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Episode 78


 

Back to our regular programming!  After running through some questions and comments from previous episodes, I give a recap of Babs' appearances in Batman #355, #365, #366, and Detective Comics #524, #531-#532, #546.  I give a more detailed review of Detective Comics #526 and #533, move on to Batgirl #29 and Birds of Prey #29, then Chris gives his Batman '66 Review.  Babs in the Tube and my literature recommendation to round out the episode.

 

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  • Chris Karnes

    Regarding when Talia and Catwoman found out Batman was Bruce Wayne and being in the batcave for the first times, Talia unmasked an unconsicous Batman in her first appearance in Detective Comics #411 (cover dated May, 1971), but it was due to severe beating he got from the League of Assassins and his face was not too recognizable.   She would next appear in Batman #232 which was the first appearance of Ra's al Ghul who reveals he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and reveals she is in love wth Batman and that Batman would be a worthy son-in-law.  Talia would breach the cave under the Wayne Foundation building in DC Special Series #15 (also known by the cover as "Batman Spectacular 1978").   In a story with great Mike Golden artwork entitled, "I Now Pronounce You Batman and Wife,"  Talia uses sleeping gas to capture and kidnap Batman from the cave.    Batman would awaken on a ship in international waters to find himself in the middle of a wedding ceremony with Ra's presiding just as he hears Ra's voice declare them Batman and wife.  Batman protests that he didn't say "I do," but Ra's says in his nation that only the consent of the daughter and the father is necessary.  The story would have Batman thwart a plot,  Talia  leaving and Ra's escaping and is well worth tracking down for that and the other stories in the comic.  

    As for Catwoman, her first trip to the Batcave was in Batman #324 (cover dated June, 1980).  In a story entitled "The Cat Who Would be King!," Catwoman was unconscious and passed out from pain when she was spirited by Batman to the Batcave that was underneath the Wayne Foundation building after they both escaped from a trap set by Catman.   "So this is the Batcave, eh?  It's everything I always thought it would be … " she stated after she awoke.   She would leave the cave blindfolded with Batman via a batplane to track Catman down. 

    When she found out Batman is Bruce Wayne is much murkier.    A few months before Detective Comics #526 came out, where Catwoman and Talia barged in the Batcave, we have to go back to a story in Batman #355 cover dated January, 1983.   In the story entitled "Never Scratch a Cat" written by Gerry Conway, Catwoman goes after Vicki Vale in a severe fit of jealousy.  In a fight with Batman that nearly goes too far, Catwoman says, "Bruce … I almost killed you.  I was that close."   This is the first moment that we see Catwoman clearly knows Batman is Bruce Wayne; however, there was no depiction of any shock at the revealation at all!  If this action (and lack of reaction) baffled many readers at the time (myself included – Did I miss something here?), the editor chose to print only two letters of comment that appeared in Batman #359  about this huge moment.  One reader asked "When did Selina learn that Bruce Wayne was the Batman?" while remarking about the issue.   Another reader said that Catwoman and Selina Kyle's previous appearaces gave no indication that she knew Batman was Bruce Wayne, but theorized she may have put two and two together while aiding Batman vs. Ra's al Ghul in a four part story called "The Lazarus Affair" that came out two years earlier in 1981 within his comments.   While both letter writers raised good points, the parts of about Selina knowing Bruce is Batman were never directly addressed by the editor.   Quick aside:  While we're baffled at Gail Simone's lack of explaination of how Barbara Gordon came to walk; imagine if DC put out Batman #355 now and what the reaction would be!  

    To confuse matters more, three years later in Batman #389, Batman blindfolds Catwoman before takng her to the batcave.   The letter writers chimed in again pointing at that this move was totally unnecessary by Batman.   At least this time, the editor acknowledged the oversight in Batman #393:  (quote)  "Many readers pointed out that the blindfold was unnecessary when Batman took Catwoman to the Batcave.   It was an accident that was caught too late to correct, but it's nice to know we have many astute readers."  

    Finally, in Batman #397 cover dated July 1986, the editor flipped again and opened the letter column with this statement:  (quote)  "Before we begin this month, we need to clarify something.  In the letters page for Batman #393, we told you that we were in error by allowing Batman to take Catwoman to the Batcave blindfolded since as of 'Tec #526, she knew Batman was Bruce Wayne.  Well, we were wrong.  As soon as the comic hit print, the error became apparent and we want to state now and for the record, Catwoman does not know Batman is Bruce Wayne.  Never has and maybe never will.   Forget what we've said in the past and what was done by other writers; this is the law of the land.   Sorry for the confusion …"     

  • Donovan Grant

    ^The Chris is right. Catwoman knowing Batman's secret ID is about a weird as Batgirl knowing and the NOT knowing. In Tom Panarese's recent Taking Flight episode, he goes over when the Joker mindwiped Catwoman to forget who Batman was, and this carries on for years until Hush when Bruce unmasked for her.