DCAU #339: Two of a Kind

IN THIS ONE... The Royal Flush Gang is back, but all its members are still in prison, so what gives?

CREDITS: Written by Hilary J. Bader; art by Craig Rousseau and Rob Leigh.

REVIEW: Taking place between the Royal Flush Gang's first and second TV appearances, with the Gang still in jail and Ten still in juvie, this issue starts off well enough, but is soon derailed. Not that the opener is perfect, mind you. There's something fun about the Gang fighting Batman on a cruise ship casino, and it leads to exciting incidents, but Terry is acting dumb throughout, and Bruce needs to tell him to look behind him or to use his suit's capabilities when they should be second nature (how early IS this adventure?). Still better than what comes next.

The big reveal is that the Gang IS still in jail awaiting parole, and this new Gang is 60% made up of identical TWINS, and Ten a twinned cousin. Though twins have been known to marry twins, this is entirely too convoluted just to make Terry seem wrong about his beloved Melanie. Since the Gang is a family thing, I can believe the feud, but it really didn't need the extreme genetics to work. The second Gang isn't even very smart by attacking their brethren in court, thereby exonerating them of whatever misdeeds they've carried out.

And then the issue doubles down on stupid by having the parole board decide that the real Gang defending themselves when the others attacked is somehow a sign that they haven't been rehabilitated. Really? And yet, the next time you see them on the show, they're all out of jail, and this could have acted as a missing chapter, setting them free. A deep disappointment.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: The way the "floating casino" cruise ship is made, the giant slot machine design references those old 50s Batman stories with giant props. This is the first Beyond mention that Ace of the Royal Flush Gang is a mechanical being; this has been true from their first comic book appearance.

REREADABILITY: Medium-Low - A ridiculous premise and badly thought-out plot. After such strong issues, I'm a little surprised.

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