Monday, May 30, 2011

My favorite thing about "Dark Knight, Dark City"

In the 1990 Batman story arc "Dark Knight, Dark City," writer Peter Milligan and pencil artist Kieron Dwyer have our hero following bizarre clues and running a gauntlet of strange encounters set up by The Riddler, who is manipulating Batman for a mysterious purpose.

One such clue leads him to a house of mirrors.
Batman's questions is answered by a grinning thug with a yellow flattop and a flame-thrower, one of The Riddler's henchmen. He proceeds to fire at Batman.This goes on for a few panels before the thug disappears, leaving Batman alone with the goat and a kidnapped baby. From there, Batman heads to the next location, although since he's sure it's a trap, he enters cautiously.Ah ha! That clever Batman, he brought the goat with him, and used it to draw the thugs out so he could ambush them before they could ambush him!

Now, between those two scenes we see Batman rushing from the fun house to the next stop on his trail. This is how Milligan and Dwyer depict his ride there, first from outside the Batmobile, so the reader can't see through the opaque windshield, and then a tight close-up of Batman in the driver's seat.So in those panels above? Batman is totally driving around with a goat in the Batmobile. Even though it's only retroactively suggested by the scene with the thugs that follows, I like the idea of Batman driving around with a big goat in the passenger seat of his notoriously cramped car.

My second favorite thing about "Dark Knight, Dark City"...? The expressions Dwyer has the goat make in that last page featuring it: Wow. That is one emotive goat.

While Milligan and Dwyer make it clear that Batman is triumphant and The Riddler and his cronies are brought to justice, the final fate of the goat isn't made clear at all. It is last seen at the bottom of the page in which it makes those fantastic faces, scampering off-panel as Batman beats on the guy with the flame thrower. I imagine it ends up at a Wayne Enterprises Petting Zoo, although I suppose it's always possible that Alfred made it a little cape and cowl and they sent it off to the country to fight barnyard crime.

4 comments:

rev'D said...

The choreography in the hall-of-mirrors fight scene is flawless. That stuff flows like Quitely or Stewart-- and Stewart obviously read DKDC in prep. for his Batman & Robin contributions.

For all the crap artists Morrison winds up paired with, he's landed some perfect partners, too. Stewart has Dwyer's skillset & then some.

Mr. Fob said...

How long before Batgoat shows up in Tiny Titans?

SallyP said...

Hey, if we can have a Bat-Hound, I think that there is room for a Bat-Goat.

Kid Kyoto said...

Oh come on, you can't set that up and leave us hanging! What's the riddle? Why a goat in a house of mirrors?