Monday, October 12, 2015

J, J, J, is for Julie...

Because she appeared so early in Batman's history, the character Julie Madison still makes appearances every so often. She's described as Batman's first love interest, but she was really Bruce Wayne's, and in most versions doesn't seem to have known he was Batman. Still, Julie Madison remains a go-to name to signify a girl that could mean something to Batman, as in today's book: from 2003, Batman Adventures #5, "Shot to the Heart" Written by Dan Slott, pencils by Ty Templeton, inks by Terry Beatty.

Sleazy private eye Ricky Squib believes he's finally got his "million-dollar shot," photos of Gotham City's current mayor, the Penguin. Black Mask puts a hit on Squib for his new "client," and Deadshot takes the job. Meanwhile, Batman questions Eel O'Brian, who tries to change the subject from Batman's "vendetta" against Penguin, to the rising threat of Black Mask. But Batman has to leave early? What? He has a date, with Julie Madison! Bruce had been seeing her for six months, which he admits is as much as a record for him, and wanted to give her a piece of his mother's jewelry. Julie is thrilled, although she had thought Bruce was going to ask her about the Penguin--that vendetta may be real, then--but the date is derailed when Bruce gets a call from Harvey Bullock, who's currently being chased by Deadshot!

Bruce has to make an excuse to leave, so Julie has had enough, and tells Alfred she plans to leave town. As Batman races to save Bullock, Bullock explains that since the Penguin had him kicked off the GCPD he had been working as a private eye with Squib, who had been trying to blackmail Penguin, and got shot for it. Bullock had the pictures, and while the suitcase with them gets shot open, he's still able to gather them up as Batman beats Deadshot. When the cops get there, led by Captain Montoya, they are there more to get Batman than save Bullock; but Montoya asks if Bullock had actually seen the pictures: while racy, Penguin wasn't married, and as such the photos weren't particularly scandalous. (One cop even suggests the mayor would probably want copies for himself!)

Boarding a plane to Star City, Julie turns as a familiar voice calls her name, but it's not Bruce. In the pictures of the Penguin, there were several of him, with Julie Madison. She confesses that her boyfriend hated the Penguin, that it would've ruined everything, she had ordered the hit. (Which is rather short-sighted: even if she had succeeded and married Bruce, wouldn't the Penguin have blackmailed her then? Well, it never gets that far. And I realize now, Bullock never said Squib was blackmailing the Penguin, only that the photos were in his "Cobblepot file," leaving the reader to jump to the same conclusion as Bullock! Well done.) A grim Bats leaves her handcuffed to the stairs, as Julie bemoans losing her one chance at landing a billionaire. I was honestly surprised by that twist, as well as that the next page didn't picture Batman punching someone really, really hard. Instead, as "Matches" Malone, Bats sets up a meet with Black Mask; who himself is introducing his False Face Society to their new "head of eliminations," the Phantasm!

The rest of the issue includes "Liar Liar," a short tale of the inauspicious beginnings of Penguin's mayoral campaign and why he had Harvey Bullock fired at his earliest opportunity. (Written by Ty Templeton, pencils by Rick Burchett, inks by Terry Beatty.) I really need to see if this was collected anywhere...

Today's title is from the classic MTV program "Just Say Julie," the theme of which haunts me to this day.


Dale Bagwell said...

First off, wow. Now that's a hell of a story. and Julie Madison as a villain to boot. Just goes to show ya(and me) that these animated-derived series pack some damn solid stories in them. And this one by Dan Slott no less. The same guy that used to write the Marvel Ren and Stimpy series I've never read despite being one of the biggest fans of theirs, even to this day.

Second, tell me more about this haunting TV theme, 'cause the only TV theme to really haunt me, even now, was the old, original theme to Unsolved Mysteries. Seriously, the music alone scared the shit out of me, more than the show itself ever did.

Dale Bagwell said...

Just looked it up on Youtube. Damn she used to be hot! Watching the movie Clueless you'd never have imagined that.

But still, the theme song haunts you?

googum said...

Sometime during her series, there's a cutaway that returns with her theme song, but with the vocals "Blah-blah-blah, blah blah, blah-blah..." As someone who's ostensibly tone-deaf (or my wife says so!) and who says blah-blah-blah all the time...yeah, it comes up a lot.