Special Christmas Edition
Brave & Bold #148, March 1979
Cover: Jim Aparo and Tajana Wood
Batman & Plastic Man, “The Night the Mob Stole Christmas”,
Writer: Bob Haney, Artists: Jim Aparo and Joe Staton)
Colorist: Jerry Serpe, Editor: Paul Levitz
A Florida mobster smuggles in illegal (untaxed) cigarettes into Gotham City and smuggles out the city’s Main Street Christmas decorations to lure his competitors into a Christmas party trap. Too bad they also kidnapped Santa – it was Plastic Man in disguise trying to make a buck!
DC Wikia has more details: When Gotham City is plagued by an cigarette smuggling ring, Batman goes investigating, but he is sidetracked when one of the city’s main Christmas decorations is stolen. Doing detective work, Batman finds out that his friend, Plastic Man has also been kidnapped along with the ornaments and he follows the clues that Plas left behind.
Batman manages to save Plastic Man, but the criminals get away with the Christmas decorations. After doing some background research on the crooks, Batman learns that they are the same gang responsible for the smuggling ring and thanks to Plastic Man’s own information, they learn that their base of operations is located in Florida.
Batman and Plastic Man go to Florida, where the criminals have placed the Christmas decoration on the mansion of their leader. The heroes take the criminals by surprise and after a long struggle, they overcome the odds of being outnumbered and capture the crooks including their leader.
Batman and Plas return to Gotham with the Christmas decorations and the city has a very nice and white holiday.
Bob Haney was the regular writer for Brave & Bold, writing all but seven issues between #50 and #157! Issue #147 (w/Supergirl), was one of those rare breaks. To quote from the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight: With #148, “Haney returns and takes his frustrations out on his favorite whipping boy, Plastic Man , the last of Plas’ four appearances in B&B. Plas is (as was usual in B&B) still shown as a lonely loser.
The combination of Aparo and Staton works here despite their divergent styles – Staton’s heroes are drawn thickly and muscular, Aparo’s are wiry and thin.”
This issue has some sentimental value to me. It was the last issue of Brave & Bold I purchased that completed my 200-issue run. An odd last issue considering some of the key issues involved in the series!
About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped. Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!