|Nick Cardy's far-out cover!|
First of all, consider the art. It's only Jim Aparo's second (of nearly 100) issue, and already he owns The Batman. Even though the Dark Knight spends 99% of the ish in a wheel-chair, Aparo still makes him look cool. (And I know, we look back at it now and wonder "Why is Batman in costume--even wearing his cowl and gloves while undergoing surgery? That's not realistic!". Put on your "good time glasses" kiddies--this is the Groovy Age--it's about fun and clarity. Realism is ever only a plot device!) Aparo has no problem making GL, GA, and the Canary look cool, but hey, they look cool no matter what. But (boy) wonder of wonders, J.A. even makes Robin look cool. Very few artists could do that! But it was Aparo's opening page, fight scenes, and best of all that dream sequence on pages 20-21 that really blew my mind, baby!
Next on the list of reasons I really dig this ish is Bob Haney's story. My fave Batman stories are either really moody/creepy or showcase the Darknight Detective's superior intellect. The way Haney used the spider and its web as a metaphor for Batman using his 4 FAMOUS GUEST-STARS to spin a web to catch a fat-cat drug dealer was inspired. He also nailed what made Batman so cool: he ain't crazy, he's persistent, baby. The Batman doesn't quit, no matter what.
Finally, I was one of those fans who thought Green Lantern/Green Arrow was one of the grooviest mags going, so bringing them in (along with Black Canary, natch) as guest-stars was fanboy heaven for Young Groove.
I'd like to say I read this mag 'til the cover fell off, but my copy came in one'a those cellophane-wrapped "comics packs" (three for a quarter)--so it didn't have a cover to begin with. But I read it a lot. Still do. Hope you dig it, Groove-ophiles!