Man-Bat Pt. 21: Batman Family #20
After giving Batman an assist in Gotham City, Kirk Langstrom visits Jason Bard with a proposition. He has “never been a private investigator,” has “no police experience,” and has “no income producing cases…”
Afterwards, Bard thinks to himself:
Got to give the guy credit – it’s not everybody who has the nerve to bandy Batman’s name around!
Langstrom decides to trail Bard and prove to him that there’s no private eye who can “do an aerial surveillance” the way he can. Sure enough, when Bard’s encounter goes wrong, Langstrom arrives for another assist. Afterwards, they see the getaway plane… getting away…
Investigating the cargo, Langstrom and Bard learn what a small, connected world it really is…
DC pulled a switcheroo in Batman Family #20. It’s still a Dollar Comic; however, it’s only 68-pages. There are no ads, though, and it has a wraparound cover with the Batmail Family letters column printed inside the front and back covers. So… it’s really, as it says, a better bargain!
There is, however, one less story. Robin and Batgirl return in a team-up instead of having their own stories. What we’re happy about here, though, is that Man-Bat gets an increase in page count from nine to thirteen!
We also get the glorious return of Michael Golden… and just look at the splash page(s)!
When Man-Bat arrives at Jason Bard’s home, he pops one of his “handy pills” and get “instant Kirk.” We also learn that he carries a “compressible shirt” and “similarly-compressible shoes” for “away-from-home changes.” (We know he doesn’t need compressible pants.)
It’s yet another fresh start for the Langstrom’s and Man-Bat; however, I like the way it’s headed. I’ve never been a fan of his family having to survive on reward money for fighting crime. However, I don’t like that there’s no indication about what’s next…
Although editor Allen Milgram shares in the letters column that Huntress is leaving the series for a three-issue arc in Showcase, there’s no indication that readers won’t find Man-Bat in the next issue of Batman Family.
But wait... I don't think readers will find the next issue of Batman Family at all. The series abruptly ended with #20, another casualty of the "DC Implosion," that we've discussed before. Don't fret, though; Man-Bat will be back in the pages of Detective Comics... for at least a little while.
Title: Batman Family
Issue #: 20
Cover Date: Oct./Nov. 1978
On Sale Date: July 13, 1978
Writer(s): Bob Rozakis
Penciller: Michael Golden
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Editor: Allen Milgram