A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 6
Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!
Today we take a three-day look at a classic Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams issue that has three cool moments that I just could not help but post separately.
Batman #244 is the finale to an epic storyline where Batman fakes Bruce Wayne’s death so he can free his time entirely to taking on Ra’s Al Ghul, the international criminal mastermind who had been introduced just recently (along with Ra’s daughter, Talia).
This is the first time Batman takes on the identity of Matches Malone (Malone is introduced and is killed in these issues, leaving the identity available for Batman to use). Batman teams up with a scientist who had worked with Ra’s (not of his own volition) and they race to stop Ra’s and Talia from unleashing a deadly plague. Through the story, Batman gets aid from some unlikely sources, like a famous alpine skier!!
Ultimately, Batman tracks them down only to discover Ra’s dead in Batman #244. He takes Talia into custody but is then confronted by Ra’s – this is the first time we see the use of the Lazarus Pit. Batman is quickly subdued and Ra’s and his daughter take off.
Batman and Molly the skier chase after them and Molly actually manages to disable their aircraft with her ski pole, but the explosion sends the ski pole into her – forcing Batman to choose between getting her medical attention or following Ra’s and Talia. That is not really much of a choice for Batman, so they escape.
In an impressive piece of detecting (it is always cool to see Batman do actual detective work), Batman figures out that they are in the desert, where he catches up to them and confronts Ra’s.
Surrounded by Ra’s men, Batman could be in major trouble as they could just burst in and have him shot.
Ra’s, however, is impressed with Batman and instead allows Batman to duel with him.
Which leads to cool moment #1 – shirtless Batman and Ra’s fighting a duel to the death in the desert (with Talia torn between her father and the man she might very well love).
What an image! Neal Adams definitely knew how to come up with some striking visuals!
The duel ends when a scorpion stings Batman, seemingly killing him with its poison.
This, of course, leads us to tomorrow’s cool comic book moment (let’s not spoil it in the comments for anyone who hasn’t read the story!).