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Friday, 14 July 2017

Batman Family 7 - Batgirl and Robin vs Huntress and Sportsmaster

Maggin, Swan and Colletta pit Batgirl and Robin against the Huntress and the Sportsmaster in Batman Family 7 (Sept/Oct 76), which also contains reprints of two stories from the 50s, one of which being the debut of Dr. Double X.

Batman and Alfred have small roles at the beginning and ending of this story. Batgirl gets kidnapped, and Robin is lured into a trap by those responsible. Bruce warns Dick about the kidnapping, and also comments on how the boy has developed a romantic interest in Batgirl. Dick denies this, but the fact that Bruce can tell makes it clear that he does.

The villains are the Huntress and Sportsmaster. The story goes out of its way to make them new, Earth-1 versions of the married villains, although it also makes them identical to the Earth-2 versions, so you kind of have to wonder why. Other villains have been able to travel from Earth to Earth. Anyway, they find a pyramid, and want to retrieve a jewel from inside it, but neither is willing to risk entering it. 

So they capture Batgirl and Robin and pretend to pit them against each other in a series of competitions, culminating in a race to retrieve a "bauble" from the pyramid. The pair escape a death trap on the way down, and Batgirl can tell that the ruby camay they find is extremely valuable, not a bauble at all.

So the pair turn the tables on Huntress and Sportsmaster, using the ruby to divert their attention and then capturing them. Simple, but a fun tale.

This version of the Huntress and Sportsmaster appear one more time, a couple of months down the road, forcing heroes and villains to play baseball against each other in DC Super Stars.

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