Batman Family Reunion #484 – Purple Pants, Flying Graysons, and the Galileo Solution!

Happy Holidays!  Shawn and Paul welcome Brett Young back to the Reunion!  Denny O’Neil is the author of 2 VERY different Batman stories this month! We get the debut of Jack C. Harris on Batgirl and Robin! The Demon thinks he has bested Baron Tyme, while the Human Target wonders Just Who is Floyd Fenderman Anyway?  You be the judge of the stories as well as the pumpkin pies!

This month's Bat Family History links for Bob Oksner:

For “Does This Trade Dress Make Me Look Phat” by Xum Yukinori:

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23 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #484 – Purple Pants, Flying Graysons, and the Galileo Solution!

  1. Hey old chums it’s cousin Bucky agin along with Jeremy , Anthony and little cousin Bostyn .
    Also the dogs Yuki , Reese and Kai . Another great episode, we brought leftover thanks giving burritos, they have turkey , stuffing, some have cranberry sauce and some have gravy on the rest are plain . To which is which look at the flags
    The Batman flag is gravy , the two face flag is cranberry sauce and pink flag is plain .
    Jeremy is also setting up the big screen agin where showing the two episodes of the new Scooby movies where Scooby doo teams up with bat man.
    And cousin Anthony is playing checkers with Cousin Richie you know the kid with blond hair and the red shirt with money symbol on it . Bostyns playing with his dog dollar . (Crash , smack ,!)
    Like Zoinks ! I gotta go help uncle Adam he forget to take his meds and he thinks symbol pending is Louis the lilac agin . I told symbol don’t wear a purple suit around uncle Adam .(sigh).

  2. Another great fun-filled episode!
    I’m both looking forward to and dreading the next episode, knowing what’s in store for one of our favorite Batman Family members in issue #485…

  3. Impressive podcast most impressive. I like the cover. The way they have the people in an S like setting were each person is set to ware it ends at bats at the title. I’m sick so I may make less sense than normal. The Apero bit looks cool. I won’t argue with the bartender. As a former busser. I knew to make sure the bartender got their share of the tips. When I worked at a race track.

    Since the booze was why the folks came. Y’all are right this bat car is cool. I wouldn’t mind riding with Bruce in this. The changed bat signal is not bad. It’s nice and festive. So yeah kid , Bat Man barely standing after getting blowed up in his car. Sure he can check in your brother. Still yeah just walking it off is a bit much. Hey the bat glider is no spider mobile. But, it’s cool. Hmmm, I wasn’t digging the purple pants, Shawn you may have a point. Hmm, maybe we could double date these to dapper men. You can have the guy in the purple pants. Since you saw him first. The man with the killer side burns maybe able to .. make my day. lol.

    I’m kidding. Moving on. Yeah no Bats is not holding a celling. This is Cap holding a moving helicopter level over the top. Yeah no. Ken Patara is not holding a roof. This is a nope. The human Target story is pretty cool. Turtle necks are cool. And he lols hot in it. I cannot ware them save false turtle necks, but others lols cool in them. The fashion is very 70s ish, but looks cool. And awsome a second great turtle neck shirt. Sexy ness on the human target. Mmmm. Anyway the villain is not bad. The green pants even work for him.

    I have no fashion to complain about. So far.shockingI know. Next story . Wait.. no one checked the Comish’s mail? Babs looks great. Though yeah why is a senator out patrolling? Is the house in a gridlock? Are the people of Gothem paying for Babs to vacation? Sigh. I think the hanging upside down bit was for her to look like a resting bat.

    Just the silhouette is on the other person. So it doesn’t work. And the cap fell . Also she has mouse ears on her cowl. They need to be more pointy. She looks like a mouse -ca -teer. M.. I.. C…. Any way. And all Orange suit? Ewww. I realize he’s a crook but couldn’t he at lest dress properly?

    Does he have stock in Orange Juice? Is the Florida OJ company a big companie contributor? And he’s waring this as a big thanks? And his tie is blue. Blue and orange? This is a man who’s clearly been married for years. And his wife no longer cares what he looks like in public, only a ream mascot should ware this combo.

    This is madness! I’m digging home girls bracelets. Also Babs talking about how someone else dresses? Gurl. She needs to look back at her Hall of shame wardrobe from the past. Kitty Pride feels bad for Babs. Anyway I have no idea. She maybe right about a nurse and the bracelets.

    Granted I have a few out fits those may look good with. Next. The Robin story is good. Though geez y’all are right he was drawn young in this. Wait the bad guy is named after Tarzan? At lest the 70s movie. Tarzan the Legend of Graystone: fascinating. As I rase one eye braw.

    Ah Linda Gray. She was a known actress at this point so no idea why they’d chance using the name. As for the moving trapeze … I have no idea. Maybe Booster Gold used Rick Hunters Time Machine to save Dick at this point. And used a chameleon circlet in the machine. So he wasn’t seen. And he moved the thing closer. Not shocked the owner knows Dick is Robin.

    – [ ] Glade he has told no one. And cool that Bruce is helping the Circus. I’ll just skip the next story. Ah look one this man should be arrested. Not just for killing a Security gaurd. Trying to kill Bats, but he ware that green suit in public. This is a filler story. Not much else to say. Anyway can’t wait to hear the next episode. Also why did Gala want a solvent that could melt everything. Wait magnetic forces control it? Is this a Stan Lee Silver age story?
    Was O’Neil just playing a gag with Stan? And they acted like Danny wrote it? Magnetically… sigh. Yeah I know they were only to contain the thing, but still. Sadly no transistors were used in this story. Anyway can’t wait to hear the next episode.

  4. Oh almost forgot. Electric Womam and Di mono Girl was awesome. Sorry to hear Marty Croft died. I was watching Brick Man tooth’s U tube channel and he mentioned it. Not sure how old the vid as but it was new to me. Oh also in unrelated stuff if anyone likes rap music . I have a friend from work who does that stuff on u tube. A music show. Yungeen LD . See ya.

  5. Since the series was brought up in the discussion with Uncle Brett, I have to say that my biggest problem with “Identity Crisis” is that it was NOT a fair-play murder mystery. In fact, in my first and only reread of the series, the whole mystery did not make any sense at all. It felt like the direction of the plot was changed a few times as the story was being written/produced. I read tweets by then DC editor Valerie D’Orazio about how the whole IC story concept started with DC Editorial, so it wouldn’t surprise me if DC Editorial decided to make changes to the story as the series was being produced. I suppose Brad Meltzer can tell us for sure, if he is allowed to. I’d hate to think that Mr. Meltzer’s other mystery stories are just as nonsensical…

    And then of course there is what happens in the story itself, and I can’t look at my dad’s old DC comics stories featuring Zatanna or Doctor Light the same way again. Did you know that Dr. Light had his own version of a “Zatanna’s Quest” multi-title storyline during the DC Silver and Bronze Age, where he fights JLA members individually (in the pages of Green Lantern, The Atom, The Flash, etc.) instead of facing the entire League at once?

    We also have the Hembeck Omnibus, which unfortunately is not a great reproduction of Dad’s copies of FantaCo magazines collecting the “Dateline @!!?#” columns. It is also too bad that the Daily Planet strips are not included (many of them have great “dad jokes” about the DCU), but Mike’s Amazing World has a page collecting every Daily Planet DC Comics news page, so they can all be read there.

    Dad also mentioned in his commemorative artbook (page 197) that Mr. Hembeck’s “Dateline @!!?#” interviews with comic book characters was a likely inspiration to the format of his “Done-in-One Wonders” podcast.

    Speaking of, thanks for the kind words about Dad’s book, Uncle Shawn. We hope you enjoy the rest of it.

  6. Fun episode guys! To discuss the elephant in the room, I agree with Nephew Isamu that Identity Crisis isn’t a very good mystery, on top of sullying an era of comics that didn’t deserve it. There are some nice character moments in-between the strum and drang, but that’s about all I can say about it. Oh, Rags Morales’ art is pretty. The Justice League being unable to defeat Deathstroke, and then him killing Ronnie Raymond is just beyond ridiculous. And that’s not mentioning the series’ worst offenses. I

    But as for this issue of Detective/BatFam…somehow, I’ve never read this one! I remember a house ad for this cover, and being concerned about Commissoner Gordon, but the dreaded newstand denied me again! I’ll have to hop over DCUI and check it out!

  7. I am eager to try that eggnog recipe!
    I thought you were too tough on The Human Target. That story was much more of a mystery than the Batman story! What detective work did Batman do? He knew where his antagonist was and fought his way through the traps to get him. The Human Target had to solve a mystery of a threat to his life! Both stories had plenty of action, but super-hero comics generally do! Action/Adventure? I think adventure stories (in film and fiction) involve dangerous river or ocean crossings, jungle settings, and wild animals. Action stories are a lot of chases.
    re: the explosion in Commissioner Gordon’s office. The outer wall and most of the window frame seem undamaged. It looks as if when Gordon realized he was holding an infernal device he immediately threw it at the window. The glass is clearly shattered, but no great harm was done. Oksner knew what he was doing! Excellent feature on him!
    I agree with the general consensus on Schaffenberger’s art on Robin. He didn’t give us the more mature Irv Novick/Mike Grell/Don Newton Robin we BatFam readers had enjoyed. That last panel is terrific, though!
    The second Batman story sure seemed like inventory filler, but I don’t think the Demon stories were. The timeline of when Len Wein came back to DC and when Michael Golden started indicate that these were stories newly created. Wein clearly had a multi-part story planned and Ditko was able to jump in and finish it.
    I’m going to the longbox now to seek an issue that I can use to get back on the mic with Paul and Shawn!

  8. I am back for a few additional thoughts:

    To answer Uncle Shawn’s question about Batman fighting a dog, a Batman story in Detective Comics #500 (no, not that one… the one with Deadman in it) involved a hitman named Stryker who used a poisonous attack dog to kill Batman. I don’t remember if Stryker was hired by someone else to take out the caped crusader, of if Stryker wanted to take Batman off the table so he wouldn’t get in the way of the hitman’s work. I’d need to re-read the story to make sure…

    Ok. I re-read the story. Stryker didn’t say why he wanted to kill Batman, so I am guessing it was the second idea…

    Human Target:
    I loved the old TV show that aired on ABC way before my time, done by the same guys who did the 1990 Flash TV series, because that Christopher Chance did the whole disguises routine (too bad I can only watch these episodes on a bootleg DVD my dad got at a comic con). As for this story, I thought it was pretty brilliant how it actually showed us who Floyd Fenderman was on page 2 (leaving Luigi’s restaurant…

    Obviously the bad guys saw Fenderman visit the restaurant and assumed (correctly) that he went there to see Chance, though they didn’t realize Fenderman missed his… uh… chance… to meet with Christopher.

    Batgirl/Bat-Family History:
    This issue was actually NOT Bob Oksner’s debut in Detective, for he pencilled the Batgirl story in the previous issue. But Uncle Paul’s Bat-Family History segment gives us a better idea of why that story had so many views of Babs’s Bat-backside…

    In the very last panel where Robin re-asks the question about what moved the trapeze, the final caption provides the answer…

    It was THE WIND!

    The Demon:
    I think Demon’s addition to the Batman Family title was originally another “DC Explosion” extra feature, like adding The Human Target in Brave and the Bold and Air Wave and the Atom in Action Comics. At least the story has him facing an old Man-Bat villain so there would be a bit of a connection (in addition to the ones you had mentioned)…

    It you think Ditko’s version of the Demon looked weird, just wait until you see “the Composite BloodDemon” in the next issue…

    Regarding other uses of a constricting cage, I don’t know about Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl (which was Electra-way before my time…), but there was a similar trap created after this story by Eddie Lightner in the Superman: the Animated Series episode “Target”, which had Lois Lane trapped in a constricting cage made of laser beam bars. The Flash villain Block in the CW series also had a constricting energy cage gimmick, which was used to gross effect in season five.

    The Unsolved Cases of the Batman:
    This was actually a “DC Explosion” feature that started in Batman #305 and ended in #307, with I guess the story planned for #308 moved here (along with the Human Target). Just like this final feature, the “unsolved” aspect of the earlier stories never lived up to the title of the feature, despite the great art by… Michael Golden and Don Newton!

    One would think that the Batman would be glad that the secret of such a deadly solvent would be lost forever so no one would be able to use it for nefarious purposes…

    The Bat-Timeline:
    Green Lantern and Green Arrow wouldn’t be able to go beyond one page in a confrontation with the Joker and Two-Face, I am sure…

    Maybe after the Batman Family Reunion wraps up, you can spin off the second part of your Bat-Timeline segment into its own podcast called “Alfred, Let’s Go Shopping!”, where you two and a guest visit a particular week of Mike’s Amazing World’s Newsstand and pick the comics you want to buy based on the covers. This can be done after Uncle Shawn’s “Superman Family Album” podcast, of course…

    I look forward to the next reunion, Uncle Gentlemen. I plan to keep showing up… even to the ones where Uncle Martin Gray brings Spotted Dick (it is bound to happen…).

    1. My spotted dick is extremely tasty!

      Great chat and pics as ever, Isamu, but I disagree Robin was saved by the wind – there’s not much wind in a circus tent, and the wind at the end indicates spookiness… it was Martha and John.

  9. I too own a copy of that Hembeck Omnibus. It is awesome. As for the Human Target inventory, he was originally slated during the DC Explosion to be the ongoing back-up in Brave and The Bold. So, moving it over to this Batman title made sense.

  10. Hi Bat-cousins and Bat-nephews and Bat-Uncles (we should really remove that “Get Rid Of Slimy girlS” sign out front). I brought some Grey Goose vodka to toast all incarnations of the Flying Graysons, and all last names starting with Gray and Grey. This issue probably came out just before “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” but I’ll always drink a toast to Erin Gray.

    I really love the clean art style of Kurt Schaffenberger but I’ll always associate him with “Mr. and Mrs. Superman” from Superman Family and the “New Adventures of Superboy”. Mostly Robin looked like himself except for that one flashback scene where Dick was shown with the “S” curl. This definitely isn’t a complaint, just a random observation.

    Regarding the Television Theme Song Podcast, since I consider 2 people to be a trend, I’ll need to seriously start thinking about starting one. The first one is always the hardest …

    1. Brian, make it three. I’d be interested in listening to a TV theme song podcast. Will Shawn be singing snippets of songs?

  11. Thanks for another splendid episode, it was fun to hear Brett again. I’m bringing a massive, ugly-looking steak pie to the barbie this time as it’s traditional New Year eating here in Scotland. For the vegans, it’s roasted vegetables with a garlic and horseradish dip.

    I miss the Batman Family logo, but I do like this Detective Comics masthead, with the swirling cape. Mind, while I love boxed covers, the various styles of lettering here are messy.

    The most 1970s thing in this issue has to be the Bat Hang-glider, because those pants are classics for all time. If you’re wearing something this dashing, you’ve got possibilities. Then again, look at that white three-piece suit Christopher Chance wears after staying’ alive…

    While there should be no Unsolved Cases of the Batman, I do love to see work by the underrated John Calnan.

    I got excited when you mentioned Justice League of America #167 as one of the 278 comics of note this month, but checking up, it’s #166 that has one of my Answer Man appearances. But nope, that was 166. Dang off-months!

    You can actually buy an Omnibus of Star Wars UK original material, I never read it because I’m not a particular fan.

    Sixteen Richie Rich books in the month of March – maybe that’s because it was getting to the end of the financial year, which ends in April… in the UK anyway. Whatever the case, Richie Rich, you’re a rich boy and you’ve gone too far.

    Regarding the Human Target strip, what IS a numbers operation? I’ve heard of them, but have little idea… is it the same thing as a numbers game in horseracing?

    I loved Bob Oksner artwork, top feature, and great choice on his two most famous covers. A super-memorable one for me is Action Comics #454 – remember Superman eating a boatload of burgers?

    In the Robin story, I like the idea that the trapeze was pushed towards the Teen Wonder by the ghosts of Dick’s parents – that really would be the return of the flying graces. Did he feel it coming in the air tonight?

    In the letter column, would that be the same Darren Goodhart of Legion of Substitute Podcasters fame? A good heart is really hard to find, but by George, I think I’ve got it.


    Oh since y’all talk about great kicks. Here’s a video of me breaking a base ball bat with a kick. It’s not a high Rocket kick. But, as an M. Artist it was kind of fun to prove I could. Yeah it’s not as cool as the kicks in the comics but kind of fits the topic.

    And here I broke an ax Handel after away to many tries, but hey I still did it. So yeah power wise a kick can be useful. I’m to sick right now to even kick back, but hey y’all were talking kicks. So I thought ware else am I gonna get to show off these moments.

  13. Am I the only one that saw 6 stories in this issue and wondered how long this episode of the podcast will be? I already listen at 1.3x speed. I don’t want you guys to sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

    Batman – “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by the Police

    The term “novel length” always seemed weird for a 17 to 18 page story. If the story filled the entire 68-page issue, then yeah.

    Villains like Maxie Zeus who stuck to their themes probably helped many of us learn about things like Greek mythology.

    That $10K Zeus gave the girl is $42K today. It’s going to cost more than that for a more modern wardrobe, a place to live, and a good defense attorney.

    Human Target – “Who Are You” by The Who

    Did he drive the Cord from LA to Boston?? Man, I hope it was well maintained.

    Nice over-the-shoulder throw on page 2, but I bet he goes through a lot of knives like that. (Ba-dum-bump) I’m surprised he didn’t utilize his knife-throwing skills to stop the shooter in the bucket.

    Chance’s suit on the last page is the most “welcome to Fantasy Island” thing in this issue.

    Batgirl – “You Dropped a Bomb On Me” by the Gap Band

    This story happening the same night as the lead story is a better explanation than the old “Batman is off on a generic JLA mission” trope. Babs’ “should I or shouldn’t I run for reelection” thing sounds like they’re setting up for some changes.

    Robin – “My Hometown” by Bruce Springsteen

    This story was published early in “Dallas”’s run and about a year before the whole “who shot J.R.” craze. The girl being named Linda Gray was either a coincidence or the writer was a huge early fan of the show.

    Yeah, I’m surprised Dick’s parents didn’t have a trademark or copyright on The Flying Graysons name. Maybe it was shared with the circus.

    Demon – “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

    Maybe it’s me, but I’ve never been a huge fan of Steve Ditko’s artwork. It’s just one of these personal taste things. That said, I can see his borderline psychedelic style being popular in the 60s.

    Unsolved Case – “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

    Yes, I’m aware of the irony that such a classic song is my earworm for such a bad story. And how is this an unsolved case?? Even though what happened to the security guard to be a tragic accident, Higley purposely tried to kill Batman. He wasn’t villainous, just scared and desperate and trying not to lose his discovery.

    As for action vs. adventure, I was curious and did some Googling for a difference. Several movie buffs chimed in on Reddit, and a pretty good entry on gave a good break down. The difference is slim — “action” is Indiana Jones running from the boulder or chasing the Nazis on horseback; “adventure” is Indiana Jones’ search for the Ark of the Covenant

    Here’s a link to what I read on particularly the 1st and 2nd paragraphs —,in%20such%20films%20as%20King

  14. Hey, Bat Cousins. Thanks for having me on again. I always learn something every time we talk. Like I didn’t know you were both such fans of Identity Crisis!

    My 7-year old was very excited to hear his voice on the podcast. Should it bother me that he memorized the incantation of a demon? Eh, I’ll kick that can down the road.

    Always great getting together. Glad you liked the Batman Family Reunion shirt. And I will again encourage everyone to give Paul and Shawn a five star review on itunes. They deserve it!

  15. I don’t know about movies, but action and adventure are distinct video game genre. For those who don’t partake, action games tend to focus on physical challenges that rely on hand-eye coordination and reaction time (e.g., fighting games like Mortal Kombat or shooters like Castle Wolfenstein). Adventure games, on the other hand, revolve around exploration and puzzle-solving (e.g., the Myst series of games is a personal favorite of mine).

    Applying those definitions to the silver screen, I’d consider a movie like Die Hard to be action (i.e., John McClane runs around killing all the bad guys), while Star Trek IV: The Journey Home would be adventure (i.e., the crew has to figure out how to transport two whales through time). The Indian Jones films have a good mix of both action and adventure. That’s my take on the matter, any way.

    Sorry, this had nothing to do with the comic you discussed (which I really enjoyed), but your off-hand comment about action/adventure movies got me thinking.

    Thanks for another excellent episode.

  16. The Macguffin of “The Galileo Solution” bears more than a passing resemblance to the eponymous “Universal Solvent” of the Uncle Scrooge story by Don Rosa. The DC Universe should thank its lucky stars (or at least its writers) that the Galilean version dissipates after it is spilt. In Rosa’s version, the solvent ate through anything except diamond, and as such, when Scrooge carelessly poured it straight onto the ground, the solvent began to eat its way to the Earths core, necessitating a journey to the center of the earth to prevent the solvent from causing the Earth’s destruction! Like all of Rosa’s work, I heartily recommend the story.

  17. Shawn, of course you had covered the Batman Family story where Batman fights some dogs, it was that pair of trained Dobermans who attacked him when he broke into the League of Assassins carport headquarters in Detective Comics 485, which you reviewed a little over an hour ago. Do you not remember?

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