It’s time to re-enter the world of Kenner’s DC Super Powers Collection. These short mini-comics were a rarity in that every character came with their own comic. Even Masters Of The Universe grouped a few toys from that wave together into four to six comics. It was like the spirit of the Oprah meme came to Kenner and said “you get a comic, you get a comic, you get a comic”…only they’re only eight pages long so there isn’t a ton of time to get something good.
Even the villains would get mini-comics, which is where were are today with the Penguin. The toy’s features included a spinning umbrella with an extending spike and pushing his legs together would have him use the open umbrella like a club. That seems like the wrong action for an open umbrella but I’m not a supervillain. I just used to work for one. (Hi, Ozzie!)
As usual no credits are given in the Super Powers comics, which is a shame. The art isn’t too bad except for one part…but how’s the story?
I don’t know when Batman actually moved back to the Batcave in Metropolis but he still has his penthouse on the Wayne Foundation Building, where he used to fight crime for a while after Dick went to college. (Yes, I know I link to that review a lot, but it does show I know what I’m talking about.) He’s invited fellow Super Powers hero Hawkman, under the guise of Carter Hall, to a charity event he’s holding. What charity? Narrator person doesn’t say. I read the narration in the voice of the Super Powers ad guy rather than the Superfriends narrator.
In this case it’s the Penguin who decided…to rob the event. You’d think he’d know better than to rob a penthouse charity event in a town where the local hero likes to hang out on skyscrapers, but when your umbrella acts like a helicopter and your gimmick at the time is an army of trained bird thieves your options are limited. I have to ask…doesn’t Penguin’s arm get tired after a while? Bruce and Carter race off to change into their hero identities, and answer me this:
Can you tell them apart? Also, why isn’t Hawkgirl here? Yes, I checked and there was never an official Hawkgirl figure in this line, but even knowing Batman you’d think she’d be concerned about her husband (Carter and Shayera were married at this point in continuity I believe–Hawkman/Hawkgirl history is a bigger mess than the tax code) going to a party alone hosted by an infamous playboy. On the other hand why is Hawkman here? Because he’s bird themed and Penguin is using birds in his crime? Is that stereotyping, Kenner?
While Hawkman calms the birds with his controlling birds power (and yet Aquaman gets smack for talking to fish–I guess it’s only cool when you can talk to squirrels but that’s the other publisher) Batman tracks Penguin and the non-avian members of his gang using the Batmobile (now available in stores). Hawkman catches up and captures the henchmen in a net while Batman uses his ejector seat catapult to snag Penguin. They turn the villains over to the police and head back to the party. No mention of what happens to the birds.
For what it is the story is okay. Kenner sadly didn’t put as much length into their comics as Mattel did with Masters Of The Universe (one run of which was also done by DC, who worked on the MASK minicomics for Kenner) but it did mean each figure came with a comic. Not every story fits well into the length but whoever wrote this (again, no credits) was able to make it work. It’s a simple baddie does crime, goodie captures criminal story. Of course Penguin isn’t going to win just because its his comic. This is back when heroes win in the end because writers weren’t obsessed with the villains. The comic may not be one of those must-own unless you’re a completist it’s still good enough to check out if you can for a short read.
Next time we get to tackle a brand new series of minicomics for Free Comic Inside (provided I can still find them) as we go back to Atari not for the Atari Force but to go on a Swordquest.