Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Sticking with a DC Comics theme now:

The cover of DETECTIVE COMICS #384 has nothing to do with the story inside, which launches the first section of a two-part tale. Like many DC covers of the period, it's meant to get a browser to say something like "What the hell?" and thus be provoked to buy the comic. Here the implicit statement would read something like, "What the hell could've caused a bunch of men to run from a mere woman?" As it happened, by the time of issue #384 DC Comics actually had a pretty fair roster of formidable heroines, but that continuity-factor was certainly of less consequence than trying to get the casual readers to fork over those nickels and pennies.

Though Batgirl never rose beyond backup status in her pre-Oracle continuity, the first two adventures are boosted by the presence of Gil Kane art as he entered his most Kirby-like phase. The storyline of #384-385 only puts Batgirl up against a bunch of hoods masquerading as superhero lookalikes, but this just gives Kane-- never a big fan of super-powered heroes-- the chance to have a mere woman beat the crap out of "Superman" and "the Flash"-- not to mention a thuggish version of "Batman."

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