Batman 144 – the Joker trains Batman, and Bat-Mite meets Bat-Girl

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I aver that Batman 144 (Dec. 61) has the absolutely worst Batman cover ever.  Look at the tiger’s face.  Is that meant to be scary?  And a smiling Batman waving a flag with the titles of the stories inside is gut-churning.

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Finger and Moldoff bring the Joker back, but the story is much better than many of his recent ones.

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He is training his men to better combat Batman, by dressing up as him himself.  Batman goes undercover and infiltrates the Joker’s organization. He does so well in his training that the Joker promotes him to dressing as Batman himself.

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Once he is in costume, the Joker realizes that this really is Batman.  Of course, by then it is far too late.

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As much as I hate that cover, I really do love the Finger, Moldoff and Paris story inside.  Robin and Bat-Girl are unquestionably the stars of this tale.  Batman, and even Batwoman, only get small roles in the tale.

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Bat-Girl is still trying to make-out with Robin, but he pushes her away, insisting that he is involved with another woman.  Betty Kane is devastated, but Bat-Mite shows up, with suggestions on how Bat-Girl can improve her love life.

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Bat-Mite invisibly helps Bat-Girl against a rampaging tiger, and she earns a kiss from a young man.  Robin is clearly jealous.

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Bat-Mite’s plans go awry when Bat-Girl allows herself to get kidnapped, thinking that the hoods are just Bat-Mite’s creations.  Robin and Bat-Mite come to her rescue.

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In the end, Robin explains that the other woman he referred to was the concept of justice.  The adults think this is cute, and give their permission for Robin and Bat-Girl to start dating.

And Batman’s comic has turned into romantic comedy.

 

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