And we return to Detective Comics with the continuation of Azrael’s first outings with the Bat Family.

Detective Comics #657

Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Michael Netzer
Inks by Scott Hanna
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by John Costanza
Edited by Scott Peterson & Denny O’Neil

We open with where we last saw Batman in Detective Comics #656 – collapsed in the chair next to his bed. Alfred repeats a scolding that Robin received in the last storyline, about being in costume in the mansion, before telling him to take some time off.

Elsewhere, a Man in Glasses has, with the assistance of music, hypnotized a man onto the ledge outside his apartment. He gets the man to jump, before scratching his name off a list – a list that ends with Lucius Fox.

I know Hugo Strange, sir, and you are no Hugo Strange.

Speaking of Lucius, Bruce, who is still exhausted, has a meeting with Lucius, who has a project he wants to show him – on the way there, Bruce runs into Jean Paul, and they say hello.

The art on this page is just wrong.
Inks, colors, pencils, all of it.

I’m not a fan of the colors and inks in this scene. It causes Jean Paul to look off in a way that’s clearly unintentional.

Anyway – Jean Paul talks with his supervisor, mentioning that he’d noticed something about break-ins in the daily reports, but his super tells him it’s above his pay grade.

Meanwhile Lucius explains that WayneTech is working on a government contract – Project Echo. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. They’re working on part of it. It involves digital imaging and high-resolution video, but that’s all they know. Two other companies are working on the rest of the project, and Lucius would like  Bruce to sweet talk their contact into finding out what the hell this thing is – best case scenario they can get the rest of the contract, worst case scenario they know what the hell this is and if it’s unethical.

That night, Azrael and Robin go to check out the alarms to help with the whole break-in problem. They arrive to discover a break-in in progress and go to stop it.

At a nice restaru, WayneTech’s government contact explains that the point was to break Project Echo up into three parts and three companies to preserve security. Bruce gets it, though he’s not exactly happy.

Back at WayneTech, Azrael and Robin find the trio of guys responsible for the break-in, who are trying to cut a safe out of the wall with a chainsaw.

Chuck Dixon writes Azrael as fairly quippy.

They take them down, but after one of them tries to kill Azrael with a chainsaw, Azrael starts to turn the guy’s chainsaw back on him, and has to be talked down by Robin.

Elsewhere, the Man In Glasses kills the next person on his list through the same MO as before.

The next morning, Bullock & Montoya interrogate the break-in goons, and at WayneTech the Man In Glasses has come to work on the Muzak system.

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to help to support the site, please consider backing my Patreon. Patreon backers get to access my reviews and Let’s Plays up to a week in advance.

If you want to support the site, but can’t afford to pledge monthly, please consider tossing a few bucks into my Ko-Fi instead.