icon_uk: (Default)
icon_uk ([personal profile] icon_uk) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2012-05-26 10:48 pm

"Paging Doctor Death, Doctor Death to the grey courtesy Batphone..."

Now, I did consider posting a couple of pages of Batman inc. to empahsis just how much I didn't enjoy it (Especially the Bruce/Damian interactions), but as I've said before, I don't want to be that sort of a person on s_d (though I'll particiapte in such debates) so it's time for another "Accentuate the positive" posting...

And this is something I promised [personal profile] thehefner I would dig out ages and ages ago.

So, from 1982, comes....

We open with a small time crook being brought before a mysterious figure. The crook demands to know what the big idea is...

The next night Batman arrives on a crime scene as a corpse is dragged from the Gotham River. They already know it's Keswick, a small time stool pigeon who had promised information on a BIG crime...

Gordon's mood is down to a long running plotline about a mayoral election, which has put a new Mayor in who is VERY down on Gordon's running of the GCPD (and who would introduce Harvey Bullock into Gordon's life to annoy him), but as the other candidate had been a pawn of Rupert Thorne, he is perhaps the lesser of two evils.

I know bring you topless Bruce Wayne for no reason other than I can, and it's Gene Colan.

Bruce returns to the society party he'd just escaped from, it's full of the self absorbed rich and famous that he can't stand, but such is a dual identity...

Dickis arriving in his grape tuxedo than even he can hardly make work, but his girlfriend is Dala, about whom more in this series of posts (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Another guest is holding forth at the party, the brilliant, wheelchair-bound medico, Doctor Karl Hellfern who has some quite strong views about the modern world and how Mankind is suffering from our industrial exploitation of the environment.

Meanwhile out in the rooftop garden, Dick and Dala are being romantic, when a silvery dust falls from the sky. Dala speculates it might be ash from a factory, but Dick is bothered by the fact that factory ash shouldn't be GLOWING!

And so...

Dick explains his suspicions, after dropping Dala at University, he's come back to borrow the Batcaves analytical equipment. He suspects illegal pollution, but

And not just him of course, but also a goodly portion of Gotham City.

Wanting answers, the Dynamic Duo go out to investigate, and they are not in playful mood.

"... don't pull a GUN on me!"

Such an approach tends to get results and so in this case it leads them to "Relief Island" the now disused immigration centre in Gotham Harbor... (Okay, I know that it's the proper spelling in the US, but it just looks weird to me)

Yup, we have a poor sick little Robin here folks, but he's not going to let Batman down.

They are both dazzled by incredibly bright light, which Batman identifies as being very, very high in UV light, which will not just dazzle, but blind, in short order if they don't keep their eyes shut. They are then set upon....

I love Colan's action scenes! :)

only to be clonked unconscious by a brick0welding bad guy...

He wakes up some time later, to find...

You get the feeling it's having to work hard to avoid going "Mwah-hah-hah!" as he twirls his moustache, no?

And so we head into part two, with our heroes in dire peril....

Worth mentioning that Doctor Death was used for this story as he is held to be the first true supervillain Batman ever faced, way back in Detective Comics 29. "True" supervillain, because he used an alias, had a suitable master plan, and he actually returned.

The second part has art by Gene Colan and Klaus Janson, a combination which works very well IMHO.

The composition on this splash page is awesome, worth the whole page out of the available count. (It's only 16 pages long)

It takes 48 hours for the dust to kill, and as it was spread 24 hours ago, there's not much time left.

"Doctor Death" phones City Hall and explains his demands to the mayor, who flatly refuses to give in to blackmail...

Say what you like, Hellfern has a nice simple plan here, blackmail on a citywide scale.

And so we return to our heroes. Batman knows no-one will come to rescue them, but since Robin is unconscious, he's going to have to work around that. Actually, I'm not sure this is a particularly GOOD escape, but its beautifully drawn.

Batman picks the handcuff lock, which means Robin will plummet to the river below...

Still, he has to let Robin drop to the river (not sure why it's any better from that height than from the bar, but never mind), wait for him to clear and then dive down himself (With his own arm nearly numb from being handcuffed for so long). Luckily it works and he is able to swim to shore with Robin in tow.

I like that Batman is applying his brain here. he's not out just crimefighting, the police can sope with that, he's using his remarkable brain to try and develop an antidote for EVERYONE (and not just the poor bedridden acrobat)

A Police raid on Relief Island found nothing, but Batman realises that this is probably a blind and the real work would have been done at Hellferns own residence (A gothic number that makes 1313 Mockingbird Lane look like a summerhouse in Maui.)

Hellfern makes one final call to the Mayor, who remains adamant in refusing to pay the ransom

I LOVE that Batman entrance, it's what he has the cape FOR!

Batman knows that whatever natural immunity he has won't protect him against this much poison and pursues the rapidly fleeing Hellfern (Who has a motorised wheelchair that would put racing drivers to shame)

Batman pursues Hellfern to his helicopter, which he manages to take down with a well placed batarang. As it's the helicopter which Hellfern used to spread the dust, the tank containing it also goes BOOM, which puts Hellfern in a poetically just situation.

(BTW Togo is the Doctor's main henchman, another nod to the original story)

Cue laughter, freeze frame and roll credits!

A fun, uncomplicated little story I think.
lalalei2001: (Default)

[personal profile] lalalei2001 2012-05-27 12:06 am (UTC)(link)
This is based off one of the first Batman Golden Age stories where he fought Dr. Death over the course of two issues; one of the first recurring villains in comics. There was also the Monk, a vampire who menaced Batman's fiancee Julie, but he didn't last long either.
lalalei2001: (Default)

[personal profile] lalalei2001 2012-05-27 12:17 am (UTC)(link)
Ah, Dala returned too!