18 December 2011

Legends of the Dark Knight: "Sunset"

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #41
Written by: Tom Joyner
Plot Assist by: Keith S. Wilson
Art by: Jim Fern
Lettered by: John Costanza
Colored by: Steve Oliff
Edited by: Kaplan & Goodwin
$1.75/32 pages
January, 1993

Caught up in his activities, the Batman finds himself out past sunrise and in search of a place to ditch some eager cops on his tail. He holes up at an abandoned movie studio lot, where he encounters silent film star Nina DeMille...who has outlived her obituary published 40 years ago by existing as a vampire. Nina enslaves the Dark Knight--though she does not actually turn him into a vampire, until faithful gentleman's gentleman Alfred Pennyworth conducts a discreet investigation and comes to the aid of his master.

I'm conflicted about "Sunset." On the one hand, I'm not terribly big on supernatural stories involving Batman--though The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told collection certainly proved that I do like more than I once realized. The vampire portion of the story was decent enough, and I found Nina DeMille an intriguing antagonist, driven by vanity--a different demon than most of the Rogues Gallery. It was nice also to see Alfred in action, and I was impressed that Tom Joyner and Keith S. Wilson wove a story in which Alfred's role did not feel contrived or unlikely. The reasons for his ability to locate the Batman--and combat his tormentor--make perfect sense.

I'm almost loathe to say it, but I really do think "Sunset" ought to have been a two-part story, because I feel as though some of this story was abridged. And yet, the truth is, I also think there's some fat that could have been trimmed. I really don't know what would have made this more satisfying to me, but I feel like it falls just short for some reason. Great atmosphere, and an intriguing premise but I'm just not in love with "Sunset."

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