Batman: Dark Allegiances |
by Howard Chaykin (DC Comics, 1996)
It also spawned some classics. Dark Allegiances, a Batman tale, is one that I keep around to remind me just how good Elseworlds could be.
The concept, for those who missed it, is taking characters from the DC universe and reinventing them in a different time, place or circumstance. This one places the Batman in the 1930s. Bruce Wayne is a liberal-minded industrialist with a hobby of vigilante justice. Alfred, his trusty butler, is present as always. And other familiar characters appear in somewhat different guises: movie starlet Kitty Grimalkin, a.k.a. Selina Kyle, for instance, has a few nocturnal tendencies of her own. There are also variations on the Penguin, Two-Face and the Joker, the latter of whom is presented here as a politically minded racist and fascist.
This book is criminally brief, but it runs through its plot with a sense of its own fun ... even during a climactic scene involving none other than Franklin D. Roosevelt and a visiting Adolf Hitler.
Dark Allegiances won't change your life. But it's a fun tale and it belongs among the best of DC's Elseworlds line. Read it, and I bet you, like me, will keep it around to read again and again over the years.
28 July 2012
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