Man-Bat Pt. 19: Batman Family #18
Our story opens with Kirk Langstrom flipping through a scrapbook of Man-Bat’s previous cases and feeling a little melancholy…
Francine tells him he can still be Man-Bat and that it would make him feel better; but, he replies:
I’ve made up my mind, Francine! Man-Bat will never fly again!
The next day, the Langstrom’s see on the news that Man-Bat foiled a robbery the previous night.
This happens again the next morning. Kirk promises his wife he has not been sneaking out and asks her “to stay up and tonight and watch” him. When they learn that Snafu escaped from Riker’s Island, Kirk fights his instinct…
No – I won’t change to Man-Bat! The police can handle him!
The next night, “a” Man-Bat confronts Snafu at Madison Square Garden…
I’m not the only one who appreciated Michael Golden’s art! In the Batmail Family letters column, Mike White wrote:
With the Man-Bat story, Target: The Shotgun Sniper, the emphasis was not so much on the content as it was on the art, or more specifically, Michael Golden’s debut. Anyone stepping into the shoes of Marshall Rogers is naturally going to be compared to him and who am I to go against nature? Both men have somewhat similar styles, but where Marshall goes for the sharp image, Mike goes for the more abstract view. Each uses a cinematic approach, but I already think Golden’s is the superior.
Why, then, did Golden not draw the story in Batman Family #18? Writer Bob Rozakis explains:
…Mike Golden is penciling Batman instead of Man-Bat this issue and to help him get on schedule, we’ve had Danny Bulanadi fill-in on our winged warrior. But Mike will be handling both features in BATFAM #20… and we couldn’t be happier…
Bujanadi’s art is just fine; in fact, it’s pretty good. It just doesn’t have the distinct style of Golden. Then again, it’s hard to tell. We see “a” Man-Bat only from a distance with no detail of the body build or face.
Man-Bat’s story is cut to nine pages in the second 80-page Dollar Comic of the series to accommodate for a two-part Batman story, a Robin story, a Batgirl story, and the first story in the Huntress backup series.
I have a prediction for the next chapter. We don’t see Francine watching Kirk sleep, do we? I bet she’s taken to the skies at night. I’m not sure why, though, and I don’t know if she’s aware that she’s doing or has control over what’s happening to her. Anyone wanna bet?
Title: Batman Family
Issue #: 18
Cover Date: June/July 1978
On Sale Date: March 16, 1978
Writer(s): Bob Rozakis
Penciller: Danny Bulanadi
Inker: Romeo Tanghal
Editor: Allen Milgram