Adrian Gonzales

Detective Comics 532 (November 1983)

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Bob Smith is not the best inker for Colan. He reigns him in way too much. There’s still some great Colan panel layouts this issue though and his Joker has to be seen. Colan’s Joker is hideous with insanity, an awkwardly lump figure, not the usual anorexic. Every Joker panel is great in some way or another.

Moench’s story involves the Joker wanting to start a rival to Disneyland. It’s too absurd and contrived, but the art sells it and Moench’s writing of Batman and the Joker is strong. The humor’s good too. Moench has some good jokes here, especially those involving the Joker.

Alfred’s subplot is revealed and, once again, Moench seems to be rehabbing Harvey Bullock. Both are still too undeveloped to make much impression.

The Green Arrow back-up again has decent enough Moore art, but Cavalieri’s banter is terrible. The seven pages can’t end soon enough.

Detective Comics 530 (September 1983)

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This issue is weird. It’s great too–I wonder if Moench created Nocturna with Colan in mind, since she basically looks like a vampire–but it’s weird.

There’s some action at the end, but the most striking parts of the comic aren’t the action scenes. Moench is serious about his rumination on darkness and he follows through with it at the end. It’s unexpected, but quite good.

The other striking scene is when Nocturna talks to Jason Todd. It’s a contrived encounter, but Moench sublimely makes the scene work. It’s also interesting to just hear Jason Todd try to explain his living situation. It pairs well with Bruce’s later order to Alfred–Alfred’s not allowed to report Jason missing.

The art from Colan and Giordano is fantastic. Moench’s securely in his stride now.

Cavalieri’s Green Arrow is, once again, incredibly lame. New penciller Adrian Gonzales has big problems with perspective.

Batman 351 (September 1982)

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The Batman as a vampire story sort of limps it’s way to the finish line, with Conway filling the issue with just about everything else he can to pad it out. There’s Gordon investigating something–it has to do with Rupert Thorne, though Gordon doesn’t know it yet. There’s a Human Target cameo (Alfred hired Chance to impersonate Bruce, but now Chance is going to investigate him for curiosity’s sake).

But the best part is vampire Dick Grayson coming on to Vicki Vale. She’s mortified but in a hilarious way. It’s too bad he’s a vampire, otherwise it’d have been great character material.

Excellent art from Colan and DeZuniga–vampire Batman is terrifying.

The Catwoman backup–even though the Gonzales art is wanting–is excellent. Jones figures out how to tell these stories in two successful parts, instead of having a problematic followup. It continues the noir feeling, something the art unfortunately cannot match.

CREDITS

What Stalks the Gotham Night?; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Tony DeZuniga; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Dick Giordano. Gentlemen Defer Blondes; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Adrian Gonzales; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Len Wein. Publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 341 (November 1981)

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It’s the ghost of Wayne Manor! Actually, it’s just Man-Bat. It’s Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon bickering! Actually, they’re both just upset about politics. It’s a guest appearance from Dr. Thirteen! A really boring one.

Apparently, Conway wanted to do a Man-Bat story but also had an issue to fill. He pads this issue with a ludicrous “haunted” Wayne Manor mystery. Lots of things don’t make sense–primarily, Batman dismissing the idea of someone creeping around Wayne Manor. Or what about Batman not having a security system in place–even though he has a computer monitoring all Wayne Manor Batcave entrances, it doesn’t alert him when they’ve been breached.

The Novick art is a disappointment. Man-Bat looks silly.

There’s a two page Batman mystery–the Adrian Gonzales art is better than the feature’s.

Then the Robin backup with somewhat loose Trevor Von Eeden art, but not bad.

CREDITS

The Ghost of Wayne Mansion; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Frank McLaughlin; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Murder Will Out; writer, Robin Snyder; artist, Adrian Gonzales; colorist, Roy; letterer, John Costanza. Night of the Coven; writer, Conway; penciller, Trevor von Eeden; inker, Mike DeCarlo; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Oda. Editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 340 (October 1981)

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The cover announces Gene Colan on art, so does the title page, so obviously DC wanted to sell him on the book. But then why did they put him with Gonzales on inks? It barely even looks like Gene Colan. All the detail in the faces, for example, is gone. Except in close-ups and those are the best panels.

In this issue, Batman fights the Mole. I don’t think the Mole ever makes a return appearance. These eighties books seem intent on creating new villains who never get invited back. The issue does have some potential–at one point it’s an old dark house thriller at Wayne Manor with Colan art and that combination works, even with the inking problems.

Thomas clearly wrote some of the dialogue. It’s very expository in a way Conway doesn’t write expository dialogue. Some of its rather goofy.

It’s forgettable, but probably worth the sixty cents.

CREDITS

A Man Called Mole!; writers, Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Adrian Gonzales; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editors, Dave Manak and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

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