Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Bat-Mite's New York Adventure"

Issue: Detective Comics #482

Cover Date: Feb/Mar 1979

Writer: Bob H. Rozakis

Penciller: Michael Golden

Inker: Bob Smith

Cover Artists: Richard Buckler and Dick Giordano

Synopsis: One night at DC Comics' New York offices, artist and editor Al Milgrom is up late working to meet a deadline. He is working on illustrating an issue of Firestorm when suddenly he hears his typewriter clacking away. He turns to it to find "we want bat-mite!" typed onto a sheet and wonders who the wise guy is. He hears a noise outside and sees not only fireworks exploding to form "WE WANT BAT-MITE" in the sky, but also a crowded street shouting the same message. Bat-Mite then appears sitting on Al's telephone and Al, thinking this is probably what happens after you eat soda and pretzels for dinner, tells him that he can't talk right now as he has a deadline to meet. Bat-Mite says he can help with that and illustrates the Firestorm page in his own unique style. Al doesn't think his editor Jack Harris will like Bat-Mite's interpretation, so Bat-Mite poofs him into the office, in the middle of changing his daughter's diaper no less.

Bat-Mite tells him he can get back to the diaper changing once he says how much he likes the artwork, but when Jack says he doesn't like it, Bat-Mite sends him back anyway. Al asks Bat-Mite what he wants and he tells him that he wants his own feature in Batman Family. Al tells him they'd need a writer, so Bat-Mite teleports Bob Rozakis to the office. Bob asks if Bat-Mite is who he thinks he is and Al tells Bob to just bear with it as it's his hallucination to deal with. Al reminds Bat-Mite that they need an artist, inker, letterer, colorist, and production man to complete a feature, so Bat-Mite summons Michael Golden, Bob Smith, Milt Snapinn, Anthony Tollin, and Todd Klein. Things get rather crowded and loud, so Al calls everything to order and asks Bat-Mite if they promise to do a story about him for Batman Family, he'll leave them alone. Bat-Mite agrees, but tells them that if they don't do the feature, he'll be back with Mr. Mxyzptlk. Al, presumably anticipating a long night, asks if anyone wants to order a pizza.

Thoughts: Not much to comment on, as this story is very much in the same vein as the one page strip from Brave and The Bold #200. This one runs six pages and is a lot funnier, with several nice gags associated with the creators and their reactions to Bat-Mite tricks like a floating typewriter. Michael Golden's artwork is also quite nice, although he draws Bat-Mite more like a miniature Batman than the classic design of the Silver Age. Of course, a Bat-Mite feature never appeared in Batman Family, although one would think this story would have. As it turns out, it was supposed to run in Batman Family #23, but for whatever reason turned up in Detective Comics instead, albiet with the "Batman Family" subtitle.

This story has been reprinted in the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told (1988) TPB.

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