Tuesday, October 28, 2014

There's a reason they call it Earth-Haney.

I noticed it before in a issue guest-starring the Creeper, where he had yet another new job; but I wrote that off to just not paying a lot of attention to the Creeper's continuity. Then I saw it here, and figured unless it was a character as well-established as Clark Kent, Haney was going to put them in whatever job necessary for the story. Like today's book! From 1978, Brave and the Bold #141, "Pay--or Die!" Written by Bob Haney, art by Jim Aparo.

When several businessmen are blown to pieces, Batman begins working the case by checking their books, and finds out they were all in debt and making weekly cash payments, as to a loan shark: "Longreen." Black Canary gets involved when her career as a designer is derailed by her employer's sudden explosion. But the bomber knocked her clear, then escapes both Canary and Batman; and through "a quaint mispronunciation" come to the conclusion the loan shark "Long Grin" is none other than the Joker!

To break the case, Batman uses Alfred as bait; letting work slip that Bruce Wayne blew Alfred's pension, and that he needs to borrow "fifty big ones." The Joker takes the bait, and Alfred has a sly wit:

The Joker is able to get Alfred, even with Canary and Bats tailing him, but Alfred plays it cool, convincing the Joker he's going to recoup his losses with some insider trading, or embezzlement, either or. But after a drink from the Joker, Alfred can't recount enough details for them to find the Joker's hideout. After Canary is captured, Batman realizes Joker gave Alfred a bomb in the wine, a "chemical-timed explosive." Finally finding the Joker's hideout (which turns out to be a funeral home next to a burger joint with a giant, laughing clown mascot, because Haney) Alfred attacks him, putting him in a headlock, planning to take him with him. Canary stops the Joker's men, and Alfred is unmasked as Batman, giving the Joker a brief laugh until Bats forcibly uses the Joker to give Alfred a blood transfusion to defuse the chemical, since he knew the Joker took the antidote.

A slightly silly story, with the added effect of derailing Black Canary's new career before it even begins...

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Now that's convoluted! And yet...in the end, is it any sillier than a lot of what we have now?