239 – Batman, Dick-less

Bruce Wayne loses ward-ship over Dick Grayson for the first time in Batman #20 (October 1943), a recurring story idea that comes up in later years. Dick’s shifty Uncle George and Aunt Clara come to claim him, take Bruce to court claiming his playboy ways are a bad influence, and then use the opportunity to […]

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195 – Bat-Nesting

Not to be out-done by Superman’s nesting, Batman #12 (June 1942) continues to deepen the Batman mythos by offering two glimpses into how Bruce Wayne celebrates his mission against crime (which is really an excuse to adventure in tights, at this point): A Hall of Trophies and a detailed glimpse at the secret lair, which […]

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194 – Super-Nesting

By Superman #17 (May 1942), Superman has built a “mountain sanctuary”, not-yet-called a Fortress of Solitude, but looking a hell of a lot like it. Here Superman puts the finishing touches on its construction.

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163 – First Jimmy Olsen?

Continuing my streak of hard-hitting investigative comic book journalism, is the elevator boy in Action Comics #38 (May 1941) the first true appearance of Jimmy Olsen? We have red hair, bowtie and green coat! At this point in history, Jimmy Olsen existed as a character in the Superman radio show for about a year and […]

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162 – Superman Flies, Finally!

In Superman #11 (May 1941), it seems that Superman finally has the ability to defy gravity and truly fly. Brian Cronin debunks the myth that the Fleischer Superman cartoons were the first place Superman deliberately flew and he believes that Superman actually first flew in the comics in Superman #10 (March 1941). However, while inspecting […]

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155 – Bat-Man, Bad-Ass

Although Batman #5 (April 1941), features another tale of Bat-silliness with dragons, giants and flying carpets, it also features a separate story in which Batman finds the near-lifeless body of Robin, beaten up by criminals. He experiences terrible feelings of rage and vengeance; a dramatic departure from his silent, mysterious, and almost dispassionate first year […]

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153 – Luthor, Male-Pattern Villainy

In Superman #10 (March 1941), Luthor appears bald for the first time in a comic book, joining a whole host of other evil bald geniuses who stalk comic book universes: Ultra-Humanite, Hugo Strange, Doctor Sivana. I talked about the history of Luthor’s baldness here.

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148 – The Justice Society Goes to War

In All-Star Comics #4 (February 1941), the Justice Society of America goes to war against subversives and fifth-columnists… basically Nazis. This was the first adventure the team fought together (even though each character had his own mission that took up the bulk of the story).

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