CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.
REVIEW: Key to the success of this issue are some pretty wonderful silent sequences where Parobeck's artwork positively shines. It's clear, concise and a lesson in visual storytelling. In the first, Batman reconstructs events from the clues available. The second is a charming montage showing Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul having a nice time in Paris; see if you can "read" it without hearing music. And the climax also uses a number of silent (or at least wordless - there are sound effects) pages that are nevertheless exciting and/or emotional.
It's safe to say that if the Batman-Talia romance has been pretty tepid on the show, this issue more than makes up for it. The two of them have a real rapport and though it ends in tears (for Talia, at least), we come to understand that in another life, these two could have been something. And though Talia IS lying to Batman about the importance of the statue they must recover, her feelings are genuine. I love the panel where she realizes the date is over and their mission must begin (below), proof that her statement at the end, that if she manipulated Bruce it was to get this perfect day with him, is true.
REREADABILITY: High - A romantic issue of the Batman Adventures that makes me believe in the Bruce-Talia romance for the first time.