132 – Crimson Fancier

In Detective Comics #44 (September 1940), the Crimson Avenger succumbs to peer pressure and gets a traditional superhero costume, but even his fancy new duds can’t save him from being dull.

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131 – Bat-Silliness Begins

Robin’s dream story in Detective Comics #44 (September 1940), foreshadows what I consider to be the worst era of Batman story-telling. With the introduction of Robin to the Bat-mythos, the character deviated from his noir, grim and gritty feel towards silly, fantasy stories and stayed that way for the next 25 years.

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109 – Robin, the Boy Wonder!

In Detective Comics #38 (March 1940), Batman gains a youthful sidekick as he rescues the newly orphaned Dick Grayson and trains him to become Robin, the Boy Wonder. Robin was co-created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and inker Jerry Robinson. This issue marks the start of shift to a lighter tone for Batman, one in […]

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96 – Bat with a Gat

In Detective Comics #35 (December 1939), Bob Kane decided to show the provocative image of Batman holding a smoking gun in the splash page of the story, even though Batman never uses a gun in the story itself! But more importantly… wtf is going on with Batman’s body below the belt?!? Also, the cover of […]

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88 – Batman and Not The Question

In Detective Comics #34 (November 1939), Bruce Wayne meets up with a woman whose brother had his face burnt away by a terrible ray… those pesky terrible rays. The mad is not The Question, but I thought he looked similar enough to the character created thirty years later that I would include it here. While […]

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86 – Become The Bat

In Detective Comics #33 (October 1939), the Batman is finally given an origin story – and wow, what a powerful page and half that is! Apparently Bill Finger wrote this part of the story (the rest being written by Gardner Fox) and the words combined with the iconic imagery of Bob Kane continue the dark […]

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76 – The Batarang!

The Batman introduced two new gadgets in Detective Comics #31 (August 1939): The Bat-Gyro and the Bat-arang. It is also revealed that Bruce Wayne has a fiance named Julie Madison who is hypnotized by the second villain in Batman’s rogue’s gallery: The Mad Monk. In just five issues, Gardner Fox and Bob Kane have done […]

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73 – Ol’ Long Ears

By the fourth Batman story in Detective Comics #30 (July 1939), Bob Kane had lengthened the cowl’s ears and straightened them, giving The Batman a more streamlined and deadly appearance, despite the stiff, winged-looking cape. The comics from the 1980s and early 1990s featured a return to the look of this cowl and I loved […]

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70 – Batman’s Gadgets

In June 1939, Detective Comics #29 is the first story to feature The Batman‘s use of gadgets. This much longer story (10 pages) featured Batman’s first “arch criminal”, Doctor Death and lots of action: Batman swinging around the city on his rope, Batman scaling a building, Batman getting shot, and finally vanquishing his foe. I […]

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