Posts tagged ‘Nick Cardy’

Detective 436 – Batman gets scared, and the Elongated Man needs a clue

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A very creepy cover by Nick Cardy for Detective 436 (Aug,/Sept. 73), as Shotgun Smith returns in a story by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Frank Giacoia.

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Bruce Wayne returns from a vacation, and Shotgun Smith is now working customs, checking for drugs.  Alfred is quite surprised to find some in Bruce’s luggage.  Bruce examines the powder, just before Shotgun comes bursting in to arrest him.

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Batman finds himself suffering a crippling fear of the dark – a side effect of exposure to the powder, but still has presence of mind to demand a warrant from Shotgun, which he does not have.

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Batman realizes that only Shotgun and the stewardess could have planted the drugs on him, and follows him, finding the two together.  But he has also been alert enough to spot that this is not the real Shotgun Smith, but someone impersonating him, and using his position, in league with the stewardess, to smuggle drugs on unsuspecting passengers.

Not a bad story, but it’s unfortunate that Shotgun isn’t really himself in his second appearance.

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Sue gets kidnapped in this Elongated Man story, by Elliot S! Maggin and Dick Giordano.

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The kidnappers lure Ralph to them, with an invisible dog trick. I love the panel of Ralph stuck in the glass jar.

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They show Ralph a live video feed of Sue, who flashes two fingers at him.  Ralph pays little attention to their demands – they want him to use his powers to their benefit – instead trying to figure out Sue’s clue as to her location.

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He does so, and captures the bad guys (booga booga), but the story ends on the wonderful twist, as Ralph explains how he figured out Sue’s clue, and Sue replies that she never intended it as a clue, she was just telling him to save her before 2 o’clock.

 

 

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Detective 300 – Batman vs Mr. Polka Dot, and Aquaman ends

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Detective 300 (Feb. 62) pits Batman against Mr. Polka Dot, which is a clear indication that “anniversary” issues were nothing really special yet.

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The villain, not given any other name, threatens Batman and Robin with various weapons concealed as polka dots on his outfit.

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He manages to capture Robin, using him as bait to lure Batman into a trap.

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I have to admit, I do like the irony in Robin imprinting a braille message in the note he is forced to write.  The dots leading to his downfall.

It’s likely no surprise that this character did not return until the 80s, and his few appearances in modern times have taken him far less seriously than this original story by Sheldon Moldoff.

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Aquaman gets his final story in Detective, with Aqualad in tow, and art by Nick Cardy.

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He is fooled by thieves into leading through a number of perilous traps on the way to a buried treasure.  The thieves claim to be friends of a professor lost there, but in fact are using Aquaman in order to steal the man’s find.

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A simple story, and a villain Aquaman has little trouble defeating, but the pleasure here is in Cardy’s art.

Aquaman’s own comic had begun by this point, so he continued to appear despite the loss of this series.  The end of the strip was the result in a page cut, leaving the Martian Manhunter the sole back-up series.

Detective 294 – Batman fights Elemental Man, and Aquaman fights weird fish

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Batman fights a villain with the power to turn his body into any element in this Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff tale.

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Professor Higgin’s lab assistant, John Dolan, gets accidentally exposed to a gas that endows him with his element changing powers, and he starts to go insane.  Higgins builds him a belt that will control his changes.

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The professor works on trying to find a cure while Batman tries, and fails, to capture Dolan.

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Batman gets exposed to the gas, and also transforms into a element man.  Fearing he will go evil, Robin and Higgins lock him up, but he escapes as mercury and joins Dolan in his rampage.

The explanation for how Batman rigs the machine to drain Dolan’s powers is overly complex, it goes on for two pages.

Although this character never returned, he was one of the four villains to have new versions made of them as Strikeforce Kobra.  As well, his powers are essentially the same as those of Metamorpho, who would be introduced a few years down the road.

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Aquaman, Aqualad and Topo all return for this Nick Cardy story, in which a man claims to have trained bizarre sea creatures to respond only to him.

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It takes Aquaman only a couple of pages to figure out the creatures are robots, and defeat the liar.

 

 

Detective 293 – Batman on an alien planet, and Aquaman begins

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The Batman and Robin story in Detective 293 (July 1961), for all its adventure on an alien world, feels much like a re-write of a story from the 40s, “Destination Unknown.”

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As with the earlier tale, the story introduces four other passengers, along with Bruce and Dick.  One is a criminal on the run, two are fated to become lovers, and another is an older man who has given up on life.

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The earlier story was set on a train, but in this one they are all on a ferry boat, which abruptly gets teleported to an alien world.

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There each of them confront their inner demons, while Batman and Robin help one set of aliens use mind-control to dominate a different set of aliens.

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The story ends with the various characters changed forever.  Sheldon Moldoff did the art, but I wish I knew who wrote this story.

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Aquaman, riding a wave of popularity in the early 60s, begins a short run in Detective Comics in this issue.  He had a series in World’s Finest Comics at this time, and was also appearing in Showcase, about to launch into his own series.  The 6 page story in this issue, with lovely Nick Cardy art, has Aqualad and Topo in it as well.

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Together they capture the Sea Raider, who had been trying to kill the publisher of a local newspaper, who was out to expose the pirate.

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