Batman Family Reunion #5 – A Princess, A Vagabond, and A Hound!

At the Reunion this month, you can see Shawn and Paul try a double back flip - not a pretty sight!  But stick around for the goulash and the discussion about Batman Family #5, which has a great Batgirl-Robin team-up, the somewhat silly debut of the Signalman, and the first appearance of Ace, the Bat-Hound!

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19 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #5 – A Princess, A Vagabond, and A Hound!

  1. You stole that joke from Loony Tunes. I’m pretty sure that in one cartoon, Porky Pig worked for Wonder Pictures – “If it’s a good picture, it’s a -“ you know the rest.

  2. I enjoy this podcast every month! I like the way you cover the entirety of each issue. From peeking ahead at the covers I’m pretty sure the first comic book I ever bought was issue #12 of Batman Family. I bought it pretty regularly after that including when it took over Detective Comics. I always enjoyed the Robin-Batgirl team-ups. I also love hearing about the older golden and silver age stories in these early issues like the Ace the Bat Hound story. Keep up the great work, and I’ll help myself to some potato salad and onion casserole.

  3. Great show as always gents! The action sequences with Batgirl show that Swan could craft some dynamic action sequences when the story called for it. I think Colletta’s inks look pretty good here too, so I’m glad Curt got “good Vince” that month. I agree that Curt drew a pretty sexy Batgirl! I didn’t get to see Curt draw Robin much during his “Teen Wonder” college years, but whenever I do, it makes me think of this “How to Draw Super Heroes” book Golden put out in the early to mid-80s. Curt Swan shows you how to draw Superman, Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman!

    Robin by Swan

    One thing I’ve been meaning to ask…what’s up with Batgirl’s “Robin collar”? It appeared in the 70s at some point before this title began (I think in her Detective back-ups during the Don Heck illustrated run) and lasted a few years. I think we’ll see it abandoned by the time this series is over. I never cared for it much. Makes Babs look like some odd Batman/Robin hybrid. And as we saw with Earth-Two Robin’s original adult costume…that’s not always a good thing (I kid, I kid)!

    I love Ace! What’s not to love? How cool would it have been to see Ace on Batman ’66? I’m sure one of the Rin-Tin-Tin actors had some pups that were in the biz by that point.

    Thanks for bringing up Signal Man’s shining (ha!) moment in that awesome JLA/JSA/SSOSV crossover. My FAVORITE of the JLA/JSA stories!

    Oh, and Shawn, I got you down for that possible B:BATB podcast! But don’t forget, Deadman appears in Season 3 of JLU!

    1. I’ll have to stay on complete and utter vocal rest until then to preserve my instrument.
      SORRY Cousin Paul!

    2. Chris, I appreciate all those facts, opinions, and speculations. You’re as great a commenter as you are a podcaster.

      1. Isamu Signal answered.

        I checked my Dad’s comics. Batgirl started wearing the collared costume in Detective Comics 414, drawn by Don Heck. This was after he had drawn a number of Batgirl backup stories. One involved a case with a fashion designer and I thought the new collar may have had something to do with that, but that story was back in 410 and 411.

        There doesn’t seem to be any in-story explanation for the change. I think Mr. Heck just wanted to tweak the design a little. I also think it is based on the cape-collar worn by the original Batwoman from the 1950s (which I suppose may have been inspired by Robin’s cape-collar).

        But this is just my thinking. I checked the Don Heck Two Morrows book to see if Mr. Heck commented on this in his interview, but he didn’t.

  4. I love this podcast! I didn’t buy this issue off the stands, but somehow it found its way into my collection early on. I agree with Chris on the art. This was “good” Coletta. My only beef with Swan’s Robin, was Dick’s hair. Curt was still drawing Robin/Dick with his schoolboy haircut. In the mid-late 70s, most of us guys insisted on having our ears covered by our hair!
    I had read the Ace story in “Batman: From the 30s to the 70s” and it was nice to see it in color. Ace rules.
    Shawn, what’s the color scheme for your Robin costume?
    I still have a paper list of comics that I need(ed). I have another titled “Legion stories that I have” with numbers from Action, Adventure, and S&tLSH titles. I think I’ve got a note on my phone with the same info. I haven’t actively sought out back issues for many years now! Heck, I still have my 3×5 index cards that I cataloged all my comics on!
    It’s almost Bob Rozackis time!

  5. Thanks for another great show, it’s always a highlight when it shows up. This isn’t an issue I have but thanks to UK fans finally being allowed to buy the DC Universe Infinite app, I can take a look… it’s just a shame we don’t get the lettercols and paper smell.

    Ah well. Another good cover, almost as splendiferous as last issue’s. It’s a shame the page count went down here, there was probably a great Aunt Harriet adventure to be found that, sadly, was never reprinted. Still, at least the price eventually goes up from. 50c to 60c and… we get the same page count. Money must have been tight at DC, which explains the cack logos… I notice no mention was made of the abomination on the Bat-Hound reprint. It is indefensible. They couldn’t even get it right – there’s a hyphen, as in Bat Hyphen Girl.

    I think you chaps referred to the new story a couple of times as ‘down-to-earth’ which, for me, is a euphemism for ‘disappointing’. It’s always good to spend time with Babs and Dick, but please, give me a colourful villain (or holographic dinosaur). Still, this was a typically well-plotted tale by Bates and Maggin, I appreciate the work put into the supporting cast. Are you sure our Vagabond Poet (I agree, he must be based on someone) was getting together with the ‘Princeress’ (that’s for the old Doiby Dickles fans) at the end? They had a moment, then it all went tits up with his ‘I am a peasant’ schtick… but maybe that’s playful teasing. Anyway, his speech patterns were indeed odd, a bit Boris and Natasha – all I can say is, his poems must have had a blooming good translator. And he wasn’t exactly selling his vagabond brand, in that swanky, swish suit.

    The writers did well to use Clark but resist Superman – Clark had had two team-ups with Batgirl in his Superman book by this point, and readers detected chemistry between the heroes, so it would’ve been nice to have our mild-mannered reporter throw a spanner in the works of the proto-romance of the Dynamite Duo. Surely Clark asked for the Washington assignment so he wants to ride that Bat bike?

    My favourite thing about this story was the art by Curt Swan and Vince Colletta. The latter was really putting the work in – just look at the hair detail – while Swan is masterful as always. It’s a shame he doesn’t get as much praise as artists who are flashier but less great with anatomy and pure storytelling. Tragically, his talent was sometimes wasted on advertisements for ‘cakes’…

    The Bat-Hound story is a classic, with the only bad aspect being the massive creepy clown looking us in the eye on page three – I reckon that’s penciller Sheldon Moldoff playing with expectations of coulrophobia.

    Splendid work from inker Stan Kaye too, thanks for the spotlight – these creator callbacks are a favourite part of the show for me. Bat Family History? Bat Family Tree, maybe?

    Signalman is awesome on every level. Just look at him. And even when he’s the Blue Bowman, he’s smokin’.

    Shawn’s Robin costume suggestion is fab, be proud. That needs no stinking redraw!

    Ah, so guests on the show CAN do the whole episode…. Well, see if anyone wants to share the one I stuck my hand up for, #11, and if not, take me! If nothing else, it’ll save you this amount of feedback (I have no idea why this show turns me into Diabolu Frank).

    Kevin Hart is cool?

    What cereal did we like best, Charmed Pops or some other vile sounding concoction… I am beginning to fear that you have never actually tasted real food

    It probably sounds like I am entirely humorless , but is there any chance of giving us the recaps straight, rather than putting in whimsical detail such as ‘Signalman’s hoods went off to work for Killer Moth’ or whatever? Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s actually in the story, I don’t always have the strip in question to hand. The gags could easily be transferred to the commentary.

    I loved that line about the flying saucers mag going over your head.

    The Superman #299 villain is Amalak, a Sixties no-mark!

    You’re back next issue to play some ‘cornhole’? Well that’s going to be X-rated…

  6. Impressive podcast most impresses. The bit they do the lifting people up when your arms thing from the back those work. Not to the extent in which they have it shown, but they could do that kick. The thing in your show where she’s twirling down the cables on an elevator. That must be a heck of a strong version of Cavallar. RCB and a heck of a lot of pain from that. Pretty sure Miley Cyrus wasn’t even a gleam in Billy Ray’s eye, when this came out. Worry not we all get to fill old together on that one. She was born in 1992. I graduated high school year after that. Got my GED but any rate I went to college after so. Still who knows maybe Billy Ray picked up this issue a house lying around the house and she read it from there. Robin probably should’ve just did the gravel bit from beginning. Not too many people were going to pick up a hitchhiker in the middle of nowhere.

    Still it can give him a chance to do a she Robin but shots. Specifically whenever he gets on top of the roof where you get to see why Barbara likes him. Again that move can work. But not to the extent of what they’re doing. Maybe with a ally yoga practice and such but I think the first shot would’ve done some damage later to Dick’s back. And then the last one as well. Also I’m pretty sure the boot wouldn’t of not the last thug out. I’m pretty sure he would’ve just looked back at them and said in a Austin powers like fake British accent.” Honestly who throws a shoe?” Or in this case who throws a boot. The artwork is pretty good. Curt Swan was doing decent work at this time. Our at least with this issue. Then again I’m not sure who the inker was your progress at but I forgot. On to the next story dogs are definitely great. I have two of my own. Leah andJynn. No I don’t watch a lot of Star Wars why do you ask? This is a pretty cool introduction to ace. Though I think you is best utilized in the cartoon. I think Kevin is playing a random stray dog that gets powers in that cartoon. And not ace himself. I’m sure a solo. In that movie with the rock as Krypto.

    But I don’t think that’s about use. I could be wrong. The mask that was kind of cool. For whatever reason it worked for the dog. Specifically in one of these 50s stories. There are probably right and the bit with the riverboat throwing buckets offer that thing onto the boat probably wouldn’t work. Also close enough land where they could get a water hose there. And probably half the time of Jacob put all those buckets full of water on the riverboat. The museum bit they have there is probably not going to happen your correct. Some random traffic cop is not going to get a giant sign put in the middle of all this. But, it was a chance for them to draw the giant stuff for them to fight on. The charms artwork is pretty bad. Not sure why they would do it that way. Unless it was to convince parents into thinking that one of the ad campaigns peoples children drew it. They file cards at the end was kind of cool. Though the drawing of the mad Hatter looks like Dr. Bombay from bewitched. Cool drawing you did of your own version of the Robin redesign. I did my own and placed it on yells fire and water page on twitter. Now are my best drawings. But, I gave it a shot. Can’t wait to hear the next podcast.

  7. Weight that was Coletta drawing during the inking? They did a good job in this version. Though it explains why there are so few backgrounds in the issue.

  8. One more note on another great podcast: Count me in as a big fan of the regional pronunciation segment (I love knowing the right way to say things) and a big lobbyist for a Franklins podcast on the Batman: Brave & the Bold.

  9. While I agree villainous eye-sore Signalman should really be called Symbolman, a signalman is actually a thing – and the title of a famous Dickens ghost story – whereas Symbolman isn’t. It started with a pun, but it doesn’t really work with his gimmick as implemented.

  10. SO MANY motion panels in this issue! Is this a comic book or frames from a Robin and Batgirl movie we never saw?

    Also, I enjoyed the panel of Batgirl taking out two crooks with her crotch. How did that get by the CCA?

    I like Shawn’s new Robin costume!

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