Monday, February 13, 2012

Let's Read Batman: Knightfall!: Parts Two and Three!

Perch yourself delicately on my lap, Dear Reader, because we're going to continue to share Batman: Knightfall, the series of comics from 1993 in which steroid-abusing wrestler mastermind Bane snapped Batman's back in half. Bane is the villain in Christopher Nolan's upcoming Dark Knight Rises, so this is absolutely essential reading, so stay sharp, take notes, and if you missed it, read my report on the prequel and part one.

Last time, tricky shadow-lurking bastard Bane stole a whole lot of weapons and causes a giant prison breakout, releasing many of (an already ailing) Batman's biggest foes. Fighting his mysterious illness, Batman is forced to run the gauntlet, but so far has only gone up against C-list lightweights like the Mad Frigging Hatter.

But surely this time we'll get a bad guys from the big leagues, right? Maybe someone EPIC like the Joker? Or Two-Face? Or even Poison Ivy?

Oh great. So it's going to be one of those issues.

To hear about Batman fighting some no-name in a toy store, JOIN ME AFTER THE JUMP!

There are actually two foes in Part Three, and first up is household name Amygdala. OK, seriously, I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever heard of this asshole before. Nor do I know how to pronounce his cheating-at-Scrabble name. I even read this series once before in 1993 and I STILL haven't heard of him before. Just who the hell is he?

So he's a huge, hulking, childlike mental patient with a compromised brain. How that makes him any different or more interesting than Batman's 25 other huge, hulking, mentally deficient villains I don't know and by the end of the issue I still won't know. But think of all the fun we'll have getting there. 

The other foe is the old guy that looks like he's about to jerk off into his sock. That's the Ventriloquist, who usually has a murderous gangster dummy called Scarface. But Scarface is still in police custody, so the Ventriloquist is forced to talk to his sock. Now, I'm not actually mocking this guy at all, because despite the wacky premise, the Ventriloquist is actually a fantastic villain, and one of the best written characters in the entire book.

With Amygdala's help he breaks into a toy store and steals a range of puppets to help him with his quest. This includes some crazy duck bastard which is basically the best thing to ever appear in a comic, and hopefully Nolan will have the balls to put this duck guy in the movie...

Hahaha! That duck cracks me up! He's totally sassin' that surly sock!

So it really isn't long before Batman turns up because NOBODY steals a puppet in his city! NOBODY! You can shiv a hooker in a dirty alley, but heaven forbid you try to thieve a marionette!

Robin is in tow but he's so easily distracted. He gets out of the Batmobile and is distracted by a bird. "DUHHHH I DONE SEEN A BIRDY! DUUUHHHHH!"

I got to say, Robin is kind of the worst written character in this series for me. He's such a dope. He's either trying to be sassy, funny, or is just plain getting in the way. Bane's henchman with the mullet doesn't dig on Robin checking out his bird, so he comes rocketing in and totally pwns Robin's ass. While spouting even worse dialogue than Robin...

"AWWWW! BUT I WANTED TO WALK THE WALK!" Robin would be dead right here at the hands of an F-lister with a mullet if it wasn't for Bane who calls up Bird (yeah the guy with the bird is called "Bird") and is like, "Hey don't kill that stupid idiot yet, it's only part three" and Bird is all, "My bad." But this is the actual real dialogue: Bird goes, "See you later, Punk" and Robin responds with the zinger, "Not if I see you first." 


Meanwhile, Batman is in the toy store getting beaten up by Amygdala. Amygdala even raises him up above his head and I wonder why he doesn't just break Batman's back himself and be done with it. Batman seems mightily outmatched, so how on earth is he going to get out of this one? Well, remember when he had to beat the Mad Hatter so he punched him in the fucking face. Well, Batman outsmarts Amygdala by bashing him on the back of the fucking head. Did I mention that Batman is a scientist and a detective?

The Ventriloquist doesn't even join the fight. He buggers off out the back door and continues on his quest to find Scarface. Batman returns to his car and Robin is gone and no shit he has a left a note that says, "WENT BIRD-WATCHING"


So part four starts up, and this time we just HAVE to get someone good, right? Well it turns out that serial killer Mr. "I-also-cheat-at-Scrabble" Zsasz has taken hostages in a girl's school. Okay, now I am familiar with Zsasz from the Batman videogames where he is portrayed as a twisted, self-mutilating creep. Well, he still self-mutilates and he's still a creep, but look at this guy back in 1993...

Please tell, me WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIS FABULOUS EYES!? It kind of looks like he's wearing Elton John glasses, but then I don't think he is wearing glasses at all. Has he styled his eyelashes into giant spikes? I seriously have no idea what is going on here and it totally weirds me out. 

Here's another look..

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIS EYES!!? If you can explain this to me I will hug you to death. It's kind of troubling me so much that I'm having trouble moving on.

So is Batman, apparently. Batman's really pissed that Zsasz is the villain this time, so pissed that he's shaking and monologuing uncontrollaby. I also think that Batman's starting to look a little fat...

There's not much in the way of subplots here. Some detectives are investigating Film Freak's murder from Part One, and Bane is still sitting at home watching this all unfold on TV. And seeing as how it was 1993, he was probably watching some Seinfeld.

Some SWAT team guys get carved up by Zsasz and he's going to cut up some of the school girls as punishment. But Batman sneaks in and is ready to take him down except - ohshitBatmanjustbumpedintosomeoneand... it's Robin! What's Robin doing here? What are you doing here, Robin. Then, I kid you not, Robin sees the bird fly past the window and he's all like, "DUHHH I GOTTA DONE CATCH DER BIRDY!! K THNX BYE!!!" and he leaves.

So it's down to Batman versus Zsasz and Batman actually manages to save ALL the school girls because guess what he does? Yes, that's right, he punches Zsasz in the fucking face. POW! He also almost twists his head off but some cops are like, "Awww, Batman, you don't need to do that, dawg!"

So yet another villain is down for the count, but this time it's a little different because Batman is clearly rattled by this whole experience. Batman's all shaking and crying by a chimney afterwards and he KNOWS that this is all Bane's doing, I think because of some previous encounter that he had with Bane which is not in this book...

BUCK UP, CHAMP! YOU CAN DO THIS! Let's see if Batman can get back in the game in parts Four and Five!

I will answer your questions in the comments section, and please do your best to answer mine!


  1. -Was the Vengeance of Bane one-shot not in the book? That would be dumb because it was Bane's origin and fucking awesome.
    -That Zsasz eyes thing really annoyed me. It was used for one single panel in his first story and for some reason it became a thing every other appearance.
    -Amygdala only appeared once before this with no origin and treated like he's been around forever.

  2. - The Vengeance of Bane isn't included so they don't even explain his venom or anything. He's introduced with his toy robot bomb. They elude to a past battle and a ruckus with Paul Jean Valley but that's about it.
    - But what are Zsasz's eyes supposed to be? Is it supernatural? Seriously, Ive, this worries me because I just don't know what I'm supposed to be looking at!
    - Yeah Amygdala appears on a cover amid a big series of villian headshots along with Two-Face and Scarecrow, as though he's somebody. But he's not anybody? This part should have been played by Solomon Grundy!

  3. Zsasz's eyes...priceless! WTF is up with that? Soo funny...

    Poor Bruce looks so shaken in that last panel though, right? You gotta feel for him a little.

    I love the ventriloquist. He seems so dumb but he really takes crazy to an interesting place...almost supernatural when you read the origins of the puppet, scarface...

  4. Man, I thought for sure one of you guys would have an explanation as to what's going on with Zsasz's eyes. NOBODY KNOWS!? It's comic's greatest unsolved mystery! Is he a demon or something!? I AM LOSING SLEEP.