Posts tagged ‘Ruben Moreira’

Detective 292 – Batman becomes a giant, and Roy Raymond ends

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Batman gets exposed to an experimental gas, which turns him into a giant in this Sheldon Moldoff story from Detective 292 (June 1961).

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Batman does his best to continue his war on crime, but his giant size makes life difficult.

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Kathy Kane adds a complication to the story, as she has a date with Bruce Wayne, which of course he cannot come to.  A mysterious stand-in takes his place.

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Batman’s inability to manage at his height winds up putting him in the hands of his enemies, but he has taken care to disguise his face, so unmasking him does not succeed.

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The final panel reveals that it was Superman who stood in as Bruce Wayne, leaving Batwoman convinced Batman is not Bruce.

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Roy Raymond has his final story in this issue, with art by Ruben Moreira.

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It’s a straightforward hoax story, trying to keep people away from a treasure by pretending an ancient wizard has come back to life.  Roy has no problem with this case, after years of similar ones.

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Roy Raymond next appears in the early 70s, in Superman, but Karen has to wait until the 80s, and returns in the pages of Detective, part of Roy’s final solo story.

Detective 287 – Batman vs the Raven and the Wasp, Roy Raymond hunts for an heir to the throne, and J’onn’s little brother comes to visit

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Detective 287 (Jan. 6) features two new villains, neither of whom was ever seen again, the Raven and the Wasp.  Created by Sheldon Moldoff, I suppose their costumes are meant to evoke the animals they have named themselves for, but they don’t succeed, at least not for me.

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Both are escaped felons, and both are out to steal various mechanical inventions.  Batman and Robin defeat the Wasp, and Batman takes his place.

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He discovers that both villains are working for some aliens, stealing the devices they require to build a mind-control machine.

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Bathound makes an appearance in the story, but isn’t used well.  He’s just sort of there for the final battle.  Batman uses the mind-control device on the aliens, sending them back to their home planet.

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Some really nice Ruben Moreira art on this Roy Raymond story.  Roy is asked to help the search for a missing heir to the throne in an eastern country.  The heir has a device that will create the image of the grand vizier, and Roy is asked to help weed out the fakes.

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Eventually, one of the claimants produces the effect the desired way, and is proclaimed the heir, but Roy is still wary.

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Roy proves that the real heir was kidnapped, and the device taken from him.  The men who invited Roy over were using him to cover their own deception and impersonation.  Roy reveals the true heir, and all is well.

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J’onn’s younger brother T’omm makes his debut in this story.  Despite the destruction of Erdel’s machine many issues ago, J’onn has repaired it in this story.

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He accidentally makes it bring his little brother to Earth.  Which is really a mind-blowing coincidence.

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J’onn defeats some thieves, and T’omm helps him cover his identity.  The machine has only enough charge for one more teleportation, so J’onn sends his brother back home.

T’omm returns a few months down the road.

 

 

 

Detective 286 – Batman and Batwoman vs Starman, and Roy Raymond uncovers a buried monster

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Three magical items are at the centre of this Sheldon Moldoff tale in Detective 286 (Dec. 60).  Star-Man, who has no connection to any other version, acquires ones that give him super-strength, and flight.

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The other piece, a belt, was bought by Kathy Kane.  Once she has worn it, it leaves her feeling dragged out whenever she does not have it on.

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The belt does have the effect of neutralizing Star-Man’s powers, and with Batman and Robin she takes him down.  With all three items on, she is cured of the wasting effects of the belt.

And sadly, this was as good as the book got in 1960.

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Some great art by Moreira on this Roy Raymond tale, in which he investigates the legend of a buried monster.

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The story is far more straightforward than most Roy Raymond tales, but that makes a refreshing change.

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Roy releases the monster, who rampages until they manage to seal him up again.  And Roy learns nothing from this, continuing on his merry way.

 

Detective 276 – Batwoman meets Bat-Mite, and Roy Raymond and the space hoax

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Bat-Mite makes his second appearance in this Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff tale from Detective 276 (Feb. 60).

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In this, and his first appearance, Batman keeps convincing the criminals that the odd things that happened when Bat-Mite was around were hallucinations, but Batwoman discovers that Bat-Mite is real.  As she does not bark at him like Batman does, Bat-Mite decides to hang out with Batwoman and help her fight crime.

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She also finds the imp’s help frustrating, but there is a feel-good thing permeating this, so no one stays angry for long, no matter what Bat-Mite does.  I think that’s part of his powers.

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Together, Batman, Robin, Batwoman and Bat-Mite stop the Hobby Robbers, the villains whose activity was pretty much completely overwhelmed by the guest stars.

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A man approaches Roy Raymond, announcing that he has created a hoax, but still challenging Roy to expose it in this Ruben Moreira story.

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Roy cannot pass up such an interesting proposal, so he and Karen go along, as the man claims to be transporting them to an alien world.  Roy eventually realizes they really are on an alien planet.

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He then exposes the man as an alien, and the story abruptly shifts into high gear, as the alien tries to kill Roy and Karen, who use jets to fly to safety.  Another alien shows up and stops the first, explaining that they had a bet as to whether the first could fool Roy Raymond about being human.  They watched the broadcasts of Impossible But True on their home planet.

 

Detective 244 – Batarangs, and Roy Raymond’s birthday party

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Batarangs are the focus of the Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff tale in Detective 244 (June 1957).

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As with stories of this kind, much of it is spent relating short tales that illustrate a variety of batarangs, most of which were never seen in any other tale.  Batman and Robin both dread using “Batarang X,: which means that it will be used at the climax of the story.

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It’s not a bad tale.  Much better than the make-up one. If anything, it makes one wonder why it was two years into the stories that explore Batman’s arsenal before they dealt with the batarangs.

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Batarang X turns out to be nothing more than a giant batarang that Batman rides in order to quietly approach some villains by air.

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It’s Roy Raymond’s birthday in this story.  Ruben Moreira is credited with the art, but it doesn’t seem on par with previous stories.

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Roy receives some very strange gifts, including a pen that can write on the air, and suspects that one of the partygoers is hoaxing him.  Karen is his first choice, but she clears herself with a polygraph.

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In a weird twist ending, one of Roy’s staffers turns out to be his time-travelling descendant from the future, come back to celebrate his famous ancestor’s birthday.  Any hint of a romance between Roy and Karen is pretty tidily squashed in this one, as the boy refers to Roy as his ancestor, but not Karen.

Detective 236 – new gear for Batman, J’onn phones home, and Roy Raymond and the magic tablecloth

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Batman gets some new toys in Detective 238 (Oct. 56), in a story with art by Sheldon Moldoff.

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After a clever felon invents devices that neutralize the advantages of the Batmbole, Batplace and Bat Signal, Batman and Robin realize they need to build some new equipment to take the bad guys down.

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The new Batmobile is a purple tank, and the Batplane is replaced by a weird purple machine called an “anodyne.” which looks like a flying saucer.

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The new Bat Signal utilizes a telescope.  They use these things to defeat the bad guys, but then return to their tried and true weaponry at the end of the story.  Although the conclusion holds out the possibility that these devices will return, none of them ever did.

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J’onn fights crime on two worlds in this story, which sees him in Martian form for the bulk of the tale.

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Thanks to solar flares affecting radio waves, J’onn is able to communicate with his parents back on Mars.  They tell him of thieves using the canals for their thefts, and as John Jones, he happens to be investigating a similar case on Earth.

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J’onn realizes that in both cases the thieves are attaching themselves to things (fish or ships) traversing the canals, and while he stops the bad guys on Earth, his father passes on the info and the Martian thieves are caught as well.

This story also sets up a possibility of a rescue mission for J’onn, as now his parents, and other on Mars, know where he is and what has happened to him.

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Jack Miller and Ruben Moreira provide another interesting Roy Raymond adventure.

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The story follows an old man convincing his wife that he can fool Roy Raymond with a self-replenishing table he has invented.

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Despite Karen’s misgivings, Roy puts the man on his show, but not for the table.  Roy pulls a surprise happy ending out of the story, revealing that the amazing thing is the intricate needlework on the tablecloth itself.  Nice.

 

Detective 235 – Thomas Wayne as Batman, and Roy Raymond’s ratings slide

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Batman learns secrets behind his father’s murder in Detective 235 (Sept. 56), in a Bill Finger/Sheldon Moldoff tale.

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Poking around the Manor, Bruce and Dick discover a box containing a variation on the Batman costume, as well as a roll of film.  The home movie spurs Bruce’s memory, of his father and the gangster Lew Moxon, whom his father humiliated at a costume ball.

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Bruce realizes that Moxon hired Joe Chill to kill his father, the attack was not random. Batman confronts Moxon, who has prospered over the years, but also sustained an injury that has left him with amnesia about his early days.  He is still a mobster, though, and Batman’s interest is not welcome.

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Batman gains evidence of Moxon’s current wrongdoings, but his costume got wrecked in a fight.  He dons his father’s costume to confront Moxon, whose memory is restored by the sight of it.  Rushing out in terror, he gets hit by a truck.

Much, much later, around the millenium, Moxon was brought back into the comics, as having survived the accident, but been in prison for years.

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Roy Raymond’s standards seem to vanish when it comes to choosing guests, and Karen Duncan is mystified in this Ruben Moreira tale.

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Karen is more in focus in this story than usual, as she cannot fathom why Roy keeps allowing obvious frauds to appear on an upcoming broadcast.  She discovers a ratings sheet that does not look good, and figures that Roy has become desperate to draw an audience.

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The actual explanation is incredibly complex.  A cover story about giving air time to people who usually fail, and a plot to foil a foreign spy by using airwaves to mess up a missile launch.

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