Wednesday 22 January 2014

Batman comics I have owned.

Holy smoke, Batman! In recent days, we've looked at the Superman comics I owned as a child. But, as we all know, Superman without Batman is like cow heel without tripe.

And that can only mean one thing.

It's time to look at the caped crusader's comics I once owned as a child.

Batman #254, 100 pages, Manbat

Batman meets Man-Bat, again.

As a child, I was very taken with the fact that each tale in this collection represented a different decade - especially that one could represent the future, which hadn't even happened yet.
Batman #255, 100 pages, Neal Adams, Werewolf

It was my one childhood taste of Neal Adams' Batman, as Bruce takes on a werewolf.

And you can read my review of that story, right here.
Batman #256, 100 pages,  Catwoman

It's the first one hundred page comic I ever owned.

While investigating a murder at a circus, Batman and Robin find themselves up against the Catwoman and her tigers.

But the highlight of the issue for me was the dynamic duo finding themselves up against an island populated by robot dinosaurs. It was silly, it was corny and it was old but it had super-heroes and dinosaurs. What more could you want from a piece of fiction when you're ten?
Batman #262, the Scarecrow

I got this one in Blackpool and have fond memories of it.

At least, I have fond memories of the second tale in the issue, as it introduced me to the concept of fixative, the phrase, "Round Robin," and it mentioned the Battle of Hastings.

Sadly, I recall nothing of the tale that features the Scarecrow.
Batman #265

There's mayhem on a film set and, as the bodies pile up, Batman seems to be losing his touch. He even gets told off by Commissioner Gordon for not catching the perpetrator fast enough.

That's Commissioner Gordon who's never caught a criminal in his entire life.
Brave and the Bold #105, Batman and Wonder Woman

It's the only issue of The Brave and the Bold I ever owned, as Batman and the de-powered Wonder Woman team up to do something or other.

To be honest, I don't recall much about the tale other than that it had some fairly spiffing Jim Aparo art that I remember taking the time to copy with my pencil and sketchbook. I learned much about drawing torsos from it.
The Unknown Batman

This is the Tomb of the Unknown Batman.

The first Batman comic I ever owned was bought from an indoor market in Blackpool in 1972. Sadly, I have no idea what issue it was or what title it was.

I recall Batman climbing a tree and using bolas on some bad guys.

It also introduced me to his utility belt.

I remember being very taken with the bendy spikes on his gloves.
Detective Comics #438, A Monster Walks Wayne Manor

Straight after buying this one, I went into Timsons shoe shop.

Thankfully, the comic was more exciting than Timsons.

Well, I say that but, for all I know, Timsons was selling Clarks Wayfinders, which - with their built-in compass and animal-track recognition system - were the most exciting shoes ever made.

This was the mag that introduced me to Manhunter, a man who I have no doubt had a compass and animal-track recognition aids in his very own footwear, as he seemed to have everything else in the world concealed somewhere about his person.

You can read my review of this issue's main tale, right here.
Detective Comics #440, Ghost Mountain Midnight

One of my all-time favourite comic book covers, as Jim Aparo gives us a life or death struggle in the wilderness.

As in the issue above, there's a monster on the loose and it turns out not to be a monster. Clearly the spirit of Scooby-Doo was strong with the caped crusader at this point in history.

This comic introduced me to the Golden Age Manhunter.
Detective Comics #450

Speaking of the Manhunter, Walt Simonson, the artist who revived that very strip, gives us a tale of a waxworks and a rich man who'll stop at nothing to own Batman's cape.

You can read my review of this issue, right here.
Detective Comics #458, the killer tatooist

There's a killer tattooist on the loose and only Batman can stop him.

You can read my review of this issue, right here.
World's Finest #218, Batman and Superman, Capricorn

It's that issue of World's Finest again, as our intrepid heroes still fail to capture Capricorn.

I'm pretty sure there's a scene in this where Superman declares he can't break into a house because it's illegal and Superman can't do things that are illegal.

So, what does he do?

He gets Batman to do it for him.

Erm, isn't that illegal too?


Anonymous said...

My only knowledge of Batman in the'70s was the TV show and so I thought of him as a bit of a joke and DC in general as not being "proper" comics like Marvel.I was given a few Batman comics around 1982 and quite enjoyed them but I've never been able to take Robin seriously, the whole idea of a teenage sidekick is so naff - the resurrected Captain America was thankfully Buckyless.

bliss_infinte said...

Your Tomb of the Unknown Batman made me think of this:
The comics for these Aurora Model kits were drawn by the heavy hitters of the industry at the time and Batman was Dick Giordano. The model was out at the same time of your early Batman comics (at least here in the states). Don't know if some of these panels were ported over to actual comics or not but it could be a clue.

B Smith said...

Detective Comics #395 "Secret Of The Waiting Graves" has Batman stuck up a tree - no sign of bolos, though.

(You might recall it's that O'Neill/Adams story - the first one by those two, IIRC - that has the Mexican husband and wife who seem to have achieved immortality...)

Gey Blabby said...

I thought of DC #395 as well, mostly for it's setting. I have a memory of a story with bolas, but I could be confusing it with a Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film that was shown on TV back then and featured said item.

Steve W. said...

Bliss, thanks for the link. I always wanted those Aurora model kits when I was younger. Sadly there was never any sight of them in the shops.

B Smith and Gey, I read that story around 20 years ago in a trade paperback and got quite excited at the time, thinking it might be the tale - but, ultimately, the lack of bolas thwarted me.

Anonymous said...

The cover of Detective Comics #405 (1970) showed Batman up a tree, hiding from (or maybe waiting in ambush for) the League of Assassins. I don't remember whether bolas were used in the story, though. I do remember the killer using said weapon in that movie ("The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," 1939).

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anon.

dbutler16 said...

I love those 100 page comics!

Robot dinosaurs? That is two times awesome!

Only one Brave and Bold? For shame. I’m a sucker for the team-up book, though it does depend on who the regular is teaming up with.

Hilarious about Superman getting Batman to break into a house for him! I have to say after reading The Superman Chronicles Volume 1 though, that the Golden Age Superman would have no such qualms.

Anonymous said...

Why, oh, why doesn't Steve Game of Thrones and then life would be pretty much perfect .........

Steve W. said...

Anonymous, thanks for the sentiment.

Sadly, I don't have the channel that shows Game of Thrones. The other problem is that my attempts to regularly review Dr Who and Top of the Pops taught me that my hopelessly demanding boredom threshold means that, within two posts of starting to review a show, I start looking for an escape route.