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Author: John Bierly
December 27, 2009
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BATMAN:
STREETS OF GOTHAM
#7

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: Paul Dini returns to STREETS OF GOTHAM as Batman and Robin uncover a sinister plot involving dozens of Gotham City's young runaways. Is Arkham Asylum escapee Humpty Dumpty at the center of the scheme or is he just the tip of an even more dangerous iceberg? Guest-starring Abuse and Zsasz!

And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Kate has finally tracked down Two-Face, she's ready to confront him for the hit he ordered on Gotham's former D.A. But their confrontation is not going to go the way she planned!


Like this month's GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, STREETS OF GOTHAM #7 has a bit of a Christmas theme as Dick and Damian track a Santa-suited Humpty Dumpty to his latest hideout, a children's shelter, which hides something so despicable that not even compulsive fixer Humpty can ever repair. Meanwhile, the mysterious vigilante known as Abuse follows his own clues that might eventually lead him into Batman's path. We'll see.

Writer Paul Dini does a nice job as always of keeping his characters consistent and fun. (Dick's observation to Damian that "you're obviously way too grown up for Christmas" is hilarious. Damian's response is typically nasty.) As if the first half of the issue isn't disturbing enough, Dini pulls out all the stops by story's end to deliver an ending that's entirely depraved. (This is brand new sicko territory, even for the villain in question.)

Dustin Nguyen remains one of my favorite current comic book artists, and his Batman always looks fantastic regardless of who's under the cowl. When Dini throws an emotionally challenging moment at Damian, Nguyen renders it thoughtfully and effectively. Fans who've been skipping this title because it doesn't feature enough Batman and Robin should make an exception and grab this issue.

The Manhunter backup didn't engage me as immediately as its previous installments, but by its end it does finally get us to a physical confrontation between Kate Spencer and one of Gotham's previous district attorneys. Its cliffhanger complicates matters even further when two more familiar faces enter the fray. Regular artist Jeremy Huan is missing from this issue, and it shows. (There's an obvious continuity mistake on one of the surprise characters who appears on the final page; an editor should have caught it. See if you can see it.) Hopefully Huan will be back next month.

All in all, another solid issue. Dini's still doing the best he can with the hand he's been dealt, but I still wish he was writing new adventures of the real Batman. - John Bierly

Indiana native John Bierly started writing for publications when he was 17 and never stopped.
His favorite things in life are family and friends, concerts, burgers, Mountain Dew, and of course...
...THE BATMAN!
You can read his blog at JOHNBIERLY.COM.

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