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I've noticed a tendency in my recent posts that, when discussing the DCnU, my tone tended towards the whiny... This is not good, this is not why I read comics, and this is not why I come to s_d. So whilst acknowledging anyone else's perfectly valid right to rage, I've decided that I'm not going to do that (or at least cut back, I need SOME snark in my life after all).

So I'm going to dig through the long boxes and pull out old stories I enjoyed, and share them, because if we're not sharing the love, then it's not nearly as much fun.

First up....



I've said it before, I'll say it again I love Don Newton's art, it's so... alive. Most of my knowledge of him comes from his Batman and Shazam runs, and whilst a Shazam post may be coming soon, I found this old issue and thought it would be fun to post, you'll maybe see why fairly quickly.

Summation of the story to this point. This is before Jason 1.0 became Robin formally, he's still "just" Bruce Wayne's newly adopted son, and is trying to convince Bruce to let him become his sidekick, with not much success. Man-Bat has invaded the Bat-Cave, and is a little deranged to say the least. Rather than Kirk Langstrom being rational and in control, he's raging, blaming Batman for the death of his daughter (Whereas Batman knows Rebecca Lanstrom is alive and well). Whilst he is attacking Batman, Jason intervenes, and realising that if Batman can take his daughter, he can take Batman's son, scoops up Jason, and escapes into the night.

The cover by Ed Hannigan and inked by Dick Giordano has a nicely vertiginous feel to it.



Batman angrily swears to hunt MAn-Bat down, though he has no clue where he might be heading... Jason meanwhile has problems of his own...



I know that that's one page out of the 7 and a bit I'm allowed for a 23 page issue, but it's worth it. (Oh, and the grape coloured suit, well, at a guess he wanted one ljke his big brother sometimes wore, God help us all)



Jason snags the rope, and the bell starts tolling, attracting attention from all around (since it;s not the hour). Thinking it's vandals or hooligans, some locals call the police.



See, not all Gotham cops are corrupt.

Man-Bat does not take kindly to the interruption (and I like that Jason, despite his predicament tries to warn them about how much trouble they're in)



It ends badly, with a petrol station on fire thanks to a wild shot from the cops, and Man-Bat carrying Jason away again.

Meanwhile, Batman is using his head, and goes to see Francine Langstrom (and her daughter Rebecca). He asks Gordon (who knows that Man-Bat has snatched a child, but has no idea who it was) to phone her to prepare her for his arrival. (It leads to this cool moment.



Good lord Batman, if you didn't want to scare her you could have just, y'know KNOCKED AT THE FRONT DOOR.

Francine explains that Kirk has been severely overworkled recently, and may have been forgetting to take the antidote he has to take refularly to prevent uncontrollable Man-Bat transformations. His focus at work in the Gotham Museum of Natural History has been a major exhibit on the breeding and family habits of bats, and has been slightly obsessing over family dynamics. Batman has an idea, but he needs to borrow something of Francine's.

Meanwhile.... in Man-Bat's secret lair, his master plan (if such it can be called) is revealed.



Comics can be educational too, see!



But to do that, he's going to need to leave to get more "bat-gland extract" (Mercifully the extraction process is never expanded upon, but that does mean it's probably as weird a procedure as you can imagine, and s_d can imagine some REALLY weird procedures.)

Batman now enacts the second part of his plan, which requires a favour from an unexpected source.



Later Batman heads to the Museum, which is officially closed, but that's not likely to mean a lot to Batman is it? As a nightwatchman is about to discover...



Batman acknowledges that his initial anger towards Man-Bat was exacerbated by his concern for Jason, and that he has to try and reach the real Kirk Langstrom inside Man-Bat.

Unfortunately, Man-Bat is not so understanding and he spots Batman and attacks him, leaving him for dead. But he's not (of course), but isn't at his best, having been wounded by Man-Bat's claws.

And Jason shows again that he has what it takes to be a Robin, even kidnapped by a deranged were-bat, tied up and gagged, he's not going to be an acquiescent hostage.



Newton always did VERY expressive expressions.

And now Batman discovers that he's not immune to his own assumed image.



Batman also discovers, from notes in Langstroms office, that he had requested use of an old basement facility to prepare his display, and that's where he probably is now. (This is a nicely atmospheric little sequence IMHO)





Enraged Man-bat attacjs Batman, only to discover that it's only his cape on a stick, which gives Batman the split second of surprise he needs to attack.



And it looks like Batman is about to be squished by a heavy crate when...



Batman quickly injects Man-Bat with the anti-dote.



Again, it's the little things like the poses which make Newton great in my eyes.

The next morning all is well again, well pretty much well. Bruce is still injured, but Kirk Langstrom is restored, and Jason still has a chance to be Robin, rather than Boy-Bat.

Vicki Vale calls to ask if her darkroom work did the job, blowing up photographs to full size images which Batman used to make the faux Francine and Rebecca. Bruce thanks her, it was a surprise for a friend, but the timing was absolutely crucial. Vicki is pleased, but since Bruce now owes her a HUGE favour, she wants to start the thank you by having him take her to the movies... Alas...



Jason is so cute here, I'm not even going to make the obvious "I don't think Vicki will be relieved that you want to take a boy out instead of a girl, though it might make for a great exposé for her paper"

Next up... I'm not sure, I'll have to do some more digging, but hope you enjoyed this!

Date: 2012-05-06 05:24 am (UTC)
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
From: [personal profile] moetushie
Oh, so that's where that last panel is from! Thank you for posting this, I enjoyed reading it. Jason is adorable.

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