Batman is desperate to stop the Demon’s Brood and their dangerous ritual in Gotham. Just as Batman figures out what they’re after, the truth turns the mystery upside down all over again. It’s all just another tale of life and death in Batman The Audio Adventures #5!
McNicholas continues to take his Audio Adventures readers to a heightened reality. In this new issue, Batman and Gordon uncover The Demon’s Brood’s fixation on the “future zodiac.” Apparently, thirteen victims must christen the scimitar intended to kill the immortal Ra’s Al Ghul. However, the identity of the victims is seemingly based on ancient star charts that won’t be relevant for millions of years in the future. Instead of trying to catch the would-be killers, Batman sets out to find the victims instead. Some of which mean to represent various conceptual constellations. Despite the exposition feeling overlong, the detective work is more than welcome.
Killer Croc’s delusions are a ticking time bomb. With Batman occupied with stopping ritual murders, Waylon Jones has to handle his own wandering psychosis. In case readers have forgotten, Joker’s love potion bonds Croc to a conveniently mischievous doll. As a result, Croc frantically tries to find a way to save the “wounded” doll. Unfortunately, this forces Waylon to retrace his trauma back to Hugo Strange. Although the doll isn’t real, using Strange’s monster formula could potentially evolve it into a very real threat. In the midst of Croc’s delusions, he remembers old regrets about a child he may have hurt while working for the Penguin. I believe somewhere inside, Croc is trying to makeup for his shame.
Admittedly, I’m tired of the drawn out exposition through flashbacks. We’ve now seen three separate flashbacks about who or where Ra’s comes from. Additionally, we get repetitive backstories on Killer Croc. It feels less like key information, and more like padding ahead of stories McNicholas isn’t ready to tell. Honestly, the Croc story has worn out its welcome a long time ago. While I can’t be certain how everything factors in, I don’t want to keep cutting to more and more unfulfilling scenarios.
Narratively, the pacing is gaining momentum. Even the c-plot surrounding Robin, Penguin, and Scarecrow is gaining traction. Although, I don’t see how Penguin could blackmail or intimidate The Boy Wonder to do his bidding. Either way, Robin blending in with a street gang ends up looking surprisingly wholesome. It only furthers my feelings about the family friendly tone clashing with the context of the story. There’s even a massive joke about the potential murder victim Batman fails to save.
Every week I find different ways to give the exact same praise and criticism on the artwork. It is effective at keeping the tone light and interesting. The layout is clear and simplistic. Moreover, the wacky designs of its villains, plants, and animals will never fail to get a smirk out of me. Part of the humor’s charm is how much it allows for broader choices, but I can’t overlook the whiplash of going from crime scenes to situational comedy. Luckily, Audio Adventures doesn’t feel confused about what it wants to do.
- Audio Adventures is your safe space.
- You like a lighter Batman and Robin.
- You find Killer Croc fussing over a doll baby adorable until it’s not.
Batman: The Audio Adventures remains consistent. While there is nothing wrong with relying on a comfortable format, sometimes a plateau is a sign that we aren’t going anywhere. Personally, I like seeing bolder risks taken. However, I can understand the benefits of having a reliable series to fall back on. As a potential companion piece for the podcast, this is an easy recommendation, but it won’t be for everybody.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.