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ISSUE NO. 844

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Confession: Since I have no interest at all in the character, I've never actually read a Scalphunter tale -- with a single exception -- when he co-starred with Batman in Brave and Bold #171, story by Gerry Conway and Jose Garcia Lopez, with this beautiful Jim Aparo cover...
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Another confession: To this day, I have never READ this story. Why not? Well, for one thing, it's written by Gerry Conway, so it's practically guaranteed to be awful. Life is too short to waste it reading anything by Conway. For another, thing , the art is drawn by Garcia-Lopez, so I could care less what the story is about -- I'm too busy drinking in the artwork like it was fine wine. Oh, there are WORDS in the story, too? Who cares. Not me.

Anyway - -now let's take a look at selected panels from this story, starting with the splash page, in and of itself, another mini-masterpiece from Jose Garcia-Lopez.
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Ages ago, Batman and Robin used to travel to other eras by using hypnosis. In this story, Bruce (Batman) Wayne, seeking to solve an old mystery, uses this method to travel back in time to Scalphunter's era -- to August 29, 1862, to be exact.
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Falling under the hypnotic influence,
Bruce plunges back through time...
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Arriving in the past, Bruce's first thought is to condemn the method the methods of the man who GOT him there -- the man HE sought out for help -- as a purveyor of "the purest scientific hogwash." Gee, thanks, Brucie. What an ingrate!
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Anyway, back in time, Bruce soon meets up with Scalphunter, who's in the middle of a fight scene. Naturally, he changes to his Batman identity, and...
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LATER...
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The gorgeous splash-panel below begins "Part Two" of the story. The Past and Future War. Ugh. Even Conway's chapter titles are unbearable cliches.
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thing go nuts on the ground as Batman flips from tree to tree like his nocturnal namesake, depicted in time-lapse fashion by Garcia-Lopez...
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The adventure concludes, and it's time for Batman to come out of his "time trance" and return to the present.

Before he does, he take a moment to muse that he still has no basic understanding of Scalphunter. It's not Batman's fault that the "world's greatest detective" can't figure the guy out -- blame the writer of the story, who doesn't have the skill or imagination to describe such things.

So he glosses over it by making the vapid and cliched statement that Scalphunter's stony face has "worlds locked within it," whatever the hell THAT means.
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To show Batman exiting the past, Garcia-Lopez uses a "tunnel-shaped" circular panel filled with sparkling shapes. And again, there is darkness...
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And, back in the present, the moral of the story is, "Gee, since this story has no real point, I don't know what to say."
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As part of the doomed "DC Explosion," Scalphunter got a new back-up feature in Jonah's book. I bet Hex was thrilled to have his story-length cut in half to make room for a third-rate western character such as Scalphunter.

But it didn't last long. When snow-storms and other factors turned the "DC Explosion" into the "DC Implosion," the feature was unceremoniously dropped, ending the comic career of Mr. Scalphunter. Did anyone notice? Did anyone care? Not really. The End.
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