DCAU #103: Survivor Syndrome

IN THIS ONE... Batman trains a vengeful athlete who would follow in his footsteps.

CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.

Wow, shockingly violent cover. Under it is a superb story often told without dialog - one of the series' strengths - that manages to surprise often, and deliver a lot of heart as well. The second Batman is Olympic medalist Tom Dalton, who puts on the cowl after his wife is killed in a gangland drive-by. The memory is revisited with a muted, pinkish color palette that's just gorgeous, and Dalton does survive the wound seen above.

What Batman does is the real surprise (or perhaps it isn't). He feels for this man. Obviously, there is a shared experience there. But he only feigns wanting to train Dalton to become a crime fighter like him. What he's really doing, and it's clear enough to the reader, it needs not be spelled out overtly, is making Dalton nostalgic for being an athlete again. One who cares about breaking records, for example. Dalton is well on his way to finding his groove back and not taking up the obsessive and self-destructive life Bruce Wayne chose for himself. Batman is saving him from that life, at the same time heading to South America to bring Mrs. Dalton's killer to justice.

Except - another surprise - the killer has returned to Gotham and when Dalton sees him, he's captured. The setting for the climax is a triumph. A half-demolished building the creative team use to the hilt, for atmosphere, and for interesting fight gags. It almost ends in tears when Dalton aims to let himself fall to his death, bringing the killer with him. Batman offers him his hand (thankfully, he's missed his plane), and on the next page, that hand is accepted over his wife's grave. Cool transition, bringing us to the coda, and back to Batman's mission, and the fact it keeps his rage at bay. Dalton's next move isn't told, but one hopes he'll take a page from Batman and focus his life on something positive.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Dalton's Batman suit, bat emblem aside, is meant to look like the Golden Age Batman's.

REREADABILITY: High - A real beauty of a story, full of surprises, not the least of which is Batman leading with his empathy.


American Hawkman said...

One of the best issues of the series.


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine