Batman 86 – the Joker trades up, and Chief Man-of-Bats

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Batman goes native in issue 86 (Sept. 54).

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Finger, Moldoff and Kaye handle the Joker story in this issue, which is not one of his better appearances.

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After attending a baseball game, at which he catches a home run ball, the Joker decides to apply baseball trading strategies to hi next crime spree.

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Effectively, all this means is that he get specialists for each job.  There is no use of the baseball concept aside from that, and the story just kind of slogs along.

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Chief Man-of-Bats and his son, Little Raven, make their debut in this story by France Herron, Moldoff and Kaye.

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While flying over a reservation, Batman and Robin spy a smoke signal Bat-signal, and then see versions of themselves on horseback.  Landing and investigating, they come across two native heroes who pattern themselves on the Gotham duo.  They are pursuing a gang lead by Black Elk, who intends to rob the oil company using the land.  But Black Elk suspects the true identity of Man-of-Bats.

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So Bruce and Dick dye their skin and take over the roles of Man-of-Bats and Little Raven, while the real ones appear as themselves during the final battle with Black Elk.

Man-of-Bats and Little Raven return in the Grant Morrison Batman stories.

 

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