Batman Family Reunion #482 – A Gorilla, a Demon, and a Mite!

Bat-Mite finally makes his appearance at the Reunion!  As usual, he’s not much help, but you can help Paul and Shawn welcome real-life relative Todd Serenbetz back to BFR as we discuss Detective #482. We see the conclusion of Batgirl’s trip to China, Batman taking on a giant gorilla, and the debut of The Demon with art by Michael Golden! Oh, and Robin gets to fly the Whirly-Bat! Come on by and grab a seat at the picnic table!

This month's Bat Family History – who is Juan Ortiz? How many of them are there?

And for more on the Demon:

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15 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #482 – A Gorilla, a Demon, and a Mite!

  1. Great episode guys! I’ll even forgive Todd for not liking the Bat-Mite story. It wasn’t until you guys started covering this series, that I realized Al Milgrom had been fired from DC by the time this great story ran! How sad!

    Oh, and I’m not sure if this is a cross-sell, but AHI made a Robin figure in their line of super hero parachutists. I never owned Robin, but I still have a Batman figure. Our pal Brian Heiler has one, and provided pics over at Plaid Stallions!

    Robin Parachutist

    Oh, and McFarlane Toys has released a Whirly Bat in their Super Powers line! It’s based on the 80s version that was famously drawn by Walt Simonson in Batman #312 (the Calendar Man story), and fits right in with the classic Kenner Batmobile, and Kenner’s new Bat-vehicles.

  2. i Really do love Starlin’s Adam WARLOCK beyond any other comic so i love starlin but not the way he draws Batman. How do those ears fit though doorways?
    Writing wise though the story is/was more what I want from Jim Starlin writting Batman than he wrote the main book. Allso think how good Starlin is a drawing APE-LIKE TAHANOS, MOGEL HIGH LORD PAPAL from DREADSTAR
    Why was the Deamon in gotham anyway? I guess that was kirby saying “go ahead and use this other people?”
    I think modren writers missing a lot of plots not having the demon contoled by summoners. iN STORY Terms too often DEmon is too offten Jason blood’s Hulk

  3. That section of the original Batman Family #21 cover featured in the Batmite story looks like a vignette of the Demon (the tail of the word balloon goes right across his face). It looks like the Demon story was supposed to be included in the previous issue, but was likely moved here to make room for the Denny O’Neil and Marshall Rodgers story.

  4. Hey old chums it’s cousin Bucky back this time I brought loud house cookies (orange sugar cookies with blue white chocolate chips .) and Jeremy is setting up the screen this where showing part1 of the RWBYx Justice league crosser and the Batman ninja turtles cross over movie . Sir Martian of grey is already in the front row in his TMNT Foote pjs , and the franklins brought Solomon who is a RWBY fan seeing as he has a Blake plush of her in gear from the second dc crossover . In the second rwby dc cross over Blake’s gear looks to me like earth 2 huntress check issue 2 of Dc X RWBY.

      1. Remember it’s never too late and the tmnt and Batman crossover movie might be a good place to along with turtles forever .

  5. This is the one I have been waiting for!

    I vividly remember this comic, having received it as a part of a Christmas present package the year it came out. And so much of it has stuck in my brain.

    First and foremost, this was my introduction to the Demon. And the Michael Golden art was just ambrosia for little Anj. That art is so sumptuous, and so detailed, and just different from the usual house styles that it has been indelibly seared into my mind. I couldn’t wait to read more. Alas, no Golden art next time. And switching to Ditko? Mind-altering.

    I can remember loving the Bat-Mite story as a kid even if I didn’t know who all the people were. But being on Earth Prime made it a hoot.

    And the Batman story also was a wild one. You put P Craig Russell over Jim Starlin and magic happens. Obviously Batman can’t kill the villain so I thought the security guard actually brought a touch of realism into the otherwise crazy stories. I mean, you would think by now a well-intentioned security guard or police officer would have shot the Joker in some crime spree! And heck, as an older guy, I also wouldn’t mind becoming Bruce Wayne and living a life of luxury!

    Seriously, when this show started I was pumped knowing this Demon story was going to be reviewed. Too fantastic!

    That’s all. Gone gone the form of Anj!

  6. Hello, Bat-cousins!

    Well, it looks like the kids are getting comfy in the ol’ ancestral home. They’re even inviting distant relatives and some of the neighbors over to hang out. Let’s look at this issue (damn earworms!).

    Batman – “Operation Mindcrime” by Queensryche

    Simon’s plan has a big flaw. If Bruce Wayne quits being the Batman and adopts a hedonistic lifestyle, doesn’t he think that people will notice? Not just Dick, Alfred, and Barbara, but also Clark, Diana, Barry, and a whole League of others. One session with Wonder Woman’s lasso and he’s exposed. This is also around the time Zatanna joined the League, I think.

    Batgirl – “Jailbreak” by Thin Lizzy

    I liked that opening sequence with everyone’s reactions. Especially Dick’s, who may be more worried about the Chinese captors than the captives.

    Even though he was in Japan, Tony made pretty good time considering he had to sneak into China. Too bad we don’t see a better reunion between him and his sister or with his father. And do you think Barbara told her father about Tony? I can’t imagine she wouldn’t, but how do you tell someone the son they thought died had survived but was now dead?

    The Demon – “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones

    Waitaminute!! This isn’t a Bat-someone. It’s not even an old family friend or one of Bruce’s work colleagues. He did help out Man-Bat recently, and he’s based in Gotham, so I guess that’s something.

    Michael Golden’s artwork is SO well suited for dark and mysterious characters like this. So of course, he won’t be back next issue! Len Wein did a fantastic job summarizing the character’s origin, very helpful for a reader like me who had seen very little of him at the time.

    Bat-Mite – “Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross, or “New York, New York” by Sinatra

    Who knew they passed around hallucinogens at the DC offices in the 70s? This was a fun little diversion. And Bob Smith’s “they send Vinnie after you” line is the best! It would be better, though, if DC Universe had included page 4 on it’s site.

    Robin – “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project

    So, Maze is still up and running, and out of New Carthage, no less. Setting up headquarters in a college town that’s also home base for a superhero that beat them once before reveals their mission statement – “Revenge First”. A better one would be “let’s quit being criminals and bring these hi-res full-color big screen monitors to market.”

    Card Queen has an interesting motif. But a villain pretending to be a hero?? Gee, how two-faced can someone get? Wait, look at the hair color! Could this be someone from Robin’s life? Could it be … Lori?? That’s going to put a dent in any chance of her and Dick getting back together.

    Between the Sino-Supermen and the Raven/Maze storylines running at this time, it feels like Bob Rozakis had some good ideas for continuing storylines but being limited to around 11 or 12 pages per issue affected how well he could build up the story.

    One 70s moment you missed was the reporter in the Batgirl story on page two, panel two with the hat and the tag that says “Press”. Too bad another reporter doesn’t have a button that says “Pull” for a most Three Stooges moment.

  7. I wonder if Xavier Simon also thought about putting his brain the body of a famous actress just like the Ultra Humanite did? He could have chosen Rita Farr, which, in my opinion, would be a better choice than an ape.

    Imagine he mixed up Rita Farr with Jamie Farr … That’s a prequel I’d love to read!

  8. Great content on a great issue. Excellent background on the Kirby’s Demon – you guys should do a deep dive on one guest star or villain like that, in every episode – I was a reader of Demon in its initial run, and I still learned a lot (I did know about the Hal Foster connection).

    I don’t know if this is still the case, but “back in the day” comic artists all had tons of books with pics of dinosaurs, airplanes, guns, ships, furniture to reference and swipe from… with google, I guess maybe they don’t need to do that today?

    Listening to what you were saying about Kirby’s desire to get out of the trenches… sounds like he preferred to draw at this stage, and creating, writing, etc. wasn’t as much fun for him once his 4th world got cancelled? I dunno – maybe he was looking back fondly on his mid-60’s time at Marvel – when he was just doing FF and their annuals, and 10 pages of Cap, plus six or more Marvel covers and 20 pages of rough layouts for Heck and Steranko, etc. He did so many covers on Sgt. Fury, Rawhide Kid, X-men, Tales to Astonish, Avengers, etc… From what I’ve read, not only did he tend to hunker down in his den for 12 hours a day and draw, but he was very fast and was able to produce twice as many pages as anyone else (without sacrificing quality). I can see how just drawing could be less stressful than spearheading, writing and drawing his 4th world.

    Anyway, once again, fantastic show – You guys are as omniscient at the Eye of Agamotto!

  9. Impressive podcast most impressive. The cover looks cool. Though very 70s with the head insurers. The splint er slash page is great too. Though very of it’s time. Well as for the first story good to see Bruce got that monkey off his back. What? Anyway that’s all I have to say on that. Next story. Ah Bay Girl… Oy… well that was of its time. Moving on. Skipping that. Ah onto Bat Mite this looks fun. Kind of a cool bit. What no mention of the Fire Storm cartoony art?

    Y’all on Fire and Water… for shame. ( sorry Shagg.) or the Vince Colleta joke? That was gold. Next the Robin story is fine. The copter seat thing is weird if I kit bashed this as a toy people would look at me like I’ve lost it. And I’ve made stuff Out of bottles. Really? Bruce is rich and he gave this to his son?

    That’s just Oy. Hong Kong Fuie wouldn’t be caught dead in this. Is this some weird joke Bays is playing on Robin? Making him ride around in this thing. Wax he drunk and commissioned this thing? Looked at how stupid this thing was and had it repainted it to give it to Robin? Let’s be truthful Robin didn’t get shot down he let the bad guy shoot it down to get rid of it.

    And is that Duela? Dressed in that ridiculous outfit? Did she see all the goofy things Babs wore and think hmmm, Dick likes women who look like they dress in the dark. And she decided to make an outfit so Craptaculor that Kitty Pride wouldn’t wear? Striped red panties on the outside of her costume? Why? And the loose sleeves with a tight outfit and the captain America gloves. Sigh. And it’s red and yellow. Is she now pretending to be the daughter of Hulk Hogan now?

    – [ ] Or Ronald McDonnell? With a peruse contracted to her red panties… Oy. Anyway can’t wait for the next podcast.

  10. And I’m back at the picnic, bringing the same treat as last time in the hope they’ll be correctly named as CornFLAKE, not cornFLOWER cakes.

    Ta for another top podcast, good to hear Bat Cousin Todd back. i like the cover overall, but my quibble is that in the circle, Batgirl is further back than everyone else, maybe to show off her, er, Bat Signals?

    In the Batman tale, the story was better than the art, which looked rushed, unfinished. Thanks to Shawn for giving us his Jail Cell Tango. Squish. Uh-oh. Cicero.

    Regarding the comics published that month, contrary to DC’s cover blurb I had not literally been demanding Supergirl and Batman in The Brave and the Bold, but I was incredibly pleased to see someone other than Wildcat, the Metal Men, Plastic Man, Green Arrow… certainly seeing Jim Aparo draw Supergirl was a massive treat. Having a script by someone other than Zany Haney only improved matters further.

    What song was Shawn ‘singing’ or homaging re: Bat-Mite? This self-referential short was so much better than the rubbish Marvel came up with when they got self-indulgent, such as meeting David Letterman. I wonder Bob Rozakis was inspired by the Impossible Man visiting the Marvel offices in 1976. Interesting that Todd Klein got a credit for his Production role… maybe he supplied lots of artistic reference to Michael Golden.

    I am AMAZED Shawn never focused on Page 7, Panel 4 of the Robin story – has there ever been such an extreme close-up of Robin’s feathered crotch? It’s a fun complement to the close-up of Card Queen’s, er, hips on Page 10, panel 4 – Juan Ortiz was testing the Comics Code, here, I reckon. I liked the art all-round in this story, I don’t know if it was partly the round-edged panels, but Ortiz and Dave Hunt’s work didn’t half remind me of Ramon Fradon’s Super Friends stuff. The Card Queen design reminded me of Lady Lunar from Bronze Age Wonder Woman. Now, anyone want to join me in a chorus of ‘Juan Singular Sensation’?

    Every issue of this comic makes me further stunned that Batgirl has been honoured with not one, but TWO, Bronze Age omnibuses. Her strips were thoroughly forgettable until Velvet Tiger debuted. It has to be the ‘Bat-Anything sells’ business.

    Michael Golden did great work on The Demon, it’s a shame the printing was so murky. I’m stunned by the sharpness of Randy’s wrestling shorts, don’t he and Jason usually wear nappies when they bump uglies (an expression I’ve heard on telly, I expect I’m using it correctly)?

    When Shawn says, ‘oh my!’ is he deliberately giving us a George Takei impersonation? It’s very impressive.

    1. Shawn redid the lyrics to the theme song from the TV show “Alice”, a very 70s American show. Like my wife, Shawn must be hooked on Antenna TV.

      1. Thanks, if memory serves it was based on Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. I think I saw an episode when it played late night here but it seemed to be about a lot of women washing dishes. I am annoyed that I can’t remember who took over from Film Alice (looks it up…), ah Linda Lavin. She’s got possibilities, I suppose.

  11. Hey Bat-Cousins, sorry I’m late. I was at the Howard Johnsons and came up with this fantastic comic book character concept. But then I had about five Brandy Alexanders and blacked out the whole thing. Anyway, I brought some leftover pork chops and baked beans.

    A fun start to the issue. Simon had the most elaborate plan I’ve ever seen to get some strange. They’ve got pills for that now, man. You don’t have to involve a gorilla. Pretty cool seeing Batman fighting a big ape and getting absolutely wrecked. This would never happened today, but I liked that Bats had to get a little lucky. And good for the security guard being the hero. That’s a job position with high turnover as they’re usually cannon fodder for Gotham villains. Put this guy on the recruiting poster!

    I don’t have that much to say about the Batgirl story other than; Why does Dick have the TV facing the left arm of the couch? Who watches TV with their neck craned completely to the left? Hey, Dick, can you circumvent the end table and the lamp directly in front of the television and change the channel?

    Oh man, Michael Golden makes the Demon story sing! Awesome giant apartment for Jason Blood, but at least it’s earned. If I was an immortal demon, I would absolutely be f-u money rich and have giant oil paintings of myself covering the living room walls. I bet he’s even got coffee!

    Sadly, Golden’s talents are wasted on a seemingly endless Bat-Mite story. I’m with Bat Cousin Todd, I’d rather take art lessons from Don Heck than read a Bat-Mite story. What they should’ve used those pages for is a collection of Gotham real estate listings. A cathedral ceiling, 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath brownstone in the Diamond District for $500 a month? Awesome!

    Finally, I’m coming around on Juan Ortiz. The clean, simple, cartoony art works as a classic comics style. He’d be right at home drawing a JSA story. Robin tops his TV room layout idea by flying a vehicle with spinning blades to save some guys in a hot air balloon. I actually like the look of Card Queen but, without reading ahead, I have a feeling I’ll be disappointed by who she turns out to be.

    Well, gotta run, Great Aunt Ethel was abducted by Chinese radicals, so we’re all going to gather around the small television and shrug, “Eh, she’ll be fine.”


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