Animal Crackers

More of Norm Breyfogle's Batman? Happy to oblige!

BATMAN #471, DC Comics, November 1991
Later this week, I'll discuss my thoughts on Batman: Gotham Knight, the direct-to-DVD anime release that's meant to fit between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. If it's to be believed as part of the same continuity, Batman fought a couple of minor, but classic villains between Ra's al Ghul and the Joker. One of these is Killer Croc, so I thought I'd dig up one of his old appearances.

To my surprise, it's also got the post-Crisis version of Ace the Bat-Hound! Yes sir, Batman had a dog for a while, and used him, quite sensically, to track bad guys through the underground city under Gotham (I'm not kidding, they actually built underground streets "before the money ran out"). Don't know about you, but when your master is Batman, you don't want to be a "bad dog".
"Do your best" indeed. But before you say this is rather hokey, you've gotta realize that Ace is the dog Batman deserves. He may not look like much, but he gets a fight scene in this issue where he kills at least six sewer rats!
He must strike fear into the heart of filthy rodents everywhere. Jee-zus! And he'll have enough energy to bite Killer Croc later too.

So Killer Croc! He used to wrestle alligators. He lives in the sewers with a makeshift family of homeless people. He's tough as nails and abnormally strong. He's got a bad case of eczema. And they're about to open new valves in the sewers, endangering any bums and supervillains squatting down there. Batman and Ace to the rescue. But first, they fight. And since this is an Alan Grant story, he has Batman throw a random object at the bad guy.
Not quite the same visual poetry as that time he threw an engine block, but I don't think it would have made a difference to Croc. He's one hardcore dude.

Once water starts pissing out of the wall, Batman makes Croc a believer, and the green guy redeems himself by holding up the wall while Batman helps the poor squatters escape.
So is he dead? Did they find a body? You're right, Croc is probably indestructible now that Steve Irwin has passed to the great beyond. But there's some nice pathos for the few seconds you think he might actually be gone.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree: Ace the Bat-Hound is much cooler than Krypto.

LiamKav said...

Batman Beyond also showed us how cool a Bat-dog can be.

 

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