web stats

CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 237

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 look at a neat Batman moment from a one-off storyline by John Wagner and Cam Kennedy…

Batman #477 and 478 show Batman, a woman whose (deceased) father was a villain called the Gargoyle and an old family friend of the woman are trapped in a vault during a robbery attempt. Trapped in the airtight vault for a few days, they only have enough air for two people. So they come up with a game where they will each tell a story and based on the story they will decide who should die.

After the woman tells a story about her father, the old man goes next and reveals that HE was actually the Gargoyle and now he’s going to kill them both!

Very cute twist there by Wagner, addressing the seemingly out of character idea of Batman resorting to an idea like “Hey, one of us should commit suicide so the other two can live!”


What’s that thingie Batman is holding in the last panel?

How credible a threat is being trapped in a vault in the DC universe? Wouldn’t Gotham’s officials call on Superman or Green Lantern or Wonder Woman or the Martian Manhunter or Firestorm or Zatanna or the Atom to help get Batman out?

I remember being incredibly annoyed with this story when it first came out.

I still find it annoying.

Ha! Along with Spectacular Spider-Man #188, that was the first comic book I ever read. Neither made any sense to my 7-year-old brain. Not sure why I kept buying comic books after that.

Rob Schmidt: It was well established in the first issue of the storyline that the vault was made of yellow kryptonite that was perpetually on fire. But this fire was made by enslaved women, so Wonder Woman refused to go anywhere near it for moral reasons. Also, nobody in Gotham City has ever heard of Firestorm and Zatanna (Commissioner Gordon exclaims this at one point in the issue). Also, someone told The Atom there was a monster inside and he got scared.

There are much better Batman stories….Try the year 2 series if you haven’t posted the Year 1 yet….eh….apologies Brian…this didn’t do it for me….

Batman’s dialogue comes across as a bit brusque in this, almost mocking the Gargoyle. It’s not bad, it just sounds more like the way Dick Grayson would speak to him.

Bernard the Poet

August 26, 2009 at 6:42 am

Well, I kinda liked it. It’s nice seeing Batman behaving like Columbo.

You know, Batman use to be a detective, when writers could be bothered to invent clues, now they just give Barbara Gordon all the exposition: “Well, Batman, I’ve looked on my computer and it says that Two Face will be at pier 13 at 11.30 this evening….”

On Rob’s point:- Commissioner Gordon didn’t call superhero back-up, for the same reason that Batman never calls Superman when the Joker escapes from Arkham or asks to see the blueprints for Wonder Woman’s invisible plane or incorporates copies of the Atom’s shrinking belt/Adam Strange’s jet pack/Green Arrow’s arrows into his costume. Now I don’t know what that reason is, but I’m sure it is a good one.

A great Mission: Impossible ending. All that was missing was somebody pulling off a rubber face.

Why does the Gargoyle suddenly have long white hair halfway through the story?

a good moment proves that batman will not stop if his senses tell him something is not right as for the gargoyle having long white hair the formula must be starting to wear off.

God, I miss Batman mystery stories.

“I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me.”

Wow, a blast from the past! This is one of the first comics I ever read– and I read the covers right off that sucker.

What a fun scheme. Worthy of Silver Age Superman.

This story was the first Batman comic I read. The covers were pretty nifty too.

A vault lined with gold kryptonite, etc.? With an extra layer of wood to keep the original Green Lantern out? Those brilliant bank-vault builders! They built a vault that not even a superhero could break into! They probably charge super-high premiums because their vault is truly impregnable!

I can see how this story would’ve played out. With Batman having only hours of air remaining, Gotham’s officials turn to their last hope…Lex Luthor. Visiting him in jail, they promise him a full pardon if he’ll break into the vault with his vaunted mole machine. You know, the one he uses when he’s desperate for money and breaking into a Metropolis bank in broad daylight is the only option. When a simple sleep gas or sonic stunner isn’t enough to crack the bank’s Fort Knox-like defenses.

Luthor agrees to help. Why? Not because he’s feeling a sudden swell of charity. No, it’s because he has a secret agenda…to kill Batman and his old nemesis, the Gargoyle!

But Batman is one step ahead of everyone, as usual. He knew the Gargoyle wouldn’t fall for his silly “locked in the vault” scenario. But he figured Luthor would. He stops Luthor with his anti-mole machine jamming device and puts him back where he belongs: in the cell he came from.

From behind bars, Luther shouts his immortal last lines: “I’ll get you, Batman, if it’s the last thing I do. And Superman too for making me bald!”

P.S. I could (barely) see Batman’s not relying on someone else’s technology or calling other heroes for minor problems. I bet he doesn’t ask for directions when he gets lost, either. But I don’t think Gotham’s officials would have the same qualms when innocent people were about to die. And I think the Gargoyle would know that.

Superhero stories are basically silly. I once did a posting on all the things Green Lantern could do with his ring, including the elimination of evil (http://www.bluecorncomics.com/gl.htm). Among the minor challenges was showing he could get out of a vault made of yellow material in about two dozen ways.

@ Danny Djeljosevic – LOL!

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Eh…this strikes me as an example of flawed comics storytelling — far too much is being told to the reader in dialogue, while the poor artist has to stretch out a rather staccatto, poorly-choreographed fight scene for several pages to keep the scene from devolving into mere talking heads.

The pedigree of the creators is impeccable — John Wagner’s body of work in 2000AD is incredible — but this is a very blah set of pages from an utterly forgettable story. Hey, look, everyone, it’s a less interesting version of the Man-Bat!

[…] A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 237 (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) Sphere: Related Content Filed under: Comic Books Tags: Author, Comic book, Comics, Emerald City ComiCon, FriendFeed, Publishers Weekly […]

[…] A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments — Day 237 (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

The reason Batman never calls in Superman is because the DC Universe doesn’t exist in the ‘real’ Batman continuity – that’s how I always think of it. The namecheck of Superman in Year One is the only thing that really bugs me in that story.

I think that Batman doesn’t do it because he doesn’t want to. He gets a thrill out of fighting villains. He may complain, but haven’t you complained about your lover in the past? He’s had a bunch of girlfriends, both as Batman and Bruce Wayne, but Gotham’s the only lover who never disappoints him. Calling Superman for help would be like cheating.

Bruce Wayne has lots of lovers, but Batman has only Gotham.

That’s my theory.

My theory is that they’d make for the worst comic books ever made.

“Hello, Superman’s phone.”


“Oh, hey Bru–”


“Right. ‘Batman.’ Nice to hear from you. What’s up?”

“Need help.”

“Excuse me if I seem distant. I’m just translating ancient hieroglyphs by 12th dimension Wunderbots… and physically concentrating to keep my molecules together after that mishap from the molecular disassociation ray. Also, I’m punching a Daxam thraggbarr that thinks the Daily Planet is a really big chewtoy. What do you need?”

“The Joker’s painting smiles on famous paintings.”



Do the people of Gotham often lock up their darts in bank vaults?

This scene’s good enough for me. I like the idea of Batman not waiting around until more people are murdered..though if he knew the old man was the Gargoyle you’d think there’d be a simpler way of ascertaining proof. But whatever, it sounds like it was a good set-up for the reader. The only thing that really bothers me is the yellow box with “The missing part of the equation was you.” It’s all word balloons except that and I had to read over it again to make sure it was Batman saying it and not someone else or him thinking it or something from the past. So that panel is def NOT the Cool Moment of Day 237. I guess I’d go with the ‘You knew?!’ panel.

@Danny Djeljosevic

Haha. Yeah I think Supes is a little busy. When Doomsday stays over in Gotham then Bruce will call him ..or maybe not considering Batman is prepared for everything ever. Which makes me wonder why The Penguin’s been such a challenge for him over the years.

Good for Batman, hitting the Gargoyle in the nuts with his mace. That took the wind out of his sales.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives