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Chuck Dixon introduces an unusual new foe for Batman in Detective 654 (Dec. 92), the General.  Mike Netzer does the evocative pencils on this three-parter, with Scott Hanna on the inks.

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The villain in this story is just a child, but a clever and callous one.  Educated at a military boarding school, he kills the students who bullied him, and burns down the school before heading to Gotham.

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He talks his way into a gang, who are amused at first by the pushy youngster, but then impressed by his strategies and military knowledge.  When the leader of the gang begins to find the boy too forward, the General simply guns him down and takes over the gang himself.  Which might have been a touch more powerful, had not Cluemaster done pretty much the same thing in the previous storyline.

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Some really great page construction by Netzer, especially on the layout of Bullock and Montoya cruising on patrol.

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And some deft writing.  I particularly enjoy the calm dialogue as Bruce prepares to be operated on by Alfred. Both Batman and the police are already dealing the with General’s gang, and their stolen army weaponry, but as yet none of them are aware that a child is leading the gang.

The story continues in the next issue.

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