnered with his wooden puppet anymore. Such a noble hesitation by a reforming Arnold Wesker arguably creates some genuine sympathy for the ex-supervillain’s split-personality within the audience, especially when it is revealed the softly-spoken loner has risked his very life to aid the Dark Knight’s breakneck pursuit by leaving behind a few all-important clues as to Scarface’s secret whereabouts.
Equally as entertaining is the relationship between the Joker and his new smart-mouthed associate, which initially seems to unexpectedly be based upon a ‘healthy’ respect for the inanimate doll’s anti-social savvy. However, it soon becomes clear that the white-faced murderer was simply using his fellow felon to get his hands on a bomb, when he unflinchingly dispatches Wesker with a whiff of knock-out gas, and watches the figurine fall lifelessly upon some train tracks.
Enjoyably imbuing all this action with some considerable life and animation is Ty Templeton, who manages to generate oodles of compassion for poor lonely “Arnie” as the man desperately tries to enjoy his first Christmas going straight. Likewise, the Canadian artist does a great job pencilling the oft-times fraught interaction between this comic’s top two evil masterminds, with the panels showing Scarface threateningly pushing himself right into the Joker’s face so as to make a point doubtless providing the book’s audience with at least a few smiles.
|Writers: Alan Burnett & Paul Dini, Artist: Ty Templeton, and Colorist Monica Kubina|