Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Admiring Adams: "Paint a Picture of Peril!" by O'Neil, Adams, and Giordano

What it is, Groove-ophiles! It's the second day of the week, so let's take a peek at the second Batman tale by the game-changing team of Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams, and Dick Giordano! "Paint a Picture of Peril!" from Detective Comics #397 (December 1969) is one of those stories that seems to slip through the cracks for some reason. Perhaps it's because it's another gothic, supernaturally-tinged tale like O'Neil/Adams first Batman pairing on "The Secret of the Waiting Graves" two issues earlier, or maybe it's because it doesn't feature one of the Caped Crusader's Big Time Villains like The Joker, Ras al Ghul, or Two-Face? I dunno, but I remember running into this Citizen Kane-inspired story in DC's tabloid Limited Collectors' Edition #C-44 (March 1976) and really digging it. Adams' art looked in-freakin'-credible in that gi-normous format, and that ain't no jive, baby!


  1. Thank you,Mr Groove!
    I want to be Batman when I grow up!
    But the thing is,I can't decide which costume to wear.
    Blue,grey and yellow would be très chic.
    But then,all black is sooo cool.
    What to wear,what to wear?What's a man to do?
    Sigh,I'll probably stay a middle-aged man,
    forever in blue jeans (babe).
    /Mr Anonymous

  2. Thanks to that ad, now I want to read the Jerry Lewis/Wonder Woman team up!

  3. Nice to see...this is one of the Batman/Detective issues that i do not own from that time period. Love the in-house ads! i wish publishers would go back to this practice, highlighting up coming covers on their schedule.

  4. Denny O'Neil's script is competent, but nothing special, but it reads like Shakespeare next to BATMAN: ODYSSEY! Adams & Giordano did a nice job on the art in this 1970 story which only confirms that Adams was better at keeping characters on-model and facial expressions and body language subtle or emphatic, depending on the situation. In short, Adams was at the top of his game then, and his current work is a pale shadow of that. 'Nuff said!

    Chris A.

  5. Where was Wayne Manor at this point in Batman history? Where was the Batcave?

  6. Bruce Wayne and Alfred closed up Wayne Manor and its Batcave in Batman #217 (Dec. 1969). They moved to a penthouse in the city. IIRC, there was a Batcave under the building. (Robin/Dick Grayson had moved out and gone away to college in Detective #393.) This was probably one of the first stories after the move. I think they moved back to Wayne Manor sometime around 1982.

  7. This is what the New 52 needed to have in its revamp... no super villains! Just a basic human interest down to Earth story like the Golden Age...

  8. This story was not only reprinted in the tabloid edition, but I think it was also reprinted in one of the DC digest comics, IIRC. Of course, it's much more enjoyable in the tabloid size than the digest size!

  9. Just a suggestion, but you might want to correct your title; instead of "Giordano", you have "Aparo" listed among the creators of this story. I'm surprised nobody else mentioned it -- probably too stunned from admiring Neal and Dick's incredible '70's art...

    1. Fixed it! Thanks for the heads up--and the awesome excuse! ;D

  10. Alltogether quite an enjoyable comic,which I initially read as a teen decades ago .Touching story of an abuser driven insane over the loss of his wife,an obsession which eventually involves THE BATMAN .Always good to see BATMAN demonstrate the benefits of years of intense training with incredible athletics ,skills so developed that they border on the supernatural.Can't leave out the art,what more can I say about NEAL ADAMS that hasn't been said already,but,I'll do it anyway,superb.

  11. I first read this in the LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION C-44 you mentioned, back in 1976 when it came out. My favorite of Adams' run is "Secret of the Waiting Graves" in DETECTIVE 395.
    This 397 story is the second Adams DETECTIVE story, continuing in 400 (introducing Manbat), 402 (Manbat, the sequel), 404 (a great tribute to Enemy Ace), 407 (Manbat, the conclusion), 408 (a Marv Wolfman story I honestly didn't like except for the art), and 410 ("The Freaks", a murder-mystery with a cast of sympathetic carnival freaks).

    All collected in BATMAN ILLUSTRATED BY NEAL ADAMS, volume 2. Regrettably with some "corrections" by Neal Adams, that for me diminish the stories.

    After that Neal Adams moved to BATMAN, doing issues 232 ( the first R'as Al Ghul story), 234 (Two Face), 237 ("Night of the Reaper"), 243-245 (another great R'as Al Ghul story), 251 ("The Joker's Five-Way Revenge") and 255 ("Moon of the Wolf"). All collected in BATMAN BY NEAL ADAMS, volume 3 (again, with art alterations by Neal Adams.

    It's great to read issue 397 here in its original unaltered form.



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