After a lame Man-Bat two-parter, Conway does the story right with this issue. He’s got Colan and Janson on it–there’s a heartbreaking panel of Man-Bat holding his daughter here–and everything is just in perfect sync.
It’s so well-done, I can even excuse the part when Bruce changes to Batman to take Man-Bat’s daughter to look for him (Langstrom is so far gone he’ll need a mental shock to bring him back) but the kid gets to see Alfred and Dick hanging out with Batman. I guess they figure she’s too young to figure it out.
Oh, and there’s a funny opening with Dick and Bruce dropping the giant penny as they refurnish the original Batcave.
The only misstep is the melancholy Jim Gordon, who’s never really been a strong character in the Conway run.
The Catwoman backup has a rushed cliffhanger, but it’s otherwise fantastic. Jones’s opening scene is great.
Shadow Play; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Klaus Janson; colorist, Adrienne Roy. The Man, the Bullet, the Cat, Part One; writer, Bruce Jones; penciller, Trevor von Eeden; inker, Pablo Marcos; colorist, Tom Ziuko. Letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.