Posts tagged ‘Wayne Manor’

Detective 538 – is the Cat-Man costume magic?, and Green Arrow, three years ago

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Doug Moench and Gene Colan take the second half of this Cat-Man 2-parter in an interesting direction in Detective 538 (May 1984).

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Thomas Blake, the Cat-Man was defeated by Batman in the first half of this story, but the news was spread that he had won, because of his costume.  This is all done in order to get a fellow con to lead Batman to where he stored his loot.

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Thomas Blake has a small role, in protective custody with Harvey Bullock, but the man in cat suit for this story is Collins.

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With Batman tailing, Collins breaks into Blake’s apartment, steals the suit, and heads out for his loot.  he takes crazy risks, because he believes in the suit’s magic, and Batman has to save his life, repeatedly, without being spotted, to keep the con going.

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Collins leads Batman to his loot, in a cave, but a collapse opens a tunnel and Collins winds up in the Batcave.  He and Batman fight on the dinosaur and giant penny, as Alfred tries to explain the sounds to Julia, who has recently moved into Wayne Manor.

Collins is captured, and Batman explains the con, but Collins still believes it was the suit that saved his life, and lead him to the Batcave.

Thomas Blake returns as Cat-Man in a couple of years.  Collins is not seen again, doubtlessly shanked in prison by Blake.

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Shawn McManus is now on the pencils for Green Arrow, with Pablo Marcos doing inks, and just in time as Joey Cavalieri tells a poignant story, reflecting back on a dead friend of Oliver Queen.

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The story is split on each page, with the present, as Green Arrow hunts and captures gun runners, on the top.  On the bottom is the story of Oliver and his pop star musician friend.

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When I first read this, when it came out, I couldn’t see any connection at all between the two stories, and it sort of irritated me, until I hit the page above, and realized that the pop star was meant to be John Lennon, and the upper story about the ease with which illegal guns are available in the US.

 

 

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Detective 438 – the monster of Wayne Manor, and Manhunter goes to a bank

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Detective Comics goes to 100 page size with issue 438 (Dec./Jan. 73).  It’s mostly reprints, and between this and the similarly sized Batman comic, they reprint the Outsider and Zatanna sagas over the next few months.

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The lead story, by Archie Goodwin, with art by Jim Aparo and a cover by Mike Kaluta, deals with reports of a monster seen lurking around the, currently abandoned, Wayne Manor.  Bruce and Alfred are, for obvious reasons, extremely reluctant to let anyone go poking around there, especially a ghost hunter who has just arrived in Gotham.

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When Alfred gets attacked, Bruce has no option but to allow an investigation.  We see the monster at this point, and it’s clearly a human, with something very wrong with him. The monster is, in fact, Ubu, the henchman of Ra’s Al Ghul, wounded after his last encounter with Batman, and seeking vengeance.  And Batman’s suspicions about the ghost hunter also prove to be correct, that he is entwined with the League of Assassins as well.  Ubu kills the ghost hunter, but is captured by Batman.

Ubu’s near death state in this story, followed by his hale and hearty appearance when next seen, is the first indication that Ubu is likely a title, rather than name, and that there have been a few of them.

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Goodwin and Simonson’s Manhunter continues in this issue, as we meet Damon, Christine St. Clair’s boss.

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This chapter details more of the observations Christine has made of Paul Kirk.  He went to a bank in Swizerland to withdraw money from an account dormant since the 1940s, looking much like he did back then.  He seems to be being followed by ninja assassins, although he consistently defeats them.

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To make things even more puzzling, his attackers wear similar costumes, although blue instead of red, and all look like Paul Kirk as well.  And while Christine is on the up and up, we see that there is more to Damon, who burns her report at story’s end.

Detective 393 – Batman moves out of Wayne Manor, and Batgirl fights alongside Jason Bard

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As Robin prepares to head off to college, he and Batman have their last case together, in Detective 393 (Nov. 69), by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella.

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They also move out of Wayne Manor in this issue, poor Alfred reduced to tears.  Their new residence is not shown until next month’s Batman.

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The remainder of the story deals with a street kid Bruce and Dick take under their wing, who falls under the spell of a wealthy party girl.

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She uses the boy to get back at her negligent parents, but is being used in turn by other criminals, and Batman has to fix everything.

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The concluding half of the story introducing Jason Bard, by Robbins, Kane and Anderson sees Jason and Batgirl work together to solve the murder mystery, while Jason never clues on that she is really Barbara Gordon.

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That doesn’t make him much of a detective, but between that and his bad knee, it gives Batgirl the chance to shine in her own series.

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His knee is also good for some dramatic visuals when it goes out.  This chapter is largely action, as the last was set-up, but together they make one of the better stories of Batgirl’s run in Detective.

Detective 185 – Batman’s utility belt

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The cover of Detective 185 (July 1952) asks, what is the secret of Batman’s utility belt?  The story by David V Reed and Dick Sprang answers that – his secret identity is inside.

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While he doesn’t go so far as to sew labels into it, Batman does create a disc with his name and address.  Incidentally, this is one of the extremely rare times Wayne Manor is given a specific address, 224 Park Drive.

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Batman puts the disc in the belt and, wouldn’t you know it, loses the belt on the very next adventure.

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A young boy finds it, but not the hidden disc.  He replaces the useful stuff with twigs and rocks, and then loses it as well.  It passes to a beggar and a rich man, before Batman finally gets on its track.  But so do some hoods who have learned it’s secret as well!

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Batman tricks them with a second belt, and his identity is saved.

Not bad for a story about a belt.

Detective 72 – Batman fights the judge, and the Boy Commandos play with flowers

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Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson contribute the art on the Batman story in Detective 72 (Feb. 43).  The cover accurately bills the story, “License for Larceny.”

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A financial investor, J. Spencer Lawson, is also a gangland boss, Larry the Judge, who issues licenses to his men, determining what crimes they are allowed to commit, and imposing penalties on those who disobey.  This could be, if it was written now, a really harsh and disturbing tale, but it’s 1943 so it’s not.

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As a financial investor, he learns all about his clients, so he knows who to rob, and of what.  Bruce Wayne falls into his grasp, but Batman takes him down.

This tale also includes a rare, external shot of Wayne’s house.  The term “manor” ceased being used during the war, and the house looks much smaller and less ostentatious than expected.

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This Boy Commandos story, by Simon and Kirby, has the kids in rural England, stumbling upon a nest of spies.

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The insidious foes meet in the basement of a flower shop, and they are smuggling explosives in the flower pots.  The Boys stumble across this, and mess up their plans.

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This is the first story in which Brooklyn is really given a chance to shine.  He had always been the stand-out character, with his dialect and personality, but was usually given equal time with the rest of the team.  Now he starts to move to the front.

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