Batman Family Reunion #10 – The Return of Batwoman! And the SECOND Boy Wonder???

This month, Shawn and Paul welcome a real-life relative to the Reunion!  Todd Serenbetz stops by the Wayne Family Gardens to pitch some horseshoes and talk about Batman Family #10.  Yes, Kathy Kane is back, but we also get Uncle George Grayson and Fred Lloyd!  Who? You’ll have to listen to find out, but don’t miss out on Cousin Todd’s pizza!

This month's Bat Family History links for John Calnan:

And a special link to Back Issue #57 that showcases Jenette Kahn!

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14 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #10 – The Return of Batwoman! And the SECOND Boy Wonder???

  1. Great show guys! Todd was a great guest, and did a bang-up job on his first podcast.

    Thanks for the spotlight on John Calnan. He was the artist on Batman when I first started buyiing the book (or when my Mom started buying it for me. I was three!). One distinctive thing about his Batman; he gave him forehead wrinkles in his cowl! I don’t think I’ve seen that much since, except maybe from Alex Ross!

    Have you guys ever noticed Batwoman’s costume was redesigned for this issue? Kathy never had a red bat on her chest before. That look will continue in many subsequent appearances (including my beloved Brave and the Bold #182). Also, artists seem unsure on how to interpret the heavy shadows used on Kathy’s yellow costume in the early Silver Age. Here she seems to have black pin stripes up and down her arms in several panels? And what’s witih the fuzzy glove cuffs? Also not part of her original look.

    A few art notes: the awesome cover of Superman Family #182 is actually pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by Neal Adams. You know me, always defending Curt Swan!
    Also, I think the story “The Second Robin” was drawn by Sheldon Moldoff, not Infantino. Carmine didn’t come onto the series until the New Look/yellow oval era began.

    Gah! The Super Friends Car! That thing haunts my dreams. And the sad part is it’s actually really cheap looking! But it’s SOOO rare! The art of Superman and Batman on the bottom of that ad page, advertising Power Records is from that same Super DC 1976 calendar…which appears to be…missing…HEY!!!

    Not sure I want to be known as the “Creepy Uncle”…but I will take “Uncle Creepy”! Thanks for running the House of Franklin-Stein promo!

    Oh, and Shawn mentioned both Back Issue and Christmas comics. Somehow when we discovered the Robin Christmas story, I failed to mention I wrote an article on Batman-related Christmas stories in the Bronze Age for Back Issue #85. That’s where I first learned of the Dr. Tzin-Tzin story myself. It’s NUTS.

  2. I don’t recall Killer Moth’s mask ever having a mouth, In any case, I like it, it’s creepy and weird.

    Growing up, I was meh on John Calnan’s art–it was ok, not bad, but not spectacular. Now that I’m older I feel exactly the same.

    Re: the Super Friends toy car–I’ve never even seen it for sale anywhere, though from what I’ve heard it goes for thousands. The paint jobs on the characters are…something:

    Great episode, as usual!

  3. Thanks for another great show, cuzzes, and how brilliant to have an actual real proper genuine relative WHO IS AN ANIMAL TRAINER! As a fan of Rob Kelly’s Super Friends For All Mankind podcast, I have to ask… is Todd secretly the Menagerie Man?

    This was a pretty decent issue, starting with that great cover. I agree, though, since Batwoman is taking up space in an inset panel, why not have her swinging in off the logo or something?

    I WAS a John Calnan, fan, actively happy to see his byline… I’m always down for straightforward, clean artwork. I bought The Strange Deaths of Batman trade paperback last year, it’s great to have the story in one volume (and there are some terrific thematically linked reprint extras, too). So I was delighted to hear the background material about John’s life, it’s great to hear that a creator who wasn’t a big name nevertheless has a busy, creatively fulfilling career.

    I remember when this comic came out that I was terribly shocked by Babs yelling ‘BUGGERS!’ Was ‘bugger’ not rude in the US? As for the story, I was thrilled to bits to have Kathy Kane return after so long, even if she had gone Auntie Frump with the hair. Bruce was a fool not to romance Kathy, she was the perfect partner – a crime fighter, thoroughly minted and she looks just like Catwoman! Also, Bob Brown was another favourite artist, and Vince Colletta didn’t do a bad job at all.

    In the superb story with Dick’s ratty relatives, that note about Alfred’s weight loss and lip growth appears in a panel in which Alfred is the size of an ant… who could tell this was chubby Alfie? Even in the earlier panels, he didn’t look that portly. And why didn’t they tell readers it all happened in Detective Comics #83… possibly the first time a comic book character was changed to match a screen portrayal.

    And Bruce comforts Dick, telling him to ‘be a good soldier’… that’s probably the origin of modern Batman’s attitude to his sidekicks. I love how, in the panel in which Sad Bruce waves off Sad Dick, his ‘Goodbye kid, goodbye…’ is in tiny lettering, reflecting Bruce’s tiny voice of sorrow – so many people say the Golden Age creators were unsophisticated, but they knew their art.

    So Fatso puts Batman in a decompression chamber – Batman and Robin had a whole story centred on the bends in 1954, in The Voyage of the First Batmarine!”, from Batman #86 (reprinted in Batman from the 30s to the 70s), 10 years after this tale. And in 1958, in ‘Tec #262, the bends came up again in the Dynamic Duo’s encounter with the diabolical Jackal-Head. The bends was obviously having a moment. You never hear about the bends today, do you, when once it was everywhere – it’s like quicksand, and white dogdirt.

    The Second Boy Wonder has Dick holding a Robin mask with string attached… I’d always thought it was attached via spirit gum. Well, there you go. On page two, in the final frame, look again at the depiction of Alfred’s head in cameo brooch-style… horrifying.

    Wonder Woman had a lot of bad Bronze Age stories? How very dare you! The entire Bronze Age was wonderful

    I’m a yeoman purser? Now what the heck does that mean? (Looks it up…) Oh, I’m Gopher from the Love Boat! I am honoured. Just don’t call me a Republican.

    1. Nope Bugger, Sod, and Bloody. Are totally different comments in the US. Just don’t use the British slang for an eraser here. And a few others that got changed across the pound. Bugger is fine in the US.

    2. Martin, don’t call it a comeback, but if you take a SCUBA class, you’ll hear enough about the bends to last you for years. Also embolisms in the lungs and nitrogen narcosis. Diving is a wonderful hobby, but the classroom portion tends to emphasize all the ways you can die or suffer serious injury if you don’t follow instructions — to an understandable, but almost comical degree.

  4. Impressive podcast most impressive. I like Babs outfit. Apparently for the first time Barbara turned on the lights which she got dressed. It 70s quiche, but it works for this time. She’s probably a size for something so she could get away with the horizontal stripes. Probably to accentuate her upper body. She was probably hoping Richard Grayson was going to see her in that outfit. She may have had some issues with killer moth goo gun. But I think she wanted to see Richard Grayson’s goo gun. Lori on the other hand looks like she got dressed in the dark. Yellow and purple? Why? Just why? Was she trying to wear the outfit the Sandman war in the 70s? The superhero with the gas mask not Morpheus. In this skirt is almost plaid in its design. Was she trying to look like Jamie from Dr. who? Is she planning to lead an army of Scotsman’s to defend the hills? Is he going to be carrying bagpipes to watch Robert the Bruce fight with his favorite axe? The Grayson on your hand looks good in the blue turtleneck and Brown pants. Turtlenecks are always a great design choice. And he does fill it out very well. 18? He’s got a be an at least an adult to go to college.

    At no point in any of the stories was Dick Grayson given a Doogie Houser background so 25 is not that big of a thing. Unless there’s some story element you want to point out to me to say that that’s not the correct age. Mike somewhere it says Dick Grayson age whatever. Since my understanding is they broke up the dynamic duo and he became an adult while out doing these stories. Barbara’s all dressed up she got her hair did. Yeah okay she’s thinking this just to hide what she’s really wanting to think. Music that sounds similar to the repeated words Brown chicken brown cow repeatedly in her mind when thinking about Mr. Grayson’s. That woman looks pretty cool to in this. Kind of like Rizzo from Greece. It works with time. At this point does it matter? I used to always think that batgirl should’ve changed her name to that woman. But she had the thing so long to get matters anymore. And no, she should not date Bruce. She and Dick Grayson are end game.
    If you want to see how horrible bat man and batgirl dating would be. Go watch the killing joke movie. If I ever watch it again I will need to set up that Alex had from clockwork Orange. Including someone to sit there and drop Visine in my eyes every so once in a while. With the metal things holding my eyelids open. As I have to watch that opening scene well opening movie bit from the killing joke. That they tacked on to pad their runtime. No, at no point should Barbara ever date Bat man. As for the first batgirl Betty, I like her better as flame bird anyway. She had almost become a character on onto her own in the changeling miniseries. I’m not calling him beast boy.Geoff Johns did good work on that run. Even introducing Madame rogues daughter Gemini into it. As the main villain of that story.

    At any rate, I don’t think she needs to go back to that identity. Then again, I would’ve never taken Barbara out of the identity of Oracle. But, it is what it is. Killer moth and the Cavalier or fine for the villains. This sounds like the way Cavalier has been written. But, I only know him from this and the batgirl and Catwoman came up comic. Drawn by Kevin Maguire. And in that he is a minor character. Much like the first blockbuster and other characters. This is an enjoyable story. Though I did get confused when you started to cover the story. Because, as I’m sure Mr. Price will mention later the right on network had covered this in their batgirl podcast. Still it’s cool to hear it here. I read some of the earlier Bat woman stories in a few of the 50s trades. And that other story all were eluding two. Where she ran into the league of assassins. So I’m sure you are not going to be the biggest fans of bronze Tiger because of that story.

    He was mind controlled at the time. So he does have that out. This version of that woman I mostly from a few of the reprint comics I found here and there. As well as the brave and the bold episode she appears on. Where she and Batman do the turnabout intruder. The episode where she had Batman switch mines. For obvious reasons I like episodes like different TV shows. Even the aforementioned Star Trek episode turnabout intruder. It is interesting to hear the different episodes on podcast telling us about her past. The other problem with Barbara checking over the role is we lose the newest version of Bat Woman. Whom while she has a similar name in her secret identity is not the same person. But, definitely a very important character. And it has to do the whole passing of the torch story. As was done with Cassandra Cain. When Barbara passed on the secret identity to her. So that would have to be done with Kathy. When she became the new bat woman. Moving onto the next story.

    It’s sad to see that Dick Grayson’s real relatives treated him that way. That’s all I have to say about this issue. With stuff like this is shocking how normal Dick Grayson turns out to be. It seems Alfred raised him well. Along with his father Bruce’s help. Another reason to not see batgirl date Batman. Batman is Grayson’s that would just be weird dated his execs. Moving on to the next story. There’s also the fact that the so-called second Robin says he hopes Alfred has something to eat. He’s able to find a light switch start and when the name of Alfred is mentioned. He automatically knows he can cook? I’m supposed to believe that Dick Grayson told his “replacement” this detailed, but not that Bruce Wayne is Bat Man? There are a few clues here that Dick Grayson made up a second Robin. To mess with Batman and Alfred. And they easily figured it out to turn it on him and pull a gag on Dick Grayson. So he kind of ran into that. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

    1. Liz Anne, insightful comments. I think Barbara was thinking about the fact that she and Dick were at different stages of life. A lot happens between 18 and 25. It could be tough to have a partner who was that far behind. I have a friend (former boss) who married a man seven years her junior. To my knowledge, it had worked like a charm and they’re still together, but I think they started dating later, when the difference didn’t make so much difference, you know?

  5. I only have three things to say.
    1. I really enjoyed this episode.
    2. Bat-Cousin/brother-in-law Todd is outstanding.
    3. Fashion choices aside, John Calnan made ALL the ladies in the lead story look fantastic — Barbara, Kathy, and even jealous Lori. While we’re on the topic, I was always pretty impressed with Jeanette Kahn. That includes Neal Adams’ rendering, even if Jack Abel wouldn’t sign off on it.

    I look forward to hearing you Bat-kinfolks again soon!

  6. Hey, Bat Cousins, sorry I’m late to the reunion. I brought deviled eggs. As you can see, the cling wrap has stuck to the eggs and will likely take half the filling off when removed. It’s quite a mess.

    Great show, as always. I really enjoyed the pure ridiculousness of the Batgirl/Batwoman story. The Provincetown Airport security may need a talking to after allowing a dude carrying a sword to just hang out there looking for jewelry to stab. And apparently the Provincetown correctional facility allows the Cavalier to be in his cell in full costume with a view of the local streets. So, I guess things are just a little different there. Forget it, Babs. It’s Provincetown.

    The classic Robin stories were fun. I always love when Batman punches a bad guy so hard his hat pops straight up in the air. Always a crowd pleaser. Plus, Batman leaves the crooks alone for an hour so they can pack? Stick to punching hats off, Batman. Maybe Robin is better off on his own.

    Okay, gotta go kick Aunt Ethel’s butt in the potato sack race, She doesn’t have the same stamina since that time she got stuck in a decompression chamber. People really need to stop leaving those things around.

  7. Bravo!

    Shawn and Paul… Welcome to the fire and water network family.
    You have convinced this fan that this title which I had pooh-poohed in the past is a gem.

    Shawn’s exclamation of ” A DINOSAUR IS EATING BATGIRL!!!” on a early episode is priceless!


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