Sunday 29 September 2013

Batman and Robin #23.4 Killer Croc Review

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Francis Portela 

I wasn't too sure whether or not I was going to get this issue, as although I'm a big fan of Killer Croc I'm not overly familiar with the creative team. Added to this I also decided to get all the Batman related issues in Villains Month bar the Batman: The Dark Knight titles.


A team of crocked cops head down into the sewer to look for a dead body they chucked into it, but they soon find that this isn't an easy job with Killer Croc going around.


This was an amazing issue and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Tim Seeley did an outstanding job of showing this vicious villain that is Killer Croc, though he also managed to show that there is more to old Croc than we initially see. Seeley also did a great job of balancing the flashbacks with the current events of this story, as some Villains Month issues haven't done this, with some feeling too forced. I also loved the amount of emotion that Seeley managed to add, as although this was still a very gritty story, it managed to show different sides to Croc, showing that he wasn't always a cold blooded killer, which I really enjoyed and I'd gladly read more from Seeley after reading this.

The artwork in this issue was also very good, as although it wasn't anything spectacular Francis Portela managed to show Killer Croc perfectly. The detail in Portela's art was also very impressive, being very consistent throughout the entire issue. I also loved how Portela was able to show all the different tones of this story throughout his artwork, as with it changing from a very gritty story, to a more emotional it was nice to see the change in Portela's approach to his artwork. I also really enjoyed Portela's layouts, especially in the more explosive sequences, as they managed to add so much more tension and atmosphere to the issue, as well as the action itself adding lots of excitement.

This issue would start with a bunch off cops searching the sewers for a dead body that they threw down there, with this being the main focus of the present part of this story. I really enjoyed this part of the story, and felt that it was probably the most suspenseful. I also loved the attitude of these characters, as well as having the constant thought of, "Croc's going to get you." I also enjoyed seeing the fear in their faces throughout as it's always nice to see misery in a thriller, especially when the characters deserve it.

We'd also get a look at Croc's origin in this issue, as although it wasn't heavily focused on how he became what he is, it showed bits of his past to show readers how he became this monster. It started with him as a child, and I rather enjoyed this sequence as it gave a completely different perspective on Croc, showing how he wasn't always a monster, just a mistreated boy who had some skin problems. I also enjoyed the interaction he had with his aunt during this sequence, and how he desperately wanted to change, but felt that his aunts method was too painful.

The rest of the flashbacks would show how Croc went from a freak show act to the full on villain that he's best known as. Now though some people may have wanted this expanded on I was rather glad that it was summarised as I already know Croc's origin, and preferred the more symbolic background work that we got in the other flashback parts. I did however enjoy seeing it, and the interaction that Robin (Jason Todd) had with Croc was brilliant. I also really enjoyed the freak show sequence as it too was rather depp, and dramatic, also having dark and light tones at certain points.

Final Verdict

This was an outstanding issue, and one of the best Villains Month issues that I've read this week. It showed Killer Croc perfectly, also showing a different side to him. The story itself was also very diverse, having different tones throughout, and although I wasn't overly familiar with either Seeley or Portela prior to this issue, I'd gladly read more of their work. Due to this I'd highly recommend this issue to anyone, as although it wasn't phenomenal it was brilliant.

Rating: 9/10

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