Episode 36 – Batwoman and Bat-Girl!

Welcome to the thirty-sixth episode of The Overlooked Dark Knight.  The is a non-index index show where the hosts, Andrew Leyland and Michael Bailey, look at Batman comics that rarely, if ever, get talked about.  In one episode they will talk about Bat books from the late seventies and early eighties.  In another episode they will talk about the animated Adventures titles that DC published in the nineties.  Sometimes they talk about whatever strikes their fancy.

Andy and Mike are celebrating Batman’s 80th Birthday for the next year.  It’s going to be fun.  They are doing this by covering stories outside of their normal mandate.

Not that they have a mandate.  But they do.  It’s complicated.

This time out Andy is extremely patient with Michael buffoonery.  See, Andy doesn’t overly care for the Batman comics published in the fifties and early sixties.  He doesn’t judge those that do like those books, but they’re not his favorite and, to be fair, Michael isn’t the biggest fan of them either.  But Michael is nothing if not nostalgic and the first Batman comics he ever read (as he is wont to tell anyone that will listen) were in the hardcover collection Batman: From The 30’s To The 70’s and the middle of that books contains stories featuring the Batwoman and Bat-Girl of the fifties and early sixties.  So, Mike wanted to talk about them and Andy is a nice guy, so here they are.

The first story they discuss is from Detective Comics #233, which featured the first appearance of the Kathy Kane Batwoman!  Listen to Mike and Andy talk about why Kathy became Batwoman as well as a lengthy discussion on how sexist Batman is through the entire story.  They follow this up with a story from Batman #139, which features the first appearance of Bat-Girl, who is Kathy’s niece and this time Kathy gets in on the condescending act.  Both stories are a lot of fun and the guys had a ball talking about them.

Below are the covers and selected pages from the comics discussed this episode.

Andy and Mike want your feedback on this episode so they can read it on an upcoming show!  You even have options in how you leave your feedback.  The most direct way is to leave a comment right here on the site.  You can also send all questions, concerns, fears and trepidations to [email protected].  Then there’ the Facebook page, where you can also leave a Batman related question for Andy and Mike to answer at the beginning of the show.  If you talk about this show on the social medias please include a #overlookeddk so the guys know where to find it.

If you want to subscribe to the show here’s the RSS Feed and the Apple Podcast link.  If you use iTunes please leave us a review.  Not only will we read that on the air like the other feedback but it really helps the show out.  The show is also available on the Google Play Store and Spotify.

Next Time: The Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight three part story Blades!

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  1. Martin Gray says:

    It’s so great to have this show pop up on a dreich Tuesday morning, it really cheers up the day.

    I liked the discussion on ‘Yvonne’ and ‘Craig’… there’s also the way some Americans pronounce ‘Graeme’ as ‘Gram’, ‘mirrors’ as ‘mirs’ and ‘squirrels’ as ‘squirls’. I’ve never heard ‘Why-vonne’ previously, it’s kinda fun. I have a cousin named Yvonne so had a head start.

    On a similar note, the way Americans seem to use ‘quite’ to mean ‘very’ when we use it to mean ‘a bit’ confused me for ages… praise comes across as mildly sarcastic.

    Most Brits are rightly proud of the National Health Service, it’s the best thing about this nation.

    I love the idea of the Star of Bat-hlehem – gold, frankincense and murder. Well done Rachel!

    I adore Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl, charm bracelets and all… a fanzine strip from my pals Howard and Steve in the Eighties had Kathy mop up dastardly crims with her Bat tampon. It wasnt tasteless, it was satire!

    Was Kathy named after Bob?

    I hate this modern business of Bruce and Kate being cousins. It’s just so unnecessary.

    ‘Too Dangerous For a Girl.’ Thank you.

  2. Ryan Daly says:

    Curse you, Michael, for stepping on my joke even as I thought of it!

    As you and Andy mentioned the trade paperback BATMAN: THE BLACK CASEBOOK, which collected the whacky Silver Age stories that inspired Grant Morrison’s run, I instantly thought, “Fun fact: one of the pages in that book is printed on LSD blotter paper, and when you lick it, you trip balls!” But then you had to go ahead and make a similar joke of your own. Curse you!

  3. I must say, as an old guy, I think of Bat-Woman (with the hyphen, please. It just feels “right” to me.) very fondly as a fun part of my boyhood. I particularly recall the story in World’s Finest #90, in which she temporarily gained Kryptonian-type superpowers, as so many people seemed to do in those days.
    I noted with interest Michael’s description of Bat-Woman’s costume as “yellow and orange”. I always saw it as yellow and red. I don’t know if there was a fading of the color in whatever medium he was reading, or if it’s simply a difference of perception, as different people separate red and orange at slightly different places along the color spectrum. For example, the first time I heard someone describe Spider-Man’s (There’s that hyphen, again.) costume as blue and red, I was surprised, because I’ve always seen it as blue and orange, myself.
    At one point, Michael also mentioned the death of Kathy Kane in Detective Comics #485, which I didn’t like at the time, and still don’t. It seemed to be treated as a minor plot device in the story, and barely rated much mention, to say nothing of mourning, in the immediate future.
    As I said, I’m an old guy, and I realize that many readers regard stories from the 1950s and ’60s as silly, but even beyond nostalgia, many of the stories and characters retain their hold on me.

  4. Martin Gray says:

    I noticed that ‘yellow and orange’ remark from Michael, I assumed it was just a bit of an error in speaking. Your perception of Spidey’s costume is fascinating, this may all be similar that controversial dress that was in the news a couple of years back.

    I’d never seen that WF #90 story, the cover is so gorgeous, off for a read, Thanks Dave!

  5. Fun show gents. I guess the idea of a super hero “family” goes back to Captain (Shazam!) Marvel, Junior, Mary, etc. I know the influence of Marvel Family writer Otto Binder being in the Superman writing stable influenced the addition of Supergirl to the canon, ala Mary.

    I think I knew who Batwoman was before her appearance in my beloved B&B #182, written by Alan Brennert and drawn by Jim Aparo. Speaking of which, I can’t really argue that Aparo wasn’t a gamechanger, but that makes him no less definitive. Curt Swan began with a very Wayne Boring style in the late 40s, and slowly evolved into THE Superman artist. I never really thought of Swan or Aparo as being “out of style” at any point, since comic styles were so varied. I mean, you never even knew which Keith Giffen you were going to get if he drew a book in the 80s. There was no “style” in many ways.

    Oh, and I always thought Kathy’s uniform was yellow and red too. Although comic red is often skewed toward the orange range.


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