Detective Comics 524 (March 1983)


Once again, if Bruce, Dick and Alfred weren’t stupid enough to leave the door unlocked with Vicki Vale, Jim Gordon and a bunch of strangers in Wayne Manor, they wouldn’t have to kill Jason Todd’s mom for finding out Bruce is Batman….

Oh, wait, some of that statement is incorrect. I guess they don’t decide to kill her, just Dick is going to talk her into keeping it a secret. Thank goodness she’s going to get killed in an issue or two anyway.

The story is otherwise indistinct. Killer Croc shoots the Squid, which is a sad sendoff for Conway’s Eisner homage, though it’s not like the character worked in a serious setting.

Beautiful art from Newton and Giordano makes it a fine issue… though the ending leaves something to be desired.

The Novick art is better than usual on the Green Arrow backup, which is too silly for words.


Deathgrip; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Dick Giordano; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Todd Klein. Mob Rule!, Part Two: Heat of the Moment!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Ron Randall; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Phil Felix. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 357 (March 1983)


Okay, now I get why Conway’s wasting time with Dick going to the circus–it’s to introduce Jason Todd (pre-Crisis Jason Todd, who has the same origin as Dick, but blond hair).

What’s funny about that story is how out of touch Batman is with the Gotham underworld–Killer Croc (who I don’t think Batman even knows about yet) is shaking down businesses for protection money and it’s off Batman’s radar? Those late nights with Vicki Vale must be taking their toll.

Otherwise, Conway spends the majority of the issue on reintroducing his Eisner homage, the Squid, as Gotham’s new crime boss. It’s strange to see the Newton and Alcala art (which looks more like Gene Colan than Newton with any other inker besides Alcala) realize such a strange-looking villain in an otherwise realistic approach.

The issue’s fine… though, again, Conway’s plot relies on Batman being moronically overconfident.


Squid; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Don Newton; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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