Happy Bat-Week Mates! Since this whole week is for Batman, so I though what would be better than going back in the past? So I digged up my shelf for something like that and found a perfect thing to write a review on: Batman Issue #500..
Script: Doug Moench
Pencils: Jim Aparo, Mike Manley
Inks: Terry Austin, Mike Manley
Colours: Adrienne Roy
Letters: Ken Bruzenak
Editor: Dennis O’Neil
Before I start with my actual review, let me tell you about the Knightfall series of Batman, to which #500 belongs. Before the Knightfall series, i.e. in Issue #491, Bane stages a giant break out of Arkham Asylum, due to which Batman’s fiercest foes like Joker, the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Two face etc. start a rampage within the Asylum.
The actual Knightfall series start with Issue #492 when Film Freak, who portrayed villains in his movies but then thought that he’d be a good criminal in real life too, is controlled by Mad Hatter, following the Arkham Assylum breakout. At the end of this issue, Mad Hatter is defeated by Batman and Film Freak is killed by Bane… In the following issues, after facing people like Victor Zsasz , The Joker who teamed up with serial killer Cornelius Stirk, Scarecrow, and in Issue #495, it’s turn for Poison Ivy. The police is still chasing Joker and Scarecrow, and Bane is still out there- watching and waiting. In Issue #496, Batman first finishes off (not kills, defeats :p) Firefly, and then Scarecrow. But under the effect of Scarecrow’s fear gas, Batman seeks revenge on Joker for the death of Jason Todd, the second robin. But the villains flee again. The next part of Knightfall is in Detective Comics #663, where Batman finally rescues thaemayor, and faces Bane’s henchmen. On returning home, he discovers that Alfred is lying on the floor. In the next issue, there is a face off. Bane recklessly beats up Batman, where Alfred runs to get help from Tim. The beating continues even in the next issue, and Robin, Jean Paul (Azrael from the Azrael storyline) and Alfred try to save Batman. The next two parts of Knightfall are in Showcase ’93 #7 and #8 where Two Face beats up Batman.. the next issue (Knightfall 15), Batman #498 is a major issue as in this issue, Jean Paul is asked to fill in as Batman. In the next issue, Jean Paul, the new Batman DO stand for the great detective while he’s healing but the new Bat is kind of more brutal. Meanwhile, Tim’s father was missing. In Detective Comics #666, the new Batman confronts Bane, and is literally killed when Bane is about to drop him from a great height. Bane knows. Bane knows everything, that there is a different person under the hood this time.
And here, we arrive on our destination: Batman #500 (Knightfall 19) where first, Jean Paul has a narrow escape from falling from a building and then blames his costume for so. He designs a new costume, completely different from the current one (and a 14″x29″ poster was also free with the issue! :p).Then, the new Dark Knight heads out for a final confrontation with Bane. Bane is powerful, but his power was dependent on Venom. Batman came to knew this, and after ending all the poison, runs after Bane wherever he does. Bane gets caught, and is on the verge of getting killed. Robin’s still there, and he knows that the real Bat would never do that. Thanks to his prayers, Jen Paul doesn’t kill Bane and he is sent to Blackgate prison later. After this, Bat flies away….
This series is followed by another series: Knightquest: The Crusade featuring none other than the new Bat himself. Overall, Knightfall was, is and will remain a great concept but with great concepts, great application of the concept should come, Shouldn’t it?
The last few issues of Knightfall were great, which includes our main focus: Batman #500. But still the later issues of Knightfall were much better than the early issues. I’ve done with my verdict. Now it’s your time to judge Knightfall.
Batman (about to cross the street): “Remember Robin, always look both ways.” 😉