Batman 324 – Batman and Catwoman vs Cat-Man

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Wein, Novick and Smith bring the long-running Catwoman saga to a close in Batman 324 (June 1980).

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Picking up from the end of the previous issue, Cat-Man activates his sticky cat’s cradle to rip Batman and Catwoman apart, and then heads off with the stolen Egyptian herbs.  Catwoman, sick to begin with, passes out, but Batman manages to save both of them.

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In a set-up for a coming storyline, Commissioner Gordon is distressed to find writing at a murder scene, all of which indicates the identity of the killer – a man who Gordon has already arrested, and who is supposedly incarcerated in Arkham Asylum.

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Batman brings Catwoman to the Batcave to recover. He chides her for not telling him about her fatal illness.  He also analyzes some dirt left behind from Cat-Man’s boot, and determines that it comes from one specific Greek island.  He insists that Catwoman is too ill to accompany him, but she tells him that she will follow him no matter what he does, so Batman agrees to bring her along.

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At the island, we see that Cat-Man has been dealing with a Greek millionaire, stealing a variety of objects for him, in exchange for the deed to the island.  There is a natural geyser on the island, which Cat-Man has been using to store his loot.

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Batman and Catwoman confront him, and during the fight Catwoman grabs ahold of his robe, just before the geyser erupts, seemingly killing Cat-Man.

Not much has been made of it so far, but Cat-Man’s cape supposedly endows him with nine lives.  The bit that Catwoman tore off is credited with miraculously curing her fatal illness.

Their story is not quite done, although next issue does not follow up either this, or the Arkham story, both of which have to wait till issue 326.

Cat-Man does survive the geyser eruption, but is horribly scarred by it, which is dealt with in his next appearance, a little over a year down the road in Detective Comics.

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