Friday, May 29, 2009

Detective Comics #389

Detective Comics #389 (On Sale: May 29, 1969) has a nice cover by Neal Adams.

We begin with "Batman's Evil Eye" by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. This is not one of Frank Robbins' better efforts. When a story begins with Professor Crane, AKA the Scarecrow being released from prison and Batman begins striking fear into the hearts of criminals again, it shouldn't take Batman so many pages to figure out who is behind it. This story is so simplistic and half-assedly written that I'm not even going to bother repeating the plot. Suffice to say, Batman scares people and by looking in the mirror he scares himself and in the end the Scarecrow loses.

That is followed by our back-up Batgirl story "Batgirl's Bag of Tricks" by Frank Robbins, Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson. Continuing from last issue, Barbara in a Batgirl costume not her own has followed "Batman" to an airline costume party where her new roommate, whom she is impersonating, is the guest of honor. Seeing "Batman" hook up with others dressed as the Flash, Superman and Green Lantern she has eavesdropped and found out that her new roommate is in a jewel smuggling ring with the other "heroes." She now finds herself taking on the other "heroes," minus Batgirl's weapons-bag.

The gang subdue her, but the fight has brought the police. This gives Barbara the edge and she knocks out both the Flash, Green Lantern and Batman, but Superman gets away. Thinking Barbara is her roommate, Darlene Dawson, she is given the award for Air-Hostess With the Mostest" then beats a hasty retreat. Remembering that Darlene said she was going to visit her Grandfather on this, his birthday, Barbara cycles out to Cosby Corners in search of the Dawsons, not knowing that "Superman" is tailing her, thinking she is Darlene and heading for the jewels she stole from them.

When she finds the Dawsons she learns that Grandpa is actually the brains behind Darlene's crimes. Deciding to take them down Barbara fights Darlene while Gramps pulls out an old Tommy Gun. At the same time "Superman" shows up sees that there are two Darlenes and decides to kill them both. However, it's been a long time since Grandpa's bootlegging days and the Thompson is a little too much gun for him. Bullets fly haphazardly around the room, killing "Superman." Barbara stops Grandpa cold with a two-tiered birthday cake in the chops. This has been reprinted in Batman in the Sixties TPB and Showcase Presents: Batgirl Vol. 1 TPB.

Edited by Julius Schwartz.

No comments: