Thursday, 17 June 2021

Batman: The Adventures Continue #15 - DC Comics

Despite starting with a pretty pulse-pounding punch-up between the Caped Crusader and a dirigible full of Scarface’s well-dressed henchmen, it was probably a good bet that the majority of this digital first title’s readers felt a little cheated by the plot to “Secret Santa”. In fact, the more uncharitable within this comic’s audience could well argue that little to nothing actually occurs within Alan Burnett and Paul Dini’s narrative once the Dark Knight has snatched Arnold Wesker from the fiery jaws of certain death; “Robin! I hope you have us in your sights.”

Of course, that isn’t to say that Issue Fifteen of “Batman: The Adventures Continue” doesn’t contain the odd highlight here and there, such as when the ever-arrogant Detective Bullock unwisely forces the Ventriloquist to once again place his wooden puppet upon his hand during the bespectacled prisoner's interrogation, and unsurprisingly gets walloped straight across the face for his trouble. But such scenes don’t arguably do much in the way of progressing this book’s central plot, which bizarrely appears to revolve around Harley Quinn trying to arrange a Christmas party for all her criminal friends – apart from her ex-boyfriend, the Joker.

Indeed, once Poison Ivy rather begrudgingly agrees to support Quinzel in her Yuletide endeavour, very little of any significance actually occurs within the storyline until the Clown Prince of Crime rather contrivingly just happens to hack into his former partner-in-crime’s computer and sees that “she’s sent out a bunch of invitations for a Christmas party” and that he is not invited. This rather manufactured moment disappointingly comes completely out of the blue, and seems to have been bolted onto the publication’s end simply so its writers can provide it with something of a cliff-hanger.

Nobly adding to this comic's smattering of spills and thrills are Ty Templeton and colourist Monica Kubina. The creative pairing do an excellent job of imbuing Batman’s attempt to thwart Scarface’s plan to detonate fifty pounds of CX-8000 explosives over Gotham City with some palpable pace, and even manage to temporarily put the frighteners on any perusing bibliophile during a brief scene where Wesker realises he hasn’t seen his old mannequin’s reflection in a shop window. But rather that of four animatronic puppets who have been programmed to replicate elves busily building some of Santa’s presents for those children who have been nice not naughty.

Writers: Alan Burnett & Paul Dini, Artist: Ty Templeton, and Colorist Monica Kubina

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