Posts tagged ‘Batcave’

Action 270 – Superman gets old, again, and Supergirl enters the Batcave


Binder and Swan are joined by John Forte on inks, as they take another journey into Superman’s old age in Action 270 (Nov. 60).


Clark Kent pays a visit to the Midvale Orphanage, encouraging the children to write.  Linda shows him a creative writing piece she has done, envisioning her life as Supergirl.  Clark then goes to sleep, so what follows is obviously a dream.


In the dream, Superman’s powers have faded due to repeated kryptonite exposure.  His identity is now known to the world, while Superwoman operates in his place.  Jimmy Olsen is the editor of the Daily Planet, Perry White having died, and is married to Lucy Lane, making her first appearance in Action.


Linda works at Clark’s old job at the Planet, so her secret identity has even replaced his.  Even Lex Luthor has retired.


Superman finds Krypto, also powerless and being taken away by the dog catcher.


After seeing that Lana Lang has married a millionaire, Superman finally seeks out Lois Lane, who has spent her entire life alone.

One heck of a downer dream, there, Clark.  Maybe it’s trying to tell you something.  Like, don’t base your entire persona on your powers, and take love where you can find it.


Siegel and Mooney put Supergirl through the paces in this guest-star packed story.


Supergirl spends the day rushing from one crisis to another.  Lori Lemaris beckons her to Atlantis, where she defeats a destructive merman, Malo.  Ronal and Jerri cameo in the scene.


Batman and Robin also call on her for help, when they are trapped in the Batcave by a cave-in.


As it turns out, none of the emergencies were real. It was all a weird “gift” for Supergirl’s 16th birthday, which all the guests show up to attend.  A bit nicer is the tribute by the residents of Kandor.


Detective 850 – Batman ends


Heart of Hush comes to an end in Detective 850 (Jan. 09), as does Batman RIP, and the runs of Paul Dini, Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs, and even Batman.


Having left Batman at the hospital, Hush heads to Wayne Manor, pretending to be Bruce Wayne.  It doesn’t work, though Alfred cannot take credit for observation and deduction.  Bruce phoned him and told him Tommy had a new face, and that he was on the way there.  I kind of wish Alfred had figured it out on his own, picked up on some detail that proved it was not Bruce.


But Hush bests the butler, and makes it down into the Batcave.  They have a lot of fun with this scene, showing old Batmobiles, including the one from the tv show, and the Whirly-Bats, not seen since the 60s.


As Hush waits for the heroes to show up and fight him, he has another flashback.  This shows the murder of his mother, and Peyton Riley’s aid in covering it up.  Although Peyton believed that, with his mother dead, they would be free to marry, in reality Tommy flew off to Europe, threatening to kill her if she ever revealed the truth.  Poor Peyton, things were crappy long even before her arranged marriage.


Batman does finally get to the cave, as do Nightwing and Robin.  And Hush gets chased by the giant dinosaur.  It’s always a great story when the dinosaur gets used.


Even better is the way Batman defeats Hush, using the Whirly-Bat.  It catches his bandages, and carries him away.  It crashes and explodes near the underground river, and Batman knows Tommy will have survived somehow.


Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr Terrific perform the surgery on Catwoman, and successfully replace her heart.


Selina gets a scene with Zatanna.  Near-death, or dream, or magic, it’s never clear.  Nor should it be.


Bruce comes to see Selina in recovery, and openly admits his love for her, and how much she means to him.


But Batman and Catwoman are only together for a couple of panels, and then the story jumps ahead, to after Batman’s apparent death.  Catwoman is living on a beach, and sends a tape out to Hush.  We learn that she has used all her influence, and her friends, to loot Tommy Elliot’s finances, ruin his hideouts, and make him poison to be associated with.  Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Slam Bradley are shown helping with this.

The story does have a sequel, a couple months down the road, as Catwoman confronts Hush, but that is detailed in the pages of Batman.

And even though it would be a couple of years before Bruce Wayne returned to these pages, and Batman was once again the star of the book, Detective Comics remained firmly in the Batman family of books.

Detective 1,000,000 – the super Bat-computer


Detective 1,000,000 (Nov. 98) is part of the DC One Million crossover series, which sees heroes from the 853rd century trade places with theirpresent day counterparts, but the evil sentient sun mess with the plans, releasing the Hourman virus.  Nightwing tries to explain it to Robin, who followed that as well as you did.  Chuck Dixon scripts, with Greg Land on pencils and  Drew Geraci on inks.


That’s Batman One Million (as it’s easiest to call him), in the Batcave to the consternation of Alfred.  He modifies the Bat-computer with his future tech, in order to see if there is a way to deprogram the nanite-based Hourman virus.


The virus drives people into paranoid mania, and Firefly takes advantage of this to lead people into burning their own homes.


The future Batman confesses to Alfred that even with his modifications, no computer with the present technology will be able to “cure” the Hourman virus.


He proves more successful at taking down Firefly, and his suit’s ability to fly makes it even easier.

In the end, he realizes that in order to defeat the future super computer sentient sun Solaris, they will have to create it in the present.

The story continues in JLA 1,000,000.


Detective 720 – swimming out of the Batcave


Dixon, Nolan and Janson are the creative team on Detective 720 (April 1998), chapter 5 of Cataclysm.  Gotham has been hit by a massive earthquake, leaving Batman trapped in the cave when Wayne Manor collapses.  As with Contagion, this storyline does an excellent job of giving interesting arcs to many of the supporting players, and telling a large, sprawling story while keeping it grounded in smaller, personal events.


The art is top-notch, and the ruined Gotham looks just terrifying.


Helena Bertinelli had the misfortune to be down in the subway when the earthquake hit.  She dons her Huntress outfit, hoping to make people follow her to safety.


Instead, she comes across a wanted felon in the subway car, who believes that she is only there for him, and the situation deteriorates rapidly.


She does manage to get most of the people out of the subway car, but when the shooter gets partly buried by another collapse, she leaves him to die in the rubble.

Alfred, also trapped in the cave, is more surprised than he ought to be when Harold bulldozes his way in.


Batman has spent this issue swimming through flooded tunnels and caves, trying to find a way out.  It a taught scene, with limited air, but he does make it out.


But his first view of Gotham does not make for a happy ending.

The story continues in the next issue of Robin.


Detective 650 – Harold goes exploring


Detective 650 (Late Sept. 92) has a shamefully deceptive cover.  Batman does not even appear in the issue.  Robin shares it with Harold, making his first appearance in Detective Comics, as Chuck Dixon is joined by Graham Nolan and Steve Mitchell on the art.


Harold is Batman’s mute assistant, a character who originally appeared in The Question, and was introduced, along with his dog Ace (as in, the Bathound), in the pages of Batman.  Harold has been exploring and mapping the cave and its various passages.


Harold’s part of the story is captivating, for all its silence.  The cavernous depths are conveyed extremely well.


Robin, meanwhile, is watching television with Alfred.  A Geraldo Rivera-type reporter is going to open a dead mobster’s vault (remember Al Capone’s vault?). He is joined by Roy Raymond, making a rare cameo.  Roy had last appeared in Swamp Thing a couple of years earlier.


What a page. Go Harold, go!


Robin realizes that the mobster had been very into ancient Egypt, and it’s trap-laden tombs, and figures that the vault is probably rigged.  Alfred drives him to the studio, and he arrives barely in time to save Roy and not-Geraldo.


Harold discovers that the Batcave links, through a tortuous path, to the Gotham subway system, which will be important down the road.

Not the most exciting or dramatic issue, but a very good use of Harold.




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