Batman 351 (September 1982)

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The Batman as a vampire story sort of limps it’s way to the finish line, with Conway filling the issue with just about everything else he can to pad it out. There’s Gordon investigating something–it has to do with Rupert Thorne, though Gordon doesn’t know it yet. There’s a Human Target cameo (Alfred hired Chance to impersonate Bruce, but now Chance is going to investigate him for curiosity’s sake).

But the best part is vampire Dick Grayson coming on to Vicki Vale. She’s mortified but in a hilarious way. It’s too bad he’s a vampire, otherwise it’d have been great character material.

Excellent art from Colan and DeZuniga–vampire Batman is terrifying.

The Catwoman backup–even though the Gonzales art is wanting–is excellent. Jones figures out how to tell these stories in two successful parts, instead of having a problematic followup. It continues the noir feeling, something the art unfortunately cannot match.

CREDITS

What Stalks the Gotham Night?; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Tony DeZuniga; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Dick Giordano. Gentlemen Defer Blondes; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Adrian Gonzales; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Len Wein. Publisher, DC Comics.

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