|Reviews for Batman 1939: The Dangers of Being Cold|
| Guest chapter 12 . 3/27
This is so amazing. I love your painting of 1940 Gotham and the comedic banter between Batman and Catwoman is so funny. There are few jokes that make the B-man OOC but still really good. How to de-orbit the moon in 17 steps!? wtf Batman, really?
| airdog711 chapter 20 . 12/24/2014
Overall, I really like this story. My only problems were with those three out-of-character decisions of Batman - giving up too easily, letting Waller go, and letting her go in a way to punish her after saying he didn't do stuff like that. Other than that, great job. Great character development. Great incorporation of relevant historical and combat information, as well as a well-displayed general knowledge of military base layouts, security measures, old automobiles, and explosives. I liked the character variety, especially the over-the-top specialist and the scientist who was delusional about being delusional. The dark joke about Pearl Harbor was well-placed and evoked a sense of "awwwww" from the modern reader. Other than your occasional treatment of Batman, I give it two thumbs up. I hope I get to meet you some day, Stewart. You are a great writer. Keep up the good work.
| airdog711 chapter 19 . 12/24/2014
I really didn't like this chapter for two reasons. After the disappointment of Batman's not taking Waller's offer in the last chapter, this chapter has him doing two more things that I find un-Batman-like. First, he lets Waller go. After a night of trying for much less, he manages to score the big fish, and he just lets her get away. Why not take her back to the Batcave and interrogate her further. Why not hold her for ransom in exchange for information? AT the very least, he could have turned her over to the GCPD and let them investigate her for the two murders at the beginning of the story. I hated that he let her go.
Second, he let her go a few miles from the base so that she'd have to walk back. He specifically said it was her punishment for what she'd done. But, a few chapters earlier, he was having a private episode for punishing a soldier for hurting Catwoman. Now it's suddenly okay? This was totally out of character. Granted, Batman is only human, and he probably saw her as the object of all his hatred in regards to this mission. What he said about the murderers of the homeless couple not being punished is true enough, but still, I did not expect him stranding her to be his payback. One rule-breaking per mission is bad enough, but two? I did not like this chapter.
| airdog711 chapter 18 . 12/24/2014
There was a lot going on in this chapter. The beginning section with a flashback of Waller at military school was a little confusing. I mean, it was interesting, and it showed her (and by extension, your) extensive knowledge of history, but still, what was the point of that? To explain how she began her career? To show that, even as a young woman starting out, she was more competent than her superiors? It just didn't seem to flow with the story, unless I missed something. And what was the point of the general calling her up to his desk at the end of the class? Was it to humiliate her further or privately commend her? I couldn't tell.
The moral dilemma that you placed Batman in was exquisite. I get that he didn't want to go through with it, and I get that he was about to crack because of his love for Catwoman, but, think about it. What better way for him to learn all he ever wanted to know about Waller's programs than from the inside? Maybe taking that job (if she wasn't lying, that is) was just the thing he needed to do to tear down the system from the inside. It would have been an interesting plot twist. Too bad you didn't take that route.
| airdog711 chapter 17 . 12/24/2014
I like the over-the-top nature of Specialist Pritchard. This is by far your most caricatured character, even more so than the scientist who thought Catwoman was in his mind. Even so, he's totally believable. The thought that a low-rank army soldier would have this kind of hubris isn't even doubtful, especially not in this kind of high-stress situation. Overconfidence is a common coping mechanism for the unknown. Again, your characterization is totally believable.
| airdog711 chapter 16 . 12/24/2014
This was another one of my favorite chapters, mostly because of the in-depth look at Batman's moral code. Batman's no-killing rule is well-known. I didn't know that he had a no-injuring-more-than-necessary rule. The thought that he roughed up an adversary more than necessary really ate at him, not enough to significantly affect his performance, but enough to cause him to question his plans later on. He's worried about becoming an avenger. He knows a step down that road might lead to him one day killing criminals, to becoming the very monster that killed his parents. He's so repulsed by this outcome that he dare not take even the slightest step toward it, lest it become more easier and more attractive. Great writing. Great character development.
| airdog711 chapter 15 . 12/24/2014
Good placement of flashback. Worked seamlessly with the story. And Batman's casual mention of the date demonstrates his intelligence, not that the reader has any doubt at this point, but it's how Batman would communicate.
| airdog711 chapter 14 . 12/24/2014
Batman booby trapped his car! Nice! I like it, and I like how he cleverly let Catwoman think he was surprised at her finding the contingency plans, but, in reality, he let her find them. Nice set-up for the inevitable car explosion at the end of the chapter. I kind of expected something like that to happen. Something you didn't touch on, and I am admittedly ignorant of, is the presence or absence of a license plate on Batman's car. I don't know if license plates were a thing in 1940, but, if they were, you made no mention of them. If they weren't around back then, then not having the discovering soldiers mention it would make perfect sense.
| airdog711 chapter 13 . 12/24/2014
I kind of expected better behavior from an Army colonel. This reaction seems a little over-the-top for a man of his position. Perhaps I'm being close-minded. I don't know the depths of PTSD as it relates to victims of poison gas attacks. Maybe it's perfectly reasonable for someone that high up to suffer a breakdown over what he thinks is gas. Still, I would expect the commanding officer of a military base to be psychologically prepared for just about anything. But again, I am mostly ignorant in this area.
Good use of Hitler trivia, by the way. The use of poison gas was probably one of the only war crimes Hitler didn't commit.
| airdog711 chapter 12 . 12/24/2014
This was my favorite chapter so far, and one of my favorite in the book. The protagonist-antagonist dialogue can really make or break a story for me, and you nailed it. Waller is, at worst, lawful evil, planning on giving Batman his due process of law under the Constitution or the Articles of War. The scientist that Catwoman coercively interrogates is also an interesting character. He makes a fairy decent case for Catwoman's nonexistence, a case which I, the reader, know is nonsense, but you manage to evoke a sense of empathy with your character deep enough to cause me to understand why a man in his situation might actually think he way he does. He seemed totally sincere and I get why he might feel that way. Causing the reader to feel empathy with a character (especially a character you just introduced who hasn't had much page time) is an advanced writing skill that you seem to have mastered or at least are proficient at.
| airdog711 chapter 11 . 12/23/2014
Again, you are great with description. Your in-depth relaying of the fight scene between Batman and Slade was a real treat. I could never do something like this. I would have been reduced to a Shakespearean "They fight," but you choreograph every movement down to a muscle spasm. (I'm exaggerating, but you get my point.) This sort of thing requires an advanced knowledge of weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, which you clearly possess. Stewart, you must be one hell of a fighter.
| airdog711 chapter 10 . 12/23/2014
A great way to display the morality of Catwoman's character. She's repulsed at the sight of the bodies. She's not evil, or sadistic, or a psychopath. She's just selfish, and even that is being called into question, since she is really the only reason they got this far. Batman's lack of surprise is to be expected, but, at this point, I'm focused more on her character development than his.
| airdog711 chapter 9 . 12/23/2014
You're very good at descriptive writing, Stewart. I don't think my technical knowledge of security measures would have been sufficient to describe in detail the way Batman and Catwoman broke into that place. I would have just summed it all up in a few sentences. But not you. You do into depth. I like that. It helps me visualize what's actually going on, rather than having to fill in the blanks with my own projections. Your real-world knowledge makes you a better writer. Keep it up.
| airdog711 chapter 8 . 12/23/2014
He promises to pay her regardless and she refuses to leave. A good way of revealing that she was more than just a mercenary. What an ideal situation for her. She has to do next to nothing and she still gets 100% of what she was promised. And yet she insists on going in. A great way to reveal to the reader that Catwoman is a good person deep down.
| airdog711 chapter 7 . 12/23/2014
Abort mission? Really? Over that? I would think Batman would have backup plans to his backup plans. Maybe he is just a novice at this point, but he's still Batman.