Batman 342 (December 1981)

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Conway’s promise of a Man-Bat story–the one he basically wasted the entire previous issue setting up–is not realized here. And I make that observation even with the issue having two fight scenes between Batman and Man-Bat and a bunch of flashback recapping his origin. It’s a silly story, requiring the reader to once again accept Batman is out of the loop.

I think some of the issue is with Conway trying to humanize Batman. He gives him faults and failings, but they’re contrived ones. Somehow the only faults Batman has are the ones moving the issue’s plot lines along.

Speaking of plot lines, this issue concentrates a lot on the mayoral race in Gotham. It’s not good or bad so much as a nice use of subplot.

Novick’s art is occasionally annoying, never spectacular.

The Robin backup’s just strange. Conway’s decided to write Robin’s narration like a Raymond Chandler detective.

CREDITS

Requiem for a Hero; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Frank McLaughlin; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Burn, Robin, Burn; penciller, Trevor von Eeden; inker, Frank Chiaramonte; colorist, Carl Gafford. Writer, Gerry Conway; letterer, Shelly Leferman; editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

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