Monday, October 26, 2015

Sometimes, the GCD doesn't have all the answers, so I have to drop the science.


I know, I'm scared too. But when we looked at Batman Adventures #5 the other day, I said I wanted to see if it had been collected. The GCD didn't have it listed, but there was a smaller, digest-sized collection of issues #5 through #9, Shadows and Masks. The cover shown on Amazon is slightly different than mine--classic logo, Batman and Robin in the corner--but the pricing varies from ninety-four cents to thirty-five bucks, on various listings.

I had thought the Mayor Penguin storyline would be highlighted in this volume, but I don't think it comes up again after #5! Bats may be avoiding the cops because of the mayor, but that's about it. Instead, Black Mask is the main villain, and Batman infiltrates his False Face Society under the alias Matches Malone, with the informant Eel O'Brian.

Somewhat surprisingly for a kid-targeted digest, a good chunk of this book goes towards Batman's love life. OK, Julie Madison was a bust; but then as Matches, Bats saves a young single mom Charlotte from a burning building. It was arson caused by Firefly working for the FFS; but "Matches" covers her rescue as not wanting to face a murder rap. He then uses Bruce Wayne's connections to get Charlotte a decent job, and is almost on a dating relationship with her; when Black Mask finally snaps and attacks Wayne Industries. She had thought Matches was a good guy, and is heartbroken to see him working for Black Mask, and Batman can't tell her otherwise. His relationship with Phantasm isn't going any better: she wants Bats to trust her, and seems to possibly be working her way into the gang undercover just as he did; but Batman can't forgive her murders. On the other hand, Batman discovers he completely trusts Batgirl, even though he didn't train her.

Bronze Tiger serves as one of Black Mask's lieutenants, with his look not translating to the animated style very well. (His other lieutenants are Firefly, Black Spider, Sportsmaster, and the Gorilla Boss!) But along with the regular storyline, some of the back-ups tie in; such as Ty Templeton's story about the secrets of Matches Malone...and why Batman can't look in the mirror while he wears that mustache. Except, now that I've found this one, I wonder if the next issues were collected as well! Especially since Black Mask is revealed to be not the final boss...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Damn. This seems like a pretty solid collected bundle worth looking into. I just might....