Before 'the Wrath' became 'the Wrath', this masked bad-guy once worked as a used car salesman somewhere in Vegas. Wait a minute! Was it Vegas? Or was it somewhere near the rather rambunctious creative team of John Layman, Andy Clarke, and Jason Fabok? Hmm. Not sure. I best ask the Publisher: DC Comics, in July, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 5 questions about this STORY entitled 'Bat and Mouse'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: Once he updates Commissioner Gordon on the Scorns origins, Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, plus his loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth, attempt to prove that the Scorns killer -- The Wrath -- is actually the businessman known as, E.D. Caldwell. 
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Errr? Yes and no I suppose. They do find out he's their man, yet Alfred gets kidnaped in the process.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yes. I scratched my nuts with a squirrel.
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With a face off looming on the horizon.
  • WHAT'S THE BACK-UP FEATURE ABOUT: In this tale of times past, we get to see how Francine Langstrom managed to transform her and her husband's lives into the movie, 'Mr and Ms Smith'.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Although I'm pretty damn certain this wasn't its original intent, I did find the sentence...

'During the course of our marriage, I told Kirk a lot of things. Some of them were even true'

... rather amusing to read. Well, it was so unexpected; it's as if this Man-Bat back-up feature was the start of a lampoon of sorts.

Ha! Good one Francine. Keep those wings flying!

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Alright. I know that I keep on praising Jason Fabrok's artwork every time I reach this poxy section. But come off it! If I didn't it would be like committing a crime against good decency and good taste! I personally love how he draws Batman myself. Now that's very bold and sweeping indeed.
(+) Everybody put up your hands that doesn't like a little more 'Alfred Action' in a Batman adventure? What? Oh, dear! Go to your room right this instant without any supper you naughty-naughty adolescent you. How dare you frown upon the Pennyworth!
(+) I'm sitting on the fence where this months 'Man-Bat' back-up feature is concerned. I loved the art. I was fairly amused by the 'Mr and Ms Smith' inspired storyline. But I wasn't too keen on how it kicked into touch past incarnations of the Langstrom clan. Hmm. 60 / 40 at best.

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) What is this? Film week on 'Detective' all of a sudden!  First we get 'Mr and Ms Smith'. And then we get 'Wall Street'! Yes. That's correct. I'm referring to that scene where Bruce and Ed played kick-about on the rooftop and talked shop during their judo-inspired too and throw. I mean, are we stuck in the eighties or something? Where executives think their all cinematic characters? No. Not my cup of tea at all. This segment felt very dated on the surface, especially that part where Bruce swung Ed off of the roof. Oh please!!!!

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to A REAL-LIFE HISTORICAL FIGURE.
GREGOR MENDAL AS KIRK LANGSTROM: It's a little known fact that this famous pioneer in the field of genetics went bonkers during the later years of his life, and ended up a changed man, watering himself away in a loony bin somewhere in Germania.  

ANNA NICOLE SMITH AS FRANCINE LANGSTROM: Hey! Can you think of another woman who will do whatever she has to do to get her hands on whatever she wants? Hmm? Comment below if so.

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell' -- Confucius

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
'NA NA HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE' BY BANANARAMA: This comparison leapt out at me nigh on straight away whilst I was trying to come up with a song to compare to this story. Not just because it was made in the eighties. No. Of course not. But because it also has a silly fight scene thrown in for good measure.

After I finished reading this particular instalment of 'Detective Comics', I thought to myself, 'If Alfred was an actual superhero, what would his name be?'. Well, could it be something like...

  • The Battling Butler -- Hmm. That shows some pluck (I said 'pluck'). 
  • The Surely Sentinel -- It could work if Marvel promise not to sue for copyright infringement.
  • The Lad from London -- Oh! I don't think he's from London.
  • The English Escort -- Nah. That sound's like he's a 'rent boy' or something.
  • The Anglican Attendant -- Wow! Now that's very-very old-old school!
  • The Vigilante Valet -- What the hell? Does he fight crime and park cars at the same time?
  • The Human Manservant - I don't even know what that means.
  • The West-Side Watchdog -- Damn that Stan Lee! He's got me using alliterative names now!
  • Alfred and His Amazing Super Friends -- !?!?!?!?!!?

Anyway. That's enough of my sh*t for this month, folks. All I have left to say is that this issue of 'Detective' was a very pleasant read. The art was fantastic. The storylines were simple to follow. And the only thing letting it down was that in places it was a mite too much style over substance.

Say no more.

DETECTIVE COMICS #23 DETECTIVE COMICS #23 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 20, 2013 Rating: 5
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