Tag Archives: Selina Kyle

Batman 398 – will Circe help cure Two-Face?

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Moench and Mandrake conclude the Two-Face/Circe story in Batman 398 (Aug. 86).

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While Catwoman and Batman discuss their relationship and partnership, and the effect it is having on Robin, Jason Todd falls in love – or at least into a serious crush – and begins to finally understand why Bruce and Selina are acting the way they are.

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Catwoman had been upset that Batman had not informed her that he had contacted and recruited Circe to help him with Two-Face, and he is actually apologetic about keeping her out of the loop.  Circe leads Two-Face into the robbery of a golden mask of a pharoah, and appears to knock out a guard, but we see that the guard is really Batman, and the whole thing is a set-up.

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It’s a big psychological game, intended to make Two-Face willing to go back to being Harvey Dent.  Though Circe plays a romantic game with Dent, it’s odd that at no point in the story does he talk about his wife, Gilda.

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Also, in a fairly shocking development, though Two-Face says he will allow the flip of the coin to determine his choice, we see him flip the coin repeatedly, to get the answer he wants.  This is not something that has been shown before, and basically goes against everything the character stands for.

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Two-Face then plays some make-up games, to make both sides of his face match, both as good, and underneath as bad.  He has figured out that Circe was manipulating him wit the golden mask, and none too happy about it.  Fortunately, Batman was ready for this.

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And though both Robin and Catwoman help out on the case, by the end of the tale, Catwoman has decided that their partnership really is not working for her.

Two-Face is back almost immediately, in Batman 400.

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Batman 382 – Catwoman grabs the grenade

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Batman 382 (April 1985) continues the Catwoman story begun in the previous issue of Detective, with a tale by Steve Mitchell, Hoberg and Rudy Nebres.

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Both Batman and Catwoman catch up to Diablo, her pet panther, who has been menacing Vicki Vale and Julia Pennyworth, at roughly the same time.  The women inform Batman and Robin that Catwoman is only concerned with helping her animal, and is no danger to them.

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The real villain in the story is a terrorist named Darkwolf, who was also the one torturing Diablo.  He hijacks an airplane during the story, and Catwoman gets on board disguised as a stewardess.  The story mentions that Selina Kyle had done this in the past, but it’s also an allusion to her origin from the 1940s.

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And, in a sequence roughly mirroring that story, Selina winds up going out the door of the plane, grabbing a grenade from Darkwolf.  Batman tosses out a parachute, but the grenade explodes, and there is no sign of Selina Kyle.  Julia Pennyworth, still with the hots for Batman, notes how much he mourns her apparent death.

 

Batman 355 – Catwoman’s jealous rage

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Perhaps the weirdest Batman/Catwoman romance story, Batman 355 (Jan. 83) is by Conway, Newton and Alcala.

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Following on her phone call to Vicki Vale in the previous issue, Catwoman, now with a big panther as a pet, has fallen into a psychotically jealous rage about Bruce Wayne dating the photographer.

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So she does the only natural thing, tries to kill Bruce and Vicki, sending their car into a river, and even dives down to try to ensure that they are dead.  Bruce fights her off and saves Vicki’s life.

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Dick offers to help out on this, as Batman is still recovering from being shot last issue, but Bruce will not listen to the boy or to Alfred, insisting that Selina is his responsibility. He does find her lair, and the panther, who is in a really nasty mood, as he has been left without food for days.

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The most uplifting moment in the book sees Barbara Gordon and Jason Bard accompany Jim Gordon to the mayor’s office, where Hamilton Hill fulfills his promise to Batman, making Gordon the police commissioner again.

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Catwoman has been sitting for days, waiting to attack Batman (the reason she neglected her panther).  When he finally shows up, she does all she can to kill him, but then backs down.  After two murder attempts, and starving her pet, Batman interprets this as an indication of how much she really loves him (?!)  And so he decides that he has a responsibility for her now.

Like, WHAT?  Their relationship has its kinky moments, but this story makes them both totally insane.

Batman 350 – vampires attack, and Catwoman wakes with blood on her hands

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The vampire storyline come to the fore in Batman 350 (Aug. 82), by Conway, Levitz, Colan and DeZuniga.

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The choice of artists is a good one for this plot, which is very loosely based on the Monk storyline from Batman’s earliest tales in Detective Comics.  Robin becomes a victim of Dala, and is then released, now a slave of the vampires.

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Vicki Vale has a small role, toying with Bruce, and still fully prepared to expose him as Batman.  Really hard to like this woman.

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Robin’s strange behaviour attracts Batman’s notice, but that’s all part of the vampire’s plan, bringing Batman to them.  The story ends as he gets attacked by them as well, and continues in the next issue of Detective.

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The last Catwoman storyline begins in this issue, by Jones and DeZuniga, as Selina Kyle wakes up and finds blood on herself, and a dead body in her living room. Even for Catwoman, this is odd and excessive.

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So once again Catwoman is forced to play detective. And while it’s a decent little mystery story, with a tense cliffhanger, at no point in these tales is Catwoman anything other than a straight out heroine.  Indeed, only the very first storyline even referenced her life a thief.

Batman 348 – bait for Man-Bat, and Catwoman takes a bodyguard job

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Batman and family move back home to Wayne Manor, but deal with an unwanted squatter in Batman 348 (June 1982), by Conway, Colan and Janson.

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I knew I would love this story when Bruce and Dick have problems moving the giant penny back into the Batcave.  Alfred is wise enough to stay out of this completely.

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No sooner have they moved back into the Manor than Francine Langstrom and her daughter Rebecca show up, to bitch at Bruce about not doing anything to find and cure her husband, Kirk – better known as Man-Bat.  Why this should be Bruce Wayne’s responsibility is not entirely clear.  Francine then promptly passes out, and remains unconscious until the end of the story.

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A couple of subplots get built on.  Barbara Gordon is upset to see her father so forlorn, and decides to contact Jason Bard.

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Vicki Vale informs her editor that she has photographic evidence of who Batman is, but refuses to show him or reveal his name, having given Alfred the opportunity to prove her wrong, in the last issue of Detective.  The editor then immediately calls Boss Thorne, and we discover that he is another of Thorne’s men.

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Batman takes baby Rebecca down into the Batcave, and basically uses her a bait to draw Man-Bat out.  Kind of heartless, really.  It sort of works, although Man-Bat grabs the child, and Batman has to fight to get her back.

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Still, in the end it is because of Rebecca that Man-Bat is able to be taken by surprise by Batman, who injects him with the cure.  All is now well with the Langstroms.  For a year, anyway, before he returns in the pages of Detective.

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Jones, Von Eeden and Marcos start another Catwoman tale in this issue, as she encounters a man running to lead a union.

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They know Selina Kyle by sight, which is kind of surprising, and also of her Catwoman background.  They hire her to be a bodyguard for the man, who has received death threats.

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Catwoman does stop a man she suspects before he can enter the hall, but by then someone else has already killed the candidate.

The story continues in the next issue.

Batman 346 – lots of disappointed people, and what Catwoman’s dad did in the war

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Two-Face is back, a couple of months after his last appearance, in World’s Finest Comics, in Batman 346 (April 1982), in a story by Conway, Newton and Chiaramonte.

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Two-Face escapes from prison to the mystification of two guards, who cannot figure out how he vanished right in front of them, but Batman figures out he had hypnotized them with a special coin.

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Barbara Gordon spends some time consoling her father after Gordon is forced to resign a Commissioner by Hamilton Hill.

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Batman has decided that being Bruce Wayne is getting in the way of his activities, and has placed Lucius Fox in control of the Wayne Foundation.  Lucius is dismayed to see Bruce now acting like a worthless playboy.

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Dick Grayson is having a bad day as well, as Dala has dumped him, and is now avoiding him.  This makes Dick curious about who Dala is spending her time with, which is exactly what she intended.

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And Vicki Vale is none too happy either, when Bruce gets rid of her in the middle of a date, after something she says sparks his Batman brain.  But then, Vicki just takes the whole thing as further proof that Bruce is really Batman.

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Batman figures out where Two-Face is hiding out, but falls for a double when he arrives.

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As the story ends, Boss Thorne meets with Hamilton Hill, and introduces him to the new Police Commissioner, a man completely in Boss Thorne’s pocket.

The story continues in the next issue of Detective.

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Jones, Von Eeden and Marcos conclude the Catwoman story from last issue, as she finds herself a captive of Nazis.

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The disappearing trains were done in a pretty cool way, but the entire thing was done to lure her into a trap.  The government agent who approached her is the son of a Nazi killed by Catwoman’s father during the war, and he has been setting all this up to get revenge.

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His death trap is somehat old-fashioned, having her run over by a train.  Catwoman escapes, and it’s the Nazi who winds up getting crushed instead.

Batman 345 – a new Dr. Death debuts, and Catwoman begins

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An evocative cover for Batman 345 (March 1982) a Conway, Colan and Janson introduce a new version of one of Batman’s earliest foes, Dr. Death.

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Dr. Hellstrom doesn’t actually get to do an awful lot in this tale, aside from being introduced.  He is a popular physician with wealthy Gotham society, although Bruce Wayne is taken aback by his deathly cold eyes when they meet at a party.  He is escorting Vicki Vale, and also meets Dick Grayson’s new girlfriend, Dala.

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There is a scene with the new mayor, Hamilton Hill, demanding Commissioner Gordon’s resignation, as he had promised to do during his campaign.  Batman and Robin wind up in Dr. Death’s trap as the story comes to an end, being continued in the next issue of Detective Comics, as the two books begin to share continuity.

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Catwoman begins a real back-up series, as opposed to just chapters in a larger storyline, as had been the case the previous year.

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Bruce Jones, Trevor Von Eeden and Pablo Marcos are the creative team as Selina Kyle gets recruited by a government agent investigating some truly impossible thefts.

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Entire train are vanishing, and the disappearances are being caught on camera.  Not only do the government agents have no idea how this is being done, they also are not certain why.  Being one of the best thieves ever, they want Catwoman to work with them on the case.

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So Catwoman gets into costume, and boards the next train. She notices that the tunnel seems to go on for far longer than it should, and then things begin to start going very creepy, with graves and ghosts, and a spectral noose that ensnares her.

The story concludes in the next issue.