Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Modern Classic: Batman #347

This May, 1982 issue starts out with two young men discussing business:

The more reluctant partner talks about the time Batman foiled a prison break, taking out the escaped cons one by one:

When that fails to dissuade his buddy, the young man talks about morality. Won't someone be hurt by the bank robbery?

Well, for instance, there was a series of arson attacks going on in that very neighborhood some years back. Since the buildings being burned down were abandoned and insured, nobody much cared, and since the arsonist used some stereotypical radical language, he even attracted converts to the cause:

Batman tries to track down those responsible, despite the general apathy. Because the firemen had used up too much water fighting the arson in the abandoned buildings, there was no water pressure when it came time to fight a small fire in an apartment where an elderly couple lived, resulting in the death of the husband. In a rage, Batman grabs the radical leader and drags him into a burning building. The building collapses, and the crowd is undecided as to what to do when the old woman speaks up:

So the crowd rescues the pair and Batman even ends up giving mouth-to-mouth to save the arsonist. And the final page is so good I'm posting it here complete:

Simply wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. I remember that one. A great story, and the Von Eeden art doesn't hurt, either. I don't tihnk you can count a 1982 story as "modern" anymore, though. More's the pity.

    Kind of makes you nostalgic for the days when you could have a "one-off" issue that didn't tie into a major company-wide "event" and/or feature a half-dozen supervillains. This one is all the more terrific for not being "important." Batman always works best on a human level, and he hasn't been there in a long, long time.