Written By Gerry Conway
Pencils By Gene Colan
Inks By Klaus Janson
Colors By Adrienne Roy
In this story titled “Shadow Play” Bruce, Dick and Alfred return to the countryside of Gotham and to Wayne Manor. Now that Dick is back in the role of sidekick, Bruce can stop being a total sissy boy and take up his crime fighting war back to the original bat cave. Good for him. Batman needs a little light every once in awhile. I mean, Gotham is a gloomy ass place, but it can’t be like that all the time. I mean, unless your last name is Nolan.
So Bruce and Dick are moving back into the original cave and the giant penny that they have ( Taken from Two Face, Maybe?) go rolling then the all do the just stand around and laugh with each other. Huh? That never seems to work for me while I’m out on the job. Plus, DC and Batman would never lie to me.
But before they can all laugh the night away, Francine Langstrom shows up and stats flipping out. She’s also not alone as she has her daughter, Rebbecca with her. She’s upset because her husband, Kirk aka Man-Bat has used his goofy serum to transform and has been living in the caves inside the Batcave. Plus Kirk taking a serum to help himself out but turns into a bad guy is totally original. So long and you don’t mention Marvel’s the Lizard and Dr. Jekyll and so on.
Francine passes out, from stress and not from it being just a convenient plot device. Bruce turns to Batman and decides that it’s time to keep her word and try to bring Kirk home. But the last time he tried the antidote to turn him back human, it just drove him mad a made him fly away into the catacombs inside the caves under Wayne Manor. But only because Kirk thought his daughter died from a rare disorder. So Batman, in yet another act of totally putting a child in danger, takes Rebbecca with him into the caves to find Man Bat!!! And nobody bats a fucking eye. (No pun intended.)
Someone should like, legit call child services on Bruce Wayne before he pulls a Jared from Subway. Not the case, but I really wanted to make that joke. Also, fuck Jared. The sandwich eating fuck. (Satire) So Batman and Rebbecca run head long into the caves and of course, Bats gets attacked, falling from a cliff while Kirk takes Rebbecca. But, Kirk doesn’t think it’s really his daughter since she died. Right? I guess. But once Rebbecca starts to talk to him and hug him, Kirk Langstrom fights to regain his humanity. Along with a new pair of pants. Got to Be formal in Wayne Manor, you know.
Batman gets behind Man Bat and gives him the serum he created. But instead of killing him, like Batman thought it could, it does the opposite. The love of his daughter (and the script) has Man Bat returning to human. He then goes back inside and starts making out with his wife. Oh that Kirk, he’s truly a family man. Also, Am I the only one who thinks our boy Kirk may have some sort of addiction. Better get that looked at, pal. Fun issue and Colan’s pencils are on point. But shit, Klaus Janson did the inks and holy shit it’s overpowering. He’s inks damn near makes all pencilers look the same. Don’t believe me? Go back and look at his Daredevil run with Frank Miller. Shit all looks the same. It’s true. So until next time, gang.