DCAU #77: Last Tango in Paris

IN THIS ONE... Batman and Talia al Ghul spend a romantic day in Paris before having to recover a stolen statue from a fez-wearing villain.

CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett.

REVIEW:
Key to the success of this issue are some pretty wonderful silent sequences where Parobeck's artwork positively shines. It's clear, concise and a lesson in visual storytelling. In the first, Batman reconstructs events from the clues available. The second is a charming montage showing Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul having a nice time in Paris; see if you can "read" it without hearing music. And the climax also uses a number of silent (or at least wordless - there are sound effects) pages that are nevertheless exciting and/or emotional.

It's safe to say that if the Batman-Talia romance has been pretty tepid on the show, this issue more than makes up for it. The two of them have a real rapport and though it ends in tears (for Talia, at least), we come to understand that in another life, these two could have been something. And though Talia IS lying to Batman about the importance of the statue they must recover, her feelings are genuine. I love the panel where she realizes the date is over and their mission must begin (below), proof that her statement at the end, that if she manipulated Bruce it was to get this perfect day with him, is true.
In Batman's world, crazy villains with motifs aren't limited to Gotham City. Pierre Lascaux (named after the caves, presumably) doesn't just wear a fez (fezes are cool), he makes his entire criminal gang wear them. That's hysterical, a fun visual. Also funny how he curses his sense of style for Batman escaping his fiery death trap. Other cool moments include Batman flying at the bad guys with a torn cape that makes him look more like a real bat, Batman's gentlemanly kiss on Talia's hand, and getting caught in his shorts by Ms. al Ghul.

REREADABILITY: High - A romantic issue of the Batman Adventures that makes me believe in the Bruce-Talia romance for the first time.

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