Posts tagged ‘Tom Kalmaku’

Detective 350 – The Monarch of Menace debuts, and Elongated Man helps Green Lantern

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Another Joe Kubert cover for Detective 350 (April 1966).  He makes the Monarch of Menace look like a far more interesting and dangerous foe than the story by Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella has him be.

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Batman tells Robin about a foe from his past, from his days before taking on a sidekick.  The Monarch of Menace was a mob boss Batman was never able to capture.  His costume included a cape that gave off a choking gas, an electrified sceptre, and a crown with hypnotic gems.

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The story jumps to the present, and to the emotionally abused son of the Monarch, forced by his father to dress as a jester.  He steals a spare Monarch outfit from his father, to go on a crime spree himself and show what he can do.

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It’s Robin who spots him, and captures the boy, who doesn’t know how to work the costume devices well enough.  I do like the way the story parallels the generations.

With some time to study the costume, Batman preps defenses against the weapons, and plays on the Monarch’s ego, broadcasting the capture of the son as if it were the real Monarch.  When the father comes out to face Batman, he is quickly defeated once his weapons are neutralized.

The Monarch of Menace returns in a Batman story in the early 80s.

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The Elongated Man comes to the aid of Green Lantern in this Gardner Fox story, with art by Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene.

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Realizing the Hal has lost his memory of being Green Lantern, Tom Kalmaku turns to the only publicly known hero, Ralph Dibny, for his help.

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Ralph stops a robbery at Ferris Aircraft, but that’s incidental to the story.  Ralph helps Hal regain his memory, and the loss is explained as the result of exposure to a nebula.

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I don’t buy that for a second.  See, this is Ralph’s birthday, and though Sue presents him with a new costume as a present, I believe this whole tale was a birthday mystery that she arranged.  All it required was for Hal to pretend to lose his memory, and Hal is best buddies with Barry Allen.  Sue could easily have contacted Iris, and got her to get Barry to enlist Hal in the deception.

No one will ever convince me otherwise when it comes to this story.  Not even if Gardner Fox crawled out his grave to deny it.

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