Batman Family Reunion #485 – The Vengeance Vow!

Happy New Year! Unfortunately, our reunion hits a somber note, as Ward Hill Terry (Stop Calling Him Frank!) joins Shawn and Paul to mourn the loss of Aunt Kathy.   But we do get some crack detective work by Robin, if not by the HUPD.  Witness an amazing balancing act by Jason Bard in the return of Man-Bat to these pages!  After a dessert of leftover Christmas cookies, we also see a foreign national burglarize Barbara’s apartment! And alas, we get the last chapter of the Demon’s Eternity Book saga! Stock up on those snacks – you’ll need them!

This month's Bat Family History sources for Kurt Schaffenberger:

Amazing World of DC Comics #2 (1974) – see Gallery for the cover and article, as well as a Schaffenberger Self Portrait from Jimmy Olsen #155 in 1973 and DC Profile #31.

Hero Gets Girl: The Life and Art of Kurt SchaffenbergerTwomorrows Digital Edition

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18 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #485 – The Vengeance Vow!

  1. I too felt that death of Batwoman in this issue was cheaply done. She deserved more, much more, after Bob Rozakis brought her out of obscurity just a few years earlier. That definitely left a bad taste in my mouth regarding this issue.

  2. Hey old chums it’s cousin Bucky along with Jeremy .
    We brought atom sugar cookies don’t worry there normal size . They come in earth one and earth two versions . Earth 2 is vegan and earth one has blueberry filling.
    Jeremy is setting up the sack race I think uncle Jack got confused. He put aunt Selina in a sack and she didn’t even want to play ?! also does any one know how to get a 80 year old woman out of tree ? Yes aunt kit climbed one of the random trees and now she can’t get down . What a family what next cat man and kitten ?!

      1. Hey Bucky749 great review you did on Peter Canon issue 55 on your YouTube channel love that ultimate warrior figure is used as mascot .

  3. Impressive podcast most impressive. Cool drawing of Shawn on the cover. As he high kicks one of the league goons. With Bronze Tiger. K so Shawn is now seen as earth 711s Bats. Flowing my dorky want to put the F ire and water folks in fake JLI. ( it’s a bit. Not real not that crazy. Cause I’m a dork. )

    Let’s see we got Shawn now as Bats, Shagg as Blue Beetle. Rob as Booster Gold. ( hey if Shagg is Ted then Rob goes to booster.) Chris F. As Grown Robin. ( not Night Wing, but long pants Earth 2 Robin.) Lis not me , but the woman from Counsel of Geeks girl friend Lis. As Bat Girl. She and Ms. Wyld had a pod cast on the page as Tough like a girl. Long gone sadly.

    Vera Wyle her girl friend and fellow tough like a girl podcaster Power Girl.

    Cindy F. As B. Barda.
    I pick Fire for myself.

    We all know who plastic Man would be, but hey now Eel reads a lot of books.

    Sicoid aka Q-tip as J’ohn J’ones (sorry Frank.)
    Though Frank Could be Metamorpho.

    Ok I’ll stop the bit here for now. Hey I’d love to podcast with y’all, but my computer is a dinosaur and I have no idea how to do that three a phone. And my voice is super clock- a – bull. I make Dr. Girl friend from Venture bros sound like Dona Read by caparison . lol. But. Since y’all all looking for guests thought I’d throw that out there.

    Also I haven’t read the comics. Just bought a bunch of JLI and Gargoyles though. Any way. This Comics 1st story is legendary. During the Bat Gawd years people would throw up on messages boards . Since it had Tiger owning Bats.

    I never liked the mask. He’s a grown a@@ man dressing like Tony the Tiger with that mask and it’s not greeeeat. Anyway the poster of Babs and Robin looks great. Anyway should Bat- Shawn called the cops. Of course. Or told Kathy. Yep. But he’s Banna naanah Naanah Bat- Shawn.

    Sorry Kathy died in this issue. As a Helana Wayne fan I can feel your pain. As for next of kin. I think Flame Bird is her only known next of kin. Sensa in this issue I’d cool. Ah his on going war with Rash. Anyway the second fight with Bronze and Bat Shawn. Is very cool. Though back to the first thug Bat -Shawn stops. Does he have dynamite on his wrist and jacket under a Shuriken Oy. Not bright.

    Oh the crook with the bump on his head Oy. Ah look Robin story that predicted Weekend at Bernie’s. Ah way nice Butt shot of Robin. When he’s talking to the Cops. The crooks have 2 guys with orange pants one even has on a purple jacket unless their LSU fans and couldn’t find gold pants

    They need a fashion consultant stat. Because Oy.

    Skipping the next story. The untouchable crook. Interesting story. The Man Bat story is good.

    The Armor of the guy is 90s looking. I can see this guy in Young Blood. I’m just saying. Nice butt shot of Kurt. Though this could so be a Sam Huston episode. Well if not for the power suit or Man Bat. Maybe a Kolchak the Night Stalker spin off show. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

  4. Hi guys!

    Loved all the info on Kurt Schaffenberger. Tricking the Nazis with secret codes? What a badass! I can just picture KS, slaving away at his drawing board, rendering page after page of Lois pretending to be a mermaid or something to trick Superman into marrying her or something, while daydreaming of the days when he thwarted actual Nazis. Plus, from his self portrait, he was one dapper fellow.

    And Shawn, in answer to your question, yes, the Buck Rogers book was actually treasury sized (we covered it on the show). Being a Gold Key comic, it is dull as dishwater. And it was one of those weird deals where Marvel put their logo on the cover but GK did the interior.

    I was impressed Terry could record a whole podcast, considering how tight he had his cranky pants cinched!

  5. Great show guys! I have tons of respect for Denny O’Neil, and his contributions to comics. Having said that, the death of Kathy Kane is really a sore point for me. Not only because she was killed, and not because she was killed in a such ignomious fashion, but because she was killed only to motivate Batman in this one story. That’s what we now call “fridging”, thanks to Gail Simone. Only Alan Brennert really addressed how Kathy’s death made Batman feel when he came face to face with her Earth-Two doppelganger in the classic Brave and the Bold #192 (my favorite comic of all time).

    Denny seemed to be rather flippant with concepts he deemed “silly”. Just look at how he handled the denouement of the Super Sons in World’s Finest #263 a few months after this issue. Brutal!!!

    Denny defintely didn’t seem to have a lot of regard for what comic fans deemed “sacred” (I wouldn’t call the Super Sons sacred, but you get my point). He revealed as much when he was gobsmacked by the reaction to the death of Robin (Jason Todd) in The Death in the Family storyline/stunt he orchestrated. It forced him to reevaluate, and change his attitude toward these fictional characters, and how much they meant to a large number of people.

  6. Sorry, Uncle Paul. My Google-Fu was about as effective as Kirk-Fu performed by Egg-Fu when it came to finding the Kurt Schaffenberger war poster. I also looked at a few war propoganda poster books in the library and the only “soldier wasting food” poster in them was a caricature of Hideki Tojo “thanking” those soldiers. I did find two “spectral Hitler” posters, one that encouraged carpooling to save fuel and one on evacuating British children.

    I suspect the art had been lost to time. One would think it would had been featured in the section of “Hero Gets Girl” that mentioned the poster, instead of a different (and more generic) one, if the art was available.

    I do hope I am wrong. I would like to see it.

    However, Uncle Shawn, I do recall an instance of the Flash holding his yellow boots so he can stand in Green Lantern’s power ringed bubble. It happened on page 14 of issue 131 of The Flash: “Captives of the Cosmic Ray.” I remember it because there was an editor’s note pointing it out.

    The story was reprinted in one of “The Flash and His Friends” digests, which may be where you had first seen it.

  7. Happy New Year, everyone! Hope everyone’s wearing their finest three-piece suit. This month I’ve brought some Whitman Samplers to go with this issue’s variety of stories. We have light-hearted adventure, sorcery/horror, detective mystery, and political intrigue. First, martial arts action punctuated by tragedy.

    Batman – “Empty Garden” by Elton John.

    There was a LOT packed into this story. A long-time foe trying to gain control of a shadowy organization; someone who is a near match for Batman in the martial arts that could be either a new foe or an ally; and, sadly, the murder of an old friend.

    RIP Kathy Kane. It still feels like DC could have done more with the character.

    The fight scenes were great!! They definitely benefited from any help given by the sensei credited at the beginning.

    Robin – “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar, but only because “Weekend at Bernie’s” didn’t have any memorable songs

    Danny Hayes looks pretty good for a guy who died in a car crash the previous day. While going 90 miles per hour. Without a friggin’ seat belt. And got thrown from the car.

    The lead bad guy is wearing a morning coat, white gloves, a cane, and spats??? No derby hat or monocle, but I think on the last page it looks like he has a flower on his lapel. I’m surprised he isn’t wearing a sash.

    Demon – “Snowblind” by Styx (“mirror, mirror, I confess”)

    Jason Blood finally got changed out of his “wrestling togs” – and got an ascot?? Not sure if that’s an upgrade. It always seems like the neckwear for bad guys.

    Man, Etrigan can be pushy! I don’t blame Wolfman Jack for tossing the book.

    Batgirl – “Land of Confusion” by Genesis

    Considering all the political scandals of the time – Watergate, Agnew, Abscam – I’m surprised there weren’t more corrupt politician storylines at the time. It also seems like Cartwright (who has some hellacious eyebrows) resembles a real life politician of the time, but can’t think of who.

    Man-Bat – “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

    This quickie origin recap didn’t seem as forced as some others. I’m surprised that Jason hadn’t asked Kirk about becoming Man-Bat before even taking him on as an associate

    For a one-off failed hero, that’s actually a pretty cool looking suit. SST is an okay name; Concorde would have been better (although copyright protected).

    Ward and I are on the same page. Batwoman deserved better. If anything, Batwoman’s death should have been acknowledged in some way by Batgirl. They became friends in their recent team-ups, so some dialogue or text referencing her funeral would be nice. These days, we would have seen Kathy’s funeral, Betty (the OG B-G) ready for revenge, and Batman and the rest of the Bat-family talking her out of it. The Brave and The Bold #182 that included the Earth-2 Batwoman was a much better send-off.

  8. Hello, I’m not coming to the barbecue this month, it’s far too cold. But I will send a half-eaten giant bar of Toblerone leftover from Christmas. Enjoy.

    That really is one boring cover image, even the fantastic white border box can’t save it. I know Batman is a master of martial arts, but I get no kick from Bruce Wayne.

    In the opening Batcave text page, I love how unimpressed Paul Levitz sounds when he says he’s obligated to use stories inherited from previous editors ‘if they met professional standards’. And this is the first time I’ve noticed that the bottom of the Batcave logo isn’t a dripping cape, it’s stalactites acting as the usual cape pointy bits (any tailoring fans out there know the name?). How clever.

    That opening story is one of my most hated in Batman history; if Denny really didn’t want to use Kathy, don’t use her. If he wanted to kill her, give her a ‘good’, meaningful send off and some reactions and tributes from her friends. Talia is as wet as ever, The stupidest thing about the tale is RAG admitting he manipulated the Assassins into murdering Kathy and Batman then saying, ‘I’ll nail them – and then you.’ Seriously? He just leaves Ra’s behind rather than punch/arrest him, leaving Talia to come on and do her usual simpering, useless bit. I can’t stand Talia. Mind, better a snog with Talia than a kiss from a Ra’s.

    Interesting that there’s a credit for some real-life Richard Dragon for martial arts advice – Don Newton’s fight scene between Batman and Bronze Tiger looked great, but pretty generic. For some reason, it struck me that Batman’s cape should really have been used against him by Ben… usually this kind of thing doesn’t bother me, but Ben should have grabbed it, twisted it round Batman’s neck, I dunno, something!

    Terry’s analysis of Denny’s Batman story in the context of the rest of the Batman Universe was one of the best moments we’ve had on this always fine show. Finally, someone as unimpressed with Ra’s as me! Aside from those early gothic stories with Neal Adams. I’ve never been into Denny’s Batman scripts, I just find Denny lame.

    That Robin story was a surprise – a corpse of a teen on page one! Even covered up, that feels a bit strong. I liked the twists and turns, but by the end the student’s definitely, positively dead.

    So Robin’s Hudson University was located somewhere called New Carthage… I wonder if it’s near New Athens, where Supergirl was a guidance counsellor for a while? I don’t think you boys mentioned this on the show, but I did laugh when the police chief, on page five, points to a pair of shoes and cries, ‘Viola, instant clue!’ I reckon his mind is out of tune.

    Thank you for the feature on Kurt Schaffenberger, he’s in my top three DC artists ever, his art just makes me smile.

    I like Abner Beckerman’s look in The Demon, purple suit, black shirt, white necktie and all – there are definite silver fox vibes, shame about the horrific Abe Lincoln facial hair. Anyway, the most stylish man in the issue is Jason Blood, with the cravat matching the edging of his shirt sleeves. I absolutely love Randhu, Harry and Miss Inflatable managing to move a light switch with their joint concentration, we need more of This Kind of Thing in DC comic.

    When did Kirk Langstrom find the time and money to study and pay for his private eye exams? That aside, this was the best story yet, from the very first panel of Daddy Bat feeding baby Rebecca to the sitcom ending. Jason isn’t half lazy though, refusing to get involved in a domestic case.

    I generally enjoy the work of Don Heck and John Celardo separately but together? Yikes. Talk about murky. And come on, Barbara worries about the cost of her Bat-equipment but, by implication, has numerous outfits – with matching hats – that transform into her Batgirl suit? Including this cute number straight out of Gold Diggers of 1933? I do not buy it – the only outfit that turns into the Dominoed Daredoll’s signature look comes with a blue beret and red skirt. Then again, maybe Bruce could copy the bit? He’s got his top hat, his white tie, all he needs now is the Batgirl.

    Are three-piece suits really so rare in the US today that they can be put forward as an example of the most 70s thing in the issue? I’d love to see a pic of Terry in his Seventies number, I bet he was solid gold, he’d got the goods, they’d stand when he walked through the neighbourhoods.

  9. Allow me to introduce myself I’m cousin Rocky full name Rocky StarWind I’m friend of cousin Bucky and Jeremy . I brought Grilled veggie tray with dressing .

  10. Hey, Bat cousins, I brought… ah, screw it, I’ll take Bat Cousin Ward Hill Terry’s trifle instead. The best dessert known to man.

    Terrific art on the first Batman story. Don Newton is killing it. Speaking of killing it, not the best send-off for Kathy Kane. First Batman finds her dead, quickly drops her to confront Ra’s and then storms out. Uh, Bats, maybe collect her body or call someone or something instead of leaving her on the circus floor like an old box of popcorn. To add further insult, Talia and her dad have a heart-to-heart over Kathy’s corpse like she’s a throw rug. Denny O’Neil was clearly not a fan of carnies.

    Batman memorizes every license plate he sees? Looks like Sensei’s greatest weakness is his vanity plate. Driving around town with I DIG BOOBZ on your car make it easy to find, oh wise master. I will say it’s hard to take this league of assassins too seriously when their hideout is a parking garage. Not enough incense in Gotham to kill those fumes. And there are just random cars parked in their sparring area. I wouldn’t want to be getting my AMC Hornet after work and find a couple throwing stars wedged into the trunk. I’ll take my business elsewhere, Sensei, despite your reasonable early bird special.

    A nice “Weekend at Bernie’s” Robin story. Always fun to do silly capers with a corpse. I will say Danny’s body was in remarkably good shape considering he was catapulted out of a convertible headfirst into a truck on the freeway. Say what you want about Danny’s moral failings, he wasn’t a bleeder.

    The Demon story wasn’t great. I agree it was probably an add-on. Although, I applaud C. Everett Koop’s decision to throw that book out. You don’t need that smoke, Koop. Kudos to Jason Blood’s buddies taking floating and spinning in air so well. I can’t even get on the merry go round with my kid at the park without wanting to barf.

    Oh boy, the Batgirl story. Geez, more strange things afoot in parking garages. Women changing under cars and popping tricked-out motorcycles out of car trunks? What’s the deal with parking in the DC Universe? And sorry about the bike, Babs, but “irreplaceable?” It’s a Vespa with a giant flat red Batgirl symbol on it. Save a couple congress checks and before you know it, you’ll be scooting around in a brand-new ride like its Roman Holiday.

    Don Newton nails it again on the Man-Bat story. As for a baby being bottle fed by a monster at 3am; as a father of three I can tell you I looked a hell of a lot scarier during some of those late-night feeds.

    Okay, gotta go, great Aunt Edna wandered into a nearby parking garage and got stabbed by a random katana sword. What a mess.

    1. I can’t believe I forgot to mention how awesome the Kurt Schaffenberger Bat-Family History lesson was! My favorite so far. And we all learned a great diet tip: If you’re eating too much, remember, that’s what Hitler would want.

      1. Okay, sorry, two more things:
        1. I stand by my Bat-Mite comments, Shawn!
        2. The safe in Barbara’s DC apartment is probably the most likely feature of the DC Universe real estate we’ve seen in this series. I’ve lived in DC apartments/homes that have all sorts of weird nooks and side storage areas. Half the time the renters didn’t even know it was there. So I’m going to let this one slide.

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