Batman 311 – Batman and Batgirl vs Dr. Phosphorus

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Steve Englehart steps in for Batman 311 (May 1979), for a story that brings back his creation, Dr. Phosphorus, and also teams up Batman and Batgirl for the first time since the 60s.

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Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin are on the art, as Batman and Commissioner Gordon discuss shutting don the reactor that Phosphorus had designed, back when he was plain old Dr. Sartorius.  Batgirl has a solo scene, battling her somewhat constant foe, Killer Moth, in Washington, DC, the location of Batgirl’s current series in Detective Comics.

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Phosphorus learns of the plans to shut down the reactor, and is furious.  He would rather see it melt down than get closed down, which is not particularly rational.  Boss Thorne makes a cameo, both he and Phosphorus had last appeared in the previous couple of years in Englehart’s run in Detective.

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Barbara Gordon comes to Gotham in her role a Congresswoman, addressing a crowd of anti-nuclear power protestors. She, too, believes nuclear power is too dangerous, and has a speech that sure convinced me as a teen that it was a bad thing.  Dr. Phosphorus gets into the action.  Batgirl joins Batman against him, but their team-up is pretty quick.  Phosphorus flips the Batmobile, and Batman is out of the picture for the big battle.  Although it’s not so big a battle, as Batgirl simply wraps the villain up in her cape.

Dr. Phosphorus next appears in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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