Batman Family Reunion #15 – Finding the Batcave and The Shotgun Sniper!

This month we have two all-star relatives at the reunion!

A big Bat-hello to Bat-Cousin Craig Boldman, a comics professional for many years who actually had a letter printed in Batman Family #12!  Listen to the segment on the Batmail Family Special Delivery from this issue, as we discuss how the other readers of the day dissect his plan to rename Robin as Robin Hood!  You should check out his website and then take a look at all his comics credits!  Thanks to listener Doug Vandiver for pointing us his way!

We also welcome Bat-Cousin Jim Beard to the reunion, published author and Bat-Expert on anything and everything regarding the Dynamic Duo!  Jim recently concluded his 3-volume treatise on the Batman TV show, and you can see those books here!

And make sure to listen to the feedback section for a story about a real-life bat in our real-life family!

If you like the discussion we had about the DC Super Stars Society, check out the following:

Legion of Super Bloggers Post

The Back Issue article in BI #130, available here;

and the Firestorm and Aquaman faux entries by Xum Yukinori:

This month's Bat Family History links for Lee Elias:

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33 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #15 – Finding the Batcave and The Shotgun Sniper!

  1. Hey Bat Cousins,

    Uncle Travis here with a few more 1970s moments.

    Page 1: Jason Bard is sporting longer hair and sideburns that were popular in the ‘70s.
    Pages 1, 4, 5, and 6: Jason’s wardrobe is pure ‘70s. Check out the wide lapels on his suit, the matching vest, and that wide tie.
    Pages 7 & 8: There are multiple old fashioned TV antennae on the roofs of Gotham.

    I bought this issue off the spinner rack all those years ago. Save me a couple of hotdogs.

    Travis Morgan

  2. The Killer Moth story was much more enjoyable when I was 7 years old and just looking at the pictures. Visually there is a lot of fun stuff to look at. The detail of the seams in the image of Robin’s glove with the bugging device impressed younger me. And I found the nest hilarious. At that age I wasn’t really sure that Robin *wasn’t* an alien.

    The story probably didn’t need the deception of “Killer Moth in Two Places” since the dialogue makes it clear this was happening on two different days. I like the idea of two villains disagreeing about the best way to do something, separating to try it on their own, failing, and then meeting up (in jail) with two crazy stories.

  3. I turned this show off after I heard Jim say “I don’t like this Jim Aparo cover”, so I don’t have much to say. See you next month!

    1. Will you turn it back on if we tell you there’s talk about Ultra the Multi-Alien later on in the show?

  4. Just to clarify a few things:

    Dad (not me) re-created the DC Super-Stars Society applications for the non-existent Aquaman and Firestorm chapters as a gift to Rob and Shag in celebration of the 200th episode of the Fire and Water Podcast. He also designed the actual club membership kit materials (which are what are featured in Rob Kelly’s Twitter photo) back in 2018, planning to give them to Rob and Shag at the next milestone (episode 300, which still hasn’t happened yet, but Adrian Zet and I decided give them out to celebrate the podcast’s 10-year anniversary in 2021).

    I don’t think the actual Firestorm and Aquaman chapter applications were ever posted online. They will be included in Dad’s planned-to-be-published artbook.

    Dad had actually talked about what happened when he and his uncle Kenzo tried to join the DC Super-Stars Society in one of his posthumously edited podcasts (time index 1:05:05):

    I did design some new DCSSS chapter applications for Supergirl, Plastic Man, Lois Lane, and Black Orchid last year, following Dad’s template. For three of the four pages, it was just a matter of swapping out a few words and the stock art images. Most of the work involved writing the quizzes, which were a lot of fun. Some questions came from my Dad’s old Quiz Wiz Super-Heroes book. The rest came from my reading Dad’s collection of old comics.

    I was thinking of doing more faux chapter applications for Metamorpho, the Super Friends, and the first TV Flash (I know it was over a decade later, but Dad had all this neat style guide stock art for the show). Maybe someday.

      Thank you so much for correcting all of my jumbled memories, and for your great work. It is MUCH appreciated and admired!

      I hope that I get to join the Man-Bat and Deadman chapters of the DC Super-Stars Society!

  5. Hello old chums . This cousin Bucky and cousin Jeremy. ( Jeremy is wearing island of thousand thrills t-shirt done in 90’s style, day glow orange shorts and spider-man sneakers with Statue of Liberty laces .) (Bucky is wearing white t-shirt with spider-man in fresh prince style font , Jean shorts ,neon green phanty pack and goosebumps sneakers ). I know we look a little 90’s island of thousand thrills in honer of there new spider man dark ride that’s style is that of 90’s spider-man cartoon. The having 90’s nights all March .
    So we brought Little Nero’s pizza three
    1. Extra cheese (Jeremy’s fave )
    2. Veggie supreme .
    3. Spidy special = New York style pizza shaped to look like one of spidy’s foes head we got green goblin witch is bell peppers , green cheese (don’t worry it’s dyed white cheddar ). And pesto sauce.
    And we also brought bat cola they only had grape left . Sorry but it is zero sugar .

  6. That Slim Jim werewolf ad was indeed drawn by Jack Davis! Davis also drew another Slim Jim ad featuring a vampire sinking his fangs into a Slim Jim around the same time.

  7. another excellent podcast – I don’t know how you guys do it… the content, the hand-offs, the joking around, the sidebars… all great! Learned a lot about Lee Elias – a name I knew, but until today, wouldn’t have been able to place his work. Great job!

  8. Guys, another great episode. I haven’t read this issue in a long while, so I may have to dig this up and give it a read. There are two things I have to mention:

    1) Even though I have not had one in years, I loved Zagnut bars. Toasted coconut wrapped around a crispy peanut butter bar. Since I’m allergic to chocolate, those were some of the very few candy bars I could eat and enjoy. Some stores in the state of North Carolina had them as far back as two decades ago, but I have not seen them in that long.

    2) DC did revive the Jason Bard character in the weekly Batman: Eternal series. He was a cop who transferred from Detroit to Gotham. Through some shady means, Bard becomes Commissioner after Jim Gordon was ousted. I think he had a partnership with the villain Hush, which inevitably led to his downfall. This version of Jason Bard has not been used since. In my opinion, this is a good thing. I preferred the private eye from the Silver and Bronze Age comics compared to this new version.

    Keep up the great work guys and I will remember to make a pasta salad next month.

  9. I remember well the Fall of 1977 when this issue came in the mail. It was a new school year when I was starting 7th grade. I like how Bob Rozakis was bringing back the Cavalier and the Killer Moth over and over in this title. Batman Family really helped to make them favorite 2nd/3rd tier Batman rogues for me. I agree with most of the commentators – this was not one of Jim Aparo’s better covers.

  10. I forgot to mention: my Dad had a copy of “Mail Order Mysteries” (with the glow-in-the-dark cover). Sadly, the Bionic Hand is not mentioned in it. Neither is the Magna Power Ring, another comic ad I saw once for a finger ring that enables you to remotely turn on and off lamps or other devices (presumably). That one sounded like a cool device to have.

    1. I binged listened to your dads done one
      Wonder show . And enjoyed very much .
      Glad to see you keeping his legacy a live .
      Tell terra man and the rest of Zoom crew that cousin Bucky and Jeremy say hi . Also did you or your dad ever read the T.H.U.N.D.E.R agents ??

      1. Thanks, Bucky and Jeremy. My dad had a number of THUNDER Agents comics, but I have only read the 1980s ones drawn by George Pérez and Jerry Ordway and Keith Giffen and others.

        Since this is off-topic, why not Tweet me at my Twitter link above and we can chat about it more there.

        1. Would if could but I don’t have a twitter . The only social media I do is my YouTube Bucky749. Witch I do have thunder agents playlist . Feel free to stop by there and we can chat there . I also just put a video showing my thunder agents collection witch seems to be my obsession at the moment I’ve three issue of Dc run of thunder agents , five issues of the tower comics and I’m Dynamo #1.

  11. I wasn’t sure I’d get to the reunion today, as the arrival of Bat-Cousin Craig Boldman had me remembering the fun stories he produced for Julius Schwartz in the Eighties and I went on a back issues binge… I still smile at ‘Jimmy Olsen, Blob’. And how excellent to have Bat-Cousin Jim Beard on the show… wasn’t he also a DC letterhack, or am I just misremembering one of a thousand thrills?

    I’m with Shawn, I like the cover – I think the two backgrounds are orange because the shapes are meant to represent killer moth’s wings/cape. Or that could be just my brain imposing patterns…

    Boy, you chaps really went down a Rudolph rabbithole there.

    The Lee Elias focus was a treat, I never knew he was a Brit!

    As learned Bat-Cousin Rodney mentioned, Jason Bard has been revised – and what’s more, after Batman Eternal he came back to the Batgirl series for awhile, in the Rebirth era… He was not only redeemed, he was way hotter than Dick, and as of her final issue, #50, she was well into him. I don’t think he’s been seen since. Anybody.

    (Why did Bat-Uncle Bob not link Jason Bard to Steve Bard, the Golden Age Steve Lombard, it’s so obvious! Turn in that ENB Memorial Typewriter, sir.)

  12. This was a jam-packed episode, Bat-Cousins! Good thing you brought TWO excellent guests along. There was the DC Super-Stars Society and the fan club swag, including the incredible Xum-produced additions. (I’m a charter member of the Superman fan club, myself.) Then there was the great debate over Robin’s future, the braille lesson, the crazy indoor BB gun ad, and the Hostess ad wherein Gotham’s police catch the Penguin with no help from the Batman. That’s not even counting the two new stories! Regarding the first story, the best part for me happened off-panel, when Robin called Superman to help with a super-prank. Here’s Superman’s side of the conversation:
    Hello? Well, hey, Dick! How are things going in Gotham? Or are you at school right now?

    Wait, who is the Cavalier? And you want to do what to catch him?

    Oh, I can absolutely help. I’m already brimming with ideas. Just give me the location, and I’ll handle everything.
    No, thank you for letting me in on this! And don’t you worry about that. I’ll make time. Kara can sub for me in Metropolis. It’ll be good practice. See you soon!
    There’s some bizarre Super-dickery in the Silver Age canon. This is way better. It would be right up Clark’s alley, but it doesn’t make him look like a sick jerk. There have been some amazing stories about the Supes-Bats relationship, but the Robin-Superman friendship is its own terrific thing. Clark and Dick have similar senses of humor, so this just makes all kinds of sense.

    Finally, on the beautifully drawn Man-Bat story, I’m confused about the bad guy’s choice of weaponry. Snipers like to be far away because it keeps them from getting caught, so they generally use rifles. Shotguns have many fine qualities as firearms. Range is not one of them. Here’s a page on the difference between shotguns and rifles:,come%20with%20only%20Front%20Sight. Here’s another on shotgun slugs, which the murderer might be using:,for%20uses%20over%20short%20ranges. They increase the range a little.

    The murderer might prefer shotguns because they leave behind a lot less forensic evidence, especially with seventies-era science. Regardless, the shotgun itself was as well-rendered as everything else. The panel showing the murderer loading it from the breech was perfect. Unfortunately, he isn’t trap shooting with his friends at the country club, so we’re all counting on Man-Bat (or Jason…or Francine…or maybe the police captain) to save the day.

    See you next month, Bat-kin! I haven’t decided what I’m bringing next month, but watermelon will be in season in May, and I’m already thinking about it.

    1. I forgot to mention: The rundown on modern rabies inoculation processes was informative and fascinating. Paul, I’m sorry your daughter had to go through it, but thanks for sharing.

  13. impressive podcast most impressive. The governor is pretty decent. I can make a really portends joke about what happened you did the mad magazine fold thing to that cover. But, I’ll let that go. Needless to say killer moth would not be in that cover. For what it is it’s fine. The expressions are good. Definitely good shot of Robin’s back side. And the backgrounds are drawn well as well. The flamed it does draw them together. And makes it fit well together. Seeing what they’ve done with a lot of modern covers this at least is a cover. And all of the typography is easy to follow thanks to the way the art is prepared. Where it leads your eyes to the words. The caper is what it is. The batgirl stories isn’t bad. Though I’m sure she’s having to get replacement cycles from Bruce Wayne. After all I can’t see Barbara Gordon constantly sending a bill to her father about new motorcycles. Or trying to write it off through Congress.

    Since I’m sure any of her opponents would gladly list the expenditure report she’s having to put out from these gadgets. And wondering why she has a tone of red motorcycles. With custom paint jobs that she have to hide with they are. The whole bit with the Cavalier and Robin is fine. It’s kind of an interesting connection between the two stories. Without them actually interacting. I had fallen a sleep while listening to this. Not a personal thing I enjoy those episodes. In a very interesting. But I work nights. And they had been a rough night the night before. So I was using this for background noise. But I did wake up instantly when I heard a fashion critique was needed. It was almost like that scene in the first Batman movie when Bruce Wayne rises up when he sees the bat signal. What if the signal being nice pair shoes are a decent outfit? As for Cavaliers crimes against fashion. I can to look past that and those of killer moth’s. After all they are the twin towers of tackiness. Has anyone ever seen a green and blue moth? The orange purple and green ensemble that looks like the cheesiest version of the Three Musketeers uniform that Cavalier wears. It’s just something I look past.

    No need to go full Joan Rangers on these two. After all they will always be tacky. You expect them to dress badly. Like Elton John, Liberace or Jeffrey Star whom does make up worse than Tammy Faye Baker but somehow has a makeup line. Oh that was off-topic. So I just avoid it. As for them buying the ridiculous bits. They do live in a universe where people come from krypton. Alfred somehow turns into a super powerful albino reject from Prometheus. And the king of the sea dresses and orange and green. Sorry Rob. So I will just let that go. I will say nothing about how either of these two dress. Clearly they are counting on being able to commit crimes by everyone killing their eyes from the god-awful outfits. It’s the perfect strategy for killer moth and Cavalier. Anyone with any taste will hide their eyes.

    Onto the next story. I hate to say this. After giving a glowing review to Don Heck. But, this is not my favorite art by Golden. Maybe because it’s early in his career. The typography is great. You know it makes no sense for a sniper to use a shotgun. Since at a distance it would turn into 1000 BBs. Would make way too much noise. Especially when you move back a certain amount. If more of a close range weapon. It can be used at a distance. But not for a pinpoint attack like a sniper would. The one time I went hunting with my uncle. I saw him use a shotgun to be able to shoot a squirrel in the neck and not make a mess. At a good distance. But not quite at the distance would need to be a sniper. Also I only went hunting once because I don’t particularly like the great outdoors. I don’t have the patience for it. I got so000 board. That was a good automatic shotgun. This is a double-barreled breach load shotgun. The distance you would need to shoot with this thing would work. Also unlike in the movies you would be that close to the edge. You want to have at least a few steps back from the edge. But you would never see a sniper shoot from a window right outside the window. And be seen to easily. And he’s using iron sights. It was their right mind goes for a sniper shot with iron sights. You use a scope.

    Though going back for a second Kirk must have some impressive chest hair. If it can penetrate all the fur a bat would have. And you can see it. You seem to have outdone 70s Batman. Chested love GWaud. So if the cops don’t want to give out information to bounty hunters. Why is there are awarded for the capture of the shotgun sniper? Moving along the use of man bats sonar to try and catch the bad guy is well done. And having recently taken a level one indoor skydiving lesson I am impressed at how well he’s able to fly. And pay attention to his surroundings. To look for the guy. Since I was pretty much hoping to one not follow my face and to pay attention with the instructor was telling me to do. And I just had the big wind machine under me keeping me up at the likes of a grown man’s arm reach. While Kirk here is flying way up in the air. Also if Jason is going to the expense and the tailoring to have the nice suit. And to have his hair well done. Why in the world that have a green tie with an orange suit? Is supposed to be tan? Because it looks orange.

    That image where he’s sat across from man bats has him with the hoity-toity look to his face. And yet somehow he wears orange and green. Apparently Freddie Mercury was right money cannot buy taste. These detective but his main weapon for fighting crime is a cane? Not at cane sword, but just the cane? They were hoping this is going to go to a book weren’t they? Though when I look at this guy all I can think of is the weird Al Yankovic song tacky. At any rate can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

    1. They upped his game in the recent Lazarus Planet event. He could become a much bigger threat going forward (but expect him to largely go up against the Batgirls).

  14. Hello, Bat-cousins!

    It’s that magical time of year. Yes, it’s Girl Scout Cookie season! I couldn’t resist. You know how persistent they are with their high pressure sales pitches. Everyone have some Thin Mints.

    Cool, you got someone from the letters column! I wondered if any of the contributors might hear your invites. Now, how soon before you get one of the Robin costume designers that sent in their ideas? I’m curious to hear what they think about the actual changes to the costume over the years.

    I don’t remember how my 10 year old self felt about these at the time, but my present day self liked the Man-Bat story better than the Batgirl/Robin story. It seems like Bob Rozakis had a bit more freedom with Kirk and Francine than he did with the lead characters.

    There are some artists whose work suits certain characters. For me, Michael Golden is a great fit for Man-Bat, as well as Batman. By contrast, I have a hard time imagining him doing Superman.

    Not that the Robin/Batgirl story was bad. It definitely had a 60s vibe with the competition to find the Batcave. The Cavalier and Killer Moth seem like the strangest pairing of villains, but for some reason they work well together. Cavalier would have been a great addition to the 60s Batman TV show. I’m trying to think who would have been a good actor to play him.

    Most 70s moment had to be Jason’s orange three-piece suit. Complete with those big lapels and a wide green tie, and most likely made of the finest polyester of the time. Anyone who has watched TV shows from the 1970s know that is pretty true to life.

    1. Just wanted to add something that I wondered about and finally had a chance to look up. The month before this issue hit the stands we saw the debut of a new member of the Batman Family, someone who will be appearing in future issues —

      Helena Wayne, the Huntress of Earth-2, made her first appearance in All-Star Comics #69 and her origin was published in DC Super-Stars #17, both cover dates Nov/Dec 1977 and released August 23, 1977. And that month also saw a total of 12 Richie Riches.

  15. Hi, Bat Cousins! I brought a big pitcher of Kool-Aid. Please enjoy some room temperature sugar liquid with orange slices floating in it while a swarm of bees surround the table.

    On to the issue at hand. Not a bad cover. I don’t worship at the altar of Jim Aparo like many at the reunions, but I usually like his work. One nitpick on Mr. Aparo’s art. Washington, DC doesn’t have high rise buildings. But I guess I could no-prize it that Batgirl’s swinging by Arlington.

    When I saw the villains, my first response was, “Oh no, not these clowns again.” But the story was so ridiculous, they work in this context. I appreciate Cavalier and Killer Moth put up nice framed posters of Batgirl and Robin to use for stabbin’ practice. But move the entry table out of the way. If you scratch up the table, where will you put the scented candle and the marble bowl for your evil car keys? Think, guys!

    I loved the indignity of Killer Moth randomly hanging onto flag poles and telephone wires for no real purpose other than to snicker. This guy is truly committed to the craft of being a dope. It was only fitting that Batgirl handed him his lunch without working up a sweat. The Cavalier’s sleuth skills are remarkable. Parking his purple sedan directly behind Robin’s motorcycle while dressed like a musketeer is a brilliant way to stay under the radar. And then following closely on that deathtrap of a winding road in the country really sells that he’s out there to enjoy the foliage, and not track Robin. Bravo, sir! Finally, are there only two cops in the DC universe? It looks like the same two guys get slimed by Killer Moth in DC, stand by while Commissioner Gordon gets smacked in Gotham, and then finally work with the Johnny Quest guy in New Carthage. No wonder the costumed heroes have to handle everything.

    The Man-Bat story was legitimately riveting. I’m reading along with you guys, so I don’t want to jump ahead, but this cliffhanger was great. Michael Golden is a phenomenal artist. He’s in the Adam Hughes/Kevin Maguire/Steve Lightle sphere of great artists who I wish could’ve done a longer run on a series. Golden has one of the most unique styles ever, combining realistic comic art and exaggerated cartooning. His art feels alive. Consider that car waxed.

    Ah, DC editorial does it again by exciting all the kids with a memo! That’ll teach them not to fill out their TPS reports!

    Okay, time to run. Great Aunt Hazel spilled Kool-Aid on her herself and is being chased by 200 bees and a racoon into the duck pond. I better fish her out before her giant white orthopedic shoes fill with water and drag her to the bottom.

  16. Man, I’m so late this time, there’s nothing left here but paper plates piled up in the trash can!

    Not much more to add, other than Jim is always a great guest, and it was a pleasure to hear from Craig. I think he should take credit for Nightwing! Hey, other people have contributed less to comic characters, and have gotten credit for it!

    The cover…I hate to admit it, but yeah, as much as I LOVE Jim Aparo…this does indeed look very rushed. Hey, it happens. Jim was probably really busy that month.

    The Batgirl and Robin stories: Man, I really struggle with Joe Giella. There are qualities to his inking I like, and he’s a seminal Silver Age inker at DC. But MAN, he’s one of the most overpowering inkers ever in the history of comics. I see very little of Lee Elias here. Just look in the Human Fly gallery and compare the artwork. It doesn’t even seem to be by the same guy!

    Man-Bat: Michael is indeed Golden. Nuff said!

  17. Okay, guys, you lured me back into the episode.

    Thanks for the Lee Elias bio and the requisite respect Ultra The Multi Alien deserves.

    Those Michael Golden Man-Bat pages are so beautiful!

    I had no idea the DC Super Heroes checkers game was so valuable! I got it as a kid, loved it, and bought it again a few years ago. I’ll never part with it (unless someone wants to make me a REALLY good offer)

    One last thing: there will be no more Jim Aparo slander on this network. If it happens again, you guys should see if the Two True Freaks Network has an open slot.

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