Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Is it weird a guy so into blades is unshaven, or is that my hang-up?

It's tough coming up with Batman villains: not every one is going to be the Joker or Two-Face...or even in the top twenty there. Sometimes you need a filler for crowd scenes, which is where I first saw today's baddie, but here's his first appearance from 1982, Batman #343, "A Dagger So Deadly..." Written by Gerry Conway, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Klaus Janson.

Batman has other problems today, like the disappearance of Man-Bat, and that Bruce Wayne and the board of directors of the Wayne Foundation have collectively been hypnotized by Poison Ivy into signing over the foundation's assets! Still, when on patrol he comes across a motorcyclist attacking a truck, with a knife, he meets Dagger, who seems to have elevated the protection racket game. To further sell him, really hype him up, Dagger then takes out the Batmobile--with a knife!

Bats has to ditch the Batmobile in the river since he was worried it would explode and endanger bystanders, but goes back later for the knife to examine it. It's a quality weapon, from a Rennington Steel, and Batman visits the factory to check the sales records and maybe see who bought it. Instead, he meets a bitter David Rennington, who, since blade sales were down, decided to expand into crime and became Dagger! With his knives and on his home turf, he gives Bats a hard time for about five pages, which is probably the best turn-out Dagger's ever going to have. Batman even has a laugh that Dagger "just couldn't cut it!" and I have a feeling he kind of needed the win.

I know the first time I saw Dagger was in the classic--and never reprinted in the U.S?--Batman #400, where I think he's one of the many villains that escape from prison or Arkham, but one that opts to not face Batman again right then!

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

The Batmobile got taken out by a fucking KNIFE!? That's more embarrassing than the time the Batmobile broke a wheel, allowing the Joker to get away.

Dagger huh? Shitty outfit. But hey, he definitely got more mileage out of his appearances than he'd ever get in the current era, where'd he be jobbed out by one punch.
It wouldn't be as amusing as being taken out by a stand in for the sword of Damocles, but no less embarrassing.
It's probably for the best he never bothered to show up again after this.