Tag Archives: Batwoman

Batman 208 – the secret of Mrs. Chilton

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Batman 208 (Jan/Feb 69) is largely a reprint issue, but does contain ten pages of new material that links it all together, as well as introducing a new character, Mr. Chilton.

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E. Nelson Bridwell, Gil Kane and Jack Abel give Mrs. Chilton the narrative role in this story, which looks at all the various important women in Batman’s life.

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Julie Madison is the first one discussed, and the opportunity is taken to briefly recap the first Clayface story as well.  Catoman and Vicki Vale each get important stories reprinted.

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Linda Page is dealt with very quickly, but there really isn’t much to say about her anyway.  The issue then goes on the reprints of stories, or parts of stories, featuring Batwoman, Aunt Harriet, Patricia Powell, Poison Ivy, Batgirl and even the Queen Bee who appeared in the Batman/Eclipso team-up in Brave and the Bold.

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The last few pages revert to new material, and reveal that Mrs. Chilton took in the young Bruce Wayne after the deaths of his parents, and raised him.

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And the issue ends with a kicker, revealing that Mrs. Chilton was also the mother of Joe Chill, the man who killed Batman’s parents.

Mrs. Chilton never appears again, and her role in Bruce Wayne’s life gets filled by Leslie Thompkins, who get introduced about six years down the road.

 

 

Batman Annual 7 – the family portrait

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Just as the New Look Batman was hitting the stands, Annual 7 was released, a collection of reprints that feature all the members of the Batman family.

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It’s a great issue, and on the back page has the ultimate portrait of the Batman Family of the 1960s, with Batman and Robin, Batwoman and Bat-Girl, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Bat-Mite and Ace, the Bat-Hound.

Batman 163 – Bat-Girl becomes Batwoman II, and the Joker Jury

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An enjoyable Joker cover on Batman 163 (May 1964).

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Finger, Chic Stone and Paris have Alfred write one final tale of the second Batman/Robin team in this issue.

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Betty Kane is the central character in this story, now grown up, but still coming to see her aunt Kathy.  The sparks are flying between her and Dick Grayson once again.

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Batman goes into action against a gang that has a giant flying hand.  Betty adopts the identity of Batwoman II in order to help him, and is there when his mask falls off.  She sees that he is Bruce Wayne, and realizes that Dick must have been the original Robin.

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The second Batman and Robin team then go into action, with Batman and the new Batwoman, and catch the bad guys.

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The story ends with Betty and Dick now a couple, a happy ending to their storyline.

This is the final story of the second Batman/Robin team, and their final appearance, aside from a cameo in Hypertime in The Kingdom.

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Finger, Moldoff and Paris also spin a good Joker story in this issue.

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The Joker uses a giant vacuum in his latest crime spree, and sucks up Robin along with his loot.  Batman follows, but falls into a trap, with the giant Joker plants from the splash page.

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The best part of the story is the trial that the Joker holds, with duplicates in every single position in the court.  It’s almost Kafka-esque.

Batman 162 – the Batman creature

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Another less than impressive cover mars Batman 162 (March 1964), for a story by Moldoff and Paris.

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A criminal scientist has built a machine that turns men into monsters.  He uses the beasts to steal for him.

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Batman tracks the monsters back to their lair, but winds up falling victim to the machine, and becomes a rampaging monster.

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Robin is unable to stop Batman, but Batwoman is able to tame the creature.

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Batman heads back to his master’s lair, so Batman and Batwoman use Bat-Hound to track him.  One they fin the cave, they hold off the beasts, and use the machine to restore everyone to normal.

This is the last story to feature Bat-Hound, aside from a small role in a World’s Finest story in a couple of years.

Batman 159 – Joker vs Clayface, and the youth of Bruce Wayne, Jr.

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Batwoman and Bat-Girl join Batman and Robin as they deal with a fued between the Joker and Clayface in Batman 159 (Nov. 63).  Finger, Moldoff and Paris are the creative team on this story, which features Clayface’s first appearance in this book.

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The tale begins as Clayface pulls off a robbery, even though his powers are not lasting as long as they used to, due to the synthetic version of the Clayface formula he has created.

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Clayface makes the news, which infuriates the Joker, who announces that he is a far better criminal.

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Somehow Clayface gets wind of this.  He makes himself look like the Joker for his next robbery attempt, only revealing that he is Clayface when he flees from the three Bats and Robin.

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The madness continues when the Joker adopts a series of tearaway costumes for his next robbery, trying to outdo Clayface in his ability to change during battle.

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The story’s resolution has Batman impersonate the Joker to capture Clayface, Batwoman and Bat-Girl having already caught the Joker on their own.  Not much gets made of this impressive feat, which is only revealed after the fact.

This is also Clayface’s last appearance before the big “New Look” change, although he does appear in World’s Finest Comics, teaming with Brainiac in a few months.

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Alfred writes the chronologically earliest story of the second Batman/Robin team, in a tale by Moldoff and Paris.

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The story delves into the early life of Bruce Wayne, Jr, beginning as Kathy Kane gives birth to the boy.

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Batwoman even gets some play in this tale, after being marginalized in the last few of Alfred’s stories.  Bruce Jr gives some good suggestions to his parents, but is not allowed to fight crime with them.

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At the climax of the story, Bruce reveals to some bragging teens that his father really is Batman.  Batman overhears this an intervenes, making his son look like a liar, and ensuring that the kids will never stop teasing him now.

Great story, Alfred.

Batman 157 – Mirror Man returns

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Floyd Ventris, the Mirror Man, returns in the pages of Batman 157 (Aug. 63), a full nine years after his debut, in the pages of Detective Comics.  Finger, Moldoff and Paris are the creative team.

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In his first outing, he had seen the face of Bruce Wayne, but was unable to convince anyone that Bruce was really Batman.  Now he has returned to prove it to the world.  Vicki Vale discovers Mirror Man’s plan, which reinforces her belief that Batman is Bruce Wayne.

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Batwoman has a small role in this story.  She is really just there to motivate Vicki into being “useful” to Batman.

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So Vicki hires an actor to play Bruce Wayne and mess up Mirror Man’s plans to expose his identity. Unfortunately, Batman also had made plans, having Alfred get into disguise as Bruce.  So while Batman falls into Mirror Man’s mirror trap, there are two Bruce Waynes on the loose.

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When Mirror Man discovers that Vicki hired an actor, this just backs up Mirror Man’s ideas.  But some more disguising helps confound the villain.  Alfred gets into the bat-costume, so when Mirror Man tries to reveal Bruce as a fraud, he winds up looking like a fool.

Mirror Man does make a comeback but not for over thirty years.

Batman 153 – Prisoners of Three Worlds

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Batman 153 (Feb. 63) is the first issue to contain a full-length story, and what a story it is.  While it does have stupid looking aliens and much of the Batman family, Finger, Moldoff and Paris tell one of the most enjoyable stories from the period, as well as having a really major development.

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Betty Kane comes to visit her aunt Kathy, and they go out on patrol as Batwoman and Bat-Girl.  Batman and Robin are also out, chasing some alien thieves.

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The four combine, just in time to be shot by a beam from the alien’ machine.  Because Batman and Batwoman are standing on a metal manhole cover, they do not get teleported away, as Bat-Girl and Robin do.

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The alien flees, and Batman and Batwoman discover that they lack the strength to pursue him.  Batman realizes the machine has taken their energy, and sent it to some other world.

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This chapter cuts between the energy bodies of the couple, and the real bodies on Earth.  While the Earthbound bodies struggle to stay alive, the energy forms battle strange creatures, and fare pretty well, until they find their energy being drained by a dying beast.

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As the physical bodies of Batman and Batwoman slowly die, Batman proclaims his love for Batwoman.  The first of his many woman that Batman has ever said this to.

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Bat-Girl and Robin get a chapter to themselves, fighting to survive on another weird alien planet.  But they also find time to make-out, and Robin seems far more willing than in previous stories.

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Batman and Batwoman manage to turn the machine back on, and draw not only their energy back, but their kid sidekicks as well.  Batman and Batwoman take down the aliens.

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While Bat-Girl and Robin head off into the woods, presumably to continue their interrupted encounter, Batman makes a lame excuse to get out of his protestation of love to Batwoman.  Kind of shameful of him, but as his cop-out is so obviously a lie, it does reinforce that Batman was sincere in what he said.

This story, and the vow of love, are referenced during the Grant Morrison run on Batman.