Return of the Batman...
I've been really enjoying this story arc of Legends of the Dark Knight. It has explored the role that technology plays in Batman's life and the way Bruce has come to rely too much on his toys. Now that Wayne Industries has started hurting on its bottom line, Batman's arsenal is depleted, and Bruce now has to stop Ra's without the benefits of his tech. Unfortunately, something went wrong with the production of this story arc, and the final issue was delayed for an entire week, so I am just now getting to read the conclusion. Honestly, I remember the basic events of the story, but I forget where in the story we were. I keep picturing Batman downed by some attackers and appearing on the cusp of a beating, but I'm not sure that is correct. (it was not) Regardless, it is the moment of truth for this story. Will Batman finish strong, or will he be an ugly, battered mess by the end?
In this issue, Ra's Al Ghul is planning on releasing a chemical attack and Batman must stop him.
I do not have a whole lot to say about the substance of this issue. If you read everything up to this point, then you know the direction in which the narrative was flowing, and the story basically just finished strong. I suppose I'll offer a few thoughts Bat Dropping Style.
1. The police officer on page 1 either has a very long body or he is wearing his pants ghetto style.
2. Commissioner Gordon mentions that the toxin does more damage if it can bond with carbon monoxide and that is why Ra's released the toxin indoors, but carbon monoxide is not more present indoors, so this made me wonder if the author was mixing up monoxide with dioxide, but the rest of the story fit the monoxide theory, so I'm not sure what to make of this.
3. It's nice to see Bruce come back to basics on the detective front.
4. Do cities like New York really have specific daily predictions on where smog will be thickest? Perhaps they do, but that seems odd to me. I mean, you have to go where you have to go, so what good would this information do?
5. The parrot seems out of place. I let it pass in previous issues, but it keeps talking intelligently which means it is either sentient or just happens to repeat random phrases at just the right moment. Either way, it's kind of campy, and I'm willing to let it slide a little because this is a different universe and I want to see different versions of the Batman verse, but still, this is a questionable call.
6. The end of page seventeen has an interesting observation about Batman.
7. There was a nice final note for the story.
Warning! Brief Political Diatribe
Ra's and the guy he had tied up hit a political nerve with me, so I'm going to explore it. Ra's is planning on killing humanity for destroying the planet as usual, and the guy tied up says, “Carbon monoxide is an unpleasant byproduct of progress.” Thank you! I have no idea if this writer actually has sense on environmental issues,(the fact that the character is later killed off makes me think perhaps not) but at least he included a reasonable thought in this issue. Is carbon monoxide a bad thing? Yeah, its poisonous, but holy crap, look at everything we get in exchange for it! You realize that before we learned how to harness fossil fuels, the entire human race was dropping like flies? Without all that fossil fuels bring us, we could not have clean reliable sources of water, easily accessible food, indoor plumbing, electric light, any sort of significant medical knowledge or technology, reasonable means of transportation, entertainment, nice clothes, the music industry, radio, computers, cars, the internet, air conditioning, electricity, and the list goes on and on! Everything we have today is based on fossil fuel technology. If you want to get rid of that, then realize you are talking about going back to the 1800's.
What about Green technology, you say? Great thought. The issue is that green technology is not yet developed. If the tech was developed, we would all be driving electric cars and using solar panels, but the technology is currently unsustainable. The Obama administration has funneled billions of dollars to green energy companies who have since gone under even with those handouts because their technology sucks!
We will develop emission free energy sources one day, but let it be done in the same way we have had all our current progress, through the free market. When a better technology is established, we will go to it automatically because it is superior. Stop trying to steer us towards technology which is not yet sustainable, government by spending money that the nation does not have. Until science does manage to wrangle up this new tech, I will gladly, happily, elatedly take air which is slightly tainted in exchange for every life saving, society building, people uplifting advance we have gained in the last two hundred years.
Finally, to Ra's and the very real, very evil people like him who believe the planet it overcrowded and needs to be saved from the scourge of humanity, I only ask that you start with you vision of progress by being mentally consistent with your ambitions. If the Earth can really be saved by eliminating people, then please start by killing yourself.
This was a really good story, and my few nitpicks notwithstanding, I liked it a lot. It even stimulated some real world thought from me, and it is always nice when comics are able to speak to the world beyond the fiction universe. I think your purchase of this arc would be money very well spent.
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