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Friday, 14 July 2017

Batman Family 9 - Batgirl and Robin vs the Joker's Daughter

Rozakis, Novick and Colletta bring the Joker's Daughter storyline to a conclusion in Batman Family 9 (Jan/Feb 77). The issue also contains an Alfred reprint from the 40s, and a Blockbuster reprint from the 60s.

Congresswoman Barbara Gordon arrives at Hudson University to give a talk and receive a plaque. The plaque gets stolen before she arrives, and she winds up getting egged by protestors. What exactly is it they are protesting? The story never makes that clear. Dick Grayson greets Barbara, and Lori Elton is a little put off by the closeness of their relationship.

When Barbara gives her talk the audience suddenly becomes terrified. This is not because of anything she says, but rather the effects of a fear gas sprayed on the crowd by the Scarecrone. Barbara switches to Batgirl and battles the woman, who doffs her mask and tells Batgirl to let Robin know the Joker's Daughter is looking for him.

Later, Dick and Barbara and some other students head to a Chinese restaurant. The kids ask Barbara questions about where she stands on issues, but we never hear her answers. This makes it even more difficult to understand what the protests against her about, as we have no idea where she stands. Anyway, that's not as important as Dick receiving a riddle in his fortune cookie, which sends him to change into Robin.

The Joker's Daughter is in the kitchen, dressed as the Riddler's Daughter. She and Robin fight, but when he unmasks her it winds up blowing up in his face, literally and figuratively. Robin's domino mask gets knocked off, and he realizes that the Joker's Daughter was able to see his real face.

The Joker's Daughter has one more disguise to go, as Penguin's Daughter. Robin and Batgirl work together, and for once manage to stop her from escaping.

Oh, and they also capture the radical who stole the plaque. He seems to be against politicians in general. Would have been nice to have had some actual politics in this tale. Anyway, Robin has somehow figured out that the Joker's Daughter is really Duela Dent, the daughter of Two-Face.

As the story ends Duela explains that she committed no actual crimes, and compensated businesses for the damage done anonymously. She claims that her father hated her from the day she was born, because he wanted twins. Dick buys this, even though if a daughter had been born after Harvey Dent became Two-Face she would not be nearly old enough to be Duela's age. Anyway, Duela goes to to reveal that her whole motivation for adopting the identity of the Joker's Daughter and learning Robin's secret identity was to prove to him that she would be good enough to join the Teen Titans.

This plot thread gets followed up in the next issue of Teen Titans.

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