Batman 351 – vampire Batman vs vampire Robin, and Catwoman ends

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The vampire storyline reaches its climax in Batman 351 (Sept. 82), in a story by Conway, Colan and DeZuniga.

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While Batman has become a vampire himself, after being bitten, he is far more in control than Dick Grayson is.  Dick tries to bite Vicki Vale, although she thinks he is simply about to kiss her. Vicki rebuffs Dick, with no idea how close she came to being his victim.  Batman battles and defeats Robin, whose vampire nature has weakened his regular fighting skills.

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While all this is going on, Alfred is shocked to find Bruce Wayne at home in the Manor.  Of course, it’s not really Bruce, it’s Christopher Chance.  But even though Alfred hired the Human Target to impersonate Bruce, he is still taken aback by how exact it is.

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Batman brings Robin back to the cave, and has Alfred give him a blood transfusion, while he hunts down the vampires with the aid of a priest. Together they destroy Dala and her master, which frees both Bruce and Dick from their spell.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that this storyline inspired the later Red Rain Elseworlds, with Batman as a vampire.

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The issue ends as Vicki Vale discover that her photographic evidence of Bruce Wayne being Batman has been stolen.  We see it in the hands of Boss Thorne, who shares the information with Deadshot, as he hires the villain to kill Bruce.

This is Deadshot’s first appearance in five years, following his re-introduction in Detective Comics.

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Catwoman’s back -up erie come a cloe with thi tory by Jone and Adrian Gonale.

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Once again, the solution to the mystery, begun last issue, is really complicated, and requires a lot more detective work than action, a weakness throughout this strip.

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Still, it does come to a good conclusion, with the bad guy getting run down by horses at the track.

There was one more Catwoman tale, which runs in a few months in the pages of Detective Comics.

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