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Batman: Second Chances

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But while Jason shows great potential to be a hero, he is also a troubled young man, consumed with bitterness and anger. Todd's Robin showcases, maybe, a transition to the weird, brooding Batman we now know so well, a Batman who has learned from his mistakes and has withdrawn because of it. Just Another Kid on Crime Alley," "Two of a Kind," and "Second Chance," is the real meat of this collection, though Max Allan Collins' scripts are somewhat more juvenile than I remember, with a lot of on-the-nose dialogue (and too much talk in general).

Starlin takes a leap to the present, aging Todd up from the thirteen-year-old he was in Collins’ origin stories to make him around 15/16 years old. His psychological disconnect is so strong he believes he is the real Batman and that the genuine article is an imposter. Was it destiny that Batman and Jason met so the mentor could give this orphan a better path than he had? Which leads me to my next point: I liked seeing Bruce Wayne as the business man he is, see him at work and talking with people as a billionaire rather than a vigilante. While I can appreciate that there are many approaches to depicting the Dark Knight, this isn't "my Batman.That being said, I can better understand why some fans were upset upon the original introduction of Jason as Robin. Meanwhile, Two-Face continues to flip his coin and let it hit the ground, but it keeps landing on edge. A combination of the artwork and the writing which seems to awkwardly sit midway between the 50’s and 60’s silliness and the more gritty realism of the mid to late 80’s. Inside the hospital, the doctors tell Harvey that his bad side has been mostly submerged and they believe that if they remove the scars that created Two-Face, the persona will be gone forever.

If you are a fan of the character or a fan of this era of Batman comics this is a collection worth picking up. The Penguin is released from prison and falls in love, but it ends with his supposed redemption not sticking. On the one hand we have Two-Face, still committing numbered crimes and flipping coins; on the other hand we have stories like Starlin's "Victims" which could have come straight out of O'Neil's dark-and-gritty Question series. Bruce and Jason (Robin) both voice a desire to see petty criminals die for their transgressions and Batman comes off as a violent thug as opposed to an idealistic crusader.People don't make the connection of Batman visiting the Crime Alley site where Bruce Wayne's parents got shot every year on that very same anniversary?

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