Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bring On the Back-ups: Thursday Two-fer! "With This Ring, Find Me Dead!" and "The Mystery Murder of 'Mrs. Batman'!" by Rozakis, Newton, and Hunt

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! Most folks think the late, great Don Newton's Batman debut was in Detective Comics #480 (August 1978), but in truth, Don's debut was a month earlier on a back-up strip called "Unsolved Cases of the Batman" in Batman #305 (July 1978), written by Bob Rozakis and inked by David Hunt, "With This Ring Find Me Dead!" was the first part of a two-parter that would climax in Batman #306 (September 1978) with "The Mystery Murder of 'Mrs. Batman'!" Of course, those of you well-versed in all things Batman know that the talented Mr. Newton would become a major Darknight Detective artist from 1979 until his untimely passing in 1984, making this two-parter quite a hidden treasure, don'tcha think?


  1. Newton's art is wonderful and Hunt's inks are just perfect for him, but Rozakis' story is just, well... messed up? The way it links the "Mrs. Batman" (uh??) thing with the ghetto plague and the blown identity just doesn't make sense to me. The first time this story was printed in Italy it was lacking the first part (don't ask), but when I finally read it, it just added up to the confusion. It looks more as an "unsolved script of Rozakis'".
    This luckily didn't stop Newton to become one of the greatest Batman's artist ever.

  2. Stunning first page! And this is my favorite era for Batman -- serious and sober, but not twisted and psychotic.

  3. Dog gone groove... I was hoping to see the Sad Sack today :( LOL.

    1. Sorry, Charlie! I only have one Sad Sack comic left and it's not in great shape. I'm trying to track down some good scans via buddies and pals, but nil so far. I am trying, honest!

  4. Hey Groove, I don't know if you had the same enjoyment from Sack that I did. Sack reading was kind of in bursts and spontaneous. E.g., I remember my cousing scoring a bunch from a neighbor and then another time lucking into a bunch at a garage sale. And we would just sit and read them for hours (mixed in with sports, TV, and whatever else a 10-year-old does for fun). Anyhow, if you are into the Sack, you can score a "lot of Sad Sack" at a very reasonable price on ebay and take yourself back in time. Much more fun reading the comics than "archive" editions and such. Also, there really is something special about Baker's covers and original art for the Sack is very reasonably priced in many cases, though Baker's stuff can be expensive.

  5. Thank you,Mr Groove,for sharing.
    I love Mr Newton's art.I was eleven years old when I read this story.
    /Mr Anonymous



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