Moonlight Nocturna! [Jason Todd] Week 2: Batman #360-3, 'Tec #527-30

Nocturna%201st%20Appearance
Nocturna: Literally a Knock-Out

The Renegade Robins Club invites you to see the beginning of Doug Moench’s run on the Bat-books! Jay Todd is not Robin yet, but while we wait for him to get the gig, we can enjoy the debut of some exciting new rogues, including Nocturna! Also, we get appearances by Man-Bat and (in his 2nd appearance) Harvey Bullock!

Join the club: https://community.dcuniverse.com/g/JasonToddBookClub

And for more Community Events appearances by our Boy Wonder, click this drop-down menu:

Across the Community

*In the main Bat-club, World of Bats: The Batman Book Club!, they’re looking at the 2013 series Batman: Black and White, and issue #2 has a Man-Bat story not unlike the one you’ll find in our reading selection!
:batman_hv_1:[World of Bats}:batman_hv_3: Batman Book Club: Batman: Black and White (2013)

*If you’re in the mood for more Nocturna, you’ll love next week’s World of Bats coverage of a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in! (Stay tuned!)

*Speaking of the Crisis, you can catch Jason Todd (and every other DC alum) in that series, which is now the focus of a DCU Book Club event: DCU Book Club-Epics: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS (1985-) Issues 1-12, Nov 17 - Dec 8

Jason%20in%20COIE%209
From COIE #9

*Then top it off with some post-Crisis Jason Todd via the Characters of DC Club: Characters of DC Club (C of DC) First Month

We’ll also keep track of cameo appearances by Jason outside of the main titles, so be sure to look out for “bird sightings” in the weeks to come.

Bird Sighting: New Teen Titans


Outlaws in the making! Kory goes looking for Dick and comes across a new Wayne ward instead. After meeting her future ally, she tells the Titans (presumptuously) that Batman has a new sidekick.

The New Teen Titans #33: DC Universe

Now for a little context for today’s reading:

Background

Doug Moench may be better remembered for his 1990s tenure in the Batman comics, but he was the author of both Batman and Detective Comics from Gerry Conway’s departure in 1983 until the official transition to post-Crisis continuity in late 1986. Perhaps his most enduring contribution in the mid-80s would be the creation of Black Mask, but his run has far more to offer than just one villain.

Moench took an extremely obscure police character from a single issue of a 1974 issue of Detective Comics and essentially created a brand new character of the same name. That character, Harvey Bullock, would serve as an antagonist for Commissioner Gordon before becoming a beloved mainstay of the Bat-titles. To see just how different he was in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it first appearance, check out 'Tec #441 here:
DC Universe

Moench also carried forward some plot points from Conway’s run on the book. In particular, the Man-Bat two-parter here is a direct sequel to a 1982 story in Batman #348:
DC Universe

So let’s get started with this session: 2019-11-11T06:00:00Z2019-11-24T06:00:00Z

Week 2 Reading (Eight Issues)

This session conveniently splits into two smaller arcs divided by an optional standalone issue. The first arc begins and ends with Batman facing the Savage Skull, but the story is interrupted by some shenanigans from the Man-Bat.

  1. Batman #360:
    DC Universe

  2. Detective Comics 527:
    DC Universe

  3. Batman #361:
    DC Universe

  4. Detective Comics #528:
    DC Universe

Next, we get the purely optional reading. The Riddler shows up, but Jason Todd is AWOL in this issue! It wraps up the Bullock-induced cliffhanger from 'Tec #528 if you need that closure, but otherwise, it’s okay to skip this one.

  1. Batman #362:
    DC Universe

Then we wrap things up with the first appearance of Nocturna, whom some would call a pale (pun intended) imitation of Selina Kyle, but whom others are sure to appreciate for the awesome Goth Girl Cosplay opportunity that she is.

  1. Detective Comics #529:
    DC Universe

  2. Batman #363:
    DC Universe

  3. Detective Comics #530:
    DC Universe

Feel free to offer your own thoughts on the books, but if you need a little guidance, here are some questions:

Discussion Questions
  1. While Bruce essentially recruited Dick as a partner on the spot back in 1940, he seems far more reluctant to let Jason join his war on crime. Do you think Batman has grown older and wiser, or has he just become a big buzzkill in his old age? Do you take Wayne’s side or Todd’s side in their conflict?

  2. What parallels do you see between this story and the debut appearances of Tim Drake in 1989? What other parallels can you see between these issues and later Batman stories?

  3. Of the new characters (Savage Skull, Nocturna, and Thief of Night), who did you find the most compelling, and why? For those of you who have read the New 52 Batwoman series, how do you feel about Nocturna Classic in comparison to the post-Flashpoint version?

  4. Of the recurring characters (Man-Bat, Vicki Vale, and Harvey Bullock), who did you find the most compelling, and why? How do they stack up to their appearances both before and after this story?

  5. Not only did we get an optional Riddler book in here, but we also got another Green Arrow backup tale in the 'Tec issues, and we had a Bird Sighting in New Teen Titans! If you read any of these bonus stories, what did you think of them? Which one was your favorite? Which one is for the birds?

Batman has been neglecting Jason Todd this week. Don’t you do the same, fellow Outlaws! Don’t make Jay cry!

Jason%20Todd%20Crying

1 Like

Okay, I’m joining your club just because of Nocturna. You’re talking about the years when I just started collecting comics, and I miss that character.

I’m going to need to find more time in week!

1 Like

Yeah, we’ll be making a trail from 1983 to 1989 before taking that big jump into Red Hood territory (which I know many of the members are really excited about). I hope there will plenty for everyone to enjoy.

3 Likes

I can’t wait to read this.

1 Like

First off, I have to say, “Vape nation!” made me chuckle.

Second, looking forward to getting into this! While I get what you mean about how I’m sure a lot of people here are itching to get into the Red Hood stuff, I feel like seeing the character really evolve to that point and being at the beginning of his journey will make it give it much more impact when we do get to that point.

2 Likes

And along the way, we’ll get the debut of Black Mask, the rise and fall of Catwoman in the Bat-Family, the first appearance of KGBeast, and, of course, that Jason Todd classic The Cult. :wink:

1 Like

I may beat you to The Cult on the Batman book club first! :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

So looks like I’ll be out of town with camping. I will try to post my thoughts early.

1989?! I have been wanting to get in to death in the family for so long!

Yeah, we’ll do A Death in the Family, but we have to get him in the Robin suit and through a Crisis before we can kill him. :wink:

1 Like

Aww man! (I feel bad for wanting to kill him, but I guess he won’t actually be dead.)

1 Like

My current schedule has “Ten Nights of the Beast” and Batman: The Cult in May, and poor Jason will die at the start of June. Of course, it would be really nice if DC would digitize the missing Todd issues (especially some of the late-80s Batman annuals) in time for their appearances on the schedule, but I’m not holding my breath.

1 Like

I think Bruce is simply trying to be more cautious here and he’s really trying to make sure Jason is safe above all else. That’s what a father should to for their child and I agree with Bruce’s stance here. His cautiousness could also have to to with the changing nature of crime fighting in Gotham. When Dick started it was mostly gangsters and the mob but now its costumed crazies on top of that.

I do, however, also agree with Jason’s stance. If he’s going to be doing any training with the boy then Bruce needs to realize that Jason feels a very real calling to this life. Even this version of Jason isn’t the sort to sit around doing nothing and Bruce’s continued insistence that he doesn’t want Jason out there only drives a wedge between the two, one that’s big enough that Jason is feeling neglected by Bruce because he won’t allow him to be involved in what is arguably the biggest part of Bruce’s life.

  • Bruce’s cautiousness here is the big parallel that I noticed. Some of the reasoning behind it is different of course but in other ways its exactly the same.

  • I also noticed that Jason attitude toward becoming Robin seems to indicate that he feels Batman needs a Robin, not that he says that in so many words, and that would be something that is echoed by Tim later.

  • Jason also has come to Batman’s aid now twice. Once in a hastily put together Robin costume and again here as a civilian. Tim does the same thing in later years when he rushes to Batman’s aid despite not even being Robin yet.

I actually was rather fond of Thief of the Night myself even with how cheesy he was. He is so deeply devoted to keeping his love, Nocturna, in riches and such deep devotion is admirable. It also no small feat that he manged to best Batman several times over. To me he almost seemed like the type villain that might have appeared in an early Batman comic and I love it when writers, intentionally or not, make callbacks to that older period of Batman comics.

Having read the N52 Batwoman I have to say while I liked both versions I really prefer the classic one over the more recent one.

Harvey Bullock has always been one of my favorites and its interesting to go back to a time when he was more corrupt and generally just a real ass. Back in the day he was compelling to me because of what he could become rather than what he was at the time. It was clear to me at the time that he was someone who had hit rock bottom and whenever I see characters like that I can’t wait to see where their character arcs are going to take them over time.

I liked the Bird Sighting in New Teen Titans the best of the three but then again I’m partial to any time Jason interacts with any of the Teen Titans however brief it might be. It was fun seeing his reaction to Kory here and I also liked seeing the old gang again even if I wasn’t really that much of a fan of the book back in the day.

2 Likes

I think he absolutely has grown older and wiser…and more cynical. He’s just trying to protect the kid. I’m more on Jason’s side I guess, though, because he knows Batman has already had a kid as a partner before and that worked out fine. Why not let him be next?

Batman as a cynic is still around, and he’s still a bit of a bully to his partners. With Tim, he was also very hesitant to let him finally become Robin and sort of the same on-going argument with him for awhile.

Definitely Nocturna. A lady of he night with that love of darkness is far more intriguing than the other two characters, at least in these issues. Savage Skull is pretty basic, so I don’t think he’s even part of the conversation. I’m not familiar with Nocturna’s modern version; I can’t imagine it’s as good, but I’m biased by this version being in my earliest Batman comics.

Harvey, because I know he’s going to become so much more than this - I didn’t know he started off as basically a bad guy. Makes me real curious what flips the script for him.

Well, New Teen Titans would have been my favorite in context, but we’re just jumping in here; I’ll go w/ the Riddler issue. Green Arrow is just sort of meh as a backup and that villain, Ozone, was horrible.

1 Like

While Bruce essentially recruited Dick as a partner on the spot back in 1940, he seems far more reluctant to let Jason join his war on crime. Do you think Batman has grown older and wiser, or has he just become a big buzzkill in his old age? Do you take Wayne’s side or Todd’s side in their conflict?

I think part of it is just simply the time that this story is being created – as in, in 1940, no one was really thinking “Huh, it’s a little weird that this grown-ass man is letting a ten year-old boy in scaley underroos and yellow booties fight gangsters with machine guns.” But…fourty-odd years later we’re starting to think about these sort of things.

But like someone said, I can see both sides of this. Like, I can understand Bruce being hesitant to letting some kid fight alongside him when he has no real training outside of backflips. But I can also understand Jason’s need for an outlet, something else to do outside of school and watching movies with Bruce when he gets the chance.

What parallels do you see between this story and the debut appearances of Tim Drake in 1989? What other parallels can you see between these issues and later Batman stories?

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really read any of early Tim – like the earliest of his stories I’ve read I think is probably Knightfall, and honestly, I find Tim to be one of the dullest members of the Bat-Family.

Of the new characters (Savage Skull, Nocturna, and Thief of Night), who did you find the most compelling, and why? For those of you who have read the New 52 Batwoman series, how do you feel about Nocturna Classic in comparison to the post-Flashpoint version?

Definitely Nocturna. I mean, Savage Skull was okay, but I think he should have just stuck to the one issue. Thief of Night was interesting more in theory, but his costume was kind of bland and I feel like he could have been more interesting in personality. Like, dude looks like a transplant from a gothic romance book, I feel like he should have been more theatrical.

So overall I thought Nocturna was the most compelling part. On one hand, she kind of feels like a clone of Catwoman – you know, a woman from the streets who steals to survive and then because she’s used to a life of luxury. I think the start of her dynamic with Jason does spice that up a little bit, as well as her being more cerebral and just…okay, does she actually have some sort of mind control powers, or is she just that hot? Because it’s no wonder people keep making her into a vampire because her ability to cloud minds, along with her pale skin just SCREAMS vampire.

Speaking of, yes, I have read that New 52 run and I did remember liking that story. Part of me wants to see a story of Bruce and Kate teaming up to fight Nocturna and finding out they both slept with the same woman and being uncomfortable the rest of the adventure. :laughing:

Of the recurring characters (Man-Bat, Vicki Vale, and Harvey Bullock), who did you find the most compelling, and why? How do they stack up to their appearances both before and after this story?

I’d probably go with Man-Bat. It was interesting wanting to see him try to make Jason into his new child (though I didn’t get why he thought his child was dead). Bullock made for a good foil, but I didn’t like how clearly corrupt and scummy he was. I like Harvey when he’s bent, but more on the side of good, who bends the rules to try to get the bad guy, not get the Commissioner position.

Vicki was…definitely the weakest of them. Honestly, outside of the '89 movie, MAYBE All-Star Batman if I’m feeling charitable, I’m trying to think of a take on her I’ve actually really liked. She always feels like a C-list character. Maybe I’d feel more invested in this…doomed for failure relationship if I saw them from the beginning, but that’s a big maybe.

Not only did we get an optional Riddler book in here, but we also got another Green Arrow backup tale in the 'Tec issues, and we had a Bird Sighting in New Teen Titans ! If you read any of these bonus stories, what did you think of them? Which one was your favorite? Which one is for the birds?

I dug the Riddler story – nothing revolutionary, but pretty solid one-shot. The Green Arrow back-ups in these issues have been solid – a little weird at first, because I never knew that Ollie was a reporter at ANY point in his publishing history, and while it’s not quite “Hal Jordan as a travelling toy salesman” in terms of “WTF is this character doing this job” territory, it’s pretty close. But overall they’re pretty solid. I know I’m partially looking forward to reading the next issue of Detective in this period not just for Batman, but to see how they resolve that freaking cliffanger in that last issue – those dumb survivalist guys are launching nukes, for crying out loud!

It’s been a while since I read that issue (I read up to Terror of Trigon on NTT a while ago), but I remember liking that issue and moment. It is kind of funny seeing the first published interactions between Jason and Kory basically being the Tamerian bombshell jump-start the poor lad’s puberty. :laughing:

1 Like

That whole “Man-Bat thinks Batman killed his daughter” thing was something that had been going on for years. I provided a link to the Gerry Conway story where Langstrom had been holing up in the Batcave for some context, but the idea actually predates that story. In Brave and the Bold #165, his daughter is diagnosed with an illness that is likely to prove deadly, and Batman stops Man-Bat from using a drug that is just as likely to kill her as to save her. Superman helps to cure the little girl in DC Comics Presents #35, but Man-Bat retains hazy memories of Batman’s interference when he goes into a delusional state, leading to his belief that Batman killed his daughter. It was a recurring bit for a while.

1 Like

Oooh! Okay, that makes sense. See, because I vaguely remember Francine having been a She-Man-Bat or whatever for a time, I had the idea in my head that they had a little bat-baby and some sort of comic book science happened that made her a human baby, and that’s why Man-Bat thinks his baby is dead.

1 Like

I’ve really, really considered sticking Batman: Year Three and A Lonely Place of Dying in this read-through, hiding behind the notion that Jason’s death lingers over those issues, but I feel like if I did that, I’d just flat out be saying, “This is World of Bats Gaiden.” :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

I get what you mean – I have no doubt if I don’t put either of those on the club at one point, @AquamonC137 or @BatJamags will.

1 Like