DCAU #294: A League of His Own!

IN THIS ONE... Batman and Batgirl track the Sensei to Tibet.

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

REVIEW: A one-off story that nevertheless pushes a bit of continuity? I'm totally game. After getting some intel in the previous issue, the Bats find themselves in Tibet, nearing what they believe is the HQ of the League of Assassins. In reality, it's the Sensei's house, leader of the League and prime agent of one Ra's al Ghul who puts in an appearance, alluding to plans he has in Brazil (I'm sure we'll get back to that later).

Though the action beats are all quiet correct, the location well exploited, etc., the heart of this issue is an argument between Batman and Batgirl on the use of guns. Early on, she confiscates a thieving sherpa's pistol and refuses to throw it away even after Batman makes a big speech on how what he remembers most about the night his parents were killed was the gun used, and how it's only use is to murder. Absent the will to murder, a gun becomes a liability. To long-time comics fans, Barbara's refusal to ditch the weapon because she needs that "edge" is strange. But this isn't the Barbara from the comics who was eventually shot through the spine by the Joker, she is someone who was trained as a police officer and who's been around guns, safely, all her life. Of course, Batman is proven right in the end, when the Sensei recognizes that she isn't a killer and wouldn't pull the trigger on an old man. She's easily disarmed, and though he IS a killer, like Batman sees it as a crutch and disposes of it.

The shocks keep coming. After Batman insists he be allowed to take Sensei into custody, Ra's does so, giving the old martial arts teacher no choice but to commit suicide rather than spend the rest of his life in a prison. He just calmly walks out of a window. Batman's last pose looking over the cliff hints at the possibility that the assassin didn't die, though there is a poetic element to his action, coming as it does on the heels of Sensei's speech about weapons being a denial of self.
REREADABILITY: Medium-High - Has something important to say about Batman and ends with a shocker. Is Batgirl written out of character though? You decide.

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