Batman 249 – Marla Manning embarrasses Bruce Wayne, and Robin helps not-quite-but-almost Ralph Nader

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A good cover for Batman 249 (June 1973), which does not in any way reflect the Robbins, Novick and Giordano story inside.

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Marla Manning is infuriated when Bruce Wayne sends a hundred dollar cheque to her latest relief efforts, for children.  Although we are always told she is s reporter, she never really seems to act like one.  She does broadcast a report on Wayne’s insulting donation, but otherwise is all about fund raising here.

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She also brings come children into a posh club that Bruce has joined.  As rude as her behaviour is, she is doing exactly what Batman wanted.  Bruce had joined the exclusive club to get closer to its members, one of which he is certain is involved in gun smuggling.  Marla’s negative publicity about the cheque convinces the others that Bruce is one of them.

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So he winds up getting invited to a posh party on a yacht, sailing by one of those abandoned castles on islands that are so common around Gotham.

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Bruce arranges a fireworks display, which reveals not only the smugglers, but also the man on board who is freaking out about it, and therefore the one involved.

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A tidy little story.  Alfred is there for Bruce to explain himself to, and Marla gets a scene at the end, receiving a big donation from Batman.

I believe this is her final appearance.

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Elliot S Maggin, Brown and Frank McLaughlin have a Ralph Nader-like crusader come to Hudson University to check out an experimental new super safe car.

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The car explodes into smoke, and though the driver is gone, the Nader-guy is gone.  The police show up super fast, and don’t care at all about the kidnapping.  They just want the car.  Not being an idiot, Robin knows they are fakes.

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It’s a short but sweet puzzler.  Good little tale, and an ok use of a Ralph Nader type.

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