DCAU #338: Zoologically Speaking

IN THIS ONE... Dr. Cuvier is creating more powerful, animalistic Splicers.

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

REVIEW: The cover and opener seem to promise a new version of Croc (or Gator, really), but though these new, more savage Splicers form an interesting menagerie of foes for an animal-themed hero (do love how they consider him to be a poser), that's not exactly where the story goes. Instead, Terry tracks a Siberian Tiger dude to Cuvier's lair and finds out the truth. These aren't humans overdosing on splice genes; they're animals given human DNA.

At the heart of the story is the tiger longing for his mate to join him in this evolved state, which creates a natural misunderstanding when Batman doesn't know the truth, and a dilemma for the feline once Cuvier is done away with. The heroes' musings about whether or not he remembers his humanity in tiger-state lead up to an ambiguous roar that may or may not be evidence that he does. I could do without the moment, which is perhaps comes off as dark and existential rather than a mark of gratitude. The art just doesn't do enough to clarify it.

The issue also shows us the Splicer culture after its ban. We've seen the odd Splicer on the show, but here it's expressly said that anyone who legally got spliced before the ban got to keep their stripes, but obviously, there's a lot of lying about just when the splicing occurred. I'm more surprised that Terry has a friend from school who is an illegal Splice. Given how much of his class we regularly see, he really comes out of the blue here. But how else do get into an exclusive Furry club?
REREADABILITY: Medium-High - Cool-looking opponents in strong action beats, a nice twist. We sort of gloss over a few details, but it still works.

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