Man-Bat Pt. 29: Batman #348
Moving day at Wayne Manor! In the mansion above, old familiar rooms have been dusted, windows opened, rugs beaten and draperies cleaned. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson have come home at last… and tonight, their alter-egos have returned to the original Batcave!
No sooner do they unload the giant penny trophy than the doorbell rings:
When Francine passes out, Batman takes Rebecca into the Batcave to both lure Man-Bat and show him that she’s not dead.
Only when Rebecca takes a fall and Man-Bat swoops down to save her does he realize that his daughter is still alive. Batman is able to administer the antidote, Kirk Langstrom emerges, and we seem to have a happy ending.
The story in Batman #341 opens with a two and one-thirds page bit featuring the giant penny trophy. Bruce and Dick talk about moving it around when it gets loose from them, rolls across the floor and falls with a “klang!” It seems to occupy a lot of real estate, but the final panel illustrates that the characters are in a happy place, literally and figuratively:
It’s been only six issues since Man-Bat last appeared, but we get another one-page-plus recap of his origin and recent events. I never tire of these, particularly when a new artist gets to draw his version of what happened. Here, it’s the legendary Gene Colan doing pencils and Klaus Janson doing inks. Plus, they give us one of my beloved transformation panels:
It’s only an 18-page story with a Catwoman back-up at the end. We haven’t been following the main Batman plot at this point, but pages nine and ten advance events in his ongoing storylines, including Barbara Gordon trying to push her father out of his funk (Mayor Hamilton apparently forced him to resign) and Vicki Vale seeking to find 100% proof of Batman’s secret identity.
Issue #: 348
Cover Date: June 1982
On Sale Date: March 11, 1982
Writer(s): Gerry Conway
Penciller: Gene Colan
Inker: Klaus Janson
Editor: Dick Giordano