Batman Family Reunion #8 – Catgirl Takes Robin for a Spin!

Shawn is still dizzy from doing cartwheels with Robin, so Paul is able to sneak the rest of the pumpkin pie. Come join us as Catgirl shows up to harass Robin in his first full length adventure!  We also revisit Batgirl’s Last Case and see Batwoman “Spin” on a Sprang Fan!

This month's Bat Family History Links for Charles Paris:

Plus look for Amazing Heroes #167 from 1989, as well as Batman Archives #7 and 8.

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18 responses to “Batman Family Reunion #8 – Catgirl Takes Robin for a Spin!

  1. You guys seemed positively giddy this time around!

    The Spinner makes his second appearance in as many months on the network! I sense a theme!

    The Joker’s Daughter having her full make-up and wig on UNDERNEATH the cowl and mask? Yeesh that must have been hot AF.

    Fun Fact: I had the Aquaman pencil case as a kid, and it was the first item I ever bought on ebay. That led to me collecting Aquaman stuff, which led to the Shrine, which led to The Fire and Water Podcast, which led to the network, which led to this very show.

  2. Still listening, but a few initial thoughts. This was my first issue of Batman Family proper, picked up at one of my earliest visits to a comic shop in nearby Lexington, KY in the late 80s. Like I said in comments on the previous Joker’s Daughter story, I kind of knew who she was from Tales of the Teen Titans #50, but this was my first exposure to her in her prime. That jarring last panel of her face exposed was an odd introduciton! Odd that you later bring up Charles Paris keeping Bat-artists in line on the symbol when Irv Novick, who’d been drawing Batman stories for nearly a decade, goofs it up in this story! He ought to know better! But I love me some Irv Novick. His work was always so kinetic. Perfect artist for the Flash, and of course Batman and family!

    When I bought this book I said “AH-HA!”. Here was the Spinner referenced in my beloved Brave and the Bold #182, which Siskoid and I just covered on FW Team-Up!

    Other great movies with windmills: The climax of the original 1931 Frankestein starring Boris Karloff has him squaring off with his maker Collin Clive in a windmill. Of course the villagers torch it with the misunderstood monster inside!

    Another is Hammer’s 1960 film, The Brides of Dracula. In another great climax, Peter Cushing’s peerless Van Helsing uses a windmill as a makeshift cross to destroy a vampire! Who else could pull that off but Cushing?

    1. I have the 1976 Calendar, but not 1977 or 1978, sadly. But good luck breaking through my Bat-Defenses, cousins! This giant penny was made to roll!

      I wrote an article on super hero school supplies for 13th Dimension last year, and this ad and some of the items are included, including that sweet ruler, which I’d love to own!

      Oh, and that Batcopter WAS a cheap rack toy, made by AHI (Azrak-Hamway), but it was indeed a lot of fun. I ran through several, but they would really soar up into the air, and get stuck on roofs, trees, you name it. AHI also made a Spider-Man, because they basically made a Spidey for every Bat-item they made, despite Peter Parker being too broke to have a fleet of vehicles!

      Oh, and thanks for the bio on Charles Paris. I didn’t know much about him beyond a few snippets in DC collection bios, but I always consider him THE Batman inker of this first 20 years. Wonderful to hear he and Mr. Sprang had such admiration for each other. The top Batman team of those years, in my book!

  3. Hello Grandpa Paul and Grandpa Shawn, thanks for another top listen.

    Ah, Catgirl, such fun. That first page is interesting, very Marvel like in the way the teaser line is at the top of the splash, and I rather like the ad hoc Robin logo. And you can’t go wrong with Irv Novick art, and a Bob Rozakis script. ‘The Copycatgirl Capers’ is a typically great Rozakis pun’ – though not as brilliant as next issue’s ‘Scarecrone’. It’s a shame Dick had such a crush on the ancient Batgirl, and was going out with the wet Lori Elton – spunky Duela Dent could have been just the woman for him. Could she BE any more Mae West in that reveal panel?

    The Spinner story is huge fun, Bill Finger really didn’t phone it in, did he, what a nicely worked story. This seems to have been recoloured – in the original Batman #129 version the Spinner is dingy green, whereas in the reprint he’s a lighter green, but the intersections are yellow, much prettier. One difference that confuses me – on page five of the original there’s a business signposted ‘Wellse’ but in the reprint it’s ‘Ramiskey Johnson’. What’s that all about? If you Google ‘Ramiskey Johnson’ you get a reference to a pair of college football coaches, but that’s 2019 or something! I suspect Bat-Mite…

    The Batgirl story was very dull, I agree, but at least it has the real Jason Bard rather than the recent scumbag revamp. Now, re: Don Heck, I agree, this isn’t great art, but he does a lovely ‘Boots Gordon’ in civvies… which makes it weird that once the mask is on she doesn’t look half as good. As for Irv Novick being just a step above Heck, or however it was put, get out of town, Novick was a LOT better!

    And have a million points for the reference to the Three-Eyed Kryptonian Babooch when discussing the Batgirl story

    Thank you for the information on Charles Paris, I know the name and it’s great to hear more about him. What a tragedy about all his later artwork and belongings being burned in a fire.

    I love the original Teen Titans’ spooky period but I also love the return run by Bob Rozakis, pure fun superheroics.

    I’ve never heard of these sugar daddy type cereals from Nabisco, is someone thinking about Grimbor again? Why the question about whether they’re popular in the UK?

    Rich Hango from the letters page is a pal of mine, I’ve told him he was namechecked.

    Why did you call Cousin Rob McCarthy, Arthur Fleck? I see some film Joker link, but why poor Rob?

    That Green Latrine insult for Green Lantern mentioned by the Shade actually appeared in James Robinson and Paul Smith’s Golden Age #2, which I’m working my way through, finally, so I can listen to a recent FW podcast on it.

      1. I’m intrigued, but really not enjoying Paul Smith’s art style here as much as I did in X-Men. Maybe it’s the colouring.

        1. It’s definitely different. I think they were going for ominously moody and noir. I enjoyed it, but it’s all a matter of taste.

  4. Great episode from start to finish, Bat-cousins! Truly enjoyable. I’d type more, but the ants are headed toward my fried chicken. Catch you next month!

  5. Regarding the catsup/ketchup discussion and whether there are other varieties besides “tomato ketchup,” I once bought a bottle of mango ketchup. It was actually very good…as you might expect from a mango sauce, it was sweet and tangy. Probably not suited for burgers or fries, but as I recall, it went pretty well with chicken.

  6. Hey, Bat-cousins! I brought the broccoli and bacon salad, mmm-mmm, for the first issue of Batman Family I ever read. I must have had a copy because I remember rereading it, but it’s long gone alas. Lots of fun to revisit on the DCU app. So that’s the thing: I never saw the Joker’s Daughter intro in issue #6, nor the conclusion next issue, so this whole arc is new to me and I’m getting to enjoy it now. For that alone, I’m glad I came to the reunion!

    One funny thing I remember as a kid, seeing the panels with Robin running and there being a streak of his movement, I definitely thought “does Robin have superspeed?” In modern times, the artist would instead give multiple separate images of Robin to make the page dynamic, but without the blur. I’m sure artists have done that in his Nightwing series a lot. So it’s interesting to revisit this older one and relive my younger self’s confusion. Woo, that hurt my head.

    And I still love Robin and Catgirl’s chemistry when they fight the henchmen together. That was a lot of fun, and teasing more to come. Speaking of henchmen, it’s also hard to picture modern Catwoman having henchmen at all, as she’s evolved so much since then. Fascinating. But nothing’s more disturbing than Catgirl’s face coming off to reveal the extremely pointy chin of Joker’s Daughter, because there’s no way that face fit under the Catgirl mask. Ah, comics!

    That Spinner, he’s the tops. No, not really. Oh wait, gotta check something. Just talk to Uncle Chester and I’ll be right back. (So the doctor wanted to remove that boil, but that woulda kept me out of the hog catching contest, so I told him…) I’m back! This issue came out about one year before my family moved to Joliet, IL, and I’m quite sure I never paid attention to all the references to the Joliet state prison in that story. But I can say, living in the city for 6 years, none of the prison lingo is part of the community, so I can neither confirm nor deny the definition of “Rhino”. Except to think it’s hilarious they made such a big deal about the Joliet prison connection, repeating it like 4 times. Although it also was common for out-of-towners to seriously think my high school was the prison, but that’s another story.

    As for the Batgirl story, I’m not a Don Heck fan myself. And you know, it’s ok. I know he has fans, and more power to them. But I do enjoy this story, even if it’s a fib about being the last Batgirl story. I’m glad her stories haven’t stopped yet! Jason Bard is also an interesting character to see pop up, and it was great to see him here.

    Thanks for another great episode and the chocolate meringue pie, Bat-cousins!

  7. Long time Bat Cousin listener, first time Bat Cousin writer here. I love listening to your podcasts but have not felt that I have much to contribute, at least until now. However, I did want to point out that if any of you ever find your way to the Philippines–or maybe to your local Filipino restaurant or Asian supermarket–you might want to try some delicious lumpia (similar to egg rolls or spring rolls) and if you do, you’ll want to dip them in some banana ketchup.

    Banana ketchup is common in the Philippines. It is red and does not taste of bananas, but rather it has a sharp taste which is kind of (not exactly, but kind of) like cocktail sauce that some people use on shrimp.

    I love the Fire and Water podcast network and am happy that my penchant for collecting stamps in my passport has finally paid off!

    1. Bat-Cousin Gray (the 2nd),
      Welcome to the conversation and a belated welcome to the reunion! I can testify about lumpia and what I have unsophisticatedly referred to as “that red stuff.” In my first operational assignment in the Air Force, we had a retired cargo pilot and squadron commander working as a Defense contractor. In his travels, he had met and married a Filipina lady of genteel upbringing and amazing cooking skills. When we had any kind of unit function wherein people brought food, it was my job (as the Friendly New Guy) to ask who was coming and what they were bringing. The savviest folks who had been there the longest would only agree to come if that contractor’s wife was bringing her lumpia.

  8. Impressive podcast most impressive. Finally… Finally…. the jokers daughter has returned to to this comic book. So she’s dressing like a younger version of the Catwoman in the story. That completely makes the bit that Wolfman does later fail. So him complaining about continuity. His den was a point that doesn’t fit continuity. What now I’m not bitter that they did that to the jokers daughter. The dance that was kind of fun. And I like seeing them work together. Though it is noticeable that she pretends to be all of the classic foes of Batman except for the one she’s actually related to. Well the big four and any rate. All the ones that would be noticed from the TV show. Matt had urged to know that would’ve been interesting. Dulea missed a step. A green is my favorite color if they’re going to where it badly I’m going to have to say something. Unless it’s a classic custom. I don’t complain that Robbins costume makes you think Christmas tree. But, if you’re going to where outfits in public where you look like a Keebler elf. I’m gonna have to say something.

    Granted right now I’m collecting action force toys to put on my display will. Which are Army characters. Created by Bobby Valla. In a day to some kit bashing with some spare ones here and there. I have no connection to any of their stuff I just like buying them. And it’s kind of like an upgraded version of G.I. Joe. Sadly no Navy yet, so no sailors. It’s according took but I had to make it. Actually pretty good toys. So since some of my customs are in a lot of green. I will have to back off a little bit on the overabundance of green. Though I break it up. As do the real toys made by the company I mentioned. I’m just fan blowing for this particular company. And they know how to use green well enough. Anyway back to the comic. I can’t judge the costume Dick Grayson war because you didn’t show it. I probably read this comic as a child, but I don’t remember. Since the 1976 I would’ve been three. I was Born in 1974. And by reading me look at the pictures and try to guess what was going on.

    After all my first comic book was giant size X-Men number one and some random issue of plastic man. So I deftly cannot remember some random suit that Grayson was wearing if I read this comic. I remember seeing the jokers daughter as a child. Probably from her run in Titans West. As a member of the team that may have been its own comic or may have been part of the teen Titans book. Before the revival and they became the new teen Titans. I couldn’t tell you again I was three. Still I remember her in like this character. She’s not up there with the Huntress in my list of favorite characters. But, she is on the list. Er the jokers daughter. Sadly the art was inked by Colleta. So who knows what was erased. Then again we have to give the man credit for two things. One he stood up for his friend Jim shooter whether you agree with Shooter or not. It’s still good to hear that the man had his back. Say they believe she’s the one that talk to Mr. G.I. Joe himself Larry Hama and about giving Michael Golden his first published work. Since Vince’s wife and Mr. Golden went to the same church.

    I think I heard that on YouTube. And it was Larry talking. So that might be right it might not be. His aching mandolin me but he did do those two things. Onto the next story, the spinner? Do I even need to say anything about this custom? I need to point out that a grown man. Put this on and thought it was a good idea. Worse not only did he put it on, but he had another man where this thing and paid him to wear it to commit crimes so no one would know he was this character. I have seen things on Sesame Street that looked less ridiculous in this. I’m just hoping that the spinner can sell or whatever to make this outfit himself. I hope that some poor designer didn’t have to put this thing together for him. Or worse that he didn’t draw the original design that he explained it to someone who had to draw the thing. Then make this. Then give it to him so he could try it on to where it. I have no words for this custom. You just have to look at this thing and think they should’ve named himself King of tacky.

    As I look through the panel that you both posted online from this comic. I can hear the weird Al song. Of the same name tacky. I feel bad for Bat woman being stuck in this. Imagine if she goes to bar.. She runs into black Canary, Hawk woman and wonder woman. And they ask her who she thought this week. And she has to respond with the spinner. And I sure there will be a newspaper image of this man somewhere in that outfit. Though I’m sure both Canary and Hawk will buy her a drink. Feeling very sorry for her. Peanuts Gilson? The villain hired a stand-in who called himself Peanuts Gilson? You maybe he should of been the real one. That name is so stupid fits the character’s.

    Onto the next story. Come on guys let’s not do politics.. Anyway my thoughts on Don’s artwork are the same as they are for Robinson. Superhero comics it’s not to my taste. Though they are okay on Horror comics. It’s just it doesn’t translate well to superheroes. At least not in my opinion. Not that I’m all that great of an artist to begin. Just I never really liked Don’s artwork on superheroes. Though I did see an issue he did of Dracula which was decent. I have that Robin action figure. I bought it at a comic convention recently. I got mine out of the box. It was fairly cheap. Since everything were liking this action figure as a child and having him. Though he sits in my hodgepodge Of action figures figures. I have that Cabinet. Two desks that sit on each other their night stands. They have other random action figures and PlayStation stuff. One night stand they just has Jem stuff. Because it’s kind of a rule Trans Women that are dorks have to have a pizzazz action figure. So I have two of her and one Jem. The super seven versions of course. Then I have what I call the depths keep. That is a another cabinet that had turned into a castle looking thing. Where I keep my action force and G.I. Joe stuff.

    Mixed with other kit bashed stuff. I have the one superpowers Robin. In the mishmash cabinet. With a Nightwing. And a Barbara Gordon. Okay to Barbara Gordon bad girls. One of them is the fireside version. And the other was the DC superheroes high thing. So I do have action figures that represent the podcast you are talking about. I don’t have any jokers daughter I can figures. Since I don’t think they make her. But, I have three harlequins. Which works because the jokers daughter does end up using that name for a bit. Since it one point the Joker was called the Harley Quinn of crime. And if you count that that’s for people with that name. Since Alan Scott’s ex-wife also use that name. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  9. Hi, Bat-Cousins. Sorry I’m late. I brought a cheese fondue because it’s 97 degrees outside. It’s sure to be a big hit! And, as always, I have some Turkey Hill iced tea. Just to liven things up, I spiked the iced tea with Smirnoff to make Ice Picks.

    always let out an audible sigh when I see Vince Colletta is inking (the only guy on earth who can drag down JLGL’s pencils), but I soldiered on. Colletta aside, The Robin story was fun. If a masked girl in leather with a whip showed up halfway through my college chemistry class, I definitely would’ve switched my major to Chemistry with a minor in Chemistry. Also, what a coincidence that Robin just “happens” to be driving by the Kit-Kat Klub late at night… you know, searching for “clues.” I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that “F-U money” Bruce Wayne does it again with a huge framed portrait of himself in Dick’s bedroom. Don’t forget where those checks come from, chum.

    The Spinner story had a pretty diabolical villain scheme. He even framed “Peanuts” Gilson. Being nicknamed after your favorite food is always cool. Like my friends, “Pretzels” McDonald, “Creme Brulee” Wilson, and “Wood Grilled Prime Ribeye with Wild Mushrooms, Potato Gratin, and Foie Gras Sauce” Jones.

    The Batgirl story was unfortunately timely. I’d have to say the most 70’s moment has to be a bunch of thugs trying to fix an election through violence and intimidation and actually facing immediate consequences for their actions. Don Heck was the ultimate bait and switch artist of my youth. I remember awesome George Perez JLA covers that I’d immediately grab off the rack, only to get home and see a book full of Heck art inside. Brutal.

    By the way, Roots is still in Lancaster. My grandma used to get me beef jerky from there when I was a kid.

    Okay, gotta go. Little cousin Toby just took an errant softball shot down the third base line to the face and needs the first aid kit. See you next reunion.


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