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Man-Bat Pt. 22: Detective Comics #481

Kirk Langstrom tells Francine about his first adventure as a fully employed private detective with his new partner, Jason Bard.

After J.J. Whittles visits their office and explains that his wife has been kidnapped, Man-bat takes to the air to watch the scheduled meeting to pay ransom. He swoops into the parking garage after the car…

It seems the “kidnapper” was the private detective Whittles hired before Bard and Langstrom, hoping to make a cool million based on what he already knew about the case. What about Mrs. Whittles, then?


Langstrom locates her in a disco, but doesn’t tell Bard because they’re being followed by someone that wants to kidnap her for real. The partners attack.

This guy is another detective that Whittles fired, leaving Langstrom to comment...

I’m beginning to think my partner’s the only honest private eye in the business.



Now! Two Titanic Mags in One! Detective Comics Starring the Batman Family The Only Magazine Featuring All the Members of The Batman Family!

Except for Huntress; remember she went to Showcase for three issues.


This story is one of my least favorite so far in this series, but if it continues with…

…then it may not hold its rank.


First of all, there’s very little Man-bat action. His new job of flying around to provide surveillance for Jason Bard is not very exciting. Sure, he eventually gets to confront the villain, but I bet I could count on less than two hands the panels in which Man-Bat appears.


I really don’t like the hard-boiled, film noir narration. Maybe he’s trying to be funny as he tells Francine about his latest adventure, which we see depicted in flashback.


I don’t mind the new artists. Man-bat looks good; however, I don’t care for the way Newton and Hunt draw and ink Kirk Langstrom. He doesn’t have a consistent look and with his receding hairline and cruel eyes (plus a trench coat), he seems like a different character.


All in all, it’s a very disappointing turn for Man-bat.


Title:Detective Comics

Issue #: 481

Cover Date: Dec./Jan. 1978

On Sale Date: Sept. 28, 1978

Writer(s): Bob Rozakis

Penciller: Don Newton

Inker: Dave Hunt

Editor: Julius Schwartz

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