Posts tagged ‘Catwoman’

Detective 548 – Batman chases Darkwolf, and Green Arrow vs Vengeance

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Doug Moench and Pat Broederick have a lot of animals roaming Gotham in Detective 548 (March 1985).

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Batman is dealing with a political kidnapper, Darkwolf, but the far more interesting plot line in this issue sees Vicki Vale and Julia Pennyworth out looking for a big panther seen wandering the streets of the city.

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Batman isn’t much impressed by Darkwolf, and it pretty clear he’s a one shot bad guy, put in to give Batman something to do between scenes with the women.

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It takes Julia and Vicki a while before they realize the panther is trained, and therefore a pet.  And once they know that, it’s no big surprise when Catwoman shows up on the last page.

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Green Arrow’s battle with Vengeance concludes in this issue, thanks to Joey Cavalieri, Jerome K Moore, and Bruce Patterson.

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It’s the heavy action part of the story, and the art does it justice.  But it’s just so hard to look at that costume and pretend it’s not the same as

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Onyx, at any rate, doesn’t look like a carbon copy, and shows that she learned an awful lot about how to play guys in her retreat.

Detective 526 – Jason Todd dons the costume

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Celebrating Batman’s 500th appearance, Detective 526 (May 1983) is a forgotten, but worthy, anniversary issue.  Crisis on Infinite Earths would remove this story from continuity, and the origin of Jason Todd radically changed, but this work by Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala stands on its own merit.

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The Joker calls together a mass assembly of Batman’s enemies.  Croc is out to kill Batman, but he’s a newbie, and not worthy of the honour, the Joker insists.  So he lays out a plan that will give them all chances of killing Batman that night.

The line-up includes the regulars: Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, and Scarecrow.  Cat-Man, Killer Moth, Mr. Freeze, the Mad Hatter, and Matt Hagen as Clayface had all appeared within the last few years.  The Cavalier had not been seen since an issue of Batman Family in the late 70s.  Tweedledum and Tweedledee had not been seen since the 1940s!  Technically, this is the first appearance of the Earth-1 versions of the characters, but with Crisis looming that scarcely matters.

Some of the newer villains are included as well: Black Spider, Captain Stingaree and the Spook.  Talia is there, without her father being involved in the story, which is rare.

The Gentleman Ghost is a Hawkman villain, but had fought Batman twice in his own book.  This is the only time he appears in a line-up of Batman villains.

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Catwoman watches, but takes no part in the meeting.  Talia also has no interest in killing Batman, but has to fight her way out.

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Both Catwoman and Talia head to the Batcave to warn Batman of the plans against him, but get involved in a cat fight of their own.

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Meanwhile, things aren’t going so well for Dick Grayson.  His great plan to use the Todds against Croc simply put them into his hands, and he has Jason driven to Wayne Manor to keep him safe.

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Barbara accompanies her father as Commissioner Gordon checks out the abandoned theatre where the villains met, and finds evidence pointing to a gathering of their enemies.

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Barbara goes to find Dick, and they suit up as Batgirl and Robin and head out to fight the villains, as Batman does the same, with Talia and Catwoman as back-up.  No one is at home, so Jason is left to explore Wayne Manor, and guess where he winds up?

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The Spook manages to get the drop on Talia, if only for a moment.  But with so many fighting against them, the two women and Batman get taken.

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Robin is the one to find the remains of the Todds, fed to his namesakes by Croc.

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Jason, unawares, has found an alternate Robin costume in the cave, and suited up.  He heads out to join the rest of the heroes.

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Batgirl and Robin fight well together. There is no hint of romance, as there had been in their Batman Family team-ups.  Robin is in a budding romance with Starfire in the pages of New Teen Titans, but their ease with each other reminds one of the bond between them, the best duo of Batman’s supporting cast.

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Jason happens upon  a group of the villains, which gives him the information he needs to find out where everyone else is.

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Finally the big climax, as the Joker gloats over his captured foes.

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Croc had been working behind the scenes with the Joker, using all the other villains to wear Batman down.  He makes his move, but Batman manages to duck at the right time, and Croc takes down the Joker.

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Jason Todd arrives just as Batman has beaten Croc into submission, and delivers the final blow.  Only afterwards does he discover his parents bodies.

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The epilogue sees Bruce sending Catwoman and Talia off together in a car.  Where is he sending them?  Why did he stick these two women in the same car together?  How far did they get before their fight forced the car off the road and into a ditch?

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The issue ends with Bruce and Jason Todd, who is looking relatively ok for a boy whose parents were horribly murdered the night before.  But he is to be the new Robin, and there is a sense of hope.

Which is all kind of weird now, because Jason Todd was given such a different origin, and made such a different character, in the post-Crisis reality.

But for a couple of years, this was the origin of Jason Todd, Robin.

Detective 521 – Catwoman vs Vicki Vale, and Green Arrow begins

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Green Arrow’s series moves from World’s Finest to Detective with issue 521 (Dec. 82).  Along with Aquaman, Green Arrow had series in five of the earliest DC books: More Fun, Adventure, Detective, Action and World’s Finest.

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After her happy, good girl story last issue, Catwoman’s violent attack on Vicki Vale is not the way one would expect this story, by Gerry Conway, Irv Novick and Sal Trapani, to begin.  It turns out to be a dream, and leaves Selina Kyle shaky and upset.

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While the story largely follows Catwoman, Batman is busy tracking and apprehending a gang of hoods who prowl the subway system.

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Catwoman does break into Vicki’s apartment while she is sleeping, and demands that she leave Bruce Wayne to her, but does not physically attack her.

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Spying on them, Catwoman overhears Bruce tell Vicki that Selina is part of his past, and the two embrace, unaware of the angry woman watching.

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Green Arrow’s series brings writer Joey Cavalieri and artist Trevor Von Eeden along with it. Oliver Queen is, at this point in the strip, working as a columnist for George Taylor at Star City’s newspaper, the Daily Star.

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His computer gets taken over by a hacker, called Hi Tek, who demands Oliver break into a computer company.

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He does this as Green Arrow, because he never puts much work into his secret identity.  But Hi Tek shows up on the company’s computers, and uses them to attack him, and alert the police to his break in.

 

Detective 520 – Boss Thorne hires Dr 13, and a Catwoman solo story

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton art joined by inker Alfredo Alcala on Detective 520 (Nov. 82).

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Batman meets with Jim Gordon and Jason Bard, as well as Vickie Vale.  Her editor committed suicide, and they know he gave Vicki’s pictures to Boss Thorne.  They are trying to tie Thorne to Hamilton Hill.

Batman breaks into a prison, and breaks Deadshot out, to get the name of who hired him.  Floyd Lawton has no problems giving up Thorne’s name, but is surprised when Batman knocks him out and sends him back.

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Meanwhile, Boss Thorne is more concerned with the hauntings of Hugo Strange’s ghost than with the detectives, and has hired Dr. 13 to find out if the ghost is real.  Dr.13 was last seen a little over a year earlier, investigating the ghost of Wayne Manor.

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Dr. 13 goes to Greytowers, the phony hospital run by Hugo Strange, and his ghost materializes.  And Alfred dusts the Batcave.

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Catwoman’s solo tales had been running periodically in the back pages of Batman for the last few years.  This issue marks her only solo story in Detective, by Bob Rozakis and Gil Kane.

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Selina Kyle bumps into a former henchman of hers, and, sensing that he is lying to her about his plans, decides to follow him. Catwoman is on the good side of the law these days.

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It’s a soft story with a happy ending, as the guy has gone straight as well, and was hoping Catwoman would follow him and be his back up as he exposed some thieves.

Detective 509 – Cat-Man’s revenge, and Supergirl and Batgirl vs the Anhilliator

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Cat-Man returns in Detective 509 (Dec. 81), making trouble for both Batman and Catwoman in this story by Gerry Conway, with art by Don Newton.

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Things are looking promising for Bruce and Selina as this issue begins.  She has been trying to put her criminal past behind her.

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Cat-Man shatters the happy mood as he bursts in on Selina. His face is mangled, the result, he believes, of the tearing of his magic cape the previous year.

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Batman also checks in with Dr. 13.  He had been checking out the supposed ghost in Wayne Manor in recent issues of Batman.  Batman’s solicitous behaviour is really a cover, so he cam make sure Terry saw nothing that would indicate Bruce is Batman.

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Cat-Man really has little to complain about.  He wouldn’t even have survived their previous encounter if it wasn’t for the cape’s 9 lives, and his facial scarring is nasty, yes, but it’s a bit much to blame the people he attacked.

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Cat-Man’s vengeance plot brings him nothing but another close call with death.  He returns in a couple of years.

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Though he is unaware of it, Cat-Man’s plan actually does have a negative impact on the lives of those he hates.  Selina blames her Catwoman past for the attack, and leaves Bruce, until she can be sure her past is in the past.

Actually, she winds up coming back in less than a year, in the pages of Batman.

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The story ends with a tease for the return of Vicki Vale.  She appears more properly next month in Batman, trying once again to prove Batman is Bruce Wayne.

Vicki Vale really hadn’t been used since the early 60s, although she did cameo in an issue of Batman Family in the 70s.

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Sueprgirl discovers she is not as powerful as she thought in this Burkett/Delbo/Giella story that continues the battle against the Anhilliator.

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Batgirl actually gets to swoop in and rescue Supergirl, although she needs to use her unconscious body as a shield to protect herself.

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Batgirl also finds herself getting jealous when Jeff pays attention to Suerpgirl.

The story concludes next issue.

 

Detective 508 – Batman climbs the Sphinx, and Batgirl teams with Supergirl

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Catwoman gets kidnapped, and Batman is off to Egypt in Detective 508 (Nov. 81), a story by Gerry Conway and Don Newton.

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Bruce Wayne discovers that Selina Kyle has gone missing right at the top of the story.  Clues in her apartment connect her to the Egyptian exhibit at the Gotham Museum, and Bruce goes to investigate.  He discovers that Selina resembles a long dead Egyptian princess, and that the curator has disappeared as well.

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So Batman flies off to Egypt.  He really lucks out in this story.  He heads to the Sphinx, gets chased by jackals, climbs the face of the sculpture and just happens to find a secret passage into it.

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One cannot help but think of King Tut while reading this story.  A curator, an Egyptian obsession, dressing up in a costume.  Even the storyline resembles, loosely, one of the King Tut stories from the tv series. But there is no fun to this character, and I am really not certain if it was inspired by Tut, or the similarities are simply due to them both being Egyptian themed characters.

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At any rate, Selina gets rescued, and then she and Bruce have some time together to see the pyramids along the Nile.

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Supergirl joins Batgirl for this three-part story by Burkett, Delbo and Giella.  This was the only time Supergirl guest-starred in Batgirl’s series in Detective.  The last time they had teamed up was in the mid-70s, in an early issue of Superman Family.

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The villain in the story is a scientist, attempting to harness energy from an unusual rock.  His process backfires, badly.

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And, as so often happens, he winds up transforming into a monstrous and destructive creature.

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Supergirl only shows up at the end of this chapter, after Batgirl has a very unsuccessful first encounter with the Anhilliator.

Detective 506 – The Mannikin debuts, and Batgirl vs Iago

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Gerry Conway and Don Newton introduce a new foe for the Batman in Detective 506 (Sept 81), the Mannikin.

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Hamilton Hill and Arthur Reeves appear on a tv debate, hosted by Olivia Ortega, repeating their positions.  Neither seems like a suitable choice for mayor.

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That night Bruce heads out to a disco, and a massive model approaches fashion designer Kevin Clane, and kills him.

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Batman tries to stop the woman, who is much stronger than him.  Her costume comes off, revealing her to be in a suit of a dress dummy, a mannikin.  The Mannikin escapes.

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Seline Kyle has a nice cameo, as Batman goes to ask for her help in identifying the clothes.  Catwoman recognizes the designer as Haston.

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Batman goes to check on the designer, but the Mannikin is already there.

The story concludes next issue.

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It’s the conclusion of Batgirl’s battle with the little hunchback killer in this Burkett/Delbo/Giella story.

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The creature calls himself Iago, but there is a good deal of the Phantom of the Opera in him, as he is a composer, and believes that in killing women he gains inspiration.

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Batgirl defeats him with the oldest ploy.  Hey, could you play your music for me?  Oh,wow, that’s really good.  Just keep playing and pay no attention as I free myself from my bonds.

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