DCAU #121: Second Banana

IN THIS ONE... The Joker is incensed when a psychologist says the Riddler is more clever than he is.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Tim Harkins and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW: Playing on the rivalry between Batman's rogues can be fun, and on a meta-textual level, it makes sense for the Joker to think of the Riddler as an impostor given his clownish portrayal in Batman Forever, for example. However, I feel like this story only proves the psychologist who pronounced the Riddler as the cleverer right, and that's irksome. Take this story and issue #3's in evidence. The Riddler and the Joker are both outguessed and outplayed by Batman - he's always the most clever - but in Christmas Riddle, it feels like the Bat has to work at it. The Riddle almost gets away with it, and his contingencies are very smart indeed. Now the Joker is unpredictable; that's his strength. He doesn't follow guessable patterns the way Riddler does. But Batman is ahead of the curve all the way through, and the repeated meme about following one's own rules doesn't really work. The Joker should be following NO RULES AT ALL. But since he does, he's rather easily caught, and his victims escape his would-be lethal attention.

I might still have given the story a pass, but Tim Harkins' art is problematic. His cartoony caricatures remind me of Roger Langridge's work, which isn't a bad thing at all. However, it sucks the thrill out of action scenes, which look ridiculous. So when Batman must once more fight Lock-Up, a formidable physical foe, it just looks silly. Characters kind of fly around grimacing. Everyone is a cartoon parody of their actual character.
REREADABILITY: Medium-Low - Despite some good gags (like the one above), Second Banana disappoints with its off-model art and a story that doesn't do justice to its criminal lead.



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