In this penultimate volume of the Bat-Quest, Dr. Hurt (dunh-dunh-DUNH!) from Batman R.I.P. returns and does his usual “I am the Devil you will die” schtick, and the Joker and Batman team up and kick his behind into next week. In this volume, it was basically a re-run of R.I.P., but isn’t done as well. Dr. Hurt cackles and plots like usual, but he wears out his welcome because the demonic air of mystery around him that was created in R.I.P. has all but dissipated. The horrifying Professor Pyg from Reborn returns, and is even scarier than before. He’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of psychotropic drugs.
The scenes with a half-insane Commissioner Gordon (don’t ask) are genuinely unsettling, but none of the scenes with the Joker are, ironically. The way Dr. Hurt gets his tush handed to him is spectacularly campy, but isn’t as cathartic as how he was defeated the first time. The Joker comes back, but isn’t really funny enough to be fun to read, but not crazy enough to be scary. The last issue in the volume is a prelude to the Batman Inc. plot, so it’s really just setup. Remember how I said I liked Frazer Irving in my last Batman review?
Well I still do, but only in small amounts. A large chunk of the first arc is drawn by him, so his art loses its appeal. Overall, a spooky, but fun rollercoaster ride.