Mountain Comics 44 – Batman #365

Rob welcomes Terry O'Malley to the cabin to discuss BATMAN #365 by Doug Moench, Don Newton, and Alfredo Alcala!

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9 responses to “Mountain Comics 44 – Batman #365

  1. First and foremost, thank you both for another great episode and another trip back to my childhood.
    What a great cover! A Silver Age cover with a Bronze Age look. All the hallmarks of a classic jungle adventure. If you replaced Batman with Tarzan it would look like a film poster advertising a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie.
    This comic came out at the height of my Batman fandom. He was my 2nd favorite character right behind Batman. Unfortunately, the way the stories would continue from Batman, into Detective Comics, then back into Batman drive me crazy! It was hard to organize my comics and even worse, if I was missing an issue, as I often was, it was difficult to determine what book I was missing. Ok, enough whining.
    This was a really fun story that led into Jason Todd becoming the NEW Robin. These books have permanent residency in my memory. Especially the next issue of Detective with the Joker about to run over Batman atop a Joker Train. (Again, more classic comic book and film imagery)
    A few random facts
    If you had every issue of Batman, and started reading Batman #1 on January 1st, and read one issue of Batman a day, you’d get to this issue on December 31st. A years worth of Batman issues.
    This also means you’d be reading the next issue, with the 1st NEW ROBIN on the 1st day of the NEW YEAR.
    This book was on sale the same month as All-Star Squadron Annual #2. The final issue of the story arc that introduced Infinity Inc. Don Newton had just been made the artist of The Infinity Inc series at the time of his tragic passing.
    Finally, the jungle cat that’s about to attack Vicki Vale on the cover also worked for Catwoman in the 1966 Batman TV series. (I have no way to substantiate this incredibly ridiculous and ludicrous “fact”)

  2. My hometown in Greene County NY was most likely a “Mountain Comic” location for people from New York City. We had those summer resorts filled all the way through the 80s where people would come to spend weeks “in the country”. Most of them were in walking distance to the local supermarket and drug store where I would ride my bike every Monday to find the new stuff. I wonder if any listeners from NYC were hanging out near me in the 70s and 80s?

    We also had one of those “old creaky floor” stores on Main Street, but ours was a hardware store + post office combination. I loved the sound of that floor. I wish I had had a reason to go in there more often as a kid!

    Thanks for another walk down memory lane, even though the only thing I remember from this issue was Vicky Vale and her blouse.

  3. I Dont know why but the seven eleven by my great Grandmother’s house had the Dc presents with superman and superboy of earth prime for two years probaby cuz im the only one who knew what earth-prime was.

  4. Oh, man, what a great show; and I have to admit that my favorite part was Terry’s recollections of his early adventures in comics reading; I also like that his decision to start actually collecting/regularly reading comics was sparked by Ragman #1. I’ve always had a soft spot for the original Ragman, ever since I picked up the whole whopping 5-issue run for a song some time in 1981.
    This issue came after the point when I was occasionally picking up Batman comics – which I now regret, because I absolutely love Newton’s art. I recall having a few issues of Detective from a few years earlier with his work, and loved it. He was such a perfect fit for Batman in particular.

  5. I had a subscription to Batman that started with 366 and lasted until Max Allen Collins. Back when I got 366 in the mail, I realized that it was the last part of a three part story, I was able to find the preceding issue of Detective Comics but I was never able to track down first part of the story in Batman 365. Now after 40 years, I finally know what happened in the first part of the story. This podcast is truly a valuable public service.

  6. Another great episode. I love how many of the guests have a ‘mountain comic’ equivalent. Add ‘maine comics’ to the list!

    I never really had a ‘Batman phase’, reading mostly B&B for the guest stars. I only occasionally picked up Batman or Detective. So hearing things like a 13yr run of buying the title is completely impressive!

    This seems like a very fun issue. In looking at the gallery, I mostly see Alcala although a few panels scream Newton. I don’t know if I would pair these two again. I love them both but I think Newton is a little lost here.

    My favorite part of the show.
    Terry: I don’t like Tom Mandrake
    Rob: I won’t allow that here Terry.

    Shots fired!

  7. Great discussion fellas. I find it really weird that poor Terry didn’t have a store that sold comics. My podunk town had at least five that regularly had comics! One did have them by the biker mags, but still!

    I kind of agree with Terry on Moench’s run on Batman/Tec. Some of the greatness from the Conway run carried over, but Moench over-indulged on Nocturna and Thief of Night, and the whole Jason custody thing, for sure. I preferred his later run with Kelly Jones, personally.

    Don Newton was my favorite Batman artist of the time. His powerful anatomy was second to none, as I mentioned in this week’s Batman Family Reunion. So glad there’s so much Newton on the network this week!

    If memory serves, this whole storyline came from someone at DC seeing the beautiful Batman vs. Joker piece Walt Simonson drew, that eventually became the cover of Batman #366. The piece was drawn for super fan Todd Reis (who Roy Thomas named Obsidian after), who would create these super cool 3D sculptures out of artists work in exchange for original art. Someone assumed the strange gothic architecture Simonson drew was supposed to be a Mayan temple, hence the story in the South American jungle. I believe all of this was detailed in an old issue of Amazing Heroes I had. My memory may be foggy, but I believe those are the basics.

    1. I will say, I think Moench handled the actual passing of the torch from Dick to Jason just beautifully. Dick walks into the cave, has a mature discussion with Bruce, gives Jason the costume, wishes him well, and walks away from the Bat-family, now fully entrenched in Titans. Not sensationalized at all, but a quiet moment between a father and his son, and his new “little brother”. So nicely done.

  8. Great episode, Rob and Terry! I could almost smell that old wooden floor as Terry recounted his experience. I laughed aloud when Terry admitted that some of those “farm comics” were likely burnt in the fire – was this the kids being a firebug, or the adults not really caring about “those funny books”? Maybe a bit of both?

    Bonus points for mixing in the love of an issue, and the nostalgia of the “reading away from home” experience with an earnest frustrated fan-rant about the direction a book went in a certain era. And I’m going to agree with Terry – this plot makes no sense. I might not have picked up on that as a kid (I was 7 when this issue hit newstands), but this does feel typical to the Joker is a master planner shtick they began trying to add to the character over time. I have similar complaints about Joker’s scheme in The Dark Knight film, but now I feel like I’m getting sidetracked.

    Rob, this is genuinely one of my favourite shows on the network. Just a wholesome walk down memory lane, looking at a great bygone era of life and comics.

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