DCAU #293: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

IN THIS ONE... Batman and Batgirl meet a real live gargoyle in Paris.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Rick Burchett and Terry Beatty.

Paris... and I appreciate seeing the creative team's credits in French... makes for a nice, if somewhat gratuitous, change of venue, but it looks Gothic thanks to its muted color palette and churchly settings. Batman going international is usually reserved for two opponents. One is Ra's al Ghul, the other is the League of Assassins. This is about the latter and Batman is intent on getting the Sensei's location (pleasantly followed up in the next issue) from one of his men, Andre Juillard.

Though a one-off, this is still a fairly interesting character who, despite his profession, is a man of faith and deathly afraid of God's judgment. It's rather shocking to see him express such ideas even as Batman and his French friend, Inspector Legere, come close to practicing "24"-level interrogation methods on him. But it's a mysterious "angel of death" that makes him break down, an avenger of the night, Paris' own Batman... the Hunchback of Notre Dame?!

A pretty cool creation actually, not quite pulled whole from Victor Hugo's novel, a dying police scientist who used Matt Hagen's Clayface formula to heal himself and was turned into a crusty stone form akin to that of a church gargoyle. Seen as a monster at first (sheesh, was Batgirl always this aggressive?), it's soon revealed he's a hero who models hims ON Batman. Practically given his credentials right there, Batgirl suggests he and Legere enter into the same kind of partnership the Bats have with Commissioner Gordon and... the adventure begins. I would have liked to see the Hunchback again, perhaps in some kind of DCAU retelling of the Batmen of All Nations story, but alas, it never happened.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: In the comics, the Batman of France was the Musketeer, and later, parkour expert Nightrunner; the Hunchback is a hero original to this comic (though of course inspired by the literary character). His alter ego, Alain Mauricet, is the name of an actual Belgian comics artist who has done work on the American side, pencilling The Crossovers, for example, and more recently some Harley Quinn books.

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A striking new hero rises in one of the most Gothic stories the DCAU has yet offered.  Too bad it didn't lead to anything.



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 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