Friday, September 18, 2020

Batman Day 2020!

 Okay, Groove-ophiles, you know how much Ol' Groove loves The Batman! Tomorrow's Batman Day 2020, so let's celebrate! However, this being Groove City, we're not gonna do it like everyone else is doing it! Nope! Instead of listing my all-time favorite Groovy Age tales of The Batman ( "Silent Night of The Batman",  "Hot Time In Gotham Town Tonight", "Challenge of the Man-Bat", "The Demon of Gothos Manor", "A Vow from the Grave", "Daughter of the Demon", "The Warrior In a Wheel-Chair", "Half An Evil", "Killer's Roulette", "The Demon Lives Again", "Joker's Five-Way Revenge", "Deathmask", "A Monster Walks Wayne Manor", "Moon of the Wolf", "Grasp of the Killer Cult", "Bat-Murderer", "The Cape and Cowl Deathtrap!", "The Daily Death of Terry Tremayne", "There Is No Hope In Crime Alley", "Dead Man's Quadrangle", "Death-Web/The Doomsday Express", The whole Steve Englehart Detective run, "The Monstrosity Chase", "The Coming of...Clayface III/If a Man Be Made of Clay", all the stories in DC Special Series #15 (aka 1978 Batman Spectacular), "A Ticket to Tragedy", "Murder In the Night/Night of the Body Snatcher", "Murder By Thunderbolt", and "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker...",--OOPS! I just did it, didn't I?), I just thought I'd share THE "must have" Batbooks of the Groovy Age...the great reprint packages that solidified The Batman as being my all-time favorite crimefighter. Wanna check 'em out? I thought you would!

My faaaavorite Golden Age story: The Monk two-parter!

The original Two-Face trilogy!

Traveled dozens of miles and checked out a dozen or more stores--only to find this baby (shipped late, natch) at my local drugstore after I'd given up hope of finding it!
These two Famous 1st Editions were like going into a time machine! Best. Format. Ever!!

The cover alone was worth a buck!

Yeah, this one's a little bit of a cheat because it reprints all Groovy Age stuff, but there's no way I'm not including it! Pre-graphic novel graphic novel!

I know this one was out way before the rest of the books on this list, but I didn't get my copy until Summer 1977, so...


Is it me, or does this cover look familiar (if smaller, in real life!)?

There you have it, Groove-ophiles! Now, you can share your favorite Groovy Age Batman stories and/or Batbooks in the comment section so we can keep this party going! Pax!


  1. Detective Comics #455 will always be one of my all time favorites. I read the cover off that thing.

    1. A fun one!

  2. I agree with Kevin Lake. Batman # 255 marked a return of the sorely missed Neal Adams to the Bat title,teamed with Len Wein at his peak. I understand this story was held up by the ever busy Mr Adams finding time in his schedule to complete it. You can see where inker Dick Giordano pitched in with the pencilling. A close second is also an Adams limned tale, Batman # 234, the first Silver Age appearance of Two-Face. O'Neill (RIP) and Adams proved once again what an unbeatable team they were.

    1. I agree! Both stories are on my list. The return of Two-Face is comicbook perfection!

  3. Loved seeing all these covers and wow I miss those giant $1.00 Famous First Editions, worth every penny--they even included the glossy comic book front & back covers! I was hooked on the Batman tv show in the 1960s, got chicken pox around '67 or '68, my babysitter got me a couple Batman comic books and I became an instant comic book junkie. Batman Forever!!

    1. We have similar "origins" ApacheDug! I got into comics without the chicken pox (but I did have 'em!), but Batman was my gateway. I had to dance the twist with a rubber chicken for my neighbors so I could watch it on their color TV. I think my mom or sister actually has a picture of that...glad I was only three, lol!

  4. I will take this challenge, Groove. I remember seeking those 100 pagers out over the years, and I had everything you put up! I loved those 30's to the 70's books, and had the Superman one as well. The tabloids were really special books that I devoured at the time but could only find through the mail. I used the coupon in the book to get both the Batman no. 1 and the Detective 27.
    I really loved the Two-Face story from the Sunday strip in the 100 pager. Changing Dent to actor Harvey Apollo was an interesting to avoid continuity issues with the comics. His hanging death really shocked young John!
    As for the greatest Batman book ever, the Ra's al Ghul treasury, I bought it at a used bookstore for a song and it is truly one of my most prized books!

    Here are some Batman reprint specials that I can add to your list, although I'm sure they are already in the next batch in your mind already:

    Detective Comics 441-A Chaykin lead story, Plastic Man, and an Ibis the Invincible story (!)

    Detective Comics 443-Climax of the Manhunter story, a Spectre story by Bernard Baily, first Creeper story by Ditko, and a Toth Green Lantern story.

    Batman's Secret Cases Treasury-Two Adams stories, a Wrightson Batman/Swamp Thing tale, and "The Batman Nobody Knows"

    Batman Treasury C-37-a great Aparo cover, and the first Scarecrow story are worth the price of admissson

    Brave and Bold 115-the Atom creeping inside an injured Batman's brain, a Challengers tale, "Solomon Grundy Goes on a Rampage!" with Hourman, Dr. Fate and Alan Scott, Viking Prince by Kubert, and another Atom by Gil Kane

    Brave and Bold 113-Aparo killing it on the Metal Men, Hawkman and Viking Prince by Kubert

    Happy Batman day!


  5. Excellent choices, John! Many more B&B stories would have made my list (B&B #115 was soooo close), but I wanted to focus on stories that were on the Batman-centric side for this post. Oh, I never got my hands on a copy of LCE C-37 or it would definitely be on my list for that amazing Aparo cover alone!

  6. Most of the stories you listed make my list too. I think it is topped by "There's No Hope in Crime Alley", of course, and "Night of the Stalker!" ('Tec #439), along with all Goodwin's run which is paired only by Englehart's. I also fondly remember "Menace of the Fiery Heads" (Batman #270) as a great feat from Ernie Chan (not as much by writer D.V.Reed) and Maggin/Simonson's Detective #450 "The Cape and Cowl Deathtrap".

  7. Chan's are WAS extra cool on Batman #270, Nobile! Very moody and sometimes cinematic. I loved the little Golden Age homages he sprinkled into the story (my favorite being panel 6 on page 16).



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!