Man-Bat Pt. 25: The Brave & the Bold #165
A fluttering silhouette arcs gracefully – soundlessly – across the face of a harsh, cold moon, dropping swiftly on the end of a steel-taut cable… and those who service the cause of evil beneath the cloak of darkness must beware – the Batman is on the wing tonight, stalking his prey! But so, too, is a stranger manhunter – one who strikes not fear but horror into the criminal heart: Man-Bat!
Batman stops the drug-runners (the filthiest kind of scum he knows) for whom he’s been looking, when…
Batman wonders why Man-Bat was there. When Kirk Langstrom returns home, we learn that his daughter, Rebecca, is sick and that Man-Bat stooped to the last resort: stealing a drug he believes is the only thing that can save her life.
Batman learns that the drug, Serotonal, smuggled into the United States recently, has been contaminated with a highly toxic bacteria. He locates the Langstroms at a clinic where they’re being treated by Dr. Lucerne, no questions asked…
Kirk is furious that Batman destroyed his only hope for saving Rebecca, but Batman doesn’t have time to explain why he did it. So, while they're fighting, Batman has to plead with Man-Bat...
Kirk, please – work with me! Together we can shut down Lucerne’s operation once and for all!
And they do, even if it’s by Batman throwing a plaque at Lucerne as he runs away… a plaque that has inscribed on it the Hippocratic Oath.
All is not good between the two heroes, though:
First, it’s wonderful to have a full-length Man-Bat story once again! I like that it addresses baby Rebecca and the possible effects on her from Kirk and Francine’s experiments and experiences. I don’t know that previous stories raised the question, but I’ve been asking it.
The art is fine in terms of the characters; however, there aren’t any splashy scenes that feature them. Most of the action takes place with Batman and/or Man-Bat in one part of a larger panel. And there are none of the transformations that I love so much.
Batman is suffering from a shoulder injury that limits his prowess; I wonder if that was a subplot running through the Bat-titles at the time. The story ends with the two heroes at odds. I hope it continues when Man-Bat returns to the pages of DC Comics Presents, although that's a Superman team-up book.
Title: The Brave & the Bold
Issue #: 165
Cover Date: Aug. 1980
On Sale Date: May 22, 1980
Writer(s): Martin Pasko
Penciller: Don Newton
Inker: Dan Adkins
Editor: Paul Levitz