In the black corner... it's Batman and the Teen Titans, written by Bob Haney and drawn by Nick Cardy, Brave and the Bold #94, Rebels in the Streets.
In the orange corner... we have the Thing and Deathlok, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Ron Wilson and Pablo Marcos, Marvel Two-in-One #27, Day of the Demolisher!
Ready or not... DING DING DING!
Batman has ostensibly walked into one of Bob Haney's Silver Age Teen Titans stories, and with the president's backing, must race the clock to keep angry ghetto kids from exploding an atomic bomb in the heart of Gotham City. It's teenager vs. the adult establishment, and the "Top establishment symbol" is Batman. Why else would there be a statue of that square in Gotham?
Batman is up against STOPP (the Society to Outlaw Parent Power), teenagers who have taken over Gotham's ghetto and given the the adult establishment an ultimatum: Take us seriously or we nuke the city! How easy is it for kids to get a hold of a nuke, given the Internet doesn't exist yet? Pretty easy!
Mentallo and the Fixer have brainwashed Deathlok to act as a Manchurian candidate from the future who'll use a mind control gun on Jimmy Carter so they can own the White House. Well at least they have ambition! Will they be able to share all that power though? I mean, they're rather competitive with each other:
Though Haney created the Teen Titans, he wasn't writing that book in '71, so it's a little weird to see Lilith among their number. Well, it's lucky she doesn't wear a costume, because Batman specifically asks for two Titans in civies (Robin is the other), and two in costume (Kid-Flash and Wonder Girl). While the costumes look for the bomb maker or bomb all around town - Wonder Girl "makes every scene in town", if you know what I mean -
Ben Grimm has several guest-stars, but Deathlok is the featured character, though hardly an ally! His computer mind off-line and his human brain set on "Angst", he's the villains' puppet. And yet, there's a sequence where he keeps dropping the rifle and picking it back up. He's in there, fighting!
Odds vs. Ends
From Brave and the Bold:
-Nick Cardy was the original Teen Titans artist, and was still drawing the book at this point. Love, love, love his art. +2 Bat-points
-Gotham City really is the worst place on Earth. I mean, we know it has slums, but the ghetto looks like they ALREADY dropped the bomb on it. +2 Bat-points
-Whoo, Jack Kirby cover! And Reed gets it right in the armpit! (Yeah, okay, not his best, but I eat his stuff up.) +1 point
Farewells and Scoring
Friendly farewell: Batman doesn't say goodbye to the Titans at all, but he has a hopeful chat with Commissioner Gordon. +1 Bat-point
The teenagers net Batman 22 points to Deathlok's 21! Oh, so close! But still a solid Batman victory and once again, it's because Ben Grimm himself isn't doing so well. Does Marv Wolfman not love the character? If so, it's going to be a rough ride and a short fight. But we're committed. Next time, we'll find out of water can beat plastic and win one for the Orange Rock.