Monday, November 17, 2008

Cheap Detectives Week: Tim Trench and Jason Bard--the Back-Up Men

Tim Trench! Jason Bard! Not exactly names that stir up action, intrigue, or adventure, are they? Not even names that you might remember--but Ol' Groove does! These private investigators really only have one thing in common: they spent a few issues backing up the Batman in Detective Comics during the Groovy Age.

Tim Trench first appeared as a throwaway character in Wonder Woman #180 (October, 1968). Created by Denny O'Neil and Mike Sekowsky, Trench started out as a white haired, slightly-past-middle age, tough-guy foil for de-powered Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, and her mentor Ching. Evidently he had some cosmetic surgery, got a genii, or something because by the time he got his chance to solo-star in Detective Comics #s 460-461 (March-April, 1976) his hair turned brown and he was looking much younger. Check out "The Cold-Fire Caper" by Denny O'Neil, Pablo Marcos, and Al Milgrom from Detective Comics #460:

Jason Bard also appeared as a supporting cast member in a super-heroine strip. He made his first appearance in a Batgirl story in Detective Comics #392 (July, 1969) by Frank Robbins and Gil Kane. Bard's main shtick was that he had been injured in Viet Nam, forcing him to walk with a cane. He was a mainstay in the Batgirl strip, even becoming something of a love interest for Barbara Gordon (Batgirl's true identity, duh!). When it was decided that "Babs" would retire as Batgirl, editor Julius Schwartz decided that Bard could fill Batgirl's space in the back of Detective Comics. Where Trench's strip only lasted for two issues, Bard's series ran in odd numbered issues of Detective Comics from issue #425-435 (March, 1972-March, 1973). Here's a look at Bard's first solo-strip, "Open-and-Shut Case" by Frank Robbins and Don Heck from Detective #425. Can you dig it?

1 comment:

  1. Really good stuff! Harkens back to the days when "Detective Comics" at least attempted to put out a few stories that connect to it's pre-Batman roots.



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