Author Topic: Mikishawm: I think I know who you are!
posted March 02, 2001 03:10 AM

When you are ready to write up new bios, consider Gilda Dent...

posted March 02, 2001 07:55 PM

I know I recanted on Harvey Bullock. But when you are ready to do bios again, please do one on Bullock. We know about Montya's family. What about Bullock's? Please consider my request when you are ready to do bios. Thank you.

posted March 19, 2001 05:17 PM

Hi, folks!

I've barely been to the boards for the last month -- busy, busy, busy -- but I wanted to let you know that I've got an article in the new Fanzing at this link:

It's my attempt at discussing all the recurring black characters that DC introduced in the 1970s. There's also a companion article which is kind of a potpourri with pieces on Black Lightning, Amanda Waller, Blackwing, Sunburst, Pow-Wow Smith, Black Spider and Killer Croc.

Hope you like it!

Oh, and Redball ... I have no idea when it'll be but SOMEDAY I'll do that Bullock article!

Thanks, everybody!

The Time Trust
posted May 26, 2001 07:14 PM

Check out Fanzing for Superman month, where John (Mikishawm) has at least two articles there.

posted May 26, 2001 10:04 PM

Thanks for mentioning this! I've been trying to contribute something to each issue of Fanzing even if, at this point, its mostly reprints of stuff I've posted across the boards.

So far I haven't gotten around to writing any of those articles or timelines yet (I did run across an article on Julie Madison that I've never posted anywhere. Would anyone like to read that?) but I am well into an upgrade of my DC lists that includes multiple new categories -- DCU businesses, locales, musicians, books (including comics), politicians, actors, films and a few others. I'm in the process of going through my entire collection to get the data. (Ulp!)

This Memorial weekend, though, I'm trying to compile a small sampling of Rich Morrissey's letters and posts from over the years. Bob Brodsky plans to make THE O'NEIL OBSERVER # 3 a tribute to Rich (including a long JLA article that Rich prepared for the 'zine). I'll let everyone know when the 'zine is ready.

posted May 29, 2001 08:09 AM

Hi Mikishawm,I was wondering if you could give me some info on the following topics:

Origin of pre-crisis Jason Todd.

Relationship between Bruce and Dick, when Dick parted (pre-crisis)

Earth-1 Vicki Vale

Earth-1 Catwoman

Earth-1 Commissioner Gordon.

Thanx. Jay.

posted June 01, 2001 07:14 PM

Hi again. I took some time to read your thread properly and realized (to my embarassment) that most of the bios I requested had been done. Can I just say that your thread is better composed than any Who's Who series and certainly any website I've ever visited and please please keep the thread going. Have you written any other bat bios in the past and if so could you please supply a link. I would like to see a bio on Vicki Vale and Doc Moon and Catwoman. Please.

(Thanx for the Jason Bard entry over in 'Birds Of Prey'). Jay.

posted June 02, 2001 09:01 PM

Hi, Jay!

I haven't had much time to devote to this thread but I had a little extra time this afternoon so ... here's Vicki!

In his 1989 autobiography, BATMAN & ME, Batman co-creator Bob Kane related the story of his meeting with a young actress named Norma Jean Baker while in Hollywood in 1943 during the filming of the first Batman movie serial. Five years later, on a return visit to the West Coast for the production of a second serial, Kane encountered Norma Jean once more. Now calling herself Marilyn Monroe, she spent the afternoon with Kane at a Santa Monica beach. Inspired, Kane said that he returned home intent on introducing a Marilyn lookalike into the Batman comic book as Vicki Vale, the Lois Lane-type photographer slated to appear in the forthcoming BATMAN & ROBIN serial. When the story appeared, Kane lamented, Vicki's hair had been colored red rather than the blonde that he'd requested. Frankly, it all sounds too good to be true, the sort of thing that Kane may have concocted for the sake of a good story. One more legend attached to Marilyn Monroe, who (believe it or not) would have celebrated her 75th birthday yesterday.

In any event, there's no disputing that Vicki Vale debuted in the late summer of 1948 in the pages of BATMAN # 49, written by Bill Finger, pencilled by Lew Schwartz (with figures illustrated by Kane himself) and inked by Charles Paris. (Though her hair was indeed colored red in the majority of her appearances, she was depicted with blonde locks in a few stories, the earliest being 1949's BATMAN # 56). In "The Scoop of the Century" (# 49), Vicki was introduced as a photographer for Gotham's Picture Magazine and, after being on the scene of Batman's first clash with the Mad Hatter, her editor assigned her to follow the case through to its completion.

In the course of the assignment, Vicki proved to be a first-rate observer, deducing the solution to the Mad Hatter's first clueto his crimes. Unfortunately for the Dark Knight, she also noticed that Bruce Wayne had a cut on his chin not unlike one that Batman had sustained in battle. After superimposing photos of Bruce and Batman, Vicki realized that they matched perfectly and vowed to prove the two men were one and the same. By chance, Bruce discovered that Vicki had planted a luminous powder in one of Batman's gloves that would cause his exposed right hand to glow under a black-light. Bruce hastily arranged to buy some novelty flowers for Vicki that would cause BOTH of his hands to glow.

Bruce left Vicki's home, smugly believing that he'd fooled her and determined to pursue a romantic relationship with the woman who'd rejected him for a date only minutes before the Mad Hatter's first robbery. Vicki was far from convinced, though, and vowed that she'd be continuing to see Bruce Wayne in the future -- for her own reasons.

Vicki returned almost immediately in the pages of BATMAN # 50 and made five more appearances over the course of 1949, beginning with BATMAN # 52 and a side trip in STAR SPANGLED COMICS # 91's Robin episode, in addition to her featured role in the BATMAN & ROBIN serial (played by Jane Adams). She quickly assumed the Lois Lane role of reporter/hostage, falling prey to villains in DETECTIVE COMICS # 152 and BATMAN # 56 and again trying to unmask Bruce as Batman in DETECTIVE # 155. Robin couldn't conceal his disgust, snapping in BATMAN # 56 that "I knew she'd prove a pest!"

Vicki's personal history was touched on early and then forgotten. Her brother Jimmy appeared in the movie serial and was killed in the course of the film while clad in a Batman costume. Meanwhile, her unseen college-age sister Anne was threatened with death in BATMAN # 64 if Vicki didn't agree to conceal gangster Gregory Bota in her home. Years later, 1982's DETECTIVE COMICS # 521 would speak of Vicki's mother, who warned her that "Gotham isn't safe at night for a young woman living alone ..."

Nor, for that matter, was it particularly safe in the daylight, especially if one had a passion for crime reporting and men in gray tights. Vicki's relationship with Batman and Robin over the course of the 1950s continued in much the same vein in which it had begun, with the red-headed photographer alternately helping the heroes and capture criminals and hindering them by trying to expose their true identities. By 1953's BATMAN # 75, her employer had been rechristened as Vue Magazine. Batman made the best of Vicki's insatiable curiosity, playing to her vanity to get back a picture that would have exposed Bruce Wayne's car beneath a Batmobile frame (1956's BATMAN # 98) and manipulating her into revealing Commissioner Gordon's secret role in crushing an international crime ring (1957's DETECTIVE # 245).

Along the way, Vicki finally got to meet the archtype of girl reporters when she crossed paths with Lois Lane in 1956's WORLD'S FINEST # 85. The two women found themselves united when Superman and Batman appeared to be smitten by a visiting princess, unaware that it was an elaborate ruse to prevent a civil war in her native Balkania. Back in Gotham, Vicki had a much more serious rival in the form of Batwoman, first seen in 1956's DETECTIVE # 233. In 1958, the two women ended up in competition for Gotham's "Woman of the Year," prompting both Vicki and Batwoman to engage in perilous pursuits of criminals. Ultimately, the judges in the contest simply declared it a tie and the two women both claimed their winning date with Batman while Robin grimaced in the background (BATMAN # 119).

After final appearances in 1963's BATMAN # 157, WORLD'S FINEST # 136 and DETECTIVE # 320, Vicki exited the Bat-books along with the other reminders of the Atomic Age Batman when Julius Schwartz assumed editor duties on BATMAN and DETECTIVE in 1964. She showed up for the last time in 1966's WORLD'S FINEST # 156, hanging around at a charity function just long enough to say "Long time no see, Bruce!" and snap a picture of the Joker's latest robbery.

Thanks to the ubiquitous Batman reprint collections, Vicki would never be far from view. 1975's BATMAN FAMILY # 2, with its reprint of 'TEC # 245, even billed her on the cover as one of the featured characters. On the heels of his revival of Batwoman in the previous issue, Bob Rozakis checked on Vicki's current whereabouts in BATMAN FAMILY # 11 (1977). Under the pretense of doing a photographic tour of Gotham's most famous homes, the now-married Vicki lured Bruce to Wayne Manor for a surprise birthday party. Also on the scene was Vicki's husband, Tom Powers. After a behind the scenes appearance in issue #16, Vicki faded into obscurity once more.

Unaware of her 1977 revival and marital status, Gerry Conway returned Vicki to the stage once more at the end of 1981's DETECTIVE # 509. (For good measure, he also brought back BATMAN # 49's pre-Jervis Tetch version of the the Mad Hatter in # 510.)After years as "Paris bureau chief for Picture News Magazine," Vicki was back in Gotham and as determined as ever to prove that Bruce was Batman (BATMAN # 344). In response to multiple reader comments, Conway eventually conceded that, yes, Vicki was divorced (BATMAN # 352).

The subplot played out through mid- 1982, when Vicki's editor, Morton Monroe, passed her evidence on to gangster Rupert Thorne and Thorne, in turn, hired Deadshot to assassinate Bruce Wayne. Thanks to the unexpected involvement of the Human Target (who was impersonating Bruce on Alfred's behalf), the scheme backfired (DETECTIVE # 518). Fearing exposure, Monroe committed suicide and Vicki, who'd unwittingly set the tragedy into motion, discovered his body (BATMAN # 352). Already the photo editor at Picture News (BATMAN # 345) and with a Pulitzer to her credit (DETECTIVE # 512), a shaken Vicki Vale would now succeed Monroe as the newspaper's editor-in-chief ('TEC # 521).

Gerry Conway's successor, Doug Moench, brought the Bruce Wayne-Vicki Vale romance to a crossroads by introducing Alfred's long-lost daughter, Julia, into the mix. Vicki was aghast that the woman was a house guest under Bruce Wayne's roof (BATMAN # 371 and'TEC # 538) but, guilty over her initial treatment of Julia (BATMAN # 573), she agreed to give the newcomer a low-level position as a file clerk. Vicki formed a grudging respect for the new hire after they were jointly held hostage by Mister Freeze (# 375) and she upgraded Julia's title to "personal assistant" (# 376).

Soon after, Julia and Vicki each made dates with Bruce independently of the other only to have him oversleep and miss both of them (BATMAN # 383). For Vicki, it was the last straw. The romance, she declared, was over (# 384). She channeled her energy into an intensive physical fitness program (# 385), resulting in a sleek, well-toned body (# 387, 389) and a new romance with her workout instructor, Jim Traynor (# 390). He was "no Bruce Wayne," she admitted, "but at least he's attentive" (# 400).

After a final appearance in 1986's BATMAN ANNUAL # 10, Vicki's history was reshuffled for the post-Crisis DC Universe. Under incoming writer Max Allan Collins, Vicki Vale was editor of Vue Magazine (as in her 1953-1963 appearances) and she and Bruce were once again casually dating. Everything wasn't quite as it once was, though. In the wake of the seeming death of Robin, Vicki had begun advocating the formation of a "Committee of Concerned Citizens Against The Batman" (BATMAN # 408-409). Bruce was taken aback, observing that "your magazine certainly championed his cause, once upon a time" (BATMAN # 403).

"Well, that was before I became editor. And when I was an impressionable young GIRL, I did find Batman a sort of ... DASHING figure."

"But now you're a WOMAN and you've put AWAY such childish notions."

"I should HOPE so. How can ANY rational person admire a man who takes the law into his own hands, while hiding behind a mask ?"

Vicki made a few more appearances in 1987 (BATMAN # 412, BATMAN ANNUAL # 11 and, most notably, SUICIDE SQUAD # 1) before being put back on the shelf. She ended up as the designated love interest in 1989's blockbuster "Batman" feature film, portrayed by Kim Basinger. Over the course of the movie, Vicki slept with Bruce Wayne, learned that he was Batman (thanks to Alfred) and seemed poised to become his confidant in the war on crime. The development was never followed up on, though, and each successive sequel introduced a new love interest -- the Catwoman, Chase Meridian and Julie Madison, respectively.

Vicki's prominence in the movie didn't immediately translate to more comics appearances although she did show up a few months before the movie in SUICIDE SQUAD # 26 and a "Who's Who" entry in BATMAN ANNUAL # 13 (art by Steve Bove). The latter, which identified her as Victoria Elizabeth Vale, was an admirable effort that mixed details such as Vicki's first encounter with the Dark Knight (BATMAN # 49), her more recent clash with the Joker (1983's BATMAN # 365-366) and her obsession with physical fitness with a previously unrevealed background that spoke of her fascination with photography at Gotham High and Vassar College.

A subsequent entry in WHO'S WHO '91 # 9 (written by Kevin Dooley) dug even further into Vicki's past, describing her as a child model who was devastated when a dog in a photo shoot was killed by a camera truck and replaced by a lookalike. "She swore the camera would never lie again because of her. Vicki began learning all she could about photography, and started turning down ethically questionable jobs. Her parents objected and eventually they came to a parting of the ways."

Marv Wolfman reintroduced Vicki into Batman continuity when she and Bruce crossed paths in, of all places, Moscow (1990's BATMAN # 445-447). Bruce downplayed their relationship ("We met a year or so ago when she took some photographs of my home") but was privately delighted about the reunion. For her part, Vicki was alternately derisive and intrigued. "How can anyone that gorgeous be so absolutely vacant ? Still, I could accept a few evenings with glittering teeth and little else."

Although Wolfman used Vicki in one later story (late 1990's DETECTIVE # 625, wherein she was stalked by Abattoir), her fate was left primarily to Alan Grant, who dealt with Vicki the love interest ('TEC # 613; BATMAN # 465) and Vicki the photographer (BATMAN # 455-457 and 460-461). In that short span, "Gotham's top photo journalist" changed jobs three times, moving from Gotham View (BATMAN # 445, 455) to the Gotham Daily News (# 460) to the Gothamite Magazine (# 475).

1992's BATMAN # 475 found Vicki paired with reporter Horten Spence on Gotham's drug epidemic. Their professional partnership grew into something more after Spence defended Vicki from a trio of attackers. Bruce was stunned when Vicki told him that she wanted to end their relationship, observing that "you never let me get near the real you, the one you hide away under that playboy fop image" (DETECTIVE # 642). Bruce considered the prospect of revealing his Batman identity to the young woman but ultumately choked back the words and made a dignified goodbye (BATMAN # 476).

Several months later, they met one last time, an awkward encounter outside a burned out building owned by Wayne Enterprises (the Doug Moench-scripted BATMAN # 484). Bruce suggested a lunch date and Vicki declined. Horten Spence was waiting on her. "So long, Bruce."

And that's the last we've seen of Vicki Vale in the present, though she's surfaced a few times in flashback (1993's SHADOW OF THE BAT # 15 (recalling DETECTIVE # 511), 1997's JLA: YEAR ONE # 2 [where Vicki worked for the Gotham Gazette] and 2000's LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT # 128 and 130) and in a number of Elseworlds projects (BATMAN-HOUDINI: THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP, BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL # 4, BATMAN: NOSFERATU, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT ANNUAL # 2, BATMAN/TARZAN: CLAWS OF THE CAT-WOMAN # 1 and JLA: THE NAIL # 3).

Remarkably, BATMAN # 49's "Scoop of the Century" has never been reprinted, despite containing the debuts of both Vicki Vale and the Mad Hatter. Silver Age reprints of note include those in BATMAN # 187 (w/ "The Batman of Tomorrow" from DETECTIVE # 216), BATMAN # 203 (w/ "Secret of the Batmobile": BATMAN # 98), BATMAN # 208 (w/ "Vicki Vale's Secret": BATMAN # 73), BATMAN ANNUAL # 7 and BATMAN FAMILY # 2 (each w/ "The Dynamic Trio": DETECTIVE # 245), 80 PAGE GIANT # 5 (w/ "Bride of Batman": BATMAN # 79) and WORLD'S FINEST # 197 (w/ "The Super-Rivals": WORLD'S FINEST # 85).

The Time Trust
posted June 03, 2001 02:19 AM

Shoot! I was hoping that 1948's "The Scoop of the Century" would have been reprinted somewhere, mostly because that story is the only time we see the original look of Jervis Tetch, the Mad Hatter, as we know him today from the Batman Animated series, before he was replaced by a very different-looking Jervis Tetch in two subsequent appearances several years apart (1957 and 1963, if I recall correctly).

I am an archivist for a fanfiction club based on the Earth-1/Earth-2/Earth-S/Earth-X/Earth-4, et cetera, Multiverse concept, and I'd be interested in knowing whether or not it's POSSIBLE that Batman had squared off against the Mad Hatter at least once BEFORE his first appearance in the same story which introduced Vicki Vale. The villain almost seems incidental in the story. I never realized until recently how minor the Mad Hatter was as a villain in Batman's Rogues Gallery of the golden age.

The Time Trust
posted June 05, 2001 03:25 AM

Amazing! This thread is 12 months and 12 days old now!

Over a year of great Mikishawm knowledge. Well done.

Here's one for you, John: Captain Stingaree. I have only two of his appearances, but both times he was part of a large group from Batman's rogues gallery, although I might possibly have some comics with him as a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

Unfortunately, WHO'S WHO, that great (if somewhat flawed) repository of DCU knowledge, neglected to give the ol' Captain his own Who's Who entry, so I am virtually clueless as to who he is and what he's about, other than the sea-man motif. (Love the eye-patch!)

Any chance of a Captain Stingaree bio for a fanfic writer here?

posted June 09, 2001 05:14 PM

How about Doc Moon AND some links to some more of your work? Jay.

posted June 09, 2001 11:37 PM

I'm going to shoot for Doctor Moon next weekend, Jay. And I'll see what I can do about those links.

And Redball, this one's for you! Enjoy!

Cutler was cornered in an alley on that cold March night, one arm wrapped tightly around his hostage's neck, the other aiming a gun at a squad of Gotham City police officers. The cop killer wasn't budging but neither was the GCPD, whose commanding officer vowed to start firing in two minutes whether the hostage was released or not. In a flash, the situation was resolved, thanks to a dark stranger in a cape, who single-handedly disarmed Cutler and freed his victim. "Sorry, Lt. Bullock," The Batman called as he exited the alley. "Better cancel the invasion."

"Listen, Batman," snapped the rumpled detective in the well-worn hat, "Maybe a weak sister like Commissioner Gordon puts up with some costumed freak mixin' into police business ... I don't! I'd have nailed Cutler my own way."

"Charging up that alley ... ? 'General Custer' tactics may have their place, Bullock ... but they're hard on the troops ... and hostages. Goodnight, lieutenant."

"Crack wise will you can, fancy britches!" Bullock shouted after him. "Time's comin' when this town'll be rid of your kind!"

As seen in 1974's DETECTIVE COMICS # 441's "Judgment Day" (by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin), the cop named Bullock functioned as a device to set the mood for the story and as a red herring in regard to identity of the anti-vigilante character known as the Judge. Nearly a decade would pass before we'd see Bullock again ... and it's unclear whether the man who waltzed into Commissioner Gordon's office in March of 1983's BATMAN # 361 was even intended to be the same character. Regardless, from that point through the summer of 1986, Harvey Bullock would be Doug Moench's baby!

Moench had been preceded by writer Gerry Conway, who'd set up a lengthy subplot that put a man named Hamilton Hill in the mayor's office and revealed him as a crony of gangster Rupert Thorne. After removing Commissioner Gordon from office and declaring Batman an outlaw, Hill found himself at the center of a violent gun battle in his office that left Gordon's successor dead, Thorne wounded and a crooked cop in custody. Nothing, however, tied Hill directly to any of them and the Dark Knight was reluctantly forced to acknowledge they were at a stalemate (1982's BATMAN # 354, by Conway, Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala).

Although forced to reinstate Gordon and restore Batman's quasi-legal standing in Gotham, Hill was determined to keep a close watch on the Commissioner's office. UsingJim Gordon's recent fatigue and chest pains as an excuse, Hill decided to appoint an assistant (DETECTIVE # 527). And that's where Bullock came in.

Bullock had joined the GCPD nearly twenty years earlier and, for all his gruffness and bumbling habits, he'd been a good detective. His fascination with law enforcement seems to have stemmed in part from a lifelong love of the film noir movies of the 1940s and 1950s. More than once, in fact, it had been insinuated that he was, perhaps subsconsciously, playing a part, the disheveled, colorful detective who got his man in spite of himself (DETECTIVE # 549). Jason Todd, the second-generation Robin, couldn't help but laugh when Bullock later suggested "that my clumsy routine is all act." Asked "why is it when the chips are down I ain't a bit clumsy," Robin responded, "Because you've already knocked all the chips down (# 554)."

Sergeant Harvey Bullock's first impression on then-Captain James Gordon had, in fact, been a good one. With the Joker on a crime spree in Gotham and The Batman out of the country on another case, Bullock openly expressed his dislike of the "Bat-freak," opining, "he's only been around what -- a year an' a half, two years ? But -- BOOM -- it's like he's the big hero and we're nuthin'. An' why ? 'Cause he don't have to follow the rules. Us -- we so much as sneeze on a perp, we end up violatin' his civil rights. The slime walks and we lose our jobs. We take all the heat, do all the slop dirty work ... ahhhh ... what's the point ? Maybe I'd just like for us to be the big heroes."

Impressed by Bullock's candor, the Captain invited the officer to serve as his coordinator on the case, replacing the policeman whom the Joker had murdered earlier in the evening. Indeed, Gordon even encouraged his new partner's dark side as they a deadline approached for the villain to detonate a nuclear warhead in the city. If there was one thing Harvey hated, it was a cop-killer and it didn't take much prodding to whip Bullock into a frenzy. "Lemme tear this creep a new torpedo tube, Captain," he snarled, first clenched, in the direction of a suspect. We know he's the one that built the bombs. We know it! How many good men did he kill ? How many ?"

"Help -- he's crazy!" shrieked the captive.

"Yeah, crazy! Crazy enough to kill ya -- one bone at a time!"

The good cop/bad cop routine worked and the nuclear catastrophe was averted. Though Bullock missed out on the final confrontation between Gordon and the Joker, he took great satisfaction in the Captain's victory. Gordon insisted he wasn't a hero, prompting Harvey to respond, "Maybe not, sir ... but they do save millions of lives, and get commendations from the mayor, and get interviewed on TV ... just like you" (1998's LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT # 105-106, by C.J. Henderson, Trevor von Eeden and Joe Rubinstein).

During Batman's early years in Gotham, Bullock also found himself investigating such felons as Hellhound (1995's CATWOMAN ANNUAL # 2), Jeremy Samuels (2000's BATMAN # 582) and druglord Vincent "The Shark" Starkey. The latter of the three "threatened me in open court," Bullock recalled in 1992's DETECTIVE # 651. "He had a sweet racket going. He'd love to see me taking a dirt nap. He was taking in a million a week and looking to expand. I cost Vinnie an empire. He got ten to twenty at Blackgate."

Along with his pal and fellow cop Jack Crane, Harvey spent a good deal of time at the Police Youth League Building. There, in Bullock's words, "we was gettin' underpriveleged ghetto kids off the streets, teachin 'em how to box an' so forth"(DETECTIVE # 528). The two men also shared an unfortunate tendency towards overzealousness in their police procedures. Actions like Bullock's threat to open fire on the kidnapper and his hostage eventually forced Commissioner Gordon into suspending Bullock, citing "a dozen different infractions" ('TEC # 528) and declaring him "a disgrace to the force" (BATMAN # 361).

A few years later, Crane was kicked off the force, as well, after gunning down an alleged teenage arsonist whom evidence indicated had simply been fleeing a tenement fire. Crane suffered severe burns to his face and scalp and resurfaced a year later, now calling himself the Savage Skull and initiating a string of murders against the city's police officers. The Skull was presumed dead after his unconscious body fell into the Gotham River (BATMAN # 360) but the GCPD's failure to recover his body gave Mayor Hill ammunition to rail against Gordon and inspired him to put Harvey Bullock in the Commissioner's office.

The overweight, unshaven, greasy-haired Sergeant Bullock barged in, vowing to "get this sissified excuse for a bullpen back in order" even as the horrified Commissioner insisted that the situation was intolerable. "'Zat so, old-timer ?" Harvey replied, putting his face right in front of Gordon. "Well, I'll tell ya what ya can do about it ... tell it to the Mayor!" (BATMAN # 361, by Moench, Newton and Pablo Marcos)

It didn't help matters that the reports of Jack Crane's death had proven premature. Recalling the now-abandoned Youth Center, Bullock realized that it would be a logical hideout for the Savage Skull. Harvey's deduction had proven correct but his hesitation in arresting an old friend, even a cop-killer, never proved fatal when Crane knocked the gun from his hand and threatened to stab him to death. Jim Gordon, who'd trailed Bullock, leaped forward to save him from the Skull and The Batman, in turn, rescued the Commissioner. Far from being grateful, Bullock called a press conference the following morning to accuse Gordon of "reckless interference" in the bust and demanded a hearing to determine his competency to remain of the force ('TEC # 528, by Moench, Gene Colan and Klaus Janson).

Soon after, Gordon got a bit of satisfaction when Batman ordered Bullock out of the office while he and Jim had a conference ("and see if you can do it without breaking something on your way out") but it was the Commissioner himself who got to deliver the coup de grace. Before testifying against Gordon, Bullock had opened a small "gift" from the Commissioner and, behind closed doors, he coughed that "maybe I was, uh, wrong about the whole thing ... and, uh, I guess I got nothin' further to say." The box in question had contained an egg which, when broken, revealed "a piece of swiss cheese -- riddled with holes. To a dull rat like Bullock," Jim laughed. "It could have meant anything."

The outcome of the hearing notwithstanding, Harvey's harrassment of Gordon continued unabated, including "rearranging" (read: trashing) the Commissioner's files (BATMAN # 363) and phoning in a false alarm about a critically wounded Batman, complete with compressed springs in the drawer where Jim kept his car keys. Entering the office, Bullock sneered that "yer precious Batman's fine. ... The whole thing was only a ..." The word "joke" caught in his throat as he looked across the room at Jim Gordon's body slumped across his desk. The collective jolt of the phone call and the springs leaping out at him had triggered a heart attack (# 364).

Wracked with guilt, Harvey agonized beside the comatose Gordon's hospital bed. "I know I made life miserable for ya down at headquarters ... but I'm really a good cop, Gordon -- I really am, y'know ... an' I never knew my stupid tricks could get this serious"(BATMAN # 365). Having overheard one of Bullock's bedside confessions, Barbara Gordon offered a bit of consolation, explaining that her father hadn't sought medical treatment for his heart condition. "Like many strong men, Sgt. Bullock, he refused to accept any possibility of weakness -- which may have been his only real weakness. Let's hope it wasn't a fatal one" ('TEC # 532).

Hamilton Hill, by contrast, saw the heart attack as an opportunity to install Bullock in Gordon's place, a suggestion that left Harvey appalled. "Party politics is one thing, Hill ... but weasels like you make me sick!" (BATMAN # 366) On the roof of the GCPD building, Harvey Bullock found himself praying. "I know I don't deserve forgiveness," he said. "Not for what I done to a good man, strong an' true ... God help me, but I feel like I hid dynamite in my gloves an' knocked down a mountain ... an' if you can hear me ... then you know it ain't a good feelin' ..." The news that armed gunmen had invaded Gotham General Hospital put Bullock's convictions to the test. Setting aside his feelings about the Dark Knight, he lit the Bat-Signal. Not long after Batman and Barbara Gordon brought the thugs to justice, Jim Gordon regained consciousness ('TEC # 533).

A repentant Harvey Bullock was nearly as great a menace as the malicious one, knocking over objects at every turn and practically stepping on the Commissioner in an effort to "help" him (BATMAN # 367). Jim was privately relieved when the Sergeant left to ferret out the identity of a new Gotham crime boss ('TEC # 535), effortlessly playing a crooked cop (BATMAN # 369) in order to gain an audience with the sinister (if theatrical) Doctor Fang (# 370). He couldn't help but feel some twinges of resentment when Batman ended up hauling Fang in. "Gettin' so's I hate that costumed gink all over again," he muttered ('TEC # 539).

Jim belatedly expressed his gratitude for Harvey's actions during his hospital stay, particularly his use of the Bat-Signal. "It took a lot of courage to go against a man like Mayor Hill -- and anyone who risks danger like that can't be a bad cop" (BATMAN # 373). Gordon's words proved prescient when a bullet was fired into Bullock's office, narrowly missing his head. Hamilton Hill had ordered Harvey's death ('TEC # 540), using Doctor Fang's men as his assassins. If they succeeded, Fang would go free. After the second shot struck him in the left arm, a panicked Harvey insisted that Gordon call in Batman (# 542). The captured triggerman, however, refused to name his employers (# 543) and it wasn't until his release on that bail that a nocturnal conversation with The Batman shook Hamilton Hill's name out of him (# 544).

The mayor responded by accusing Batman of attacking him and issued a warrant for his arrest. Furious, Harvey determined that it was time for "a showdown," his anger made all the more intense when another sniper took a shot at him. He returned fire and, astonishingly, struck and killed his target. "For once and very sickly," Moench's caption related. "Harvey Bullock has made all the right moves with perfect timing and lethal precision. It can only be attributed to adrenaline, and thus to his hate for Hill."

Storming into His Honor's mansion, Bullock roared, "I may be a bungler, Hammie, but I ain't stupid. When you first 'appointed' me to be Gordon's new 'assistant,' I knew the game's score -- but I played along for my own reasons, not yours. Bein' from the old school and a guy who likes to think he's tough, I was of the mind that Gordon had gotten too soft -- and that me bein' the new commish would improve the force. I was wrong. In his sleep, Gordon's a better cop than I'll ever be. And you, Hill ... you're lower than the slime from a cancerous lung."

Hill's response ? He pulled out a gun, shooting Harvey in the chest at point blank range. It was, he insisted "self-defense" ('TEC # 546). Fortunately, the mayor was no better a marksman than he was a politician. The bullet missed Harvey's heart by an inch and Jim Gordon took up a round-the-clock watch at the Sergeant's bedside. "Commish," Bullock sighed. "You're a brick. And a well-armed brick, at that"(BATMAN # 380). And while Harvey recovered, Batman orchestrated events and witnesses so that Hamilton Hill's guilt would finally be exposed, live on television. In a state of shock, the disgraced mayor surrendered to Jim Gordon without a struggle (BATMAN # 381).

Having proven his worth during the political firestorm of recent months, Harvey got the star treatment in early 1985's DETECTIVE # 549 (by Moench, Pat Broderick and Bob Smith), sharing the cover and logo of the issue with Batman in a movie poster-style image. "Dr. Harvey and Mr. Bullock" opened with the Bullock that readers were already quite familiar with, the guy who dribbled food down the front of his shirt, knocked over everything from cups of coffee to expensive electronic equipment and tolerated a car door that was attached by one hinge.

At home, though, it was a different story. After ejecting a member of the Skull Smashers gang from the street in front of his home, Harvey entered his apartment and absorbed the sweet atmosphere of another time. It was the era of his youth, when he found escape in movies, films like "The Thief of Baghdad," "Public Enemy" and "Casablanca" that were represented on his walls by a parade of framed movie art. "Somehow," he thought, "the old ones always seem better, perfect little worlds of black and white with none of the muddled grays painting the messy real world -- no need to mollycoddle or 'understand' that which is repugnant; the bad guys simply get stomped and the good guys get a smile."

Bullock later described his home as "a studio apartment in Uptown. Pretty ritzy for a cop's salary but I been here ten years and it's rent controlled" ('TEC # 651). Lured away from the apartment by a false alarm, Harvey returned to find his safe haven had been vandalized by the same Skull Smasher he'd kicked off the block earlier. Staring at his broken furniture and shattered, spray-painted movie posters, Bullock snapped and hunted down the punk, beating him until his face was bloody. The Skull Smasher named Frankie was far from alone, though, and Bullock suddenly himself facing an entire gang in a dead-end alley.

That was when a guardian angel in a blue cape and cowl dropped in. Grinning, Harvey said, "Maybe there ain't no fog -- but somethin' tells me this is gonna be the beginnin' of a beautiful friendship, Batman ... You wanna play Butch or Sundance ?"

In no time at all, the thugs were piled in a heap and Bullock prepared to head back to his desecrated home. Staring in the bloodied Frankie's direction, he stopped. "'Scuse me, Batman, but I almost forgot what was real ... like the fact that no one's all good or all bad." Offering a handerchief and a shoulder to lean on, Bullock told Frankie, "Come on son. Let's go talk about our good sides."

On the political front, George P. Skowcroft had been appointed as Gotham's interim mayor. He'd expected the veteran Commissioner to unequivocally support him but was left speechless when Gordon and his assistant double-teamed him in his office. While Bullock (cautioned against being "careful") knocked over vases and stepped in wastebaskets, Jim Gordon informed Skowcroft that "you'll have to hold your office the same way I do mine -- by doing the job, not cutting deals." Harvey and Jim started giggling the moment they left the office ('TEC # 553).

No longer distracted by Hamilton Hill's shenanigans, Harvey finally found himself focussing on the "weird feelin'" he had every time he saw Batman's partner. "I always though Robin was bigger and older" (# 554). When he finally discussed his suspicions with the Commissioner, Gordon leaned back in his chair and admitted he'd "known of this new Robin for months now ... but The Batman, for his own reasons, has chosen not to mention it, so neither have I. ... I simply assumed the original Robin grew up and moved on. Batman was alone more and more often for a time there, and frankly, it worried me. I was relieved when he recruited this new lad. Having Robin at his side makes him somehow more ... human" (# 556).

After witnessing Robin's affection for Nocturna, Bullock developed a radical theory -- the Boy Wonder was her son and she'd turned to crime after he left her for Batman!" Commissioner Gordon admitted that it was an "interesting hypothesis" (BATMAN #389; 'TEC # 556).

Whether he knew Jason Todd had replaced Dick Grayson or not, Bullock couldn't help but like the kid and they began sharing cases together, including a smuggling operation ('TEC # 554) and a clash with the Mirror Master (BATMAN # 388). Robin was one of the few people around whom Bullock let down his guard sufficiently to suggest that -- maybe -- he wasn't as much a bumbler as he seemed.

"So," asked the Boy Wonder in his first visit to Harvey's immaculate apartment, "the whole bull-in-a-china-shop routine is nothing but your idea of a silver screen cop ?"

"Maybe ... or maybe that's the way I really am -- and I'm just more careful at home where it's quiet -- until jokers like you bang on my door. But even if it is an act, kid, it's one I can't control -- and it does come in handy at times" (BATMAN # 390).

Robin and Harvey's finest hour may have come when a lunatic called the Film Freak stalked Gotham. The Boy Wonder realized immediately that Bullock's film expertise would be crucial to the case (1986's BATMAN # 395). Sure enough, it was Harvey, recalling "Rear Window," who deduced that the villain was staying a step ahead of the police by keeping their conversations under surveillance from an adjacent building ('TEC # 562). And it was also Harv who realized that villain's interest in Hitchcock's "Man Who Knew Too Much" translated to a plan to bomb a theatrical premiere at the exact moment that a massive explosion took place in the movie (BATMAN # 396).

Harvey had also struck up a relationship with a woman named Jillian Marsh. She was the wife of a security guard who was ensorcelled by Nocturna (BATMAN # 389) and it was Bullock's sad task to inform her that he'd committed suicide ('TEC # 558). Weeks later, Harvey hesitantly approached the recently-widowed woman about the possibility of an evening out at the movies and, though she wasn't quite ready for that step, she promised that they'd go out "sometime soon" (BATMAN # 395). Eventually, Harvey and Jillian did begin dating (# 397) but the relationship seems to have ended quickly.

Change was in the air for the Batman titles in the summer of 1986 as Denny O'Neil arrived at DC to inaugurate a new era for the Dark Knight, perhaps best exemplified by Frank Miller's mini-series of the same name. Just as Julius Schwartz had swept away extraneous characters like Batwoman, Bat-Mite and Vicki Vale when he assumed editorship of BAMAN and DETECTIVE in 1964, O'Neil deemed it prudent to excise some of the recent additions to the supporting cast and make a fresh start. As a consequence, Harvey Bullock made his final bow in Doug Moench's last issue, BATMAN # 400, wherein the plump sergeant began the story by being kidnapped by Poison Ivy and ended it by removing a blindfold in Batman's lair ("Holy cripes! We really are in the Batcave!").

Harv actually managed to hold out a couple more months, thanks to (mostly) cameos in Alan Moore's SWAMP THING # 51-55, wherein the elemental being's wife was arrested as a fugitive in Gotham. "I'm taken before a man with egg on his lapel and breath that hits you from right across the desk," Abby observed in # 51. "His name's Bullock."

In 1987, Harvey got a second shot at the big-time. It began quietly enough in the pages of the Paul Kupperberg-scripted VIGILANTE # 44, where Commissioner Gordon took the invitation to "a three-week seminar on terrorism in Washington" as a welcome opportunity to get his living occupational hazard out of his hair for a little while.

Gordon, evidentally, didn't miss a chance to send Harvey out of town. In 1985's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 11, Bullock also got to attend a Detective Convention in Las Vegas alongside such luminaries as Jonny Double, Christopher Chance, Jonni Thunder and Angel O'Day.

VIGILANTE had its own version of the overweight, sloppy cop in the form of Harry Stein, who in recent months had become a government agent involved with former Doom Patrol member Valentina Vostok. It was Stein who was placed in charge of the seminar and he couldn't help but notice Bullock in the audience, both because of his loud running commentary on the lecture, his equally noisy snoring and his general clumsiness. "I don't owe nobody no explanations," Harvey snapped to Stein, "especially some bozo waltzin' around with last month's lunch decoratin' his tie!"

Months earlier, Harvey had met a spy named Katia (BATMAN # 394) and, by chance, he spotted her picture among files on spies that Stein's agency was looking for. Furthermore, could place her in Gotham only a few days earlier. "I'm excusin' you from th' seminar, Bullock," Stein announced. "We're going t' Gotham City. Right now!"(VIGILANTE # 45)

Once in Gotham, Stein set to work on recruiting another operative for the mission, fugitive judge Adrian (Vigilante) Chase (VIG # 46) while Bullock ran interference with the local police and offered the insights of a Gotham vet. Slapping a jelly-covered hand in Chase's palm, Harv slobbered, "How ya doin', yer honor ? Y'know, I been thinkin' ... you don't look like a psycho, y'know ?" The Vigilante was less than impressed but he did his job, helping to end Katia's threat to sell state secrets (# 47).

To Chase's astonishment, Harvey was still functioning as his government contact in the wake of the adventure. As he shovelled a hamburger into his mouth, Bullock explained that "my old boss, Commissioner Gordon, said I wuz better off as one'a the feds than one'a his -- so he got th' paperwork rollin' t' transfer me over ... chomp ... permanent-like. ... The commish never could get used t' my style, y'know ? But I don't mind. I mean ... in Gotham I was a lousy sergeant on straight salary, but now I'm a secret agent wid an expense account! Just like James Bond an' them other movie spies" (# 48).

Privately, the put-upon Bullock was far from certain that the government job was going to pan out. Rather than risk losing the seniority that his twenty-one years with the GCPD had given him (according to CHECKMATE! # 22), Bullock opted for a leave of absence from the force and retained his rent controlled apartment for his return visits to Gotham.

In addition to watchdogging Chase, Bullock also found himself keeping a wary eye on the woman in the Vigilante's life, an emotionally unhinged costumed character who called herself Black Thorn (# 48). Thorn was fiercely protective of her personal history, offering accounts of her origins that Bullock determined were false but which he kept to himself, given Chase's own mental state (# 49). In the end, the Vigilante succumbed to his demons and committed suicide (# 50), leaving Harvey Bullock as one of the few men alive with an interest in channelling Black Thorn's volatile energy in a positive direction.

It's worth noting at this point that there was a real-life namesake for Harvey Bullock in the entertainment industry. He was a producer and writer of TV series throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with script credits on such programs as "The Andy Griffith Show", "Hogan's Heroes", "The Flintstones" and a now-obscure 1960-1962 CBS show about a San Francisco-based detective agency called "Checkmate." In what seems almost too good to be coincidental, the next series on the fictional Harvey's dance card was named ... CHECKMATE!

Within weeks of the Vigilante's death, the spy agency had been reorganized as Checkmate and Harvey, in its parlance, was a Bishop, second-in-command to Harry Stein, who'd recommended him (ACTION COMICS # 598; CHECKMATE! # 1). Against the advice of the Suicide Squad's Amanda Waller, Stein and Bullock made an effort to recruit Black Thorn, going so far as to take her to their Virginia headquarters by force to make the sales pitch. The moment Bullock entered a briefing room, Thorn made her escape (CHECKMATE! # 1).

Amanda Waller demanded that the situation be resolved once and for all, to which an indignant Bullock demanded, "so we're just supposed t' murder her ?"

"In case you've forgotten," she snapped, "murder is a big part of what we do here. Learn to take the heat, you slob -- or get the hell out of my kitchen!"

Aware that Harry Stein was searching for a way to save Thorn, Harvey arranged a secret meeting with the fugitive at a theatrical showing of "Casablanca." Thanks to details provided by Bullock, Black Thorn infiltrated Checkmate headquarters and, when she was finally captured New York's Chinatown, she handed over what she referred to as "life insurance" to Amanda Waller --hard evidence that exposed the Suicide Squad's recent illegal action in Nicaraugua. "And everyone will be reading it if anything happens to me. My contact will see to it, unless he hears from me at a pre-arranged time every week. ... I'm not interested in working for or against you. I just want to be left alone. Is it a deal ?"

Waller had no choice but to agree, albeit through clenched teeth. "Lucky break for Thorny," a "surprised" Bullock responded after Stein told him that the news at the end of CHECKMATE! # 8.

"That's what I thought," Stein replied. "Well, that's all, Harvey. Enjoy your dinner. Oh, and if you ever compromise security like that again, I'll kick your ..."

Amidst victories like that, Bullock was also forced to deal with crushing blows like the one the forced him to make a hasty return to Gotham. The Gordon family had been targeted for a personal attack by the Joker, resulting in the kidnapping of Jim and the crippling of Barbara. It was Harvey who'd take a distraught Barbara's initial statement at the hospital and play liaison between Batman and the GCPD until Commissioner Gordon was rescued (1988's BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland, a story that had been in preparation since the Doug Moench era of 1985; hence, Bullock's presence).

Back at Checkmate, Harvey wasn't lacking for excitement. He took the latest bullet wound of his career (this one to his left leg) when the agency's headquarters suffered a direct hit from a terrorist. Bullock was personally taken hostage by the killer but he had the satisfaction of punching him in the jaw after one of Checkmate's Knights softened him up (CHECKMATE! # 10). And with Stein on vacation, Harvey found himself virtually running the show, complicated by the repercussions of the just-resolved invasion of the Alien Armada (CHECKMATE! # 13). He even got his own brief biography in WHO'S WHO '88 # 4.

In the wake of "The Janus Directive,"Checkmate relocated to Colorado and it was in Denver that Harvey caught a glimpse of the latest woman in his life -- as she exited a theatre devoted to old movies (1989's CHECKMATE! # 19, 21). Her name was Monica and, with his characteristic grace, he poured wine down the front of his shirt on their first date. Adding to his stress, Harvey was approached outside the washroom by Black Thorn, who announced that "I want to join Checkmate" (# 22).

Neither woman seemed to have Harvey's best interests at heart. He went to bat for Thorn (# 23) but was forced to tell her that that she couldn't be an operative without full disclosure about her past (# 26). Unable to make any headway, Black Thorn broke into Checkmate's computer database for reasons still unrevealed (# 28) and wasn't seen again until the recent Olympic Games in Australia (YOUNG JUSTICE # 23-24). And Monica ? Her romance with Harvey had been initiated by someone with sinister designs of their own (CHECKMATE! # 25). Like Thorn, Monica's situation was left unresolved.

Even without the machinations of Thorn and Monica, Harvey was headed for a fall from grace. In his efforts to recruit Thorn, he'd sneered at Valentina Vostok's objections. "You used t' be boss over Harry an' me but remember yer now workin' for us -- and that means you follow our orders and there ain't no vice versa about it! ... That's the beauty 'a bein' in charge, honey ... ya can be anythin' ya want. An' what I wanna be now's alone -- so don't let the door hit yer butt on the way out" (CHECKMATE! # 23).

The final straw came when Stein's children were abducted and he was blackmailed into freeing a prisoner from Checkmate's headquarters (1990's CHECKMATE! # 26-27). While matters with Stein were cleared up in Washington, Harvey was forced to take the reigns of the agency. It was during that period that he made the disastrous decision not to take a more aggressive role in the sinister movements of major government contractor Victor Cypher (# 29). When Vostok objected, Harvey suspended her (# 30). Although a number of key Checkmate operatives resolved to pursue Cypher anyway (# 31) and Stein took control of the agency back from Bullock, it was too late. Cypher succeeded in overthrowing the country of Austanburg, creating a sinister new nation virtually overnight (# 32-33).

"I knew he was up t' somethin'," Harvey admitted to Harry, "but I figured I just had'a watch him for now, didn't wanna scare him off, y'know ? I ... I dunno, man. I lost control 'a the situation. Maybe I shouldn't've played it so cautious. Maybe ... maybe ya shouldn't've left me in charge, Harry ..."

"You're my number two man, Harvey. Maybe all you needed was to trust yourself as much as I do."

Whether it was his own decision, the government's or a mutual agreement, Harvey left the ranks of Checkmate soon after. Weary of the headaches of management, Bullock was happy to return to the ranks of the Gotham City Police Department, still holding the rank of sergeant and still in possession of his old apartment. His first case back home was an investigation of the Garbage Man murders (2000's BATMAN: TURNING POINTS # 3). Thanks to Paul Kupperberg's guardianship of Bullock in VIGILANTE and CHECKMATE from 1987 to 1990, he'd only be in comics limbo for two years despite his absent from the Batman franchise itself since 1986.

Bullock's return to Gotham was a direct result of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and company's "Batman: The Animated Series." In the course of establishing a supporting cast for the cartoon, characters from a number of different eras were selected, everyone from O'Neil's Leslie Thompkins to Conway's Hamilton Hill to ... Moench's Harvey Bullock (vocalized by Bobby Costanzo). Not unlike the characterization in the 1974 Goodwin story, the Animated Series' Bullock represented the anti-vigilante camp, though his abrasive disposition and general hygiene tended to diminish the effectiveness of his arguments. Bullock's trademark cigar was jettisoned here, replaced by ubiquitous toothpicks that the detective was constantly fingering or chewing.

With the cartoon's introduction of policewoman Renee Montoya and reintroduction of Harvey Bullock on the horizon, editor Denny O'Neil decided to bring them both into the mainstream Batman continuity. Both characters came aboard in Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle's BATMAN # 475, the first of the three-part "Return of Scarface" arc that also served to write Vicki Vale out of the series (in # 476). As in the case of Bullock and Montoya, other media played a crucial role. Vicki wasn't going to be in the forthcoming "Batman Returns" movie so, in Grant's words, "why have her in the comic ?" (AMAZING HEROES # 204).

Bullock and Montoya were paired up almost immediately in Chuck Dixon, Tom Lyle and Scott Hanna's first arc in DETECTIVE # 644-645 but the partnership wasn't initially a perfect fit. Referring to the oppressive heat in Moench and Aparo's BATMAN # 482, Bullock noted that "it's hotter'n a Saturday night tamale in Tijuana -- if ya catch my drift." Making a face, Montoya said, "No. I'd rather not."

Before long, though, she was giving it right back to him. After just missing Harvey's conversation with The Batman in DETECTIVE # 651, Montoya asked who'd he'd been talking to.

"Huh ? This skel, who else ? I was reading him his rights."

"They're supposed to be conscious when you do that," she said, smirking.

"Mind your own business, Montoya."

1992's 'TEC # 651 (the first issue bythe dream-team of Chuck Dixon, GrahamNolan and Scott Hanna) was a classic piece entitled "A Bullet For Bullock," a story that was eventually adapted as an episode of the animated series (first airing on September 14, 1995).

A series of threatening notes had escalated into shots being fired at Harvey and the detective reluctantly called The Batman in for assistance. "I think you're a freak and a menace," he admitted. "But Gordon thinks you serve a purpose so I go along." Bullock preferred not to approach the police department about the threats. "If they start looking into my past they may find something I don't want found."

"Are you saying you're on the take ?"

"I never took a dime from anybody. I just sometimes bend the rules a little. Stuff that's better buried. Stuff you'd understand."

"We're on the same side but we're not the same," Batman clarified. "I'll help you find out who's threatening you. But you've got to collar him clean. I'm not setting anyone up so you can gun them down."

Eventually, the Dark Knight discovered that Vince Starkey had been paroled after only eight years in Blackgate and was back in the drug business. Bullock and Batman busted him anew but the Shark was genuinely clueless when Harv questioned him about the death threats.

The answer finally came when Bullock reached his apartment that night and was approached by a masked man, a gunman soon disarmed by an up-till-then concealed Batman. The culprit was, incredibly, Harvey's landlord, who snapped, "Why wouldn't you move ? Leave town ? You and your late hours and those smelly cigars! Do you know what your apartment is worth at today's rates ?"

Dumbfounded, Batman asked, "He wanted your apartment ?"

"My building is rent controlled. The only way he could raise the rent was to get me out. One way or the other. It's funny," Bullock thought. "I was thinking of moving anyway."

Bullock had made his opinion of Batman clear but what of the newest Robin (a.k.a. Tim Drake), whose late predecessor had gotten along so well with Harvey ? Initially, the answer was, "not well." Bullock was furious when the latest Robin interfered in the GCPD's stand-off with a bomb-toting Riddler. "You punk kid, he could have blown this whole building into next year! ...And if I know the Bat-freak like I think I do, he'll have a few words on the subject himself. We had this psycho covered." The fact that the explosive in question proved to be a fake was irrelevant in Harvey's eyes. "That was still a bonehead play" (1993's 'TEC # 662, by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna).

Over time, Tim Drake would more than earn Bullock's respect, most notably when the Boy Wonder singlehandedly fought and beat Killer Croc during Gotham's period as a "No Man's Land" (1999's ROBIN # 72). Asked by Montoya if he'd been "as tough as that," Bullock responded, "You mean when I was his age ? Naw."

The discovery of a group of gangsters who'd been beaten to death heralded the beginning of another dark chapter in Gotham's history. When one survivor accused Batman, Bullock snapped, "That mutt's lying through his crooked teeth." When Montoya expressed astonishment that her partner was "defending Batman," the sergeant replied, "Take my word for it, Montoya. This ain't his style." Bane had come to Gotham (1992's VENGEANCE OF BANE # 1, by Dixon, Nolan and Eduardo Barreto).

True to form, Bullock often didn't have time for legal niceties in the wake of the Bane-orchestrated release of Gotham's prisoners. After watching Lieutenant Kitch's attempts to restrain a prisoner shrieking "What time is it ?," Harvey finally got fed up and bashed him across the head, answering. "NAPtime!"

"That was uncalled for Bullock."

"Well, you weren't helpin' much reading him his Mirandas, Kitch."

"Pistol-whipping is not standard procedure."

"Like we got time for your precious procedures with these animals running all over town" ('TEC # 661, by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna).

Indeed, after Jean Paul Valley had assumed the mantle of the Bat, Bullock found himself almost approving of the new Batman's more violent approach. Harvey even served as an information resource for the once and future Azrael in his battles with Cardinal Sin (LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL # 3) and Gunhawk ('TEC # 674). After the GCPD restrained Batman from inflicting potentially-fatal injuries to the Joker, Bullock even suggested that "we shoulda waited outside until the Bat-freak was finished" ('TEC # 673). Once Harvey discovered the body of a kidnapping victim who'd died because the new Batman killed his abductor (1994's SHADOW OF THE BAT # 28), even he couldn't defend the vigilante.

Regrettably, the return of the true Batman coincided with a grim moment in Bullock's life. He and new transfer MacKenzie Bock (nicknamed "Hardback" by Harv because he "read a lot") were searching for the arsonist responsible for a raging fire at Wayne Chemical. In the midst of the flames, Bullock came face-to-face with the KGBeast and, when Harv refused to back down, the Russian killer sent a metal drum hurtling towards the cop's head and chest ('TEC # 682). Robin and Bock succeeded in dragging the unconscious Harvey away from the worst of the fire and, after he stopped breathing, the Boy Wonder performed CPR to save the dying man's life (ROBIN # 14).

Standing at Harvey's bedside, Renee Montoya found herself crying in spite of herself when Bock entered the room with the news that "the first forty-eight hours are the most important in a coma."

"And it been three days and Harvey's still comatose. And he lives on a steady diet of Cuban cigars and cream donuts. He hasn't got a prayer."

"You're wrong, detective," Bock stressed. "That's all he's got."

Thanking Bock, Renee asked for a few moments alone and tuned the radio to an Harvey's beloved oldies station, the voice of Tommy Edwards filling the room: "Many a tear has to fall ... but it's all in the game ..." ('TEC # 683, by Dixon, Nolan and Hanna).

In due time, Harvey did regain consciousness, placing an immediate order for donuts and cigars ('TEC # 684). His head still swathed in bandages, Bullock returned to the GCPD on light duty -- to an empty desk. "I needed that stuff!" he shrieked. "All my records ... mug shots ... snitch sheets ..."

"Not to mention," the officer on duty continued. "empty pizza boxes ... moldy coffee cups ... smelly cigar butts ... all gone, Bullock -- forever."

And then the net above him was released, raining down the entire contents of Harvey's desk. "Now this," sighed Harvey, cigar in mouth and literally up to neck in paperwork, "is more like it!" (BATMAN # 518, by Moench, Kelley Jones and John Beatty)

And there was more good news waiting at the hospital. As Harvey's beloved nurse, Charlotte, removed the last of his bandages, she also agreed to join him on a date. Amused at her partner's enthusiasm, Montoya asked, "What did she do, Harv -- mother you ?"

"Naw, but once she almost chucked a bedpan at me. Tough woman -- always ready to step in and take any bull by the horn. Admired Nurse Charlotte even when she was snappin' my morning stogies in half."

The night got off to a good start as the couple discussed music, Harvey recalled that "snot in R.E.M. called the Beatles 'elevator music,' but one thing the Beatles always had -- aside from better chops than R.E.M. -- was love for what came before."

"You mean respect for their elders ? Like Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Little Richard ?"

"Awright, so maybe it's a goofy analogy, Charlotte ... but I still wanna hold your hand."

If only the night had ended as harmoniously as it had begun. In the parking lot after the movie, the couple was approached by a gun-wielding carjacker who panicked when Harvey reached for his car keys. The gunman mortally wounded Charlotte and a hysterical Bullock beat her killer senseless with his own weapon. As his new love died in his arms, Harvey silently wept (BATMAN # 520, by Moench and Eduardo Barreto).

Consequently, Harvey wasn't in a particularly good frame of mind when he saw a relatively benign costumed crook called the Polka Dot Man swinging a baseball bat at another officer. Bullock gave the crook -- one Abner Krill -- a beating far in excess of what he deserved and the fallout was immediate. An appalled Montoya requested a transfer and a smug Gillen with Internal Affairs went right to work on Krill's brutality complaint. The end result: Harvey got a new partner, Kevin Soong (BATMAN: GCPD # 1, by Dixon, Jim Aparo and Bill Sienkiewicz) and the recommendation of "a psychiatric evaluation ... You'll remain on active duty so long as the departmental psychiatrist gives you high marks" (# 2).

Though Bullock and Soong formed a bond, their partnership proved short-lived when Soong suffered a grave bullet wound and wound up with an early retirement from the force. Meanwhile, Montoya had been hospitalized herself after a harrowing kidnapping case and apologized for having been "high-minded" with Bullock earlier, insisting that "you're the kind of cop Gotham needs."

Harvey, in his way, apologized in turn, uncharacteristically using her first name as he said, "I don't want you to become my kind of cop, Renee. I mean, maybe together we make the kind of cop Gotham needs."

Bullock did get one gratifying bit of news that week. Thanks to the efforts of the GCPD's Officer Hendricks, the person who'd been stealing office supplies had been exposed. It was Gillen. Harvey chortled, "you just became my favorite cop, Hendricks"(GCPD # 4).

As if Harvey didn't have enough problems, his beloved Verda Mae, whose diner kept him supplied with donuts (BATMAN # 520, 530, 536), stopped serving them fresh. Nonetheless, Bullock left the police station that night with a satisfied feeling in his belly. He'd kept a suicidal would-be killer on the phone until the desperate man agreed to surrender and get help (BATMAN # 547, by Moench, Jones and Beatty).

And then there were the solo stories. In one, verbal sparring partners Bullock and Gotham county sheriff Steve "Shotgun" Smith joined forces for a case and developed a mutual respect for one another (1998's BATMAN CHRONICLES # 13, by Eric Fein, Sal Buscema and Dick Giordano). Another found Harvey in a panic over his weight, prompting the latest in a string of diets and an explanation to Montoya that "I can't keep finessin' the departmental physicals." Harv soon found himself so fixated on food that he went off the wagon. "The leaner, healthier me was gonna be one miserable s.o.b. to live with. I wouldn't want you partnered with a creep like that, Montoya" (1998's BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT # 1 by Dixon and Flint Henry).

Dixon and Henry (with inker Tom Palmer) reunited in 1999 for a comic book starring Gotham's favorite rumpled cop. BATMAN: BULLOCK'S LAW # 1 was a 54-pager in which Harvey's worst fears were realized. The departmental physician informed him that "you have the cholesterol count of a butterchurn. Your blood pressure is in orbit. You're forty pounds overweight. You wouldn't pass the fitness test in a leper colony. ... I should fail you. Make you take retirement. But I'm going to give you one month to shed some pounds and get those stats back in line."

Adding a further complication to Bullock's life was a private offer from gangster Black Mask and his False Face Society. They would give him a diskette "filled with data about Gotham's underworld. Enough potential for ten successful police careers." In essence, Harvey would be jailing the Society's local opposition. "And one more thing," Black Mask added. "Johnny Poodles. I need you to help get his case dismissed. He can't do jailtime."

Initially noncommittal, Harvey found the offer irresistible once he'd scanned the contents of the disk. Within the week, he'd become, in Montoya's words, "a one-man justice machine." His extraordinary string of arrests had also raised suspicions, most notably with a certain Dark Knight, who assured Bullock that "if I thought you were playing your own game I'd bring you down. And all the years betwen us wouldn't stop me."

Stung, Harvey shouted, "I ain't crooked! Nobody calls Harvey Bullock crooked!" Looking around at the now-vacant GCPD roof, he muttered, "Overgrown roofrat ... can't even say it to my face."

What followed was an elaborate scheme in which Harvey, impersonating a False Facer, played the Society against another vicious gang, the Bandidos. Meanwhile, the Society dangled the identity of the Widow-Whacker serial killer in front of Bullock in exchange for his testimony in the Poodles trial the following day. He was forced to call in Batman, providing him with the news of the killer's apparent False Face connection and insisting that he make the arrest that night. By the next afternoon, the Widow-Whacker was in custody and Harvey's testimony had sent Johnny Poodles up the river.

Taken for a ride by the False Facers, Harvey maneuvered them into the Bandidos' territory and let the shooting begin. His face half covered in bandages, his right arm broken and suffering from multiple other injuries, Harvey still couldn't help smiling when the department physician entered his hospital room. That grin might have been because of a discovery that Hendricks had made. It seems the doctor had accumulated a few parking tickets. "A hundred and two citations. Over a grand in fines outstanding."

"You haven't told anyone about this --"

"I been busy. But if I was ... retired, I'd have time to make trouble for you."

" 'Retired ?' No need for you to retire, Detective Bullock. A man like you could serve the force for years."

As fate would have it, Bullock would soon have no choice about giving up smoking and fatty foods. It all began with the Gotham earthquake, which had caught Harvey in the midst of arresting a fugitive killer (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT # 73). His battered right arm sustained another injury when he wound up with a pipe impaled in it. Patching up the wound on his own, he headed back to the streets to help survivors of the quake (BATMAN # 553).

Ever since he'd left Checkmate, Bullock had nursed a grudge for the "lousy feds," an opinion he never failed to express, whether dealing with decent agents like Cameron Chase (1998's CHASE # 7-8) or corrupt operatives such as David Atlee Redmun (2000's BATMAN: OUTLAWS # 1-3). After agents hauled away a suspect that he'd arrested on one occasion ('TEC # 658), he muttered, "I shoulda stayed a fed, Montoya."

"Not with your taste in neckties, Harv."

Suffice it to say, Harvey was displeased when the government decided to close down Gotham in the aftermath of the quake. Along with a number of other cops, he agreed to stay behind in the veritable "No Man's Land." It didn't hurt the inveterate movie buff's feelings when Gordon invoked the memory of "Fort Apache" in his sales pitch ('TEC # 729).

Bullock later defended his decision to stay. "To be a cop in a place with no laws and no Internal Affairs department ? Dispense rough justice ? Make up the rules ? I like that. You know the old saying,that cops and criminals are basically the same because they both figure they're above the law ? Maybe it's true."

"Feds run us out, then they say it ain't part of the USA anymore," he continued. "Maybe we own it because we're here." Reminded of the fact that Native Americans had the same idea, he replied, "Maybe that's why they got wiped out. If it wasn't theirs, why fight to protect it ? Gotham's my town. I intend to fight for it" (1999's BATMAN: NO MAN'S LAND # 1, by Bob Gale, Alex Maleev and Wayne Faucher).

In many respects, the NML was good for Harv, forcing him to lose weight because of the scarcity of food. Likewise, his cigar habit went by the wayside and he found himself chewing on his animated counterparts pacifier of choice -- the toothpick (BATMAN # 565). But the NML also had shattering tragedy as in the Joker's murder of Jim Gordon's wife. On the eve of Gotham transition back to the United States, Harvey's made a toast in her memory: "To Lieutenant Sarah Essen. We'll never forget her. Or her sacrifice. She was the best of us" (BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT # 94, by Greg Rucka, Pablo Raimondi and Sean Parsons).

His failures in leading Checkmate still vivid in his memory, Harvey balked when Commissioner Gordon informed him that "effective immediately, you're a lieutenant. ... If you refuse the promotion, I'll honor that. But I'm asking you not to. The department is weak right now." Reluctantly, Bullock agreed. He was now head of the Major Crimes Unit (2000's 'TEC # 742, by Rucka, Shawn Martinbrough and Steve Mitchell).

From Bullock's perspective, there would be no more major crimes than the shooting of Jim Gordon on his birthday (BATMAN # 587) and the fact that his assailant, Jordan Rich, would go free. Montoya, in particular, was sick over the situation, blaming herself for not getting a confession in the allotted time. She went so far as to smash in the shooter's door when Harvey stepped in to stop her.

Pointing to the handcuff key that Gordon had given each of them on his birthday, Harvey reminded Renee of what the Commissioner had said it represented. It was a symbol of their power and a reminder not to abuse it. "You take freedom from those who break the law. You're not a killer. And this rat ain't worth your career." He escorted Montoya from the room, then turned towards Reynolds with a sinister leer. "See you around, Jordan."

The next time anyone saw Jordan Reynolds' apartment, it had been stripped of all its contents, a trail of blood leading out its shattered door frame. And in a tavern elsewhere in Gotham, Bullock and Montoya shared a drink as Renee asked Harvey what had become of his own symbolic handcuff key.

"Huh ... dunno ... musta lost it someplace. I wasn't gonna use it, anyway"(BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS # 13, by Rucka, Rick Burchett and Rodney Ramos).

Snatches of dialogue come back to us now, the words of the man who played bad cop ("Yeah, crazy! Crazy enough to kill ya -- one bone at a time!"), the assertion of Amanda Waller that appalled him ("In case you've forgotten, murder is a big part of what we do here.") and the opinion of the man who'd like to see the menace of the Joker extinguished ("We shoulda waited outside until the Bat-freak was finished").

But did Harvey Bullock kill Jordan Rich ? We may never know.


Batman # 361-367, 369-370, 373-376, 380-381, 383-390, 392, 394-400
Batman Annual # 10
Crisis On Infinite Earths # 11
Detective Comics # 441 (?), 528, 532-535, 537-540, 542-544, 546-549, 553-558, 560, 562, 565

Action Comics # 598
Azrael # 28, 36
Batman # 475-476, 482, 485, 490 (behind the scenes), 491-493, 495-496, 498, 500, 503-504, 510, 513, 516, 518-520, 523, 525, 529-530, 533, 535-536, 542 (behind the scenes), 544-550, 552-554, 558-559, 561, 563, 565, 575-577, 582-584, 587
Batman & Superman: World's Finest # 10
Batman Annual # 17, 21-22
Batman: Bane
Batman: Blackgate # 1
Batman: Bullock's Law # 1
The Batman Chronicles # 2, 9, 13, 16, 23
Batman 80-Page Giant # 1-3
Batman: GCPD # 1-4
Batman: Gordon's Law # 1-2, 4
Batman: Gotham City Secret Files # 1(text)
Batman: Gotham Knights # 1, 5-6, 13
Batman: Joker's Apprentice # 1
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight # 105-106, 116-117, 119, 124, 126, 142
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual # 3
Batman: Mr. Freeze
Batman: No Man's Land # 1
Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files # 1(text)
Batman: Outlaws # 1-3
Batman/Predator III # 1-3
Batman Secret Files # 1 (text)
Batman: Seduction of the Gun # 1
Batman: Shadow of the Bat # 17, 18(voice), 20, 28, 30, 32, 33 (behind the scenes), 37, 39, 45, 49, 52, 55, 57, 61, 73, M, 83, 85, 88, 94
Batman: Shadow of The Bat Annual # 5
Batman: The Chalice
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: The Vengeance of Bane II
Batman: Toyman # 1
Batman: Turning Points # 3-5
Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special # 1
Birds of Prey # 27
Catwoman (second series) # 2, 7, 31, 42, 45, 53-54, 57, 63
Catwoman Annual # 2
Catwoman Plus # 1
Chase # 7-8
Checkmate! # 1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 13, 15-17, 19, 21-23, 25-27, 29, 32-33
Detective Comics # 642, 644-645, 648, 651, 654, 656-658, 660-664, 666, 670, 672-675, 677, 0, 680-687, 691-694, 696-699, 702, 705-706, 708-710, 712, 714-716, 721-722, 727-729, 732, 738-739, 741-749, 752, 754-755, 758-759
Detective Comics Annual # 6
The Joker: Devil's Advocate
Legends of the Dark Knight Annual # 2
Man-Bat (third series) # 1-2
Nightwing # 20, 23, 53
Nightwing and Huntress # 1-4
Resurrection Man # 7
Robin (current) # 2-4, 8-11, 13-14, 27-28, 33, 39, 45, 53, 71-72, 86
Showcase '93 # 4, 6, 10
Sins of Youth: Batboy and Robin # 1
Sovereign Seven # 12
Suicide Squad # 25, 27-29
Superboy/Robin: World's Finest Three # 1
Swamp Thing # 51-55
Vigilante # 44-50
Who's Who '88 # 4

The Batgirl Adventures # 1
The Batman Adventures # 3, 6, 11, 22, 26 (behind the scenes),33
The Batman Adventures Holiday Special # 1
The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
The Batman and Robin Adventures # 4-6, 13, 16, 20-21
The Batman and Robin Adventures Annual # 1
The Batman and Robin Adventures: Sub-Zero
Batman and Superman Adventures: World's Finest
Batman: Ego
Batman: Gotham Adventures # 1-2, 5, 11, 14, 16, 22 (voice), 25, 29, 34, 35 (behind the scenes)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm -- The Official Adaptation
Joker/Mask # 1-4
Superman Adventures # M

Catwoman/Vampirella: The Furies
Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights

HARVEY BULLOCK (variants):
The Batman Chronicles # 11
Batman: Knightfall (text)
Batman: Two Faces # 1
Bat-Thing # 1
Detective Comics # 678
JLA: The Nail # 1-2
Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy # 4
Thrillkiller # 3

Two Face 22
posted June 11, 2001 04:03 PM

Hi all!
I'm a new member but have been following this thread for a little while and just wanted to add my appreciation and admiration for those posting to this topic. I've wanted to know most of this info for so long!

Just wondered if you aren't too busy, maybe you could provide info on whose been Mayor of Gotham City over the years?

Many thanks and keep it up! I'm loving it!

posted June 15, 2001 04:33 AM

I was looking at the Overstreet Price Guide and under DETECTIVE COMICS #135 it mentioned Frankenstein. Do Batman and Robin take on the Monster?

posted June 15, 2001 06:43 AM

Sort of. After being presented with evidence that Frankenstein's monster may have really existed, Batman, Robin and Professor Carter Nichols travel into the past to investigate. The "monster" proves to be Baron Frankstein's assistant, Ivan, who is nearly killed by an electric shock and partially revived by a steroid-like solution. The drugs only succeed in making Ivan succeptible to the suggestions of one of the Baron's enemies and the hulking man is sent on a rampage in the village. Once Ivan realizes what he's done, he kills himself and the man who controlled him in a massive explosion.

Meanwhile, a witness named Mary Shelley gasps, "It wouldn't be believed! I'll have to write it as fiction!"

Re: the Mayors of Gotham. This is a nifty suggestion! I'll see what I can do.

posted June 15, 2001 09:33 AM

Hi Miki!
First of all I'd like to thank you for all your time and dedication to this thread. It's really detailed and I love that! I've been following Batman since I was nine years old but to be honest I kinda lost interest after Knightsend. I have always loved pre-crisis stuff, particularly Earth-1 and I searched the net for looking for info on the Earth-1 Batman but with no luck: THEN I FOUND THIS THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can safely say that Batman is top of my list again-thanks to you.

I also must congradulate you on your Batgirl-Oracle site. Man, it's fantastic.I've always had a weakness for Babs, so, hey I'm biased! I am however surprised that you haven't created your own site devoted to "People of Gotham-Past and Present" most of your info is already compiled so it would just mean transferring it. THAT WOULD BE ONE HELL OF A SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd love to read some bios on the major characters ie. Catwoman, Joker, Two-Face etc. I realise that you probably don't have the time to compile such large bios. I figure that maybe you've already done some on other threads - Thats why I asked for the links.

By the way,would you be able to write up a section on continuity and how it's changed over the years ie: how was Earth-1 continuity wrapped up, what continuity does DETECTIVE COMICS # 569-570 belong to etc.?

Thanks again for all your time and devotion.

And in the meantime how about:

Tony Gordon

The hangman of Gotham

Poison Ivy

Thanx. Jay.

posted June 16, 2001 04:44 AM

If you're taking requests...

Leslie Thompkins

Gilda Dent

Starman -- (in light of the 1951 retcon by James Robinson)

Brane Taylor

posted June 16, 2001 07:29 AM

Thanks for the kind words, Jay!

I'm going to try to do one bio a week for the time being, catching up on some of the characters who were requested in the past before getting to the new ones. This weekend, though, expect to see Doctor Moon.

Meanwhile, for everyone's amusement, here's something I recently posted on the GCD Chat List:

From the "More-Than-You-Ever-Wanted-To-Know" Dept't.:

ACTION COMICS # 1 and DETECTIVE COMICS # 16 were both dated June, 1938 and 'TEC maintained its fifteen issue lead into the 1960s. ACTION managed to shave four issues off that between 1966 and 1969 thanks to being published twice a month during the publication of each of the Supergirl 80-Page Giants (# 334, 347, 360, 373). In the 1970s, the lead date on DC's titles was revised so ALL DC comics skipped the May, 1973 issue. When 'TEC returned with # 435, it had been reduced to bi-monthly status (June-July, 1973) and ACTION caught up within a matter of months.

DETECTIVE returned to monthly frequency with # 446 (April, 1975), the same month that ACTION caught up with it! The two books bore identical numbers for the next fifteen months, ending with issue # 467, when 'TEC was again reduced to bi-monthly frequency. During Steve Englehart's run (# 469-476), 'TEC was temporarily expanded to eight times a year but it was too late. ACTION had the lead. By the time 'TEC returned to monthly frequency with # 489 (April, 1980), ACTION was seventeen issues ahead at issue # 506.

ACTION took a three-month vacation between Julius Schwartz's last issue (# 583: September, 1986) and John Byrne's first (# 584: January, 1987). All of these frequency stunts had the cumulative end result of ACTION # 600 (May, 1988) coinciding exactly with Superman's 50th Anniversary!

Thanks to the 42 weekly issues that followed # 600 (ending with an issue published alongside March, 1989-dated issues), ACTION expanded its lead significantly enough that 'TEC didn't have a prayer of ever catching up (or so it seemed). After its post-WEEKLY hiatus, ACTION returned with # 643 (dated July, 1989), published the same month as 'TEC # 602.

Taking advantage of Batmania, DETECTIVE had annual spells of twice-monthly frequency in 1989 (# 604-607), 1990 (# 617-620), 1991 (# 631-636), 1992 (# 647-652) and 1993 (# 659-664). Meanwhile, ACTION took a three-month hiatus thanks to the consequences of the "death" of Superman in 1993 (between # 686 and 687) but gained a month back when # 687 and 688 were both released with July, 1993-dated books. As of the December, 1993 books, ACTION was at # 694 and DETECTIVE at # 669, 25 issues behind.

Since then, ACTION has missed four months -- May, 1995 (between # 709 & 710), February, 1998 (between # 741 & 742), October, 1998 (between # 748 and the One Million issue) and June, 1999 (between # 754 & 755) -- while DETECTIVE has maintained uninterrupted monthly frequency.

All of which serves to explain how a monthly that started in March of 1937 is now 21 issues BEHIND the numbering of a monthly that debuted in June of 1938.

posted June 18, 2001 05:52 AM

"Your brain," as the Firesign Theatre once said, "may no longer be the boss." Especially if Doctor Moon is involved.

He first came to The Batman's attention in early 1972 when the Dark Knight was directed to the corpse of scientist Mason Sterling -- whose brain had been removed! Batman eventually linked the murder to one of Sterling's business associates but, after the killer expressed bewilderment at his victim's bizarre mutilation, evidence suggested that Ra's al Ghul was involved as well.

And, in fact, Ra's WAS involved. His agents had discovered Sterling's dying body and, in desperation, the Demon's Head had sought the assistance of one of his key technicians. Doctor Moon had pioneered a revolutionary method of transferring the human cerebrum into a nutrient-rich container and enabling it to speak. Ra's insisted that the scientist possessed"knowledge useful to my organization. I long for a better world -- not one commanded by FOOLS! This is my DREAM. Mister Sterling's information will aid me in REALIZING it." Mason Sterling had, in short, been transformed into that horrific staple of science fiction -- a brain in a jar!

Batman was aghast, choking, "You're MAD ... INSANE with need for power! I've never REALIZED it until this moment!" As Moon attempted to alert Ra's' assassins, the Dark Knight directed his "rock-hard knuckles" into the mad genius' chin and knocked him to his knees. Prison wasn't in the Demon's Head's plans, alas, and thanks to an impenetrable plastic barrier, Ra's, Talia and Moon made their escape. Sterling, unwilling to spend another moment condemned to his ghastly fate, tricked Batman into triggering a self-destruct mechanism that incinerated his brain. The Dark Knight vowed "vengeance ... for a dead man" but Moon was destined to remain a fugitive for years to come. To date, he has yet to spend any significant time in police custody.

Moon was created by Denny O'Neil, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano in BATMAN # 240's pivotal installment of the Ra's al Ghul series. He had close-cropped black hair and stylishly large glasses. Moon's origins are shrouded in mystery but he's known to have been a native of an unnamed Asiatic nation (1986's DETECTIVE # 570), possibly the O'Neil-created Minglia that was first seen in 1998's LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE # 7-9).

He was even nominated for a Nobel Prize('TEC # 569) but Moon's unconventional methods and massive ego seem to have been his undoing. "I have performed surgery on international bankers, world leaders," he once boasted. "Without their knowledge, perhaps, but ..." (1993's BATMAN: TWO-FACE STRIKES TWICE # 2). The surgeon regarded himself as "misunderstood by society -- as is GENERALLY true of great men" (1972's WONDER WOMAN # 200). "Future generations," he insisted, "will rank me with Mengele"('TEC # 570). Ostracized by his peers, Moon began contracting his services to more visionary figures, people like Ra's al Ghul and Doctor Cylvia Cyber, who commanded armies and shared the goal of reshaping the world.

Moon's affiliation with Doctor Cyber began almost immediately after the Mason Sterling affair, only two months later in WONDER WOMAN # 200 (by O'Neil and Dick Giordano). The renegade surgeon ingratiated himself into Cyber's organization by promising the crimelord, whose face had been horribly scarred in an earlier clash with Diana Prince, that her beauty could be restored under his skilled hands. He had, he explained, "perfected the technique of transferring brains ... from one body to another."

Before the surgery could proceed, a chance encounter placed Diana Prince in Cyber's custody and the madwoman realized that Wonder Woman's body would be the perfect shell for her brain. Cyber also vengefully insisted that the captive not be anesthetized during the surgery but Moon demurred. Far from feeling some degree of compassion, he feared that "my scalpel might slip -- and MAR her features."

The decision worked to the advantage of Diana, who used yoga techniques to hold her breath while the gas was administered. Presumed unconscious, she caught Moon off guard with a sharp thrust to the torso and engaged Cyber in a brief struggle that ended with the scarred woman fatally impaled on her own knife (or so it seemed). Doctor Moon was nowhere to be found.

In the issue's text page, O'Neil plugged his mad surgeon's recent appearance in BATMAN and added that it "wouldn't surprise me if the lunatic knife-artist turned up again, somewhere, sometime ..." Indeed, in discussing his subsequent revivals of the villain over the course of the 1970s, O'Neil later said, "I figured I might as well use Moon because I needed a character like that, and again, if you've got one ready made, why not use him ?" (1984's AMAZING HEROES # 50)

Doctor Moon's next appearance was scripted by Martin Pasko, though, in the pages of 1975's WONDER WOMAN # 221 (with art by Curt Swan and Vince Colletta). Once again in partnership with Cyber, he was revealed to have performed emergency surgery on the evil woman after her critical stabbing. Cyber explained to a newly-captured Wonder Woman that "it was HE who saw that repeated attempts at plastic surgery had weakened my remaining facial muscles ... and determined I must wear an exoskeletal mask to mask to hold my face together. Constructing it of glass was my own ironic touch." Rather than make a second attempt at a brain transplant, Moon simply intended to graft the Amazon Princess' face onto Cyber's body.

Temporarily in the thrall of a psycho-chemical administered by her abductors, an adrenaline-charged Wonder Woman broke free and engaged Cyber in a furious battle that ended with the villainess plunging to her apparent death at the bottom of a mountain. Despite a report from Hawkman that "Diana then rounded up Professor Moon," the surgeon was back in operation within four months.

Weary of being manhandled by physical powerhouses like Batman and Wonder Woman, Moon had developed a fascination with cultivating his own cadre of super-humans. Towards that end, he opened "Dr. Moon's Athletic Academy" in Brooklyn, winnowed its student body to "the toughest street fighters," enhanced their strength with a steroid derivative of his own creation "and finally, taught them every filthy trick they didn't already KNOW!"

At the behest of gangster Guano Cravat, Moon sent his men against Richard Dragon and lured the kung fu fighter and Lady Shiva to his school. There, Richard was confronted by Doctor Moon's greatest success, a gentle giant of a man named Topper. The surgeon had made the most of Topper's bulk, implanting a polymer shielding beneath his skin of the same toughness as the plastic barrier that had trapped Batman four years earlier in Ra's al Ghul's headquarters. Once again, Doctor Moon displayed his expertise at brain surgery, revealing that an implant in Topper's brain sent him into a murderous fury at the touch of a transmitter button.

Dragon barely managed to defeat the savage giant and, gravely injured, insisted that Shiva allow Cravat and Moon to go free so that she could help him get medical attention. Snarling back at the evil duo, Shiva opined, "You are MERCIFUL, Richard Dragon, but I am NOT -- and we four shall meet again" (1976's RICHARD DRAGON, KUNG-FU FIGHTER # 7, by O'Neil, Ric Estrada and Wally Wood).

Cravat, perhaps significantly, was never seen again but Doctor Moon was determined to continue his study into fighting techniques. He and his warriors travelled to China and captured Richard Dragon's master, the O-Sensei with the intention of forcing him to reveal all of his martial arts secrets. Despite agonizing torture, the old master remained defiant, promising his captors that "when I have DIED, I shall GLADLY answer your questions."

By chance, Dragon and Shiva had come to the Chinese monastery seeking the O-Sensei's help in reviving a comatose Ben Turner. Despite the surprise visit, Moon's troops rallied and managed to cut down Shiva with gunfire. Meanwhile, Dragon found himself up against a martial artist that Moon had discovered in San Francisco -- Sing, a one-time student of the late Bruce Lee. After watching the two men fight to a draw, Moon pulled out a gun to shift the odds back in Sing's favor. "I ADMIRE Dragon. I was CONVINCED Sing would BREAK him. Yet Dragon is FOREVER interfering with my plans. I SLAY him with great REGRET -- " Before he could fire, Moon was rendered unconscious when the O'Sensei applied nerve compressions to his neck (RICHARD DRAGON # 14, by O'Neil and Estrada).

His experience as a solo operator seems to have convinced Moon that he should once again begin market his services to others. In August of 1978, his latest client was General Ivan Angst of Mercenaries, Incorporated, who hoped to use the surgeon's earlier work with Topper to create an army of super-soldiers. Angst recruited a student of the necessarily large build and Moon added the plastic armor and hormone drugs. This time he also cut the "nerve-trunks. This will prevent pain impulses from reaching his brain." The doctor christened his creation the Gork, "medical slang for a living breathing vegetable."

Against Doctor Moon's better judgment, the General insisted that the Gork battle The Batman, whom he regarded as "the PERFECT opponent -- the perfect TEST. If our subject can defeat HIM -- we will know ABSOLUTELY that our experiment is a SUCCESS." The inevitable confrontation was going in the Gork's favor until he abruptly collapsed.

Moon's worst fears had been realized. "His whole system is collapsing! Not being able to FEEL PAIN, he didn't realize anything was WRONG -- until it was TOO LATE! We should have progressed more SLOWLY! Given his body more time to ADJUST to the CHANGES!" While Moon fled the scene and Batman recovered, the Gork strangled the cold-blooded Angst before dying of a heart attack himself (DETECTIVE # 480, by O'Neil, Don Newton and Dave Hunt). Moon's emphasis on creating super-men largely evaporated at that point, though there was at least one subsequent report that he amputated Simon "The Grip" Buckley's hands "in exchange for robotic replacements" (1988's DETECTIVE # 589, by Lewis Klahr & Steve Piersall, Dean Haspiel and Denis Rodier).

By late 1981, Moon was again in the service of Doctor Cyber, who once again hoped to have the surgeon implant her brain in Wonder Woman's body. In the past, Cyber had regarded her fellow doctor with respect but now, driven mad by her quest to restore her beauty, she was openly dismissive. "What YOU feel, Moon, is of no importance to me. You are merely a LACKEY, one who should be grateful that I allow you to LIVE." Through the combined efforts of WonderWoman and the Teen Titans, the evil duo was recaptured and Moon, struck down by one of Starfire's energy bolts, was placed in police custody (WONDER WOMAN # 287, by Marv Wolfman, Don Heck and Romeo Tanghal).

Three years later, Moon was as free as ever, offering his professional opinion to crimelord Tobias Whale on the lost memories of the Outsider known as Halo. The doctor used an electronic device of his own creation that would "indicate damage to the cerebral functions -- such as memory -- by monitoring brain waves. Some stimulation of those damaged functions is also possible." In the end, Moon came up empty, unable to either detect brain damage or recover her lost memories (1985's BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS # 20, by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo). The truth about Halo, involving celestial beings known as Aurakles, would come later (BATO # 22-23).

If his last alliance with Doctor Cyber hadn't been enough to sour Moon on partners, his subsequent affiliation with the Joker in late 1986 would certainly do so. Hired by the madman to "re-villainize" the reformed Catwoman, the surgeon was forced to swallow his pride and accept such indignities as exploding cigars (DETECTIVE # 569-570, by Barr, Alan Davis and Paul Neary) .

Still, the opportunity to test his latest invention was worth it. "Free will is a MYTH," he declared. "The mind is CLAY, shaped and molded as the BODY requires. You have heard it said the way to a man's HEART is through his STOMACH ... ? I say the way to a man's MIND is through his BODY. I shall PROVE this, tonight."

He continued, "My latest researches indicate that, properly altered, a catscan may also enable one to 'reprogram' a patient's mind, if you will, as though it were a computer. This helps to confirm my theory of free will, you will note." His one stipulation was that the Catwoman be awake for the experiment. "My researches also indicate the process is accompanied by no little PAIN. I should like to wait until the subject is CONSCIOUS to measure the LEVEL."

"Doc," the Joker cackled. "You're MY kind of guy!"

"Th-thank you, Mr. Joker ..." Moon stammered as he pulled a package from his pocket that momentarily wiped away his partner's smile. "Would you care for a cigar ?"

Unfortunately for Catwoman, the reprogramming worked all too well and she fled alongside the Joker while Doctor Moon was taken into custody by Batman and Robin. The defiant surgeon admitted that he was the only one who MIGHT be able to undo the memory tampering and he refused! "Would you ask DaVinci to paint over the Mona Lisa? Would you asked Michelangelo to resculpt --?" In the end, the police picked up Doctor Moon, who "demand(ed) to contact my embassy." One might infer from this statement that the surgeon had some sort of diplomatic immunity, thus explaining how he'd consistently regained his freedom after each of his previous captures.

The fact that he was in Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary seven months later was only incidental. On behalf of the government, he was now using his brain reprogramming unit to erase the traitorous Suicide Squad member Plastique's memories of the group's existence (1987's SUICIDE SQUAD # 3, by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell and Karl Kesel).

With his record cleared, Moon was free to accept the position of Chief Research Scientist at the San Diego headquarters of the Sunderland Corporation. As part of a plan to use superhumans in commercial venues, the doctor now had the opportunity to study and enhance beings with genuine super-powers rather than ordinary men. His first subject was the former teen hero Air Wave, now rechristened Maser. Using his neural expertise, Moon was able to create a circuit-laced headband for the hero that amplified his internal abilities to change his body into electronic energy (1989's FIRESTORM # 88, by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake).

Doctor Moon wasn't above continuing his extracurricular activities and, during 1990, he discreetly assisted the metahuman assassin known as Deadline in his pursuit of the latest incarnation of Starman (STARMAN(first series) # 22, by Roger Stern, Tom Lyle and Scott Hanna). A few years later, Deadline was (through a middleman) hired by Moon's corporate employer to assassinate Hawkman (1993's HAWKMAN (third series) # 1), an assignment most likely linked to his earlier acquaintance with the doctor.

Moon also accepted a deal with Intergang to bankroll an upgraded version of his memory reprogrammer in exchanging for erasing the memories of reporter Cat Grant, whose upcoming court testimony threatened the villainous organization. Asked to perform such uncharacteristic duties as administering a beating to a failed operative (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 483), the doctor had serious misgivings about Intergang's methods as did his fellow recruit, Chiller. Nonetheless, Moon, speaking from experience, observed that "we have contracted to work with these people ... we will have to put up with their idiosyncracies." Moments later, the duo paid the price for Intergang's indiscretions when Superman and Batman raided the Metropolis facility. Stunned to see his old foe, Batman swiftly tied him up and left a note for the Man of Steel, urging him to "make VERY sure that this one gets locked away!" (1990's ACTION COMICS # 654, by Roger Stern, Bob McLeod and Brett Breeding)

No such luck. Moon was soon back to work at the Sunderland branch (which evolved into a corporation of its own called Meta/Tech), conceiving creations in 1991 such as the armored Marauder (HAWKWORLD # 13, by Ostrander and Mandrake) and an acrobatic speedster called Ricochet (HAWKWORLD ANNUAL # 2, by Ostrander and Gary Kwapisz). He was even willing to tolerant the open racism of William "White Dragon"Ducannon and was horrified when a skittish Metatech opted to cut their ties with the fanatic. Though sympathetic to Moon's arguments ("Helping the Dragon develop his power has given us SO MUCH about the metagene."), Meta/Tech exec Alan Windsor had no desire to have a deranged super-villain pull his company "down in flames" (1992's HAWKWORLD # 29, by Ostrander, Jan Duursema and Robert Jones).

In the same time frame, Harvey "Two- Face" Dent solicited Moon's services in isolating a fertility drug that had been used in the conception of a set of twins in Gotham City. Moon's displeasure over the arrival of a captive Robin in their lair ("ANOTHER occupant, Mister Face ? My genius does not function well when enclosed. I recall a cell in Singapore ...") soon gave way to scientific curosity. Studying the Boy Wonder's scalp, he murmured, "I have long wondered if the cranium of a self-proclaimed crusader differs from the norm. When this is over, I think I shall know."

During a climactic stalemate between Batman & Robin and Two-Face, Moon was poised to plunge his scalpel into the infant twins of Dent's ex-wife. Apprised by Batman that the babies had been conceived using sperm that Harvey had frozen years earlier, Two-Face abruptly turned on his partner, firing a bullet into Moon's left shoulder and ordering him to "get away from those children!" (1993's BATMAN: TWO-FACE STRIKES TWICE! # 1-2, by Mike W. Barr and Daerick Gross).

Things weren't going much better at Meta/Tech, where Alan Windsor's worst fears were on the verge of being realized. A psychic immortal known as Count Viper took control of the operations and used his mental powers to erase any misgiving that Moon or Windsor might have had. Viper's ultimate goal was to control the country but he also indulged in a bit of revenge against his old foe Katar "Hawkman" Hol, a decision that backfired. With information provided by Moon and Windsor, Hawkman finally defeated the would-be conqueror (1993's HAWKMAN (third series) # 2-5).

In the wake of the Viper incident(during which Moon spent a length of time as Hawkman's captive) and still recovering from the bullet wound he suffered in Gotham, Doctor Moon appears to have gone underground after that. In the brave new world of the 21st Century, the brilliant villain seems bound to resurface at some point. There are just too many fascinating opportunities out there for someone interested in the mind. Take this fellow, Azrael, for instance. It seems his more violent tendencies were triggered by a mental program called "the System." And his activities are being chronicled by a gentleman named O'Neil. Hmmm ... sounds like a guy that an evil brain surgeon might like to meet ... (Azrael, that is ... not O'Neil!)

posted June 20, 2001 10:16 AM

Thanks again Miki, excellent. Was 'TEC # 569-570 a part of pre or post-crisis continuity? Jay.

posted June 20, 2001 01:02 PM

Thanks, Miki.

I never realized that Dr. Moon had such a rich history. Taking on Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Richard Dragon, Lady Shiva, the Outsiders, Catwoman, Firestorm, Maser, Will Payton, Hawkman, AND Superman... the guy is either a genius or a total nut.

I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming bios, and I'll try to think of someone really obscure for you to dig into...


posted June 22, 2001 05:25 PM

Jay -- 'TEC # 569-570 is part of stream of continuity that doesn't quite fit into pre- or post-CRISIS history. The Joker was unaware of Batman & Catwoman's romance (but knew about it in 1986's BATMAN # 400). On the other hand, it was soon decided that Selina Kyle's real name had never been revealed and she'd never teamed with Batman as a heroine. For the time being, we'll have to consider it a blip that was erased by ZERO HOUR.

Thanks, Hellstone! Here's the list I have so far (minus big guns like Catwoman and Poison Ivy):

Captain Stingaree
The Hangman
Maxie Zeus
The 1000 (from B&B # 124)
Queen Bee
Gilda Dent
Lucius Fox
Tony Gordon
Gotham City's Mayors
Mortimer Gunt
Leslie Thompkins
Brane Taylor
Starman '51

posted June 23, 2001 11:31 AM

Is there any chance you can take on Rokk and Sorban as well?


posted June 24, 2001 07:02 AM

I KNEW I'd forgotten someone! The gamblers from Ventura are on the list. And for today ...

The tires of a police car squealed through the streets of Gotham on that March evening in 1976. Onlookers couldn't have imagined that the crisis provoking that speed wasn't elsewhere in Gotham. It was in the car itself. A pre-recorded message had just advised Commissioner Gordon that, should he "slow down below 50 miles an hour -- OR if (he) unbuckle(d) (his) seat-belt," a bomb under the hood would explode!

As Gordon swerved to avoid a trailer, the voice continued, "By this time it should have occurred to you to contact your friend The Batman. YOU are sure he'll be of assistance -- but I doubt it."

At that moment, Bruce Wayne and a date were being entertained aboard a docked pirate ship-turned-restaurant called the Stingaree. Completing the effect was its owner and "captain," Karl Crossman, whose pirate garb included a long purple coat, orange sash and a sharp cutlass. The bearded pirate's head was shaved and he also wore an eyepatch over his left eye. And, unknown to all, Captain Stingaree was as evil as some of his buccaneer counterparts had been.

Karl was a career criminal who was inspired to take a costumed alter-ego after sharing a cell with Len (Captain Cold)Snart. From all appearances, Stingaree had genuinely lost the vision in his left eye and his eyepatch may have been the inspiration for the pirate motif. (In any event, he was permitted to keep the patch during a subsequent prison stay) The Captain would prove to be a skilled swordsman and physically powerful presence but he had no metahuman abilities.

His real gift was as a stategist and, in his bid to establish a presence in Gotham's underworld, he plotted an elaborate series of strikes to eliminate the Batmen. BatMEN.

The good Captain had an unshakeable conviction that one man couldn't possibly accomplish everything that he was given credit for. Stingaree's theory was that the Dark Knight was actually a set of triplets(specifically local private investigators Jerome, Michael and Robert Courtney) underwritten by the Wayne Foundation.

Consequently, Karl couldn't help but smile when Wayne was forced to leave the pirate ship restaurant in response to a beeper. Obviously, Bruce had to summon The Batman to rescue Commissioner Gordon. And, after a fashion, he was correct.

With Alfred ready to take the wheel of the Batmobile, the Dark Knight pulled up alongside Gordon's squad car, leaped onto the hood and, despite a velocity of 50-plus miles an hour, managed to detach the explosive from the speedometer in a harrowing three-page sequence. An onrushing ambulance forced the Commissioner to veer out of its path, sending Batman hurtling to the highway where, momentarily knocked cold, the Dark Knight was pulled aboard the now-parked emergency vehicle.

The ambulance driver was Stingaree himself, whose comments about multiple Batmen peppered his short skirmish with the Dark Knight. Batman's accidental release of ether rendered both combatants unconscious. The Captain was delighted to find that his target had yet to waken and wasted no time in shuttling his prisoner back to a hold on the Stingaree for the grand unmasking. He was, astonishingly, Michael Courtney!(DETECTIVE COMICS # 460, written by Bob Rozakis & Michael Uslan and illustrated by Ernie Chan & Frank McLaughlin)

Buoyed by his success with Batman's confidant Commissioner Gordon, Stingaree set his sights on the Dark Knight's supposed financier, Bruce Wayne, for his next "bait in a Bat-trap." Completely absorbed in his character, Stingaree sneered, "Now we'll see how expert the 'tracker of missing persons' is at finding the landlubber who supplies his pieces of eight." Playing along with his kidnapper, Bruce escaped the moment that Stingaree left his lair.

For the Captain's benefit, Batman noted the muddy clue in Wayne Manor that was supposed to lure him into the Gotham sewer system. "Since I've ALREADY been down here once tonight -- as the kidnapped Bruce Wayne," he thought, "I didn't have to go to the trouble." The Dark Knight quickly found himself penned in when a sewer exit was blocked by explosives and hundreds of rats came rushing towards him, desperately trying to avoid being drowned by a flood of murky water.

Now completely submerged, Batman found himself confronted by Captain Stingaree (clad in scuba gear) and they desperately struggled for control of the villain's oxygen tank before both men lost consciousness. His suspicions still not aroused, Stingaree once again awoke first and carried Robert "Batman" Courtney to his makeshift prison ('TEC # 461).

With Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne having served their purpose, Stingaree chose Robin as the means to abducting Jerome Courtney. Investigating a false report about a drug transaction, the Teen Wonder was captured, frozen in a block of ice and placed in front of police headquarters. Taking his imprisoned partner to a hastily-created "secret lab," Batman attempted to melt the ice block only to find that "the more heat I apply to the ice, the colder it ... and everything AROUND it ... gets. Ice -- forming around my body! Then -- THIS must be Stingaree's trap." The Captain's friendship with Captain Cold had its benefits.

By the time Stingaree had followed the tracer in Robin's ice block to the supposed Batcave, Batman was now sealed in an equivalent frozen cube. Aboard the Stingaree, the Captain partially melted the ice prison to unmask Jerome Courtney. With a flourish, he unsheathed his sword and announced that "it's time for the grand finale -- the BEHEADING of you lubbers."

From the doorway, a voice shouted, "Hold it, Stingaree! You're making a terrible mistake! You were RIGHT when you deduced there were THREE Batman ..." insisted an unfettered Dark Knight.

"... but your problem was ..." continued another.

"... you captured the WRONG TRIO!"concluded the third.

Reeling in shock, Stingaree watched two of the new Batmen blink out of existence before swinging his blade at the only Dark Knight who was still free. "I don't care how many of you there are!" he roared. "I'll slice you all into fishbait!"

Batman later explained to Commissioner Gordon that the Captain had overplayed his hand by boasting of his theory about the Courtneys during their first battle inside the ambulance. While Stingaree was still under the influence of the ether, the Dark Knight had hastily recruited the three private eyes to pose as Batman after each "capture." By prolonging the villain's spree, the Caped Crusader hoped to draw out the villain's accomplices. As they fought, Batman was certain that Stingaree would call his crew for back-up but the Captain insisted he had none. "I don't need ANYBODY'S help to do ANYTHING!"

Having confirmed that there were no further pirates waiting in the hold, Batman sent the Captain to the floor with a well-aimed kick to the jaw. "All I can say, Stingaree, is that you're LUCKY there aren't three of me here now -- you've got enough trouble with ONE. Funny ... I could've taken him in DAYS ago, but I figured he must have OTHERS working with HIM. I wanted THEM ... yet he was playing a LONE HAND, after all."

While Stingaree was sprawled on the floor of his ship, Batman's Justice League comrade, the Flash, materialized on the scene, now wearing his familiar crimson and gold costume instead of the grays and blues of the Dark Knight that he'd donned earlier while creating the super-fast illusion that he was in three places at once. Well-versed in the traps of his old foe Captain Cold, the Scarlet Speedster used his metahuman skills to free Jerome from his ice block "just," he added, "as I did with Robin back in your phony lab."

There was still one piece of the puzzle missing -- the origin of Captain Stingaree's grudge against the Courtney brothers that had blinded him to the shortcomings in his theory about the multiple Batmen. As he debriefed the Courtneys, the Dark Knight revealed, "There's one more reason for his vendetta -- a reason you've been hoping I would not find out ... and the reason Stingaree knew so MUCH about you three. You're not really triplets ... you're QUADRUPLETS ... and he's the black sheep of the Courtney family ... your brother, Karl!"('TEC # 462)

Although he'd been scripting back-up strips like Robin and the Elongated Man for several months, Bob Rozakis had aspirations of writing the lead character in DETECTIVE COMICS and, in collaboration with Michael Uslan, he finally succeeded in winning over editor Julius Schwartz.

"Captain Stingaree was originally called Blackbeard in the script," Rozakis recalled. "Julie Schwartz decided the name was not exciting enough. When we suggested something like Captain Stingray, he pulled out his thesaurus and discovered that a stingaree was a stingray. Thus, the bizarre name for the villain. (As an aside, my spell-checker does not recognize 'stingaree' as a real word. It suggests 'stinger,' 'stingier,' and, naturally, 'stingray.'"

In his January 15, 2001 column at Silver Bullet Comics, Rozakis noted that the central threat in 'TEC # 460's "Slow Down and Die" was reprised almost twenty years later in the 1994 movie 'Speed.' In the former, Commissioner Gordon must keep driving his car through Gotham City at more than 50 mph or a bomb would explode; in the latter, it's Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and a Los Angeles city bus."

Thanks to his old pal Captain Cold, Stingaree escaped from prison in late 1976, joining forces with Cold and Captain Boomerang for a second crime spree. Although the pair of Flash rogues wielded more powerful weapons, Stingaree's cutlass was the most tangible threat to the naked eye and he wasn't afraid to use it. Holding the blade to a hostage's throat, he managed to evade capture early in the rampage.

Not unlike Stingaree's earlier solo outing in Gotham, the plan this time had more to do with ego than monetary reward. The three Captains had joined forces to abduct -- and attempt to kill -- a NASA officer, a cruise ship director and a Star City football commander. "They kidnapped captains from land, sea and air to prove their superiority over ALL." Thanks to Black Canary and another Captain (Comet), the trio was soon rounded up (SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS # 6, by Rozakis, Rich Buckler and Bob Layton).

After that, Captain Stingaree was mostly lost in the crowd amidst other villains. He was part of the jury at a 1977 mock trial to determine who had supposedly killed The Batman (BATMAN # 291-294) and was accidentally frozen in an ice block by Mister Freeze when Talia used him as a shield at another gathering of rogues (1983's DETECTIVE # 526). Although his acquaintance with Captain Cold had presumably inspired safeguards that enabled him to survive the same icy trap he'd once inflicted on Robin, Stingaree was forced to thaw out in prison. He left for parts unknown after Ra's al Ghul organized a mass jailbreak in 1986 (BATMAN # 400) and is still at large.

The spirit of the buccaneer has lived on in Gotham, as seen in 1995 when a mysterious pirate in a skull mask named Captain Fear launched a series of river raids. Like Stingaree, he loved the colorful language of the movie pirate and was an excellent swordsman. It was more luck -- a pearl necklace underfoot -- than skill that enabled Fear to capture Batman, though. The pirate tied his captive to a buoy in the sea beyond Blackgate Prison and, to his crew's astonishment, refused to unmask him. The Dark Knight ultimately managed to escape and, with the aid of Robin and the GCPD, brought Fear's crew to justice. The Captain himself had vanished beneath the waves, his identity still a mystery. "I said I CAN'T tell you!" insisted one captive to the police. "None of us ever saw him without that freakin' MASK!" ('TEC # 687-688, by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna)

Fear resurfaced with a new crew in 1997 (BATMAN: BLACKGATE # 1) but has kept a low profile since then. His true name and face still a mystery, one can't help but speculate as to whether he's really Captain Stingaree. Having been burned so badly in his previous attempt at discovering Batman's true identity, one could hardly blame him for balking at a subsequent opportunity to unmask his unconscious foe. It's also worth noting that, like Stingaree, Captain Fear wore an eye-patch over his left eye and insisted on personally confronting Batman in combat rather than one of his underlings. Has Karl Courtney a.k.a. Karl Crossman taken another name ? Or is Captain Fear simply someone who read "Captain Blood" once too often as a child ? Whatever the answer, the story of these modern day pirates is far from over.

Two Face 22
posted June 24, 2001 08:42 AM

Just wondered, whilst we're on the subject of Captain Stingaree -

Do we know whether or not he is featured amongst the many villains fighting Batman in SHADOW OF THE BAT #3 and #4? There is a guy with an eyepatch but this is over his right eye. Could this be the Captain? Or does anyone know another villian with a similar patch?

Also, does anyone know some of the other obscure villains featured in these issues? Specifically the two bald men dressed in prison greys, and the old man with a beard, all featured on the last page of issue 3!


posted June 25, 2001 07:39 AM

Hi Miki, not to bore you with technicalities but NOBODY WILL ANSWER THIS QUESTION ON ANY OF THE BOARDS I'VE TRIED.

In Earth-1 pre-crisis continuity did all the stories from 'TEC # 27 and up take place (some however in more modern surroundings)?

Whilst battling Deadshot in 1978, Batman recalled the first time they met - it was a golden age story.

The golden age Mad Hatter and Clayface also existed on Earth-1 and reference was made to Hugo Strange's past in the golden age.

I know some things were different like Alfred's origin, but is it safe to assume, for example, that on Earth-1 Batman had all the adventures since 1940, with some events simply modernized? Was this the same for Wonder Woman and Superman? Jay.

The Time Trust
posted June 25, 2001 09:49 AM

That question is subject to interpretation, jaygon, and as far as Superman and Wonder Woman (or Green Arrow and Aquaman, for that matter) go, they have to each be examined on their own, rather than use the same guidelines for all.

Here's DarkMark's chronology of pre-Earth-1 Batman stories, taking place before his Earth-1 stories which they lead into. It's his assertation that unless a golden age story has been specifically referenced by an Earth-1 story later -- in any way -- they didn't necessarily happen, although it's possible they did. The URL:

This is a good guide to Earth-1 comics:

posted June 25, 2001 08:00 PM

Two-Face 22 --

The guy with the eyepatch and the old men in SHADOW OF THE BAT # 3 weren't meant to be anyone in particular, just representatives of Arkham's non-costumed inmates. It is a bit distracting, though, especially since Norm Breyfogle also included the eyepatch guy in SHADOW # 4.

Jay --

I think the general consensus in the 1960s and 1970s was that all the Batman stories from 1939 onwards (with appropriate updating) WERE part of Earth-One continuity. Writers routinely referred to Golden Age stories when they revived old villains -- Gardner Fox with the Scarecrow, E. Nelson Bridwell with Clayface I, Denny O'Neil with Two-Face, Steve Englehart with Hugo Strange and Deadshot and Gerry Conway with the first Mad Hatter. Editor Julius Schwartz was, by this point, well aware of the new generation of fans' interest in maintaining consistent continuity and characterization (he'd gotten in trouble immediately by having Batman hold a gun on some crooks at the end of DETECTIVE # 327) and the frequent footnotes to past issues was an acknowledgement of that.

In the early 1980s, a rather absurd new edict declared that the Earth-One Batman didn't debut until the first issue edited by Schwartz, 1964's DETECTIVE # 327, ignoring Batman's regular team appearances in JLA and WORLD'S FINEST that dated back to the 1950s and the revivals of multiple 1940s and 1950s characters like Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Carter Nichols, Vicki Vale, et al. It was at this point that Gerry Conway began introducing NEW versions of Golden Age villains (like Doctor Death and the Monk) rather than reviving them as had been done in the past.

As the Time Trust points out, one has to approach each character's continuity individually. There are a multitude of significant differences between the Golden Age Superman and Wonder Woman and their Silver Age counterparts but the same doesn't apply to Batman for a very important reason -- the original creators, particularly Bill Finger, remained with the character without interruption until the late 1960s, by which point there were enough people (like E. Nelson Bridwell) who cared about continuity that they were able to maintain Finger's history after he'd left.

Wonder Woman and Superman, on the other hand, were separated from their creators in the 1940s, WW lost Marston to death, Superman lost Siegel and Shuster in the fallout from their legal action against DC. Now helmed by people who hadn't been there from the beginning, both strips underwent massive change as the 1950s wore on, so many that one almost never saw Clark or Diana recall an adventure that took place in a 1940s comic. By the time Jerry Siegel returned to Superman, his original continuity had been completely painted over by Mort Weisinger's own panorama.

The nice thing about the current Batman continuity is that one can STILL retain many, many of the old Batman stories in the tapestry with only modest updating. Not every writer in the past couple decades has agreed and that's their prerogative but I appreciate the folks who've taken the past into account in their scripts. Rich Morrissey said as much to me in a letter dated July 25, 1996 and I think he deserves to have the last word:

"My own opinion on Batman continuity (or DC continuity in general) differs to a large extent from the revisionism continually pushed by certain people at DC (less Denny O'Neil, who usually fudges such things, than his various assistants). I'm inclined to think the creators of a character or series have the last word, so I usually accept a Batman story by Bill Finger and/or Bob Kane over one by Frank Miller or Chuck Dixon, just as I'd consider a Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle more binding than one by August Derleth or Nicholas Meyer. Especially since most of the changes made in Batman (as opposed to the outright reboots of Superman or Wonder Woman ... I can't take any continuity seriously that claims none of the stories about Batman and the original Robin published over 40 years to be binding) can be worked together in one way or other. I've found that, by taking the stories as published and trying to incorporate as many as possible, they still work. I've never understood the revision of so many stories, anyway."

posted June 29, 2001 10:27 PM

Von-El launched a thread for introductions over on the JSA Board and I thought you'd enjoy seeing it here, as well:

Message Board Code Name: Mikishawm

Real Name: John Wells

Base of Operations: Batavia, IA, a little town southeast of Des Moines (between the larger Ottumwa and Fairfield) whose only time in the national spotlight was ten years ago when an Amtrak train crashed here (no fatalities, thank goodness).

Career: Department Manager at a major retailer for (eep!) fifteen years.

Marital Status: Single.

Hobbies: Comics, Music.

Favorite TV Shows: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "WKRP in Cinncinnati," "My Three Sons," "Remington Steele," "The Wonder Years," "Homefront," "Quantum Leap," "The Simpsons," "Remember WENN." And I STILL miss "Now and Again!"

Ethnic Background: Caucasian

Debut: March 18, 1964 (the same day -- if not year -- as famed artist Frank McLaughlin and The Wonder Years' Kevin Arnold).

Message Board Debut: February, 2000

Username Inspired By: "Mark Lansing of Mikishawm," a short-lived 1940 series by Howard Purcell that ran in ADVENTURE COMICS # 53-62. It was about a man who ended up in an exotic land inside the Earth known as Mikishawm -- the Earth-Two version of Burrough's Pellucidar and Grell's Skartaris.

Introduction to comics: My first comic books were purchased in 1968 before I could read and ended up in a storeroom. I didn't rediscover them until 1975. The issues selected were BATMAN # 202 (poster-style cover with the Dynamic Duo), DETECTIVE COMIC # 372 (Batman vs. kickboxing types) and LOIS LANE # 83 (featuring motorcyclists) and you can see what appealed to me at the age of four.

Thanks to the "Wonderful World of Disney" on TV, I was soon a devoted Disney comics collector and bought a variety of titles, notably a great digest comic series. I also read plenty of (ahem) real books via the school and public libraries, with a particular interest even then in books that were part of a series featuring the same character. My all-time favorite juvenile prose series was Keith Robertson's "Henry Reed" books.

The only super-hero comics I bought in that period were issues of DETECTIVE (# 412) and SUPERBOY (# 159) that I got at a rummage sale in 1973. In 1974, I met a kid one year my senior who was heavily into super-hero titles (and comics in general, really) and he soon converted me. I was particularly fascinated by an ad I saw for SHAZAM! # 12, which I assumed was a continuation of the SHAZZAN animated series of the sixties. It was something else altogether, of course, and vastly superior to the cartoon series. Then, as now, Captain Marvel and family were my favorite heroes. After reading my friend's copy of SHAZAM! # 12, I bought the following issue for myself and never missed another DC appearance by Cap from that point on.

In the summer of 1973, I'd begun reading the GASOLINE ALLEY comic strip and began clipping each episode and pasting them into my own comic books. I soon added the other comics that ran in the Fairfield Ledger -- STEVE CANYON, BUZ SAWYER and CAPTAIN EASY. These adventure strips were an important bridge in my coming shift to super-hero titles.

Aside from SHAZAM!, my favorite DC title was THE FLASH, which struck a cord with me not unlike the one I felt when reading GASOLINE ALLEY (or even STEVE CANYON and BUZ SAWYER) or watching MY THREE SONS. In the real world, married couples were a fact of life but this wasn't reflected in most super-hero comics. Consequently, Barry Allen, with his wife and his nephew and his parents and his lawn and his neighbors and (!!) his comic book collection, was REAL to me in a way that other characters were not. Comics series in which characters age, start families and have a history rooted in something resembling real time have always been a source of fascination and pleasure for me.

Comics That Most Trigger My Nostalgic Feelings: ADVENTURE # 369-370 (via the tabloid edition) -- my all-time favorite Legion story! I 'd also add SHAZAM! # 13, FLASH # 232, BRAVE & BOLD # 115, DETECTIVE # 471-476 and 500, TEEN TITANS # 34, ACTION # 438, 442 and 484, SUPERMAN # 284 and 292, WONDER WOMAN # 212, JLA # 114, BATMAN # 216, FLASH # 139, ADVENTURE # 440, AQUAMAN # 56, CAPTAIN AMERICA # 253-254, SUPERMAN VS. SPIDER-MAN, JIMMY OLSEN # 76, SUPERBOY # 204 and 205, DETECTIVE # 442 and 443.

Favorite Current Comic Book Writers: Alphabetically, Ed Brubaker, Kurt Busiek, John Byrne (however much he may have fallen out of favor, I still like him), Peter David, Chuck Dixon, Geoff Johns, Karl Kesel, Linda Medley, Alan Moore, Terry Moore, John Ostrander, Scott Peterson, Christopher Priest, Greg Rucka, Stan Sakai, Walt Simonson, Jeff Smith, Roger Stern, Mark Waid, Judd Winick. And probably several that I've forgotten.

Favorite Prose Writers: Alphabetically, Douglas Adams, Alfred Bester, Ray Bradbury, Max Allan Collins (still writing some of the BEST historical fiction to be found anywhere!), Peter David, Neil Gaiman, Robert Heinlein, Elliot S. Maggin, P.G. Wodehouse.

Favorite Music: My tastes are pretty eclectic, best explained by this phrase: "I like melody." Consequently, over the past month, my CD player has played everything from 98 Degrees' three discs to Linda Ronstadt's collaboration with Nelson Riddle to Brad Paisley's and Jessica Andrews' respective pair of albums to greatest hits compilations from Spanky and Our Gang ("I'd Like To Get To Know You" is my all-time favorite song) and the New Colony Six to Savage Garden's "Affirmation" to Barry Manilow's boxed set to virtually ANY original Carpenters release (I have 'em all on CD) to Rupert Holmes to "Now That's What I Call Music 6" to Trisha Yearwood to Bette Midler's "Bathhouse Betty" and the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the "Sleepless In Seattle"soundtrack and Carly Simon's "Film Noir" and Simon & Garfunkel (or Garfunkel alone) and Patsy Cline and the Moody Blues and Mary-Chapin Carpenter and James Bonamy and Jim Brickman and Lorrie Morgan and Mac McAnally and, well, I think you get the idea ...

Favorite Movies: I've never been much of a movie watcher but here are a few that come to mind off the top of my head -- "Citizen Kane," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Pleasantville," "His Girl Friday," "That Thing You Do!", "Frequency", "Hello, Dolly!", "October Sky", "Field of Dreams," "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

Favorite Super-Hero Movies: "The Rocketeer," "The Iron Giant," "Superman The Movie," "Batman: Mask of The Phantasm."

Favorite Sports Team: Don't have one. I'm a sports agnostic. I have nothing against anyone else's enjoyment of sports but 12 years of ridicule and mockery by students and teachers in what is laughingly referred to as "Physical Education" have taken their toll. Needless to say, I loved EVERY mid-1970s sequence in which Clark Kent discreetly got even with the slimy jock, Steve Lombard.

posted June 30, 2001 05:03 PM

Excellent Miki as always!

Prompted by recent continuity questions, I re-read 'TEC # 569/570 and noticed that Batman referred to Gordon as "Captain". Was he demoted?

Was THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS a hypothetical future of Earth-1 at the time of its publication or the post-crisis Earth?

...........I've got waaaaaaaaaaaay to much time on my hands...........


Two Face 22
posted June 30, 2001 05:09 PM

Can anyone give me some more info on a couple of villains that made small cameo appearances in Batman:

The Ravager (from BATMAN #440)
The Slasher (from BATMAN #445)

Who are these guys, are they Bat villains, and have they appeared in any other comics?

Many thanks.

posted June 30, 2001 11:34 PM

Jay --

The "Captain" reference was an editorial blunder. As for THE DARK KNIGHT, there definitely seemed to be creators at DC in the late 1980s who WANTED that series to be Batman's official future, even going so far as to advocate the death of Jason Todd (despite the fact that, in Miller's account, it was Jason's death that caused Batman to retire).

Two-Face 22 --

The Ravager and the Slasher were both representatives of the worst of the 1980s/1990s comics villains -- violent, remorseless killers with mundane names whom, to his credit, Marv Wolfman used as virtual throwaway villains. The Ravager was actually a name that Wolfman had used both before AND after 1989's BATMAN # 440, as the alter-ego of Deathstroke's son, Grant Wilson(1980's NEW TEEN TITANS # 2), Bill Walsh(1991's DEATHSTROKE # 1-4) and Wade DeFarge (1994-1995's DEATHSTROKE # 0, 41-45, 47, 50 and ANNUAL # 4).

The Ravager whom Batman faced was a random killer who murdered the DCU's version of Donny and Marie Osmond on stage and followed up by stalking two Gotham police officers to their homes and shooting "them while they slept." Clad in a sleeveless golden shirt, spiked wristbands, a belt of chains, blue-black leggings and a full-face mask that exposed his hair, lips and eyes, the villain fought Batman atop a dam over the course of three pages before the Dark Knight knocked him the water below and left him to save himself. "He watches his foe struggling in the white foam," a last-minute caption addition read. "They will meet again." (BATMAN # 440, by Wolfman, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo) But they never did. It was eventually revealed that a particularly unstable Two-Face had commissioned the Ravager to kill Batman on his behalf.

As for the Slasher, he wore a green costume from head to toe, broken up by a white hockey-type mask, orange belt and boots -- and a sword for a right hand and a buzzsaw for a left hand. He was apparently some sort of vigilante, claiming that "I will cleanse this city of its vermin. I will make our city proud again." Like the Ravager, he fought Batman for the first three pages of his one and only appearance (1990's BATMAN # 445, by Wolfman, Aparo and DeCarlo) and ended up being cornered in a sewer. "Gotham isn't your city, Slasher," the Dark Knight declared. "It belongs to its PEOPLE. Not its VERMIN."

A much earlier Slasher, a hood who faked his own death, fought Batman and Robin in 1945's DETECTIVE COMICS # 97 and Wolfman had also used the name for a female assassin in 1983's NEW TEEN TITANS ANNUAL # 2.

And now, our feature presentation:

The past several months had been difficult ones for Diana Prince. Steve Trevor, the love of her life, had been restored to life by the goddess Aphrodite (WONDER WOMAN # 223) only to perish again at the hands of a madman (WW # 248). Seeking a new start as an astronaut with NASA in Houston, Texas (WW # 252), Diana found herself feeling homesick for New York and her job with United Nations security (WW # 255). The last straw came when Diana, as Wonder Woman, unmasked the new leader of the Royal Flush Gang in Texas -- and found her new boyfriend, Mike Bailey staring back at her. Within twenty-four hours, Diana Prince had left the space program, intent on returning to the U.N. (WW # 256).

The U.N.'s head of security was convinced that Diana was a security risk (WW # 256) and said as much (WW # 263) but the young woman still had plenty of friends who wanted to see her back. Hoping to ease some of the tension, they invited her to a reception for French ambassador in Manhattan's Gramercy Park in October of 1979. Making the most of it, Diana was only too happy to hold back when Batman, of all people, stepped in to stop a trio of gun-toting thieves in stocking masks.

Working through the crowd, Diana eventually cornered Bruce Wayne for a personal thank you. He was in the Big Apple, he explained, on behalf of the Wayne Foundation. The United States had been privately pushing for France to be the home of a proposed European automotive plant and Bruce was there to consult with the ambassador. "It means jobs ... prosperity ... and an important step toward easing international trade tensions."

As Bruce joined the ambassador, Diana spotted an intruder on the grounds and realized that Wonder Woman was going to have to make an appearance, after all. The stranger wore a violet body suit with blue tinted goggles and a white gas mask. His gloves were white as was the icon on his chest, a circle with lines of varying lengths erupting from it as if in a burst of light. And, most ominously, he wore holster belt that contained a gun of sorts, a weapon he was prepared to draw on the Amazing Amazon.

Accustomed to deflecting bullets with her bracelets, Wonder Woman nearly laughed when several small green glass spheres struck her. In a moment, her eyes were burning and she was lost in a fog of emerald gas. And suddenly it was 1968 again and a powerless Diana Prince was entering the mansion of millionaire Robert Fass in search of Doctor Cyber (WW # 180). "Go BACK!"screamed Steve Trevor from the top of a staircase. "Get OUT OF HERE!" "You're walking into a TRA ..." The cracking of gunfire roared in Diana's ears and a sobbing Wonder Woman could do nothing but scream.

Alerted by the agonizing cry, Bruce Wayne made his apologies to the ambassador and rushed outside to help the still disoriented Amazon. As his JLA teammate regained her composure, Bruce observed that it "sounds like a drug flashback ... a chemically-induced case of deja vu. Normally it only happens to people who've had a bad trip on LSD."

A collective chill ran through Bruce and Wonder Woman when she recalled that the intruder had a French accent. Racing to the ambassador's side, they were horrified to find the elderly Frenchman convulsed and giggling in a state of madness. The attack of the thieves and the masked subsequent confrontation with Wonder Woman had both been efforts to divert attention from his true target. "There shall be no 'deals' between the people of France and the American traitors!" a note read. "The ambassador is a warning. Anyone who attends the Paris conference will suffer at the hands of Deja Vu!"

Vowing that the economic summit would proceed, Bruce Wayne took his place at the meeting the following week while Wonder Woman paid a visit to the DuBois chemical plant elsewhere in Paris. "Several of the compounds used in the fog were developed at (DuBois)" and "the glass spheres containing the fog used a form of silicon unique to this region of France." The Amazing Amazon was stunned to find "the man we call Flashback" at the site and intently mixing a new brew of his mind-altering compound. Having managed to distract his opponent for a second time, Flashback escaped again, gloating that "you cannot stop me, ma jolie cherie. The traitors will die! They will die -- tonight, in memory of one who died before!"

Aware that he'd have costumed interference, Flashback made it a point to fire a volley of spheres at Batman and Wonder Woman before proceeding with his attack on the international delegation. In a heartbeat, Bruce Wayne was nine years old once more, reliving the murder of his parents and vowing that, this time, he would strike back at their killer. In his delirium, Batman hammered Wonder Woman with punches, convinced that he was pummeling Joe Chill. The beating, coupled with Diana's "Amazon constitution," shielded her from the effects of the nightmare fog but she was far from secure.

Diana and the deranged Dark Knight were now dangling above the streets of Paris, prevented from falling only by a thin loop of Wonder Woman's lasso wrapped around a rooftop spire. Pulling the lasso free, Wonder Woman and Batman began to descend rapidly, finally jolting the Dark Knight back to reality and putting his acrobatic skills to the test as he dived for the cushion of a fabric restaurant awning.

Rushing into the meeting, the Justice Leaguers found Flashback standing on top of the conference table, tossing dozens of glass spheres and laughing maniacally as the economists began to relive the darkest hours of their lives. The Amazing Amazon twirled her lasso into a cyclonic force that blew the fog towards Flashback, obscuring his vision long enough for Batman to land a knockout punch on his jaw. Now aware that even his iron will wasn't enough to withstand the villain's drug, the Dark Knight wore a gas mask as he prepared to air out the room.

Following the terrorist's incarceration, authorities learned that Flashback had been a chemist at DuBois whose "father lost his life working in an American canning plant in southern France ... All his life, he's BLAMED it on Americans and American business."

His confidence still shaken by the effects of the gas, Bruce Wayne wondered what his own hatred of crime said about his mental state. "There IS a difference, Bruce," she emphasized. "HIS obsession ALMOST made him a killer. YOUR obsession leads you to SAVE lives."

"Thank you, Diana," Bruce nodded. "I need to be REMINDED of that, now and then ..."

Published in October of 1979, THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 158's "Yesterday Never Dies" represented the beginning of a new era in that title's history. Hoping to inject some new voices and perspectives into the venerable Batman team-ups, editor Paul Levitz had removed veteran writer Bob Haney from the book in favor of a succession of guest-writers working with artist Jim Aparo. Gerry Conway was the first of these and, making it a family affair, he featured a villain created by his wife, Carla. Flashback had originally been called Deja Vu, a name that still survived in the art on the villain's manifesto. Destined to be a one-shot wonder, Flashback was sentenced to a long stay in his prison, where he relives his mission of vengeance to this day.

posted July 03, 2001 03:18 AM

Good to have you back, Miki!

What is Batman's relationship with Sherlock Holmes, and could you detail Holmes' (and Watson's) career in the DCU?

The Time Trust
posted July 04, 2001 12:04 PM

Here's another interesting topic:

What is the history behind Batman & Plastic Man?

Two Face 22
posted July 04, 2001 05:36 PM

Any chance of a League of Assasins bio please?

I know you recently posted a list of appearances on another thread, and that was great. Specifically, I would like to know about the character 'The Sensei' who led the League for a while. Also, if you could provide info on what Ra's Al Ghul's involvement was with this organization, I'd be most grateful.

Thanks a lot!

posted July 08, 2001 07:13 PM

Consider Holmes, the League, and Plas added to the (rapidly-growing) list!

In the fall of 1938, Julie Madison met the man of her dreams. He was a tall, dark criminology student, she an aspiring actress. By the time of their graduation from college that next spring, they'd fallen madly in love and, even as Julie headed for New York and Broadway, she had managed to stay in touch with her man on the telephone.

Awakened from a sound sleep at 3 a.m. one morning, Julie's eyes sparkled after he told her that he needed to ask her a question, one that he'd have to deliver in person the next week. She'd answer "yes" in an instant, of course. Julie Madison returned to her slumber with visions of her soon-to-be fiance running through her mind, unaware of the secrets and passions that Bruce Wayne was hiding from her.

She got a particularly vivid hint several weeks later when she awoke from a trance to find a man in a bat-suit staring at her. It seems that Julie, mesmerized and in a bathrobe, had just attempted to murder a man on behalf of someone called the Monk. A glassy-eyed physician suggested that the raven-haired young woman take a vacation, perhaps an ocean voyage. It was Bruce Wayne who waved goodbye as Julie set sail but it was The Batman who would serve as her guardian angel.

From the Atlantic Ocean to the streets of Paris to a castle in Hungary, The Batman defended Julie Madison from becoming a slave of the Monk, a peculiar hybrid of vampire and werewolf. In the end, the villain was destroyed by a silver bullet fired by a gun-wielding Batman (these were the Dark Knight's formative years, obviously) and a grateful Julie thrust her arms around her rescuer's neck, oblivious to his true identity. "I don't know who you are, but you saved my life and I shall be forever grateful!"

The fifth Batman story (in 1939's DETECTIVE COMICS # 31) may be best remembered for writer Gardner Fox's introduction of the Batarang and the Bat-Gyro (a precursor of the Batplane) but it was also the first appearance of Bruce Wayne's fiancee, Julie Madison. The adventure with the Monk continued through # 32 and then, as quickly as she was introduced, she was gone, save for a brief mention in the first panel of # 34's installment.

Batman writer and co-creator Bill Finger brought the character back in a cameo at the end of # 39's episode and established Julie as a budding movie actress in issue # 40's installment. Here, we learned that she had a small role in the remake of the Basil Karlo (read: Boris Karloff) film, "Dread Castle." The cast and crew found themselves terrorized by a villain dubbed Clayface, who was ultimately exposed as a resentful Karlo. Once again, Julie Madison owed her life to Batman (and his newly-acquired partner, Robin). "Ho! Hum!" she sighed. "If only Bruce was so dashing!"

The stage was set for a sequel in DETECTIVE # 49 (dated March 1941). Ironically, thanks to Clayface's murder of the star of "Dread Castle", Julie's own role in the film was expanded and she "took the public by storm," a phrase that inspired her studio's publicity agent to rechristen her "Portia Storme."

A storm of another sort was taking place in Bruce's household, where Julie was admonishing him to "find a career instead of being the public's number one playboy!" Tired of Bruce laughing off her suggestion, she reluctantly broke their engagement. "I'm not walking out on you, Bruce. Anytime you decide to change your ways, I'll come back to you gladly!"

Though left unspoken in the story, one can speculate that Julie might also have resented Bruce's starting a family without her, when he took Dick Grayson as his ward in DETECTIVE # 38. This adds a touch of irony to # 49's conclusion, which involved Julie dressing up as Robin to help Batman and the real Boy Wonder capture an escaped Clayface.

Ultimately, though, Julie Madison's removal from the series probably stemmed from Bill Finger's decision to introduce a new girlfriend for Bruce Wayne, nurse Linda Page, in BATMAN # 5, published only weeks after DETECTIVE # 49. Finger may have wanted to use a love interest for Wayne that he had created himself. Or perhaps he'd only remembered Julie after the Linda Page story was completed -- and quickly concocted a prequel in which she was written out of the series.

Whatever the reason, Julie's existence would not be acknowledged again until 1968's BATMAN # 208, a reprint giant spotlighting the women in Batman's life. In a framing sequence by E. Nelson Bridwell, Gil Kane and Jack Abel, Julie's role in the first Clayface was reprised. In the early 1970s, that story was actually reprinted in the hardback BATMAN FROM THE '30s TO THE 70s and Bridwell himself selected Julie's debut from DETECTIVE # 31 and 32 for 100-PAGE SUPER-SPECTACULAR # DC-14.

In 1977's WORLD'S FINEST # 248, writer Bob Haney brought back Portia Storme with a twist that was inspired by the life of actress Grace Kelly. Here, we learned that Portia had left her acting career behind to marry the king of Moldacia and became the country's ruler upon her husband's death. She and several other world figures had been replaced by clones (until the intervention of Superman and Batman) rendering the anticipated reunion of Bruce and Julie midway into the story something of a cheat.

Recognizing this fact, Haney penned a sequel for the summer of 1978 in WFC # 253. Soon after learning that Princess Portia was planning to marrying Prince Jon of the neighboring country Tybern. Jon was also a double for Julie Madison's old boyfriend and, when the prince disappeared, Bruce Wayne was drafted to Tybernian loyalists to impersonate him in hopes of drawing out the kidnappers.

Princess Portia herself wasn't fooled for an instant. "I love Jon and he is a marvelous man...but he does not kiss like you!" With Portia now in on the plot, the wedding proceeded on schedule with Bruce still filling in for Jon. Only after the ceremony was completed did Superman track down the real prince, who decided to marry Portia for real in the palace, albeit secretly. "Two weddings in one week could confuse my subjects -- !" With a gentle goodbye kiss, Julie Madison left Bruce Wayne's life again.

A few years later, in 1980's DETECTIVE COMICS # 496, writer Michael Fleisher penned a continuation of the Basil Karlo/Clayface storyline, which again gathered the principals of the "Dread Castle" crew -- including Julie Madison! Just before publication, someone recalled the Princess Portia development and realized that the monarch of a European nation probably wouldn't be milling about on a yacht full of actors. In a hastily re-lettered sequence, actress Julie Madison became caterer Rita Morgansen.

Julie Madison's next appearance, in 1986's SECRET ORIGINS # 6, was also her chronologically earliest. Here, Roy Thomas and artists Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin sketched in the details described in the first two paragraphs.

Julie Madison apparently remains a part of the current Batman mythos, having appeared in the inevitable retelling of Basil Karlo's history (1989's SECRET ORIGINS # 44). More recently, her name appeared on a Gotham billboard touting her featured role in "The Three Faces of Eve" (2001's CATWOMAN # 92). Otherwise, her role has been restricted to stories set outside traditional Batman continuity, such as BATMAN: MASTER OF THE FUTURE (occurring in the late 1800s), SUPERMAN & BATMAN: GENERATIONS # 1, BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT DYNASTY and Michael Gilbert's amusing story in BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT # 94 (1997).

In the latter, several people stranded in an elevator claim to have met The Batman, each recalling a different period in the hero's history. An elderly woman named Julie Madison described her meeting with The Batman and the Monk of nearly sixty years earlier. "You said you met Batman in 1939 ?" sneered one of the others. "Why, he'd be almost eighty years old by now!"

Julie Madison belatedly joined the Batman film franchise in 1997's "Batman and Robin" movie. In a film already over-stuffed with characters crying out for attention, Julie Madison (played by Elle MacPherson) was little more than window dressing, a fact exemplified by the fact that she was omitted from the comics adaptation entirely. In her only notable scene in the movie, she broke up with Bruce over his failure to commit to marrying her. It seems that some things never change.

posted July 14, 2001 05:40 PM

The comic book creators of the Silver Age DC Universe held an awesome reponsibility, charged not only with documenting the adventures of the world's greatest super-heroes but ensuring that no permanent harm would befall them. The temptation was always there, of course, as seen in 1965 when Gardner Fox, upon completing his latest Batman script, wondered, "what if things hadn't gone quite the way I conveniently made them happen ?" Though qualifying his statements with the assertion that it was "only a game, an exercise of the imagination," Fox found himself contemplating the death of the Caped Crusader (DETECTIVE COMICS # 347).

Simultaneously, Robert Kanigher virtually wiped out Wonder Woman and an extended family that included such characters as Wonder Tot and Mer-Boy (WONDER WOMAN # 158). And in 1968, editor Murray Boltinoff forced Bruno Premiani to illustrate the death of the Doom Patrol, even as the Italian-born artist shuddered that the edict was "terrible" (DOOM PATROL # 121). "It would take a miracle to change that ending, Bruno," Boltinoff insisted. "A tougher job than even the D.P. ever faced."

The leader of the Thousand had read these reports and others, accounts that any sensible person would dismiss as fantasy. But the Thousand was hardly known for its rational behavior, having embarked on a random string of terrorist raids across Gotham City in the fall of 1975 and adhering to this credo: "1,000 Dedicated Men Can Change the World -- TERROR IS POWER!" To a group of madmen like the Thousand, there was only one logical course of action to guarantee that Gotham's greatest champion would not oppose them -- they would force a comic book artist to kill The Batman!

Unaware of the plot against him, Batman was deep into his pursuit of the terrorist cell when he was approached by his occasional ally, World War Two vet, Sgt. Frank Rock. One thousand of the Army's experimental new "super rifle," the M-76, had been hijacked weeks earlier and General "Omaha Mike" Casey assigned Rock to recover them. Declaring the Rock of Easy Company would be "a one-man commando force, with special combat authority," Casey added, "Every G.I. who ever fought for Uncle Sam's counting on you!"

Rock and The Batman's investigation was stymied by the Thousand's suicidal tactics, which demanded that any members who were captured were to detonate an explosive on their person, killing themselves and destroying their M-76s. The body of the latest Thousand martyr seemed to hold a clue in the form of a bus terminal locker key and the two men headed downown to the bus station.

Elsewhere, artist Jim Aparo was working on the latest issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. After a string of rejections in the 1960s, including one from Archie Goodwin at Warren's CREEPY, Aparo finally convinced Charlton editor Dick Giordano to give him a shot in the mid-1960s, resulting in an impressive list of credits that included Miss Bikini Love, Nightshade, Wander, the Phantom and others. When Giordano jumped ship for DC in 1968, Aparo followed, making his mark on AQUAMAN and THE PHANTOM STRANGER. It was a Phantom Stranger/Batman team-up in 1971's THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 98 that would have the greatest impact on Aparo's life. With issue # 100, editor Murray Boltinoff named him the regular artist on B&B and Jim Aparo quickly became one of the era's Batman cover artists of choice. Indeed, he provided the covers (and one interior story) for nearly the entire run of one particular editor of DETECTIVE COMICS (# 437, 440-443) -- Archie Goodwin.

Noting Murray Boltinoff's role in killing the Doom Patrol, the leader of the Thousand reasoned that one of the artists in his stable would be most likely to succeed in killing Batman -- particularly one who did his own inking and lettering. A pair of terrorists, clad in the group's trademark purple hoods, violet t-shirts and green pants, discreetly entered Jim Aparo's Southington, Connecticut home and replaced the copy of writer Bob Haney's script with one of their own. Returning with a fresh cup of coffee, Jim rolled his eyes. "What's that crazy writer done now ? He's got Batman and Sgt. Rock being killed in the next panel ... I'll fix that -- !"

Before he could put pencil to paper, the terrorists stepped from the shadows and insisted that the artist complete the script as they'd written it. Excusing himself to replace the pencil he'd broken, Aparo hastily crawled through a basement air vent and fled for an "abandoned, reconditioned lighthouse" off Long Island Sound, home of his friend, "Chuck." Fortunately, the absent Chuck had art supplies of his own and Jim quickly drew a resolution to the bus station menace in which Rock, crediting "an old fightin' man's sixth sense," shoved Batman aside just before a bomb in the terminal locker exploded.

Without access to the original script, Jim called Bob Haney. At his "pine-surrounded house in the Catskill Mountains,"Haney could only gasp in astonishment at the story that his artist was telling him but assured Jim that he'd have a conference with Murray. "Somewhere in Long Island's vast suburban sprawl," Murray Boltinoff (who bore an amazing resamble to "Omaha Mike") was quickly brought up to speed. "What's that ? The Thousand ... they're on to us ... trying to keep Batman and Rock from exposing them ? Sure, feed Jim whatever it takes to turn the tables on the rats! Right! I'll stand by."

In the script that Haney related over the phone, Sgt. Rock observed that "the M-76 needs special ammo" and, while they were clearly manufacturing their own, they would require brass shell casings that only a gun shop could provide. Batman found a solid lead at one shop only to be fired on at point blank range as he made his exit. After wrestling the gunman to the ground and knocking him unconscious, the astonished Dark Knight noted that he hadn't sustained a single wound.

"I sold him blanks for that licensed magnum," the gun shop owner explained. "I had a hunch he might use it on you."

"Thanks!" Batman told him. "We need more citizens like you."

Elsewhere, Rock had spotted a squad of Thousand gunmen on an Army truck and made a futile attempt to get aboard the moving vehicle. Struck on the head by a gun butt, the unconcious Sarge was dumped onto a railroad track, miraculously being jolted awake when he landed on the pin of a badge on his uniform and rolling out of the path of an oncoming train. Stunned by his good fortune, Rock noted, "It's like somebody's playin' guardian angel for the old Sarge."

Unfortunately, the leader of the Thousand, distinguished from his soldiers by his red hood, had made the same deduction and ordered several gunmen to track down Bob Haney. Alerted to the approaching killers by the snarls of his dog, Belle, Haney grabbed his hunting rifle and charged into the woods, leaving an empty house for the Thousand to ransack. Meanwhile, Murray Boltinoff picked up where Haney had left off, describing a scene to Jim Aparo wherein Rock used terror tactics on the gunman that Batman had captured alive.

Pointing to a cage, Rock emphasized that the rat within was rabid. "Ever see a guy die of rabies ? It's horrible!"

"You ... you wouldn't -- !"

"Wouldn't I, crumb! I ain't no law respectin' cop. I'm a trained killer on a combat mission. You and your lousy gang declared war on America! To me, you're the enemy!"

The tactic worked though Batman could only shake his head in disbelief, aware that the rat didn't have rabies. In essence, the minion of the Thousand had explained that "they have no real cause or program ... just pure terror to gain power."

Unfortunately for Jim Aparo, time was running out. The Thousand had found an imprint of his new phone number at Bob Haney's home and the artist caught a glimpse of the killers speeding towards the lighthouse in a motorboat. Desperately, Jim phoned Murray only to find the line busy. Boltinoff hadn't quite hung up the receiver after completing their last call. Beads of sweat running down his face, Aparo jumped when the phone rang. It was Bob, calling from a phone booth.

Quickly scribbling out the scenario that Haney had given him, Aparo depicted Batman and Rock discovering the Thousand's empty headquarters -- along with a map indicating that they'd headed towards a certain lighthouse on the Connecticut coast. Commandeering a sightseeing helicopter, the Bat and the Rock flew over the speedboat even as half a dozen M-76s began firing on them. Though the copter was beginning to spiral out of control, Rock managed to get off a shot of his own, severing the rudder cable on the boat in a display of marksmanship made possible by the words and pictures of a desperate pair of comics creators.

About this time, Murray Boltinoff discovered that his phone had been off the hook and called Jim. To his relief, the heroes had taken the Thousand and its mastermind into custody. "Batman and Rock found a list of the terrorists on the leader ... and the rest are being rounded up and the rifles recovered." After a sleepless night, Boltinoff headed back to his bedroom while Haney left the phone booth in the direction of his home. And Jim Aparo ? He was sound asleep, draped over his drawing board with pen still in hand, dreaming of a world where good still triumphs over evil (1975's THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 124, by -- surprise! -- Haney & Aparo).

"Comics are fun. I think they should still be fun. Everybody gets too involved; there's too much of a hangup for authenticity. Is this artist drawing this particular thing the way it should be drawn ? And is this writer doing what he's supposed to be doing ? They forget that it's just entertainment. And the writers, the artists, the editors, we're just the guys who want to do just that -- entertain people!" -- Jim Aparo, COMICS SCENE # 5 (1982).

For those who'd like to read more about Sgt. Rock and DC's war heroes, I've got a couple articles at Fanzing.com that you'll want to see:

This link will bring you to my Sgt. Rock article:

And here's the link to my War Heroes Directory:

This is the link to my War Heroes follow-up thread at DC's JSA Message Board:

And, finally, here's David R. Black's outstanding Balloon Buster piece at Fanzing:

posted July 21, 2001 07:11 PM

The Gotham Blade, undated clippings:

ITEM! Gotham is buzzing with the news that our own Caped Crusader has a new passenger in the Batmobile these days. Last week, we told you how Batman had plucked bombed bombshell Marcia Monroe from the ledge of the Gotham Bridge and given her a long overdue spanking. It seems the rowdy redhead grooved on that display of brute force and has made it her goal in life to be his new partner-in-crimefighting. As more that a few of the highstrung heiress' old beaus can attest, Marcia's a crack shot with the pistol and she proved it when she blasted a billyclub out of the hand of a baddie who was about to bust Batman. Sure, we know what you're thinking. Ol' Bats doesn't have much use for firearms and -- stop me if you've heard this -- "crimefighting is too dangerous for a girl." Unfortunately for the square-jawed one, "no one tells Marcia Monroe what to do." Boy, we wonder what Robin thinks about this ?


BRIEFLY NOTED: Just a few days ago, the Gotham Gangbuster was talking marriage but late word has it that his flame-haired beauty has gone back to her playgirl ways and dumped the Bat. Watch out Europe --Hurricane Marcia's on her way!


The Gotham Gazette, December 9, 1965:

Gotham City's law enforcement agencies are in a state of shock this morning as the result of the overnight arrest of the famed Batman. The Masked Manhunter is accused of stealing the Cat Emerald, an international treasure currently on display at the Gotham City Municipal Museum. In a brief statement, Police Commissioner James W. Gordon indicated that the GCPD is in possession of photographic evidence that documents Batman's elevation of the gem from a perch high above the Cat Emerald's display case. The Caped Crusader's claim that he was actually returning the treasure is refuted by a Museum spokesman, who confirms that the Cat Emerald is missing. Batman surrendered to authorities without incident and is currently in a holding cell at GCPD headquarters.

Marcia Monroe's Private Correspondence, December 9, 1965:

My dearest Batman,

I can only imagine what you must think of me now but please believe me, I have only your best interests at heart. My love for you has not dimmed in all these months, as our kiss last night must surely have told you.

When we parted, I'd hoped to spare you from becoming involved in the scandal that threatened to disgrace out family. My father had suffered some business reversals and, to my horror, had become involved with the international organization known as Cyclops. To keep his name clear and save him from death by their assassins, I agreed to cooperate with them -- become Queen Bee of their "Hive" here in Gotham.

Fortunately, I've been granted a bit of leeway in how I deal with you and, rather than do the unthinkable and have you killed, I conceived a plan that would leave you safely out of our operations. The assassin whom you rescued me from last night was, in fact, an operative of my own and the story I told you of my murdered lover was, I'm afraid, pure fiction. The Cat Emerald was not stolen by a man determined to prove himself your equal but, instead, by our own forces. The gem that you returned to the Museum was actually a replica designed to dissolve after a short period.

Oh, darling -- please try to understand ... I had no choice! Once caught in Cyclops' web, there's no escape. I only want to put you behind bars -- out of the way of trouble."

Bruce Gordon's Journal, December 9, 1965:

As seems to happen with disturbing frequency, Eclipso has emerged from my body and evaded our attempt to banish him with a burst of light. Apparently, on one of his previous excursions, our foe has made an alliance with parties unknown. How else can we explain the appearance of a trio of flying men dressed as bees who plucked the lunar scourge from our laboratory here in the ruins of Solar City ? As I write these words, Professor Bennett, Mona and I are en route to Gotham City, where rumors of a fiend armed with an energy-projecting black diamond are even now being reported.

The Gotham Gazette, December 10, 1965:

Gotham was terrorized last night by a veritable crime wave, a series of robberies apparently spearheaded by one of North America's most notorious fugitives, the lunar-themed Eclipso, and a new player known as the Queen Bee. Clad in an orange vest, black shirt and striped pants, the mysterious red-head's features are largely concealed by a golden skullcap (complete with antennae) and domino mask. The Queen Bee and her drones (whose faces are concealed by bee-like helmets) were equipped with flight-packs that enabled them to evade any of their robbery victims with ease. Authorities have yet to establish a connection with three earlier criminals who took the name of Queen Bee, women who fought Mister America in 1942, the Blackhawks in 1951 and the Justice League of America in 1963.

"Gorilla" Grimes' Statement to Police, excerpt, December 11, 1965:

Just before I was sprung from jail, I got word from Frankie Malone that Mister E was flyin' into town to have a confab with Queen Bee and the rest of us at the Hive. I guess Bat-Brain must've heard us talking and busted out 'cause he was in the Apis Building right after I got there. I gotta admit, I held my own against the Bat for a minute or two but it was all them fancy gadgets in the walls that really did the trick. While he was dodging spring-loaded office furniture, I was pumpin' the room full of gas.

Now, understand, Mister E, um, Eclipso, and the Queen Bee are both tough cookies but when it comes to dealin' with spies -- especially big guns like ol' Bats -- they just ain't up to snuff. After I went to all the trouble of catching the Bat-bum, Eclipso just chucked his body down a chute into the river and expected him to drown. Hey, I know Mister E's an out-of-towner but he shoulda known better than that. 'Course that's nothin' compared to Queenie. She practically started blubberin' when she thought Eclipso had killed Bats and told E that he was a freak and a murderer. You'd think they were closet good guys or somethin'!

Inside The Sinister Citadels, Galaxy Publishing, 1979:

The Hive was, as one Cyclops recruiter touted it, "the biggest, most deadly underworld set-up ever conceived." Constructed over the course of 1965 as the United States branch of Cyclops' operations, Apis Enterprises seemed no different than the other skyscrapers that had popped up on the Gotham skyline in recent years. Only its name, Latin for bee, offered a hint to its true exterior, with offices on each floor sandwiching weapons, transportation and even areas devoted to training. At first glance, though, perhaps the most striking object in the building may have been the enormous eyeball that peered down from the wall of the Hive's meeting chamber. The emerald orb powerfully conveyed the fact that this was an operation named after the mythological one-eyed men.

The big eye also served as a concealed gateway for Cyclops' European enforcers, something Batman used to his advantage when he raided the facility on December 10, 1965 in the guise of one of the gang's black-hooded executioners. Unfortunately, everything in the Apis building was a potential weapon, from the furniture to the mail slots to the floor, which suddenly began to accelerate in treadmill fashion and sent Batman hurtling towards Eclipso. Fortunately, there were also concealed chamber in the roof that enabled the mysterious Queen Bee to rescue the Dark Knight.

Script excerpt from "The Batman-Tarantula Hour", 1966.

BATMAN: Queen Bee -- Marcia -- you ?!

QUEEN BEE: Yes, Batman ... I see you know who I really am. But believe me, I'm trying to save you now. Hurry, follow me -- this way!

BATMAN: Yes, Marcia, I recognized your voice before. But why have you turned criminal ? Why did you frame me ? Why ?

QUEEN BEE: I ... I had to, Batman. My father got involved with Cyclops. To keep his name clear and save him from death by their assassins, I agreed to cooperate with them -- become 'Queen' of this crime hive. I only wanted to put you behind bars -- out of the way of trouble. I never dreamed you'd turn up this way and tangle with Eclipso.

BATMAN: So suddenly you turn all goody-goody. Kind of late, baby, isn't it ?

QUEEN BEE: Oh darling -- please try to understand ... I had no choice. Once caught in Cyclops' web, there's no escape. I hated doing it to you -- the only man I've ever loved. This door -- it leads to the weapons room ... please save yourself.

BATMAN: Come with me, Marcia. I'll see that you get a light sentence.

QUEEN BEE (kissing him): Like 20 years, darling. No, you'll have forgotten me by then. It's too late for me ... but Batman must live to fight on! Good luck, darling. I'll try to stall Eclipso. Here's a souvenir of my love.

BATMAN: The Cat Emerald! Thanks, baby ... so long, for now.

Commissioner Gordon's Memoirs, recalling the events of December 10, 1965:

Batman's life quite literally hung in the balance, suspended in mid-air between the forces of the GCPD on the ground and Eclipso, firing obsidian energy blasts from his black diamond. Fortunately, the Caped Crusader had an ally in the form of Doctor Bruce Gordon. I'd previously accepted the sandy-haired scientist's offer of help, joking that "we Gordons have to stick together," but I never imagined that he'd play such a crucial role. With no regard for his own safety, Gordon rode a fire engine's ladder to the height where Eclipso was trying to blast Batman from the side of the Apis Building. Without warning, a brilliant flash of white light momentarily blinded all of us on the ground and, when we'd recovered our collective sight, the moon-faced rogue was gone. Doctor Gordon claimed to have banished Eclipso with some sort of light grenade. Frankly, I was a bit dismayed at his evasiveness on the villain's fate but, under the circumstances, I chose not to press the issue.

To my great relief, we found ample evidence within Apis Enterprises to support Batman's claim that he'd been framed, not the least of which was the Masked Manhunter's own recovery of the real Cat Diamond. The warrant for Batman's arrest was voided immediately.

Script excerpt from "The Batman-Tarantula Hour", 1966.

BATMAN (picking up a garment near Apis Enterprises): Queen Bee's costume ... Marcia's gone. Some day, she'll have to pay for her crimes -- and when that day comes, she'll need all my help. Until then -- farewell, honey!"

Inside The Sinister Citadels, Galaxy Publishing, 1979:

According to declassified CIA documents filed by agent Urania Blackwell, Cyclops' central headquarters was finally laid bare in November of 1966. The base was a former Nazi stronghold hidden in Holland that had been converted into a a major crime syndicate facility. As with Apis Enterprises, the European stronghold was replete with war machines and deathtraps, including an ultimate failsafe. In the event of the lair's exposure, "one push of a button will blow up the entire dike system -- bringing the sea crashing in on half their land." The combined efforts of Metamorpho and Blackwell, alias Element Woman, prevented the catastrophic fate and captured the apparent mastermind of Cyclops, Stingaree, a green-costumed villain with a deadly artificial tail.

In early 1967, several mid-level Cyclops administrators were part of a consolidation of European super-syndicates but, with no central leadership, the organization soon collapsed. No definitive connection has been established between the Hive overseen by the Queen Bee and the subsequent Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination.

The Gotham Blade, April 19, 1966:

ITEM! Batman has an itch that he can't scratch and she goes by the name of Poison Ivy! Witnesses tell us that us that the Gotham Goliath couldn't keep his lips off the auburn-haired beauty during yesterday's battle in the suburbs. We hear that Ivy only made it into custody because Robin (that spoilsport!) interrupted the proceedings. The Batty One sure seems to have a thing for redheads. Say, has anyone seen Marcia Monroe lately ?



The strange story of Batman's affair with Marcia Monroe was recounted in late 1965's THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 64 ("Batman Versus Eclipso"), a story subsequently reprinted in 1976's SUPER-TEAM FAMILY # 5. Though entertaining in its own right, the whirlwind romance between Batman and Marcia, who goes so far as to usurp the unmentioned Robin's place as the Dark Knight's partner, along with Batman's hip dialogue makes for a rather bizarre reading experience.

The previous Queen Bees, incidentally, fought Mr. America in ACTION COMICS # 42, 46-49, the Blackhawks in BLACKHAWK # 38 and the JLA in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 23. And there was even a fourth prior Queen Bee, this one a mutated insect who faced the Sandman in his first exploit with Sandy (ADVENTURE COMICS # 69), a story that transcends B&B # 64 for pure freakiness.

The B&B story was, of course, scripted by Bob Haney (with art by Win Mortimer), whose dialogue I've quoted throughout the above article, not all of it obviously. Haney went on use Cyclops in METAMORPHO # 10 and tossed them (and other mid-1960s criminal syndicates) into the background in BLACKHAWK # 229 and 231. Marv Wolfman's own version of the H.I.V.E. was a regular threat during the early 1980s both in various Superman-related series and, of course, THE NEW TEEN TITANS.

And, finally, Poison Ivy (created by Bob Kanigher) showed up five months after the Queen Bee, already boasting of an extensive criminal career that had yet to be uncovered by law enforcement agencies. That brings to mind an intriguing thought. Could Marcia Monroe have been an alias of Pamela Lillian Isley, using her powers to seduce Batman as a final test before her debut as Poison Ivy ? Bees and pollen naturally lead one to think of plant life and who is more familiar with plants than Ivy ?

With that possibility planted in your mind, I'll close for this week. B&B seeing you!

posted July 23, 2001 10:23 AM

I think I'll have to go to e-bay and try to find B&B #64. Sounds like a really interesting piece. You've mentioned Marcia Monroe before, but I never understood who she was. Great work, John. (As were your articles in Fanzing #36, by the way.)

Adding to your list again...

Since Cluemaster is seemingly meeting his demise in this year's SUICIDE SQUAD revival, how about the story of his life... such as it was?


The Time Trust
posted July 26, 2001 04:48 PM

Here's another one for ya, Mikishawm:

I love the old pre-Crisis comics, as you know, so my next request would be an article on the "Super-Sons of Superman and Batman", who appeared in WORLD'S FINEST # 154, 215, 216, 221, 222, 224, 228, 231, 233, 238, and 242, as well as their untimely demise in # 263, where they were revealed to be computer simulations. They also made a last appearance in the 80-Page Elseworlds Giant, which was never distributed in the U.S., and was written by original Super-Sons scribe Bob Haney.

The Time Trust
posted July 26, 2001 06:12 PM

Also wondering if you have a chronological list of Bruce Wayne's appearances up to the Year One era. Of course, I'm talking about the post-Crisis Batman now. These would include that terrible night at Crime Alley (June 26th, I believe), and his days receiving his training with several people in his pre-Batman days.

posted July 27, 2001 08:56 AM

Weren't the Super-Sons (or at least Superman Jr.) also in ACTION COMICS for a few issues...

...I remember the cover of an ACTION (likely during the time the Legion was a backup) where Superman was exposing his son to gold Kryptonite...

...and, I haven't said it in a while, but Mikishawm, you're a wonder! (Someone on the ODCUT board was looking Super-Sons info, under a posting of DCU characters NOT in the Crisis, and I've shared this with them <> ...and directed them here...)

posted July 28, 2001 10:27 PM

Re: The Super-Sons. Until I get to a longer piece, here are the basics: There were a couple trial balloons in WORLD'S FINEST # 154 & 157 and ACTION # 391-392 before Bob Haney and Dick Dillin's official series got underway in WORLD'S FINEST # 215. It continued in # 216, 221, 222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238 and 242 before Denny O'Neil penned a wrap-up in # 263.

Our topic for today:

Huddled around their new television set, the Wallet family found themselves the objects of unwanted attention as neighbors began dropping by unannounced. From a window outside the living room, a delighted voice could be heard exclaiming, "Oh-oh! Wrestlers!" Such was life in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, as this December 3, 1950 episode of the GASOLINE ALLEY comic strip reflects. Thanks to colorful characters like the blonde-haired Gorgeous George and the villainous Nature Boy, the "sport" that some called "wrassling" was a legitimate phenomenon of the era, inducing an untold number of folks to run out and buy a TV set of their own.

Pro wrestling was still very much in vogue when Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson attended a grudge match between the Arizona Apache and the Hangman in July of 1966. The barechested Hangman wore dark purple pants, gloves and boots with a matching hood upon which his gimmick rested. His true face would be revealed only after he'd been defeated ... and he hadn't lost a match yet. Hoping to be there when the Hangman finally went down, throngs of fans were attending each contest and the profits at the ticket office were going through the roof.

Unfortunately, the unmasking wasn't destined to happen this particular evening, either, and after putting his opponent in a vise-like chokehold known as the Hangman's Knot, the mysteryman sent the Arizona Apache to the mat amid boos and catcalls from the audience. Temporarily sidelined from his Robin duties while he studied for mid-terms, Dick found the challenge of exposing the Hangman's true identity to be irresistible. Bruce admitted that it would be an entertaining project but "it would have to be in our spare time -- and for our own private satisfaction." Anything else would be, in his words, "unethical."

The matter took on more importance that evening when Batman discovered the Hangman fleeing a pawnshop as an alarm jangled behind him. The wrestler insisted that he was innocent but had no reservations about defending himself, slamming the Caped Crusader into a fence, spinning him above his head and knocking him cold against a streetlight pole. Through blurred vision, Batman thought he saw his opponent reach for his mask but the Hangman fled as the sound of police sirens began to bleat.

The mystery deepened the following morning when the battered Bruce Wayne discovered that the police had arrested a pair of nondescript hoods in connection with the robbery and recovered everything they'd stolen. Further investigation confirmed that the Hangman really had been uninvolved in the break-in.

Nonetheless, the two masked men came to blows again that evening in a dark alley. Frustrated by the Hangman's evasiveness, Batman grabbed the wrestler's arm and promptly found his head and shoulders caught in a full nelson. "You started this, Batman," the Hangman snapped. "You can't yank ME around!" During Round Two, though, the Masked Manhunter held his own, hammering his foe with a succession of blows that had him reeling. Rushing through an alleyway door that locked behind him, the Hangman insisted that "you'll never bring ME in like a common criminal, Batman. We'll meet another time ..."

As newscaster Telman Davies droned in the background, Bruce sorted through details of the case with Dick. "There was NO crime committed last night. I believe it was the Hangman himself who yelled for help -- in order to bring ME to the scene. And it could have been HE who set off the burglar alarm last night -- for the same reason."Unfortunately, that reason was unknown. And then there was the Hangman's voice. Though the wrestler's words had been muffled by the hood, Batman had observed the masked man deliberately affecting a false voice -- and yet it still sounded familar. As the newsman's report began to register in his consciousness, Bruce suddenly tensed up. Telman Davies' familiar voice reminded him of the Hangman! And sure enough, a glance at the TV screen revealed a not-quite-concealed bruise on the news anchor's cheek from the previous night's brawl.

The following night, a stunned crowd of wrestling fans found their attention divided between the action in the arena and Batman's unexplained presence at ringside. After the bout, the Hangman approached the Caped Crusader, suggesting that they settle their feud once and for all on a roof in the center of Gotham. While citizens in adjoining buildings and on the street below watched in horror, Batman was laid low by the dreaded Hangman's Knot. As he dangled Batman's body over the ledge of the roof, the Hangman shouted to the crowd, "Here! Take back your champion, Gotham City! I'm finished with him." And he laughed.

For his crowning achievement, the wrestler pulled off Batman's mask -- and was thunderstruck to find Telman Davies' features beneath the cowl. Momentarily caught off guard, the Hangman hesitated long enough for Batman to deck him. As the first man to ever defeat the Hangman, Batman had won the right to unmask his opponent -- the real Telman Davies.

Craving the spotlight, the egotistical Davies had decided to put his body-building skills to the test as a wrestling super-star, strictly to usurp Batman's title as "the most famous secret identity personality in Gotham City." The fallout from the scandal was enough to cost Telman Davies his job and the disgraced newscaster cursed himself as he boarded a vessel for South America. Angry that he hadn't unmasked Batman at the pawnshop, he muttered that "I should have IGNORED (the sirens). They had nothing on me. But instead -- I ran. I panicked -- lost my nerve. That was my trouble ... I lost my nerve ... and my chance with it! YAHH ..." (DETECTIVE COMICS # 355, by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella).

Whatever Davies thought of his misfortunes, there's no denying that they were self-inflicted. That was far from the case with Mark Dresden, Marcia Evans, Sam Hopkins and "Diet Doctor" Jim Proxmire, four people who'd been falsely tried and convicted for murder before their sentences were overturned. Rather than be embittered by their nightmarish experiences, Dresden proposed that they join him in forming the Gotham-based Hangman Club. The agency would work on behalf of newly-released convicts, arranging job placement and emotional support to insure that they never returned to jail. "By keeping ex-cons out of prison," Dresden explained, "We feel we're 'cheating the hangman' -- the endless cycle of crime that leads only to death. Evans, Hopkins and Proxmire, along with Marcia's husband, Thomas Quigley, the attorney who'd won her freedom, agreed to serve as the Hangman Club's Board of Directors.

The Club celebrated its tenth anniversary in May of 1981 with a gala affair that quickly turned to tragedy. Dresden was discovered hanging from the ceiling of his office, his face contorted in a horrible death mask and a note pinned to his chest: "You have cheated the Hangman for the last time -- you will all PAY for your crimes! The Hangman." The Batman arrived on the scene alongside Commissioner Gordon and several police officers but it was Tom Quigley who discovered a vital clue. A piece of Dresden's own Hangman Club stationary showed a scribbled noose hanging down from a gallows and the horrified lawyer shuddered, "H-he's playing a game of 'hangman' with our lives! Mark's dead -- and this madman has added the head."

Quigley demanded police protection but his wife said otherwise, insisting that "no cop -- or anybody else -- ever did me a good turn ... except YOU, Tom. We'll beat this nut ourselves!"

Though Batman was understandably concerned at Marcia Quigley's vow, he more readily accepted the aid of his old friend and Justice League partner, Ralph Dibny, the stretchable sleuth otherwise known as the Elongated Man. In town on a vacation, Ralph couldn't resist joining the investigation, while opining that he hoped the case would "pick up ... maybe one of the victims'll leave a nice dying clue, or be killed in a locked room, or ..."

After an aghast Batman had berated him ("We're dealing with people's LIVES!"), Ralph suggested that his partner not "take everything I say at face value ... I feel the same as Byron -- look it up -- it's in DON JUAN, canto 4, stanza 3. Drawing on his stage experience, Alfred recited the passage from memory: "...And if I laugh at any mortal thing, 'tis that I may not weep!"

"Isn't it odd, Alfred," Bruce observed. "You can be acquainted with someone for years ... and never really know them ?"

The case took another grave turn when the heroes discovered that the Club's accountant had been hanged as well, his face exhibiting the same horrified expression as Dresden's. Looking at the ransacked files, the Dark Knight told Ralph, "From my dealings as Bruce Wayne, I know that the Club's sizable treasury is controlled by the Board of Directors -- and it reverts to the last surviving member of the club." From that perspective, Hopkins, Proxmire and the Quigleys were as much potential suspects as they were victims.

At the Quigleys' penthouse apartment, Ralph and Batman finally had their first face-to-face with the killer. The Hangman was covered from head to toe in a dark green costume, a massive light-green "H" stretching from the chest down to the legs. Completing the outfit was a untightened noose that the murderer wore around his neck. Caught off guard, each of the heroes was rendered unconcious, the Elongated Man by sleep gas and the Dark Knight by a poisoned dart.

Rather than kill the duo outright, the Hangman opted for theatrics, wrapping the Elongated Man's elastic neck as a noose around Batman's throat and tossing the Masked Manhunter from the top of the building. With Ralph still unconscious, Batman began to swing as he fell, successfully contorting his body so that he could catch the Stretchable Sleuth's neck with his legs and create "enough slack to pull free." Back on solid ground, the Dark Knight was convinced that the unsuccessful hanging had been less an attempt on their lives than an effort by the costumed fugitive "to nail down his image as a mad hangman."

Within the apartment, Marcia Quigley's body was discovered, her face expressionless and a copy of the Hangman game on her chest with a second line added to the figure. Despite Tom Quigley's hysteria at the loss of his wife, Batman and Commissioner Gordon couldn't count him out as a suspect any more than they could Jim Proxmire or Sam Hopkins. "None of 'em, " Gordon noted, "have any alibi that'll hold water."

Despite no hard evidence to suspect any one person, Batman and the Elongated Man both came to believe that they were dealing with an "ABC murder." In other words, "some killer wants a victim, whom we'll call C dead ... but he can't kill C outright because the motive will point straight to him. So the killer masks C's murder by killing A, B and D, making the murders LOOK like the work of a maniac."

Hoping to ease the duo's frustration, Alfred suggested that "you should simply face the facts and not let yourselves get turned around." In an instant, the evidence crystalized in Ralph and Batman's heads and they both realized who the killer was.

That night, Batman approached Tom Quigley, requesting that he impersonate the lawyer so that he could catch the Hangman in the act. As anticipated, the killer made his murder attempt, pumping gas into the room and preparing to hang his victim. Suddenly, an elongated arm tugged at the hangman's hood and Thomas Quigley was exposed. Taking flight, the Hangman leaped from his penthouse roof to a safety net below only to hauled back by the Elongated Man, his arm tied into a lasso.

Batman had been baffled about the absence of a hangman's game on the accountant's body until he "he realized that the game left with Dresden's body was a dying message. Dresden left that as a clue to his killer. Thinking fast, (Quigley) said the killer left it" and continued the theme when he murdered Marcia. The hangman "noose" had actually been the letter "Q", which everyone viewed upside down. It represented Dresden's attempt to write out his killer's name before Quigley killed him. Ralph added that Marcia's face had been calm at the time of death in sharp contrast to Dresden and the accountant. "She let her murderer get close enough to gas her ... and she trusted no one but you."

Quigley admitted the truth, revealing that "I had grown tired of Marcia -- but not of the money from her book (the autobiographical "Women In Prison") -- which I would have inherited if not for YOU!" (1981's THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 177, by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo, with a dedication "to the spirit and the memory of Bill Finger,"Batman's co-creator and the man who scripted numerous such "Club" murder mysteries in the series throughout the 1940s and 1950s, a concept referred to as the tontine.)

Somewhere, Telman Davies took a degree of satisfaction in the capture of the man who had usurped his name just as he'd taken private delight in the arrest of two of his former TV colleagues, Walter Grimes (DETECTIVE # 453) and Monty Walcott (B&B # 143), both of whom were implicated in criminal conspiracies that far eclipsed his own scandal. If Davies' fall from grace is still fresh in his mind, the same can't be said of Gotham's memory of him. The only Hangman that many recall was a woman and it's far from clear whether that ever truly happened (BATMAN: DARK VICTORY # 1-13). And wrestlers ? Most folks only recall Waylon "Killer Croc" Jones. Still others tend to confuse him with someone else who once threatened the Dark Knight on a rooftop.

In 1993, as citizens on the street below watched in horror, Batman's limp, battered body was dangled from a building above, held aloft by a muscle-bound wrestler-type in a full-face mask. "Batman is no more," he shouted. "I have destroyed him. I rule these streets. I rule Gotham. Here is your hero. Your protector. Take him and BURY him." And with that, the man called Bane threw the Dark Knight to the pavement below (DETECTIVE COMICS # 664, by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna). Perhaps, Telman Davies thinks, he didn't go far enough.

The Time Trust
posted August 01, 2001 02:49 AM

Some more info on the Super-Sons of Superman and Batman stories (including a couple of issues of ACTION COMICS featuring the duo I finally found!):

WORLD'S FINEST 154 - December 1965 - "The Sons of Superman and Batman" by Edmond Hamilton (writer) / Curt Swan & Sheldon Moldoff

WORLD'S FINEST 157 - May 1966 - "The Abominable Brats" by Edmond Hamilton (writer) / Curt Swan, George Klein & Sheldon Moldoff

ACTION 391 - August 1970 - "The Punishment of Superman's Son" by Robert Kanigher (writer) / Ross Andru & Mike Esposito

ACTION 392 - September 1970 - "The Shame of the Super-Son" by Robert Kanigher (writer) / Ross Andru & Mike Esposito

WORLD'S FINEST 215 - January 1973 - "Saga of the Super Sons" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dillin & Henry Scarpelli

WORLD'S FINEST 216 - February 1973 - "Little Town With a Big Secret" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dilling & Murphy Anderson

WORLD'S FINEST 221 - January-February 1974 - "Cry Not For My Forsaken Son" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dilling & Murphy Anderson

WORLD'S FINEST 222 - March-April 1974 - "Evil in Paradise" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dillin & Vince Colletta

WORLD'S FINEST 224 - July-August 1974 - "The Shocking Switch of the Super-Sons" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dillin & Vince Colletta

WORLD'S FINEST 228 - March 1975 - "Crown for a New Batman" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dilling & Tex Blaisdell

WORLD'S FINEST 230 - June 1975 - "The Girl Whom Time Forgot" by Bob Haney (writer) / Curt Swan & Tex Blaisdell

WORLD'S FINEST 231 - July 1975 - "Hero is a Dirty Name" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dilling & Tex Blaisdell

WORLD'S FINEST 233 - November 1975 - "World Without Men" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dillin & John Calnan

WORLD'S FINEST 238 - June 1976 - "The Angel With a Dirty Name" by Bob Haney (writer) / Dick Dillin & John Calnan

WORLD'S FINEST 242 - December 1976 - "Town of the Timeless Heroes" by Bob Haney (writer) / Ernie Chua & John Calnan

WORLD'S FINEST 263 - June-July 1980 - "The Final Secret of the Super-Sons" by Dennis O'Neil (writer) / Rich Buckler & Dick Giordano

ELSEWORLDS 80-PAGE GIANT - August 1999 - "Superman Jr. Is No More" by Bob Haney (writer) / Kieron Dwyer

This is as complete a list as I believe there is, unless there are some other "Super-Sons" stories out there I don't know about. Of course, there have been other "imaginary stories" featuring a red-haired Bruce Wayne, Jr. who became a second Robin, as well as a few "imaginary stories" depicting various children of Superman, but as they depict a slightly different continuity I did not include them.

posted August 01, 2001 05:14 PM

Mikishawm & TTT...thanks for the Super-Sons info...

Sigh, why can't we get the REST of the ELSEWORLDS 80-PAGE GIANT?

posted August 04, 2001 08:08 PM

I'm sorry to report that my Grandma has suffered another medical crisis today. She fell out of bed at the nursing home, resulting in massive internal bleeding around her colon. As of this writing, the bleeding has been stopped and her condition has stabilized.

Obviously, as I'm sure you'll all understand, I'm not going to have a chance to post a Bat-bio this weekend.

I do have one new post on the Boards this weekend, which I'd written just before all of this happened. It's at this link:

All for now! Keep the faith, my friends!

posted August 15, 2001 07:28 PM

I wanted to let you all know that I have a bunch of stuff in the new issue of Fanzing, including a history of Miss America, a look back at Miss X (the first costumed heroine of the Golden Age), a Duke of Deception bio and an updated Black Canary. Here are the links:

The Miss America article, along with a look at Miss X and the other pre-Wonder Woman costumed heroines of the DCU, a Hippolyta-In-The-1940s Timeline AND a look at the Fighting Trevors is at:

Plus an addendum to the Fighting Trevors on Etta Candy at:

The Black Canary Timeline can be found at:

A look back at the Duke of Deception is at:

It's a lot to absorb but I hope you enjoy it!

posted September 08, 2001 08:41 AM

Hi all, can I get a bio on COIN JO COIN. Is he DEAD.....?

posted September 09, 2001 05:44 AM

Um ... could you clarify that a bit ? Coin Jo Coin ?

posted September 09, 2001 10:15 AM

Hey Miki. How ´s all doing? I think he is talking about Joe Coin, the thief vinculated with the giant penny trophy.

posted September 09, 2001 08:58 PM

Of course! The mind doesn't function well at that hour in the morning.

Pre-Crisis, Joe Coyne appeared in 1947's WORLD'S FINEST # 30 (reprinted in 1974's BATMAN # 256). After several nasty incidents involving the police ("coppers") and pennies, Joe Coyne decided to commit a series of penny-themed crimes. During one of them, Batman nearly ran him down with a giant penny mock-up at a coin show. Ultimately, Coyne's fate hinged on having a nickel to use a pay phone. He only had pennies in his pocket, though, and was captured by Batman and Robin. He was convicted and sentenced to death.

In current continuity, Graham Nolan offered an alternate account in 2000's BATMAN CHRONICLES # 19. The premise was much the same but this time the climax took place at the coin show. One of Coyne's gunshots went wild when Batman threw a handful of change at him. The bullet started a chain reaction that sent the giant penny toppling onto him. Coyne died at the scene.

Hey, Eduardo! Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I've been working on a massive Hawkman Timeline and some other secret projects that I'll clue you in on eventually. Plus, I got a couple hundred DC back issues two weeks ago and I'm slowly reading through those.

I'm happy to report that Grandma and the rest of the family are doing fine and I want to thank everyone again for the notes of support. They're much appreciated.

I have no idea when I'll get back to this thread on a regular basis but you're always on my mind. (Hey, what a great title for a song ...)

Take care, everybody!

-- John

posted September 10, 2001 07:39 AM

Great to hear your grandma is doing better, John. You're always missed here, but I'm glad you have a life outside the boards as well.

I'm not sure that I should add any more challenges to the list before you return... but, what the heck, I can't resist. I just found some REALLY obscure Bat-villains that I'd love to hear about:

Eivol Ekdal
the Grasshoppers

Take your time, answer them when and if you want to. You know you're my hero anyway.


New Member
posted September 15, 2001 09:29 PM

Well, first off, I am thoroughly impressed. You people know a lot. I would bow down, but, well, you wouldn't see it anyway, would you? Anyway, I fear my main purpose is not to praise those that have spent their time writing wonderful bios, but to add to the requests. Could someone write up a Scarecrow biography? I always thought he was a really interesting character, and I'd like to see one of him. Thanks in advance. Keep up the wonderful work.

Jack Benny
posted September 22, 2001 03:24 AM

Easy Question.

What was the name of the lady cop that Batman dated in the 60's?


posted September 22, 2001 04:58 PM

Jack --

I think you're talking about Patricia Powell though the gimmick of that short-lived character was that she never got to meet the man of her dreams. She was an exemplary police officer and the daughter of Gotham police detective Mike "Bulldog" Powell. Pat also had an inexplicable fascination with Bruce Wayne, whom she'd never actually met but secretly hoped to romance. In her only two appearances (1964's BATMAN # 165 and 166), fate prevented her from meeting Bruce -- though she regularly worked with Batman. New editor Julius Schwartz decided that she wasn't working out because Patricia Powell never appeared again.

Thanks for the compliments, Gotham City! Ditto, Sokoto. The Scarecrow is bigger than I normally tackle in this thread but I'll see what I can come up with. And Hellstone, Eivol Ekdal, Gaggy and the Grasshoppers are on the list!

I still haven't had much time to do any new bios (no guesses on when I'll get back to 'em) but I realized that I could answer Max's question fairly easily by crunching together a few of the files I already have on disk. (I considered including JLA/Titans/Young Justice comics on the Bat-related appearances list but it just muddied the waters too much). Put on your seatbelts, folks! Here it comes ...


Action Comics Weekly # 613-618
Anarky (first series) # 1-4; (second series) 1-8
The Aquateers Meet the Super Friends
Arkham Asylum
Aurora Comic Scenes # 187, 195
Azrael # 1-46, M
Azrael: Agent of the Bat # 47-on
Azrael Annual # 1-3
Azrael Plus # 1
Batgirl # 1-on
The Batgirl Adventures # 1
Batgirl Annual # 1
Batgirl Special #1
Batman # 1-511, 0, 512-559, M, 560-on
Batman # 123 (Pizza Hut reprint)
The Batman Adventures # 1-36
The Batman Adventures Annual # 1-2
The Batman Adventures Holiday Special # 1
The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years # 1-7
Batman/Aliens # 1-2
Batman and Robin: The Official Comic Adaptation of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture
The Batman and Robin Adventures # 1-25
The Batman and Robin Adventures Annual # 1-2
Batman and Robin Adventures - Special Collector's Edition (1998: Act II Popcorn)
The Batman and Robin Adventures: Sub-Zero
Batman & Superman Adventures: World's Finest
Batman and Superman: World's Finest # 1-10
Batman and the Outsiders # 1-32
Batman and the Outsiders Annual # 1-2
Batman Annual # 2, 4-6, 8-24
Batman Annual # 1 Replica Edition
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Tales of Madness # 1
Batman: Bane
Batman: Bane of The Demon # 1-4
Batman: Batgirl; (second series) # 1
Batman: Belt 'Em For Safety
Batman Beyond (first series) # 1-6; (second series) 1-24
Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker # 1
Batman: Birth of the Demon
Batman Black and White # 1-4
Batman: Blackgate # 1
Batman: Blackgate - Isle of Men # 1
Batman: Bloodstorm
Batman: Book of the Dead # 1-2
Batman: Bride of the Demon
Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat
Batman: Bullock's Law # 1
Batman: Castle of the Bat
Batman: Catwoman Defiant
The Batman Chronicles # 1-23
Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet
The Batman Chronicles Gallery # 1
Batman: Crimson Mist
Batman/ Daredevil
Batman: Dark Allegiances
Batman: Dark Joker -- The Wild
Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty
Batman: Dark Knight Gallery # 1
Batman: Dark Knight of the Round Table # 1-2
Batman: Dark Victory # 0-13
Batman: Day of Judgment # 1
Batman/Deadman: Death and Glory
Batman: Death of Innocents # 1
Batman/Demon: A Tragedy
Batman: Digital Justice
Batman: DOA
Batman-Dracula: Red Rain
Batman: Dreamland
Batman: Ego
Batman 80-Page Giant # 1-3
The Batman Family # 1-20
Batman Forever: The Official Comic Adaptation of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture
Batman: Fortunate Son
Batman: Full Circle
The Batman Gallery
Batman: GCPD # 1-4
Batman: Ghosts: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special
Batman: Gordon of Gotham # 1-4
Batman: Gordon's Law # 1-4
Batman: Gotham Adventures # 1-on
Batman: Gotham City Secret Files # 1
Batman: Gotham Knights # 1-on
Batman: Gotham Nights II # 1-4
Batman: Gotham Noir
Batman/Green Arrow: The Poison Tomorrow
Batman/Grendel: Devil's Bones # 1
Batman/Grendel: Devil's Dance # 2
Batman/Grendel: Devil's Riddle # 1
Batman: Harley Quinn
Batman: Harvest Breed
Batman: Haunted Gotham # 1-4
Batman/Hellboy/Starman # 1-2
Batman: Hollywood Knight # 1-3
Batman: Holy Terror
Batman/Houdini: The Devil's Workshop
Batman: In Darkest Knight
Batman: Joker's Apprentice # 1
Batman: Joker Time # 1-3
Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing # 1-2
Batman-Judge Dredd: Judgment On Gotham
Batman-Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle
Batman/Judge Dredd: Vendetta In Gotham
Batman (Kellogg's Pop Tarts giveaways) # 1-6
Batman: Knightgallery
Batman: League of Batmen # 1-2
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight # 37-64, 0, 65-on
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual # 3-7
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special # 1
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight: Jazz # 1-3
Batman: Madness (A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special) # 1
Batman: Man-Bat # 1-3
Batman: Mask of The Phantasm -- The Animated Movie
Batman: Masque
Batman: Master of the Future
Batman Masterpieces
Batman: Mr. Freeze
Batman: Mitefall
Batman: Night Cries
Batman: No Man's Land # 1, 0
Batman: No Man's Land Gallery # 1
Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files # 1
Batman: Nosferatu
The Batman of Arkham # 1
Batman: Orpheus Rising # 1-6
Batman: Our Worlds At War # 1
Batman: Outlaws # 1-3
Batman: Penguin Triumphant
Batman-Phantom Stranger
Batman Plus # 1
Batman: Poison Ivy
Batman (Power Records) (first series) # PR-27, PR-30; (second series) PR-12, PR-22
Batman/Predator III # 1-4
Batman/Punisher: Lake of Fire
Batman Returns: The Official Comic Adaptation of the Warner Bros. Motion Picture
Batman: Reign of Terror
Batman: Riddler -- The Riddle Factory
Batman: Run, Riddler, Run
Batman: Scar of the Bat
Batman/ Scarecrow 3-D # 1
Batman/Scarface: A Psychodrama
Batman: Scottish Connection
Batman Secret Files # 1
Batman: Seduction of the Gun # 1
Batman: Shadow of The Bat # 1-31, 0, 32-79, M, 80-94
Batman: Shadow of The Bat Annual # 1-5
Batman: Son of the Demon
Batman-Spawn: War Devil
Batman Special # 1
Batman: Spoiler/Huntress - Blunt Trauma # 1
Batman: Sword of Azrael # 1-4
Batman/Tarzan: Claws of The Cat-Woman # 1-4
Batman: The Abduction
Batman: The Blue, The Grey, and The Bat
Batman: The Book of Shadows
Batman: The Chalice
Batman: The Cult # 1-4
Batman: The Dark Knight # 1-4
Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham # 1-3
Batman: The Hill # 1
Batman: The Joker's Last Laugh
Batman: The Killing Joke
Batman: The Last Angel
Batman: The Long Halloween # 1-13
Batman: The Official Adaptation of the Warner Brothers Motion Picture
Batman: The Peril of The Penguin
Batman: The Ultimate Evil # 1-2
Batman 3-D (1990)
Batman: Toyman # 1-4
Batman: Turning Points # 1-5
Batman: Two-Face -- Crime and Punishment
Batman: Two-Face Strikes Twice # 1-2
Batman: Two Faces # 1
Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special # 1
Batman Versus Predator # 1-3
Batman Versus Predator II: Bloodmatch # 1-4
Batman Villains Secret Files # 1
Batman: War On Crime
Batman/Wildcat # 1-3
Bat-Thing # 1
The Best of DC # 10, 14
Birds of Prey # 1-on
Birds of Prey: Batgirl # 1
Birds of Prey: Manhunt # 1-4
Birds of Prey: Revolution # 1
Birds of Prey: The Ravens # 1
Birds of Prey: Wolves # 1
Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey # 1
The Brave and The Bold # 59, 64, 67-71, 74-200
Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.EL.D. # 1
Catwoman (first series) # 1-4; (second series) 1-14, 0, 15-62, M, 63-94
Catwoman Annual # 1-4
Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham # 1-2
Catwoman Plus # 1
Catwoman/Vampirella: The Furies
Catwoman/Wildcat # 1-4
Christmas With the Super-Heroes # 2
Dark Claw Adventures # 1
The Darkness/ Batman
DC Special # 28
DC Special Series # 1, 8, 15, 21, 27
DC Super-Stars # 14, 17
DC Universe Holiday Bash # 1-3
Detective Comics # 27-678, 0, 679-726, M, 727-on
Detective Comics Annual # 1-10
Detention Comics # 1
Dynamic Classics # 1
Elseworld's Finest # 1-2
Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl
Ghost/Batgirl # 1-4
Gotham By Gaslight
Gotham Nights # 1-4
Grendel/Batman: Devil's Masque # 2
Harley Quinn # 1-on
Harley Quinn: Our Worlds At War # 1
Heroes Against Hunger # 1
The Huntress (first series) # 1-19; (second series) 1-4
I, Joker
The Joker # 1-9
The Joker: Devil's Advocate
Joker/Mask # 1-4
Just Imagine Stan Lee With Joe Kubert Creating Batman
Justice Leagues: Justice League of Arkham # 1
The Kingdom: Nightstar # 1
The Kingdom: Son of The Bat # 1
Legends of the Dark Claw # 1
Legends of the Dark Knight # 1-36
Legends of the Dark Knight Annual # 1-2
Legends of the DC Universe # 6
Legends of the World's Finest # 1-3
Man-Bat (first series) # 1-2; (third series) 1-3
Manhunter: The Special Edition
Ms. Tree Quarterly # 1
New York World's Fair 1940
Nightwing (first series) # 1-4; (second series) 1-25, M, 26-on
Nightwing: Alfred's Return # 1
Nightwing and Huntress # 1-4
Nightwing Annual # 1
Nightwing 80-Page Giant # 1
Nightwing 1/2
Nightwing: Our Worlds At War # 1
Nightwing Secret Files # 1
Nightwing: The Target # 1
The Psyba-Rats # 1-3
Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights
Real Fact Comics # 5
Realworlds: Batman
Robin (first series) # 1-5; (second series) 1-10, 0, 11-58, M, 59-on
Robin Annual # 1-6
Robin/Argent: Double-Shot # 1
Robin 80-Page Giant # 1
Robin Plus # 1-2
Robin II # 1-4
Robin III: Cry of The Huntress # 1-6
Robin 3000 # 1-2
Robin: Year One # 1-4
Scarecrow (Villains) # 1
The Secret Origin of Batman (1980: Leaf candies)
Secret Origins (third series) # 6, 13, 20, 39, 44, 50
Secret Origins Annual # 3
Secret Origins 80-Page Giant # 1
Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant # 1
Secret Origins of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes
Secret Origins Special # 1
Showcase '93 # 1-12
Showcase '94 # 1-12
Silver Age: The Brave and The Bold # 1
Sins of Youth: Batboy and Robin # 1
Spider-Man and Batman
Star Spangled Comics # 65-130
Superboy/ Robin: World's Finest Three # 1-2
Super DC Giant # S-16
Superman & Batman: Generations # 1-4
Superman & Batman: Generations II # 1-4
Superman and Batman Magazine # 1-8
Superman and Batman: World's Funnest
Tangent Comics/ The Batman # 1
Teen Titans Spotlight # 14
3-D Batman # 1
Thrillkiller # 1-3
Thrillkiller '62
Underworld Unleashed: Batman -- Devil's Asylum # 1
Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear # 1
The Untold Legend of The Batman # 1-3
Viewmaster mini-comics # 3 (1981)
Who's Who '85 # 1-26
Who's Who '87 # 1-5
Who's Who '88 # 1-4
Who's Who '90 # 1-16
Who's Who '93 # 1-2
World's Best Comics # 1
World's Finest # 1-3
World's Finest Comics # 2-197, 200, 202, 206-207, 215-323
World's Finest: Our Worlds At War # 1


Amalgam Age: The Marvel Collection
The Amazing World of DC Comics # 8
The Art of Walt Simonson
Batgirl: Silent Running
Batman # 176, 182, 185, 187, 193, 198-199, 203, 208, 213, 218, 223, 228, 233-242, 254-262
Batman # 122, 123 Pizza Hut Replica Editions
Batman # 279 Monogram Replica Edition
Batman # 362 Mervyn's Replica Edition
Batman (1966 paperback)
Batman (1977 paperback)
Batman: A Death In The Family
Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying
Batman Adventures
Batman Adventures: Lost Years
Batman: Anarky
Batman and Me
Batman and Other DC Classics # 1
Batman Annual # 1-7
Batman Annual # 1 Replica Edition
The Batman Archives # 1-5
Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond Jell-O Premium
Batman: Black and White
Batman: Blind Justice
Batman: Cataclysm
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
Batman: Contagion
Batman: Dark Knight Adventures
Batman: Dark Legends
Batman: Dark Victory
Batman: Evolution
The Batman Family # 1-10
Batman: Featuring Two-Face and The Riddler
Batman From the Thirties to the Seventies
Batman: Four of a Kind
Batman: Gothic
Batman: Haunted Knight
Batman In The Seventies
Batman In The Sixties
Batman: Knightfall, Part 1: Broken Bat
Batman: Knightfall, Part 2: Who Rules the Night ?
Batman: Knightsend
Batman: Legacy
Batman: Man-Bat
Batman: No Law and A New Order
Batman: No Man's Land, Book One
Batman: No Man's Land, Book Two
Batman: No Man's Land, Book Three
Batman: No Man's Land, Book Four
Batman: No Man's Land, Book Five
Batman: Officer Down
Batman: Other Realms
Batman: Prey
Batman: Prodigal
Batman: Shaman
Batman: Strange Apparitions
Batman: Sword of Azrael
Batman: Sword of Azrael Silver Edition # 1-4
Batman: Tales of the Demon
Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast
Batman: The Collected Adventures # 1-2
Batman: The Complete History
Batman: The Cult
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight Archives # 1-3
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 10th Anniversary Edition
Batman: The Last Arkham
Batman: The Long Halloween
Batman: The Many Deaths of The Batman
Batman: The Movies
Batman 3-D (1990)
Batman: Thrillkiller
Batman: Venom
Batman Vs. Predator
Batman Vs. Predator II: Bloodstorm
Batman Vs. The Joker (1966 paperback)
Batman Vs. The Penguin (1966 paperback)
Batman: Year One
Batman: Year Two
Batman: Year Three
The Best of DC # 2, 5, 9, 11, 14, 16, 19-20, 22-23, 26, 30, 35, 48, 51-52, 62, 66, 71
The Best of The Brave and The Bold # 1-6
Birds of Prey
The Brave and The Bold # 76, 112, 116
The Brave and The Bold Annual # 1
Christmas With the Super-Heroes # 1
Comix: A History of Comic Books In America
Complete Frank Miller Batman
Crossover Classics: The Marvel and DC Collection
DC 100-Page Super-Spectacular # 14, 20
DC/Marvel: Crossover Classics II
DC Silver Age Classics: Detective Comics # 225, 327
DC Special # 1, 9, 14, 16
DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest # 9, 15, 23
DC Special Series # 19, 24
A DC Universe Christmas
Deadman (first series) # 5, 7
Detective Comics # 387, 438-444, 477, 627
Detective Comics # 27 Oreo Premium
Detective Comics # 38, 359 Toys 'R' Us Premiums
Detective Comics (Special Edition) 1984
Dynamic Classics # 1
80 Page Giant # 5, 8, 12, 15
Famous First Edition # C-28; F-5
Flashback # 20, 28, 38
The Great Comic Book Heroes
The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told # 1-2
The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told
The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told
The Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told
The Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told
Limited Collectors' Edition # 25, 34, 37, 39, 43-45, 51-52, 59
Man-Bat (second series) # 1
Manhunter (first series) # 1
Manhunter: The Complete Saga
Manhunter: The Special Edition
Millennium Edition: Batman # 1
Millennium Edition: The Brave and The Bold # 85
Millennium Edition: Detective Comics # 27, 38, 225, 327, 359
Millennium Edition: World's Finest # 71
More Secret Origins Replica Edition # 1
Nightwing: A Knight In Bludhaven
Nightwing: Rough Justice
Nightwing: The Ties That Bind
Return To The Amalgam Age of Comics: The DC Collection
Robin: A Hero Reborn
Robin: Triumph & Tragedy
Saga of Ra's Al Ghul # 1-4
Secret Origins (first series) 1; (second series) # 1, 7
Secret Origins Featuring The JLA
Secret Origins of the Super DC Heroes
Secret Origins Replica Edition
Sgt. Rock (second series) # 19
Silver Age 80-Page Giant # 1
Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Comics
Special Edition (U.S. Navy) # 4
Stacked Deck
Super-Heroes Vs. Super-Gorillas # 1
Superman/Batman: Alternate Histories
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane # 123
Super-Team Family # 1-6
Tales of the Dark Knight
Ultimate Batman Collection Premium
The Untold Legend of The Batman
The Untold Legend of The Batman # 1-3 (1989: Batman Cereal)
Wanted: The World's Most Dangerous Villains # 1-2
World's Finest Comics # 161, 170, 179-180, 188, 190-193, 197, 206, 209, 223-229, 302
World's Finest Comics (1977 paperback)
World's Finest Comics Archives # 1


November 1, 1943 to November 2, 1946
September 7 to December 17, 1953
May 29, 1966 to 1974
November 6, 1989 to August 3, 1991


The Amazing World of DC Comics # 4-5
Batman # 176, 187, 193, 198, 218
Batman Dailies # 1-3
Batman: The Sunday Classics, 1943-1946
The Comic Reader # 164-167, 169
Comics Revue # 41-66
80-Page Giant # 5, 12
Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told
Limited Collectors' Edition # 37
Menomonee Falls Gazette # 95-226
Stacked Deck


Adventures of The Batman (1995)
Batman (1989)
Batman and Robin (1997)
Batman and the Fearsome Foursome (1966)
Batman: Captured By the Engines (1991)
Batman Forever (1995)
Batman: Knightfall (1994)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
The Batman Murders (1990)
Batman: No Man's Land (2000)
Batman Returns (1992)
Batman: The Animated Series: Dual to the Death (1993)
Batman: The Animated Series: Shadows of the Past (1993)
Batman: The Ultimate Evil (1995)
Batman: To Stalk a Specter (1991)
Batman Versus Three Villains of Doom (1966)
Catwoman: Tiger Hunt (1992)
The Further Adventures of Batman # 1 (1989), 2 (1992), 3 (1993)
The Further Adventures of the Joker (1989)
Tales of The Batman (1995)

Two Face 22
posted September 23, 2001 08:31 AM

Great listing Mikishawm! I'm going to take some time to inwardly digest it.

In the meantime, any chance of answering a quick question? -

Just wondered if you know when the villain 'Monsoon' made his first appearance? The earliest I can remember him appearing was in the BATMAN / WILDCAT mini-series. Was he about before then, and if so, where? Do we know his real name?

Still can't wait for the bios to come rolling in! Until they do, any chance of satisfying my curiosity and telling me when Lucius Fox first made an appearance?

Thanks a lot.

posted September 23, 2001 06:33 PM

BATMAN/WILDCAT # 3 did represent Monsoon's first appearance. He's since appeared in BATMAN: SPOILER/HUNTRESS - BLUNT TRAUMA # 1 and NIGHTWING # 36-37 (with a cameo in NIGHTWING SECRET FILES # 1). None of them reveal his real name, though.

As for Lucius Fox, he was created by Len Wein, John Calnan and Dick Giordano in 1978's BATMAN # 307. One of Len's final acts before leaving the Bat-books was to reveal how Lucius and Bruce had met in 1980's UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN # 3.

Two Face 22
posted September 24, 2001 02:10 PM

Many thanks for that info.

I wondered whether that was the first appearance of Monsoon, as they don't really introduce him that well in the book. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

If I may be so bold, can I ask another question?

I was going to ask this on a separate thread, but thought this was as good a place as any, although it's not about any Bat Villain. Just thought that this is the sort of info you'd know, Mikishawm (or any of you other guys).

Having recently read the black and white story in GOTHAM KNIGHTS #20 by Julius Schwartz, have you any idea how old he is?

I know he was the guy who introduced the new look Batman in the 60's, so he's obviously been in the business for 30 - 40 years.

However, as a fan of the novelist H P Lovecraft, I was surprised to read that he once acted as an agent for that writer. Considering HPL died in the 1930's, this would indicate that Mr. Schwartz would be at least eighty something!!

Am I right?

If this is the case, and not wishing to sound 'ageist', but what a superb story for a guy to write so late in his career!!

I must have gotten things mixed up, surely?

posted September 24, 2001 06:23 PM

Nope, you haven't misunderstood anything. The great Julius Schwartz was born on June 19, 1915, which would make him 86 years old today! His 70th birthday was actually commemorated in a 1985 issue of Superman (# 411) that was put together without Julie's knowledge.

posted September 25, 2001 07:43 PM

Just a bizarre little question - does anyone remember the "pseudonyms" given to real life celebrities who appeared in DC Comics (Marvel, too, I'm guessing, but I'm not as into them)?

Examples being : The Woodworkers for the Carpenters (in Teen Titans), Donna Winter for Donna Summer (and they made her WHITE, too in Justice League), Harlequin Ellis for guess which crotchety writer in JLA, etc etc etc.

Did any of them (and there were many in Batman, as well - I just got BEST OF DC Digest #9 which reprinted the Bat-Murderer story of the 70s and there are Richard Burton/Liz Taylor analogues in there) make more than one appearance? And which ones were your favorite?

posted September 26, 2001 07:53 AM

Hi Miki! Jay here. Back after three months in the hospital!!!!!!! Glad to see that the thread is still going. I was just wondering if you (or anyone) could give me an outline of the major events which took place in the Batman mythos since Knightsend finished - including villains, storylines, deaths, etc. to the present. Good to be back. Jay.

posted September 27, 2001 02:22 PM

Can someone tell me if the archive for these bios is still on-line? If it is please e-mail me at: taz_16503@yahoo.com with the address.

posted September 28, 2001 09:59 AM

Hi, Taz. Outpost2 has put up the archives here. http://www.infiniteearths.org/dcu/msgboards

(I've e-mailed the address to you as well.)


posted September 30, 2001 06:49 PM

Jay --

Welcome back! I suspect a chronology of highlights from the 1994-2001 Batman years already exists SOMEWHERE but I'll try to pull something together.

Xanadude --

I've recently begun compiling all those pseudonymous identities of real people and, though I've barely scratched the surface, I thought you might enjoy seeing what I have so far. My personal favorite, though, has got to be Johnny Nevada (a.k.a. Johnny Carson) who I always enjoyed in the 1970s. In fact, I just re-read one of the very best Superman stories from that decade (ACTION # 442's "Midnight Murder Show") and Johnny was featured in that one!

IDI AMIN (Earth-One):
The Superman Family # 186 (as "Ada Baba")

Blue Devil # 19 (as "Nicky")

Superman # 355 (as "Asa Ezaak")

Blue Devil # 19 (as "Lizzy")

RONA BARRETT (as "Lola Barnett"):
Action Comics # 438, 446, 458-459, 559
DC Comics Presents # 12
Superman # 275, 278, 285, 289, 312 (behind the scenes), 314-315, 326, 374
The Superman Family # 172, 195, 206
Superman: Last Son of Krypton (behind the scenes: text)
Wonder Woman # 226 (behind the scenes)

LOLA BARNETT (current):
Justice League Task Force # 15
Superboy (current) # 11 (?)

LOLA BARNETT (Earth-97):
Tangent Comics/ JLA # 1
Tangent Comics/ The Superman # 1

Batman # 222 (as "The Oliver Twists")

ALAN and MARILYN BERGMAN (as Herb and Marilyn Silver):
Superman # 373
The Superman Family # 215-216, 219, 221 (Marilyn), 222

Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane # 99(as "Merv Bishop")

BOXCAR WILLIE (a.k.a. Trainyard Billy):
Action Comics Weekly # 641 (mention)

The Superman Family # 198 (as "Brad Reynolds")

Detective Comics # 414-415 (as "Robbie Marlow"), 444 (as "Roger Barton")

Power of The Atom # 13 (as "Tooty Golightly")

Teen Titans (1) # 46 (as "Laura and Peter McCarthy")

JOHNNY CARSON (as "Johnny Nevada"):
Action Comics # 420, 442, 450, 474
All-New Collectors' Edition # C-56
DC Comics Presents # 12
Superman # 274, 278, 346
The Superman Family # 172, 184

JOHNNY NEVADA (current):
Adventures of Superman # 540
Daily Planet (text)
Wonder Woman (current) # 8

The Batman Family # 6 (behind the scenes; as "Christine Ariadne")

Action Comics # 547 (as "Walter Conrad")
The Brave and The Bold # 143 (as "Montgomery Walcott), 158
The Sandman (first series) # 6
Superman # 387 (as "Walter Conrad")
Superman: The Secret Years # 3 (as "Walter Conrad")

THE DOORS (a.k.a. The Windows):
Blue Devil # 17 (mention), 20

Justice League of America # 89 (as "Harlequin Ellis")

JUDY GARLAND (a.k.a. Julie Gabriel):
Wonder Woman # 226-227

Young Justice # 31 (as "Terri Jewel Jackson")

Blue Devil # 19 (as "Hale Horton")

Adventures of Superman # 441 (mention: "Mel Griffith")
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane # 99 (as "Johnny Griffin")

Batman # 8 (as "G. Henry Mover")

The Batman Family # 17 (as "Catfish Turner")

BORIS KARLOFF (a.k.a. Basil Karlo/ Clayface I; Earth-Two):
Detective Comics # 40, 49

CLAYFACE I (Basil Karlo; Earth-One):
Batman # 208
The Batman Family # 12 (text)
Detective Comics # 496
Who's Who '85 # 5

CLAYFACE I (current):
Batman # 568
Batman: Shadow of the Bat # 75, 88
Batman Villains Secret Files # 1 (text)
Detective Comics # 604-607, 735
Detective Comics Annual # 2 (Who's Who)
Secret Origins # 44
Who's Who '90 # 2
Wonder Woman (current) # 160-161

DANNY KAYE (a.k.a. Davy King):
Batman # 252

Wonder Woman # 219 (as "Bette Jo Kane")

Detective Comics # 660 ("Harry Mann"), 703 (as "Hank")

Shazam! # 12 (as "Dr. Kassover")
Wonder Woman # 213 (as "Hans Krissen")

Batman # ("Devil Dayre")
Detective Comics # 571 ("Alvin Kenner")

Captain Atom (3) # 3, 34, 50 (as "Tod Donner" in all)

All-Star Comics # 4 (as "Fritz Klaver")
All-Star Squadron # 67 (as "Fritz Klaver")

JERRY LEWIS (a.k.a. Danny Harris):
Action Comics # 456-457 (behind the scenes), 458

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight # 86 (voice; as "Link Rambeau")
Challengers of the Unknown (2) # 4 (as "Link Rambeau")
Detective Comics # 661 (as "Link Rambeau"), 665 (mention: "Link"), 674 (mention: "Link")
Hawkman (3) # 21 (as "Posh Nutterly")

Batman # 338 ("Billy Robins")

Batman # 222 (as "Saul Cartwright")

Wonder Woman # 219 (as "Margaret Matthews")

JIM MORRISON (a.k.a. Blackjack McCullough):
Blue Devil # 15-16 (mention), 17, 20

Action Comics Weekly # 637-640 (as "Melanie Boulder")

Action Comics # 668 (as "Suzie Jamie Donatello")
Detective Comics # 662 (as "Cassie Josie Rudolpho")
The Joker: Devil's Advocate (as "Cassie")

Green Lantern Corps # 212 (as "Dan Mather")

GEORGE REEVES (a.k.a. Gregory Reed)
Action Comics # 414, 445, 469-470, 474
DC Comics Presents Annual # 4
The Secret Society of Super-Villains # 7
Super Friends # 5 (behind the scenes)
Superman # 297, 396, 399
The Superman Family # 206

GREGORY REED (current):
Adventures of Superman # 571
JLA Secret Files # 1 (mention)
Swamp Thing # 144 (mention)

STEVE REEVES (a.k.a. Steve Bevan):
Action Comics # 296

BURT REYNOLDS (a.k.a. Curt Nolland):
The Fury of Firestorm # 4

Wonder Woman # 219 (as "Willy Wrigley")

Action Comics # 668 (as "Renaldo")
Animal Man # 73 (as "Ernesto")
Flash (current) # 27 (as "Guliermo"), 71-72 (as "Fernando")
Hero Hotline # 3 (as "Alberto Rosario")
The Question # -- (as "Lorenzo Diaz")
Robin/Argent: Double-Shot # 1 (as "Redondo")
Superboy/Risk: Double-Shot # 1 (as "Redondo"

CARL SAGAN (current):
Batman # 443 ("Jeffrey R. Fraser")

Action Comics # 296
Action Comics # 296 ("Rand Sterling"), 472 ("Rock Stirling")
Superman # 145 ("Rock Stirling")

WILLIAM SHATNER (as "Tim Bender"):
Beast Boy # 1, 2 (mention), 4
Tales of the New Teen Titans # 3
Teen Titans # 50

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl # 2-4 (as "Missy Conrad")

Blue Devil # 22 (as "Andy Cantata")

Batman # 338 ("Bruce Spits")

SYLVESTER STALLONE (a.k.a. Jason "Sunny" Maverick):
Green Arrow # 41-43

Justice League of America # 181 (as "Donna Winter")

Detective Comics # 414-415 (as "Tiz Marlow"), 444 (as "Elizabeth Baylor")

Blue Devil # 19 (as "Lillian Lance")

Superman # 274 (as "Wade Halibut, Jr.")

Batman # 222 (as "Phoenix")
Teen Titans # 46 (as "The Flyers")

Jack Benny
posted October 06, 2001 02:45 AM

Check out Veritgo's AMERICAN CENTURY. It has a few Pseudonyous identities.

Rick Judson for Rock Hudson.
Murphy and Lenard for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Sentor McRand for Sentor McCarthy.

There are others but I haven't made the connection yet.

Two Face 22
posted October 06, 2001 06:02 AM


Can you answer some Riddler related questions, please?

Having just read the rather good BATMAN - THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE DARK KNIGHT, I was surprised to see that the real names of the two Riddler henchwomen Query and Echo were recorded here (Diedre Vance and Nina Damfino, respectively).

Can you tell me whether this information has been revealed in any comics previously.

Also, have you any info on these girls, or indeed the other Riddler henchmen that have appeared in the past - Quiz, Quelle, Que etc?

Many thanks.

posted October 13, 2001 08:30 PM

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE did reveal the real names of Echo and Query for the first time, obviously a by-product of Scott Beatty's collaboration with Chuck Dixon.

The various Riddler molls have made these appearances:

ECHO (Nina Damfino):
Batman 80-Page Giant # 1
Detective Comics # 705-707
Detective Comics Annual # 8
Nightwing # M
Robin # 93-94

Batman & Superman: World's Finest # 2
Harley Quinn: Our Worlds At War # 1

Harley Quinn # 6-7

QUERY (Diedre Vance):
The Batman Chronicles # 3
Batman 80-Page Giant # 1
Batman: Riddler -- The Riddle Factory
Detective Comics # 705-707
Detective Comics Annual # 8
Robin # 94

QUERY (Earth-992):
The Batman and Robin Adventures # 3

The Batman Chronicles # 3
Batman: Riddler -- The Riddle Factory
Nightwing (2) # M

QUIZ (Earth-992):
The Batman and Robin Adventures # 3

All for now!

Two Face 22
posted October 14, 2001 10:15 AM

Many thanks for the info.

Just a quick couple of questions if I may -

I thought that it was Query not Quiz who appeared in NIGHTWING # 1,000,000 - Am I getting confused?

Also, has there been another Quiz, as I noticed that you called this one Quiz 2?

On the subject of NIGHTWING # 1,000,000, can you tell me anything more (Real Name, Appearances, etc.) about the character Sly Fox who appears in this issue?

Thanks again - Hope you don't mind all these questions!!!

posted October 18, 2001 12:52 PM

A bump...

...and a question (not really Bat-related...but, since Batman did encounter the ghost of the Enemy Ace).

But, I'm trying to place von Hammer's appearance in a flashback in CAPTAIN ATOM # 13...

The appearance was during World War I, and the Enemy Ace had recorded 70 kills... (all I know, is that this would be likely past his first appearance... and probably before his appearance in CRISIS and the SWAMP THING Crisis crossover...)

Thanks in advance for your help...

posted October 21, 2001 07:18 AM

How about bios on the characters from BATMAN BEYOND -- specifically facts introduced in the comic book and not from the actual animated series?

posted October 21, 2001 09:03 PM

Beau --

Thanks as always for the kind words. The Hawkman Timeline is essentially done. I'm just waiting for some xeroxes of several Golden Age stories to finish it up. I'm figuring on having it posted at fanzing.com when it's complete.

As usual, a multitude of projects are keeping me from the Boards. The next issue of THE O'NEIL OBSERVER is going to be half mine (something like a flip book) and mostly consist of new material that hasn't been posted anywhere. The line-up is still tentative but I'll let everyone know when things have firmed up.

Healthwise, by the way, Grandma is holding her own. The rest of my family, though has been plagued by the flu. I was down for the count for a full week, with so little energy that I couldn't even concentrate on reading. I've still got a nagging cough but I'm recovering.

Two-Face --

You're right -- it's Query -- NOT Quiz -- in NIGHTWING # 1,000,000. I typed the entry under the wrong character! The first Quiz, by the way, was a part of the Brotherhood of Dada in 1989's DOOM PATROL # 26-29.

As for Slyfox, he's appeared exclusively in Chuck Dixon-scripted stories, beginning with a serial in 1996's CATWOMAN # 28-30. He was part of a group of hand-picked thieves, with Slyfox chosen as "muscle. He'll handle any necessary violence." Indeed, Slyfox was not averse to using firearms, sledgehammers, jackhammers or his own fists in the course of committing a crime. And, if he felt a client had not given him a fair shake, Slyfox would renegotiate the deal. In CATWOMAN # 28, he gunned down a pair of mobsters who had failed to disclose some important details when they hired him.

Slyfox wore a red bandana-style mask and had long red hair pulled back in a ponytail with a white tip on the end. With his muscular physique and hairy chest on display, he imagined himself to be irresistible to women but Catwoman proved to more than Slyfox bargained. It was Slyfox who was left breathless at the mission's end when Catwoman, tired of rebuffing his advances, gave a nasty elbow jab to his chest (CW # 30).

Slyfox resurfaced a year later in 1997's ROBIN # 38-39, wherein he and his gang broke into an insurance company's files in search of details on security systems throughout the Gotham area. He was taken into custody thanks to Robin but escaped after the Gotham earthquake and hooked up with Echo and Query in search of a rich heist in the city's rubble. Nightwing and the Batman of the 853rd Century put an end to that escapade (1998's NIGHTWING # M). Slyfox surfaced one last time in 2001's BATGIRL # 12. After Catwoman stole a million dollars-worth of diamonds that Slyfox had his eyes on, he and his gang retaliated by breaking into her apartment in search of the loot. Instead, they found Batgirl, who left Slyfox with a broken leg.

Datalore --

Re: Enemy Ace. Well, I think I can narrow things down a bit. When Von Hammer first appeared in OUR ARMY AT WAR # 151, he'd just recorded his 50th kill. By the time his ongoing series opened (STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES # 138), he was up to 59 (and had reached 61 by the end of the story). I lack issues # 140 and 145 but I count at least five more kills between # 139 and 144. In any event, Von Hammer was approaching 70 at this point and the flashback in CAPTAIN ATOM # 13 said that he "had racked up close to 70 kills" at the point that Harris Eiling encountered him.

SWWS # 146 was a reprint issue with a framing sequence wherein Enemy Ace relates the stories of several American pilots to some of his German flyers to give them a bit of empathy with the enemy. I suggest that the flashback in CAPTAIN ATOM # 13 took place following that issue. Von Hammer's refusal to kill Eiling would have underscored the message that he was trying to send to his young pilots.

Energite --

Doing bios on "Batman Beyond" character might be a bit problematic. I have all the comics but we lost our WB affiliate after the first season so I haven't seen any "BB" episodes (or any other DC-related WB stuff) since then. I'll see what I can do, though.

And to the rest of you --

Sooner or later, I AM going to get to the rest of the bios -- the League of Assassins, Lucius Fox, Rokk & Sorban, et al. Maybe not in 2001 but ...

Meanwhile, here's an old post that I thought might be worth a rerun:

Was the real name of David V. Reed ever revealed ? Yes!

41 Reed-scripted Batman stories appeared between the summers of 1975 and 1978, appearing in BATMAN # 267, 269-285, 287-294, 296-304, BATMAN FAMILY # 20, DC SPECIAL SERIES # 15 and DETECTIVE COMICS # 452-454 & 465.

When the letters rolled in on Reed's first episode (BATMAN # 267), Bob Rozakis got the contest underway in issue # 271's letter column with these hints:

"Wouldja believe he's the same guy who writes for PLOP -- as Coram Nobis ?"

"He's scripted such TV shows as NAKED CITY, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, BILKO and THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW -- plus such old-time radio favorites as SUPERMAN, MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY and HOUSE OF MYSTERY."

"Dave has written for such slick magazines as COSMOPOLITAN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, COLLIER'S, MADEMOISELLE, ARGOSY and science fiction pulps like AMAZING STORIES, FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. But we're going to let you in on a secret --- Dave has done none of this writing under his real name! In fact, David V. Reed isn't even his real name. What do you think of that ?!"

The hints continued in # 275:

"Dave's real name can be spelled with the letters in his pair of pen names -- but you don't need ALL the letters to do it!"

In # 279, Joseph Pappalardo noted that "in STRANGE ADVENTURES # 4 (Jan., 1951), there is a story called 'I Am a Robot' by David V. Reed."

Rozakis responded, "At least it will clue in a group of fans who recently voted Dave the 'Best New Talent - Writer' in their annual Poll!"

Nick A. Grassel cracked the case in # 280 -- or did he ?

"I pulled out my copy of Sam Moskowitz's THE IMMORTAL STORM and looked up the name David V. Reed. (Ah, I should have remembered that Julius Schwartz used to be an agent for a number of sf writers!) Suffice it to say that I finally solved the mystery. David V. Reed is really DAVID VERN!"

Rozakis: "Legally, you're absolutely correct, Nick, but, now, we'll start a new game among our readers: WHO is David Vern ?"

Issue # 282 added a final hint:

"Dave's real name was once used for a character in a Schwartz-edited issue of STRANGE SPORTS STORIES some years ago."

From BATMAN # 286:

Rozakis: "And now, the absoloutely, positively final installment of the 'Who is David V. Reed ?' game. ... For your perusal, we present the following two letters, without further editorial comment."

"In BATMAN # 282, you said that you used David V. Reed's real name in an issue of STRANGE SPORTS STORIES. I looked in the only issue I have, # 4, and came up with DAVID LEVINE!" -- Chris Doyle.

" ... Who ? Me ?" -- David V. Reed

posted October 22, 2001 08:09 PM

OK guys - I was rereading BATMAN: THE COMPLETE HISTORY and it said that the Batman and Robin daily newspaper strip was eventually taken over by a character named Galexo....


I'm lucky enought to have that paperback that reprinted the World's Greatest Super-Heroes strips with Wonder Woman and Vandal Savage, but, please....Galexo??

Aussie Bloke 10
posted November 01, 2001 04:11 PM

Man I keep forgetting this thread.

Miki, I have never seen such a knowledgable poster like you.

It's been a great education as I find more and more useful info which greatly helps me a lot.

Looking forward to more of your input.

Just a question: do you have your own website?


Two Face 22
posted November 01, 2001 06:05 PM

Just to say thanks for the last info you provided.

I'm also wondering how you, as a chronicler of DC character appearances, are getting on with this LAST LAUGH mini-series. It must be a bit of a nightmare - every character looks the same - all white skin, green hair and teeth!!!!!

Hope you're coping with it.

posted November 03, 2001 05:42 AM

HI Miki!
Have you managed to find that bio on Bat history from 1994 onwards?

A question for Two-Face 22 - was Harvey Dent's wife named Gilda or Grace?

Two Face 22
posted November 04, 2001 04:14 AM

Hi jaygon,

Good question - and probably one better answered by Miki.

Writers have used both. For example in the SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL #1 (1989), she's called Grace. Whilst in BATMAN ANNUAL #14 (1990), she's called Gilda. She was also called Gilda back in DETECTIVE COMICS #68 (1941), Two Face's second appearance, and this seems to be the more popular version over the years.

I'm pretty sure that I've read some writer refer to her as Gilda Grace Dent.

Don't know why there has been so much confusion with this - it may have something to do with Earth-1 and Earth-2. After all, if I remember correctly, Two Face was called Harvey Kent on Earth-2. Maybe his wife had different names on different Earths? I expect, it's more likely to be a mistake made by the writers over the years!

Mikishawm will put us right, I'm sure!

posted November 04, 2001 08:32 AM

Xanadude --

Unfortunately, I have no idea who Galexo is either (but the idea of an unknown character virtually taking over Batman's strip has to be one the most ludicrous moments in his history).

I'd love to see the 1966-1971 run of the Batman comic strip collected someday though I doubt that we'd see more than a sampling of the Galexo strips even then. (And congrats on owning the obscure WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES paperback. There's ANOTHER great comic strip long overdue for reprinting)

GothamCity --

Thanks for the good wishes.

Aussie Bloke 10 --

Thanks to you, too. Nope, I don't have my own website. Lately, I haven't even been able to keep up with the boards. I remain optimistic, though.

Jaygon --

Sorry, I've made no progress on any of the requests yet.

As for Two-Face's wife, it was originally Gilda, from 1942's DETECTIVE # 66 right up to the 1980s. The decision to call her Grace seems to have originated in 1989's SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL # 1 and that name was also used in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Just to make things more confusing, Mrs. Dent was called ALICE in the 1990-1991 Batman comic strip! Her name reverted to Gilda in 1990's BATMAN ANNUAL # 14, still regarded as the definitive current account of Two-Face's origin.

As for Harvey Kent, his name was changed to Dent effective with 1948's BATMAN # 50, following the completion of the original Two-Face trilogy ('TEC # 66, 68, 80). Presumably, no one wanted to associate Harvey with Superman's alter ego. Many years later, though, E. Nelson Bridwell made sure that Harvey and Gilda Kent met Clark and Lois Kent at the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (1981's SUPERMAN FAMILY # 211).

The common wisdom is that the Two-Face of Earth-Two was named Harvey Kent and never returned to crime (depicted in BATMAN # 81) as Harvey Dent, his Earth-One counterpart, did.

Two Face 22 --

Thanks for the Two-Face details!

You're right, LAST LAUGH has been tricky as far as catching character appearances go. Between this and JLA: INCARNATIONS # 6 and WONDER WOMAN # 174, my memory cells have been going into overload.

posted November 05, 2001 05:26 PM


...as always, nice to see you checking in.

And, to return the MOUNTAINS of info given...

...a link to a spot on the Wonder Woman boards, wherein we ID'd the folks in WONDER WOMAN v2 # 174 (but, I'm so wishing for # 175, just so I can then chronologize all this...)

(Page by page breakdowns...)

As for LAST LAUGH... I, too, have become frustrated in this (I mean, the latest issue had Maxie Zeus...or, well, "Julius Caeser" now! Chuck Dixon should give us scorecards!)

posted November 06, 2001 06:11 PM

I'd hate to add to the pile, Miki, but would it be possible to see a brief history of Gotham City and Metropolis? No rush, of course.


posted November 15, 2001 06:21 AM

News: I'm working on a Bat-character history for the next O'NEIL OBSERVER ... Leslie Thompkins. Hope it'll be worth the wait.

Datalore -- Thanks VERY much for the link! Once I've seen WW # 175, I'll probably be posting on this thread (or an updated one, if you have one) to see if I can offer anything. It looks like we were stumped on the same characters, though. Silly question, but ... has anyone just asked Phil Jimenez who the mystery heroes are ?

Blue Devil -- I'll probably take you at your word on that "brief" part but the cities are now on the list with the rest of the requests.

Scott -- I think all of us Iowans loved that postcard. And Scott Beatty had this comment on his message board at scottbeatty.com:

"Iowa has a certain place in my heart also. I went to graduate school at Iowa State University in Ames and spent quite a bit of time working for KCCQ-FM, where I learned to pronounce 'Ottumwa' and 'Keokuk.'"

And speaking as someone who lives just east of Ottumwa, I can attest that its name has been pronounced in some pretty unusual ways. Of course, I've heard my own hometown of Batavia's name prounced in some pretty unusual ways, too ...

Take care, gang!


posted November 15, 2001 11:16 AM

Originally posted by Mikishawm:

News: I'm working on a Bat-character history for the next O'NEIL OBSERVER ... Leslie Thompkins. Hope it'll be worth the wait.

OK, consider this a board newbie question..

With O'Neil's site down how and where can you get the O'NEIL OBSERVER ? Is it normally online there? Can you order it there? Where can you get it?

posted November 15, 2001 11:46 AM

Even waiting for your posts is a pleasure, Mikishawm.

For anyone interested, i just want to say that a similar thread devoted to lesser-known DCU characters have recently been re-started. Everybody is welcome to join us at


posted November 15, 2001 06:29 PM

Thanks, Hellstone!

And as for the O'NEIL OBSERVER site, try this link --

posted November 20, 2001 04:00 AM

Hell, John... that future Leslie Thompkins article sounds sweet...

funny (or perverted!) as this sounds, I'd always had her dangling in the back of my mind as a possible love interest for Bruce! Kinda a touch of that older-woman thing...

After all, depending on whatever incarnation of Leslie is at hand, one could argue she was only a few years (8-10-12 ?) older than Bruce!?@

Just something I've always wondered about in the Carloverse sections on my mind!

Keep me posted, friend...


Two Face 22
posted November 24, 2001 05:53 PM

Hi Mikishawm - hope you're well!

Couple of questions, if I may -

I recently read that there have been two NKVDemons! Is this true? If so, any chance of some info (real names, appearances etc.)? I only know of the one who appeared in BATMAN #445 - 447 (Gregor Dosynski), who I thought died at the end of that story arc. I've since seen one of them running around in ROBIN # 47 and 48. Can you help?

Also, upon reading the latest issue of BIRDS OF PREY, there are two villains who I know nothing about -

G-nome and The Condiment King!

Now I know that the latter has appeared in an episode of the Batman Animated Series ('Make 'Em Laugh', I think!), but have either of them appeared in comic books before?


posted November 25, 2001 07:10 PM

Carlo --

Tsk, tsk. Since Leslie actually raised Bruce (along with Alfred) in current continuity, I figure we'll only see this particular development if DC starts release Batman stories under the Vertigo imprint. I can see it now -- BATMAN: OEDIPUS RISING!

Two-Face --

As near as I can tell, there ARE two NKVDemons. The first one died pretty definitively at the end of BATMAN # 447 and the second showed up as part of the General's "army" in ROBIN # 47 and 48. Since he was part of a crowd, there wasn't any room to explain who he was or what his connection to the previous Demon was.

Your memory serves you well! The Condiment King WAS in "Make 'Em Laugh" but he's never appeared in comics before. Not having seen the new BOP, I can't say for sure but I believe G-nome is brand new.

Adam --

The problem with the O'NEIL OBSERVER website, as I understand it, has something to do with the registration of its domain name and I'm told that the problem is being corrected.

The magazine itself is still a going concern. Bob Brodsky and I are finishing up material and Scott McCullar is planning to put it all together in a few weeks.

My contributions include a continuation of the "Rich Morrissey: Man of Letters" compilation, a short piece on the star of SHOWCASE # 1: Fireman Farrell and the Leslie Thompkins article.

Just to whet your appetite a bit more -- Denny O'Neil kindly answered several questions for me and I've incorporated his responses into the Leslie article. We even managed to get in touch with Mike W. Barr and he's promised to e-mail comments of his own for the story.

Hope it'll be worth the wait!

Bat's all for now,


posted November 26, 2001 08:46 AM

Thanks, Mikishawm!

Ask Phil...oh, sure take the easy way...

(Actually, I think we've nailed WW # 174, except for the miscolored character - who I'm thinking is Halo, and at some point, # 175...next project.... JOKER: LAST LAUGH. Maybe you could nudge Scott to get Chuck Dixon to give us a list? )

Eagerly awaiting the Leslie Thompkins history (she's always been a fave of mine...from her start as the "kindly old lady" who took care of Bruce to her metamorphisis to the lady doctor she is today!)

posted November 27, 2001 08:45 AM

Some of the folks in JOKER: LAST LAUGH:

Black Mass (from Overmaster's Cadre)

Mr. Mind



And in various crossovers: Dr. Polaris, Warp, Mammoth, Deadshot, Deadline, Capt. Boomerang....

Shilo Norman on the hero's side.

AUGH; this is what I get trying to do this from memory...

...more later!

posted December 05, 2001 04:21 PM

For fans of this thread -
Obscure Characters Round 4 thread on the "Other Topics" Board - http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/files/Forum94/HTML/010169.html

Two Face 22
posted December 14, 2001 05:38 PM

Hi Mikishawm,

I've recently been reading the 'Knightfall' novel by Denny O'Neil. In it, it refers to the character Maxie Zeus, and the fact that his real name is Max Zlotski. Has this ever been revealed in comics? Unfortunately I don't have many of the early Maxie appearances, so don't have much of a reference to refer to. I was always under the impression that his real surname was Zeus.

I'm a bit confused - can you help?

Many thanks!!!

posted December 15, 2001 06:37 AM

Hi, Two-Face!

The "Knightfall" novelization DID reveal Maxie Zeus' real name for the first time. Up to that point, it did appear that Zeus was his real name. Since "Knightfall" was written by Maxie's creator, Denny O'Neil, I consider the Max Zlotski name to be canonical even though it's never been mentioned in comics.

posted December 15, 2001 10:46 AM

Just a follow-up note to let you know that my JSA Timeline is in the new Fanzing. Here's the link:


John Wells

posted December 15, 2001 10:36 PM

Hi Mikishawm,

Thank you. I did manage to find one of the stories...it was 'The Executioner Wore Stiletto Heels'. I remembered that I had really liked the characters, the way Bats told the story and the twists and turns in the plot. Now the other one. The problem is, my memory is so vague that even though I know the story exists,I have trouble describing it. The Memory.....near end of the story. Batman is a prisoner, secured in some elaborate fashion on a platform; it's possible there is water below the platform; they are, I think, indoors. Obviously, I cannot remember who the badguy is but the important thing is that he has made Bats feel the situation is hopeless. I think he is leading him toward suicide. Robin is a crucial player in this. (And sadly, I cannot remember which Robin). Here I get even more vague. My impression is that Robin is in danger in this situation but that is also he who shocks Batman out of his deluded? hypnotised? trancelike state. I am fairly certain this is post either BATMAN # 300 or DETECTIVE # 500. Other than that........

I must say, that as I continue to read all the postings here, I have complete faith that you will solve this one for me. I just don't want to put you to a lot of bother. No rush here and anything you come up with will be really appreciated.

Thank you,


posted December 16, 2001 11:07 AM

Thanks for your faith in me. I hope it's justified.

I've come up with two possibilities, neither of which precisely matches your memory. The first is BATMAN: THE CULT # 2 (1988). In that one, Batman had been drugged by Deacon Blackfire and, towards the end of the issue, he was being led in chains along a ledge above the sewers. Batman escapes into the sewer water and disappears. Robin searches the sewers only to finds Batman sitting on a pile of corpses, still chained and deeply delusional.

The other is BATMAN # 457 (1990). At the end of issue # 456, Batman had fought the Scarecrow's men on scaffolding above a chemical plant only to be captured. In # 457, the Scarecrow tied Batman securely and hung him upside down inside the building. Tim Drake (who was not Robin until the end of the story) arrived, rescued Batman and snapped him out of the delusional state that was torturing him.

Do either of these sound familiar ?

posted December 16, 2001 01:57 PM

Miki, I think Moira is talking about the FULL CIRCLE SPECIAL, by Mike Barr. The one with The Reaper II, the sequel to Year Two.

Near the end of the special, Batman, after seeing Survivor´s Guilt movie combined with psychoactive drugs, is tied in a platform surrounded by acid. He was going to let him fall in it, but he snap out of all the drugs ans emotions when he hears Robin´s voice cryinf for help,because the Reaper is after him.

posted December 16, 2001 02:42 PM

Yeah, that's GOTTA be it! Thanks, Eduardo!

posted December 16, 2001 08:03 PM

WOW. My faith was definitely not misplaced. Eduardo, that's it, alright. I really appreciate this. That story memory had been really nagging at me and I never would have thought of FULL CIRCLE. Now what a good excuse to reread both Year Two and Full Circle.

Mikishawm, just in regard to your mention of THE CULT. I am not sure why, but it is definitely one of my favorite Batman stories.

Again, thank you.


posted December 21, 2001 03:49 PM

Well, I'm off for a few days, so...

...y'all have a happy holiday!

And, this is more rhetoric... (but since he's appeared so much this month, in JLA, SPECTRE, and YOUNG JUSTICE...)

...but, how many appearances has Santa had in DC Comics?

posted December 24, 2001 05:42 AM

Believe it or not, this year's trio of appearances were the first that Mister Kringle has made in current DCU continuity. Here's where he appeared prior to that (and I haven't included all the appearances by guys in Santa Claus outfits):

SANTA CLAUS (Earth-Two):
Action Comics # 105
Superman's Christmas Adventure

All New Collectors' Edition # C-53
The Best of DC # 4
Limited Collectors' Edition # C-33, C-42
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1) # 1-12 (1950 to 1961); (2) C-50
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Annual # 1 (1962)

Shazam! # 11

SANTA CLAUS (Kriss Kringle; Earth-One):
The Best of DC # 22
DC Comics Presents # 67
DC Special Series # 21
House of Mystery # 191 (behind the scenes)
Limited Collectors' Edition # C-34

SANTA CLAUS (variants):
Ambush Bug Stocking Stuffer # 1
The Best of DC # 58
DCU Holiday Bash II
House of Mystery # 257
Time Warp # 3

And best wishes to everyone on the Bat-boards. Thanks for your kind words and patience over the past year. Hope you all have a happy, peaceful holiday season and a wonderful 2002!

John Wells

Two Face 22
posted December 27, 2001 05:17 AM

I was recently reading the SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL (1989), and noticed that in the Riddler story within this issue, he mentions some villains:

King Tut
Marsha, Queen of Diamonds

Now I know that these made appearances on the 60's TV show, but have any of them made comic book appearances?

All the best!

posted December 30, 2001 09:43 AM

Two-Face --

None of that quartet ever appeared in comics (which may be a good thing). I do happen to have a brief bio on one of them, though, and here it is:

There's never been a DC character called Egghead (although Marvel Comics' Henry "Ant-Man" Pym has a major foe by that name). He was created for the "Batman" TV series during its second season as a vehicle for famed actor Vincent Price. Price wore a skullcap for the part that gave him a bald head like an egg. "Egghead" was also slang for someone who was especially smart so the villain was also a scientific genius. He was prone to egg-themed dialogue. Instead of exquisite, for instance, he'd say "EGGS-quisite."

In his first appearance (a two-parter on October 19 & 20, 1966), he used trickery to legally seize control of Gotham City's government. In his second appearance (November 2 & 9, 1967), he teamed up with Olga the Great (Anne Baxter) to kidnap Commissioner Gordon. As ransom, they demanded "a ten-cent tax for every egg eaten in Gotham City." In part two, the villains stole a dinosaur egg with the hope of hatching it and terrozing Gotham. It was impossible to hatch the egg but Batman put on a costume and pretended to be a dinosaur in order to terrorize Egghead and Olga.

The story was originally supposed to be a three-parter but, with ratings falling, ABC decided to edit one of the chapters and run it by itself on December 21, 1967. In that one, Olga and Egghead stole a treasure called the Egg of Ogg and make an attempt on five-hundred pounds of caviar (fish eggs!) before being captured.

Despite appearing in only five episodes, Egghead is STILL one of the best known Bat-villains to the general public, who have watched "Batman" reruns over and over again for the past thirty-plus years.

Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you have a peaceful, prosperous 2002.

posted January 02, 2002 09:28 AM

Just got hold of the LAST LAUGH mini, and I have a few questions regarding some of the villains. I don't need much info, but I'm curious about if and where the following characters have appeared before:
Warden Zimmer
the Dominator (a specific one?)
the "superwoman" in red and blue who lifted Harley Quinn's telephone booth

If anyone (not necessarily Mikishawm) could help me with this, I'd be very grateful.


posted January 02, 2002 09:57 AM

I remember from the JOKER SECRET FILES that Carnivora, MeatLoaf, and Rancor are new.

posted January 02, 2002 11:11 AM

Originally posted by Hellstone:

Just got hold of the LAST LAUGH mini, and I have a few questions regarding some of the villains. I don't need much info, but I'm curious about if and where the following characters have appeared before:

Warden Zimmer - I think he is new.
Rancor - New guy.
Frag - Don't know.
Meathead - New guy.
Leather - New.
Stormfront - Don't know.
Apeface - Are you refering to the green gorilla? If you are, he was supposed to be Grodd, but Dixon was given a No-No due to the Iron Heights storyline, so he said on his board that he decided to use another goirlla, a new, unnamed one.

Carnivora - New.
the Dominator - Probably a leftover from Invasion.

the "superwoman" in red and blue who lifted Harley Quinn's telephone booth - No idea who she is.

posted January 03, 2002 09:14 AM


I was hoping that the Dominator we saw was "Dom, the Dominator" from CAPTAIN ATOM # 52...

...but, who knows?

And I swear I should know who that "superwoman" is too...but, I don't either...

...and the rest... all new for JOKER: LAST LAUGH! (The weather controlling guy from the Extremists later run in JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA, and who joined the Overmaster's second Cadre was Cloudburst...)

posted January 04, 2002 08:11 AM

And, thank you Mikishawm, for the info on the Manhunter reprints in NEW GODS on the 'Power Company' thread...

(subtle way to get folks to go check out The Power Company board!!!!!! And, hey, it is Bat-related, since one of the one-shots will have Nightwing, and one Batman and Flash (Barry Allen) with... BORK!)

Carl Bork was a super-strong thug who faced Batman and Flash waaaay back in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 81 (also reprinted in BEST OF B&B # 2...)

posted January 06, 2002 07:38 PM

Hi, Hellstone!

All those LAST LAUGH characters are new. Scott Beatty confirmed on his website that the unnamed superwoman had never been seen before.

Your welcome, Datalore. Yep, I highly recommend POWER COMPANY and its Message Board, too!

posted January 10, 2002 03:17 PM

You know, in light of all this "Bruce Wayne: Murderer" stuff...

...has Bruce Wayne been accused of a crime before?

Or Batman?

And, I'll get it rolling, with a quick example from Batman's past...

...wherein Batman was indeed accused of being a murderer after shooting Talia down in the street, right in front of James Gordon.

This resulted in Commissioner Gordon, the Creeper, and the Gotham police hunting him down...

...until Batman uncovered Ra's Al Ghul's plot, complete with his remote control handgun.

This was in DETECTIVE COMICS # 444-448...

posted January 10, 2002 04:51 PM

And in BLIND JUSTICE, he was accused of treason, IIRC.

posted January 11, 2002 02:33 AM

In the Bat-Murderer storyline, Bats was accused of killing Talia.

posted January 11, 2002 09:01 AM

In the Gerry Conway/Don Newton era of the 1980s, Batman was branded an outlaw by Mayor Hamilton Hill and corrupt policemen Pauling and McCloskey.

And in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #123, Bruce Wayne was charged with attempted murder and put to jail, while a brainwashed Plastic Man played the role of the Batman.


posted January 11, 2002 09:35 AM

Ah, the ol' "B&B #123 controversy" rears its head!

(Back in the 1980s, there was quite the debate in the letters pages of Batman and the Outsiders of whether the Batman, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho team-up of B&B #123 "happened" or not...)

I wonder, if, at the end of this Bruce Wayne: Murder story, which will I like better?

Thanks, ola...

posted January 11, 2002 06:23 PM

Bruce was accused of murdering Madolyn Corbett, a woman who, over time, built up the illusion of a romance with Bruce in her head. As you probably remember, she committed suicide while making it appear to be a murder.

posted January 11, 2002 08:30 PM

Bruce was accused of murder way back in the Golden Age -- which ultimately led Gordon to "deputize" Batman, and was the start of their official relationship in "The People Vs. Batman".

posted January 12, 2002 10:46 PM

Great question! Here are a few more:

DETECTIVE # 228 (late 1955): "The Outlaw Batman" -- Spade Stinson drugs Batman in the hope that he'll "go temporarily berserk and commit murder." The plan doesn't quite work but the Caped Crusader does perpetrate a series of nocturnal thefts before Robin breaks the spell.

Exactly one year later, DETECTIVE # 240 (late 1956) presented another story entitled "The Outlaw Batman." In this one, TV newsman Burt Wever takes advantage of Commissioner Gordon's absence (he was on safari in Africa) to frame Batman for several unsolved crimes. Several Gotham cops join the Dark Knight in exposing the plot.

DETECTIVE # 249 (1957) "The Crime of Bruce Wayne" -- Bruce Wayne is unmasked as the notorious Collector and sent to prison, all a plot of Commissioner Gordon's that was intended to get Bruce close to a convict with blueprints to the penitentiary. The plan goes disastrously wrong when Bruce is framed for killing his cellmate and Gordon is left comatose after a car wreck. With Bruce scheduled for execution, Batwoman and Robin race the clock to apprehend the real Collector.(Reprinted in 1971's BATMAN # 233, an "All Bruce Wayne" issue.)

BATMAN # 225 (1970): "Wanted For Murder One - The Batman" -- Talk show host Jonah Jory is fatally shot after an anti-Batman diatribe and the evidence points to the Dark Knight. Eventually, Batman proves that Jory was terminally ill and that his death was actually an elaborately planned suicide. (Reprinted in 1982's THE BEST OF DC # 30.)

BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT # 65-67 (1997): "Illusions" -- Bruce Wayne is accused of child abuse and Commissioner Gordon is arrested on corruption charges, all part of a larger scheme by the Cheat and the Thinker. Combining their hypnotic and telepathic powers, the two men throw Gotham into chaos and take advantage of the confusion to steal stole a fortune before Batman captures them.

Lord of Chaos
posted January 17, 2002 05:19 PM

Just wanted to say how happy I am that both this thread and Mikishawm are still around, and that everyone's still enjoying it. I can't tell you how many times I've used this thread as a resource for other posts!

Miki, still no interest from DC about publishing your stuff?

posted January 22, 2002 06:18 AM

Lord of Chaos,

No paying gig yet, I'm afraid. I always appreciate your support, though, and using this thread as a resource.

All the best,


Two Face 22
posted January 26, 2002 06:52 PM

Hi John - Hope you are well.

Can you possibly give me some info on a character I know very little about.

He appeared in DETECTIVE # 615 and 616 and his name is C'th.

Many thanks.

posted February 02, 2002 08:15 PM

Two-Face --

Here you go! (And I'm gonna to try to write up a few more older entries before the weekend is out. Check back on Sunday!)

"I wass worsshipped ass a god in thosse dayss," he hissed. "Millionss ssang my praises. No action wass taken without firsst invoking my blesssing. Gold and jewelss were heaped upon me. My tasste for virginss wass daily indulged. And if any opposed me, I had only to demonsstrate the control of the dark Earth forces that are my birthright. Aye ... they were happy timess. But they never lasst, you know. Mankind iss sso fickle ..."

Last of the Lizard Men and kin to the fish god Nommo, C'th the Undying eventually found himself unwelcome in Babylon. After a millennium under his rule, the terrorized subjects were incited by the priests of the godling Marduk to cast him out. To C'th's amazement, he was unable to find new worshippers. Perhaps it was the reptilian body and a skull-accented face of fangs, serpentine tongue and sunken glowing eyes. Or his inclination towards sacrificing virgins. Or his power rod that burned its victims with occult energy. Whatever the case, he was defeated at Stonehenge by British priests and finally traveled across the sea. Native Americans were no more impressed with C'th than his European audiences. Joining forces with the Druids, they stripped C'th of his power rod and buried him alive in a serpent mound that rested on a dragon line. Placed along those lines was a sequence of stones that the ancients believed was a means of controlling the Earth's power (1991's THE DEMON # 12, by Alan Grant, Val Semeiks and Denis Rodier).

Such was the Undying One's state for the next two thousand years or so. The 1990 crash of a Skybird Airlines flight in the Gotham countryside provided a spectacular wake-up call for C'th (DETECTIVE COMICS # 615, by Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell). Clad in his ceremonial white robe and hood, the one-time ruler of Babylon began to walk along the dragon lines in reverse. At each ancient stone markers, C'th sacrificed a victim and painted a caduceus -- "twin serpents entwined round a central spine" -- on the rock. His ultimate intent was to reverse the favorable effects of the lines and harness the Earth's power for evil.

The serial murders quickly drew the attention of The Batman and, with the help archaeologist Harv Lichas, the Dark Knight ascertained C'th's path. His final destination was, ironically, Lichas' own home and the archaeologist's wife narrowly avoided becoming C'th's final sacrifice. Pulling his power rod from the Lichas' stone fireplace, the Undying One fed on its unholy power and sent blasts of obsidian energy at the Dark Knight. In desperation, Batman pulled off his utility belt, using it as a makeshift snare to grab the staff of power and send it plunging into the sea beyond the cliff top house. C'th lunged for the power rod, striking his head against the rocky cliffs and vanishing in the waves below (DETECTIVE COMICS # 616, by Grant, Breyfogle and Mitchell).

Within months, C'th was plucked from the ocean by Klarion the Witchboy (THE DEMON # 11, by Grant, Semeiks and Rodier) and provided with a crystallized thighbone in the absence of the Undying One's power rod. "It will sufficce for now," he sniffed. "A proper rod requiress the blood of a hundred virginss for maximum potency, you know" (# 12). The bone was, he moaned, "hopelesss as a conduit for my dark energies." Blasting a hapless Gothamite, he gestured, "Look at that. Only half-scorched."

The Undying One perked up considerably when he met Klarion's intended kidnapping victim, Glenda Mark (THE DEMON # 13). In the battle to come, C'th proved to be a formidable opponent, the energy of his bone power rod bringing both Lobo and Etrigan the Demon to their knees. With the Demon's mortal form, Jason Blood, in the clutches of Klarion, C'th declared his deal with Witchboy to be complete, grabbed Glenda and prepared to make her "the firsst of the bridess of C'th." Lobo had other ideas, though. Furious at haven been beaten by the lizard-man, he jammed C'th's head into the nose of an Army tank and fired (# 14). Retrieving the crystal bone from the Undying (albeit headless) One's body, Klarion made a last-ditch attempt to defeat Etrigan, shunting the Demon to the Region Beyond and unwittingly saving Earth from a nuclear holocaust by sending a hydrogen bomb with them (# 15). If he still possessed a mouth, C'th would surely have expressed his disgust.

posted February 03, 2002 08:02 PM

As promised ...

A trail of money blew across a nearly deserted Gotham street in the fall of 1964, a curiosity that Batman and Robin couldn't resist investigating. The end of the greenback rainbow rested with a man who looked for all the world like a giant grasshopper. He wore a light green costume and mask, with antennae on the forehead and glowing green eyes peering out from its shadowy depths. He also wore elfin yellow slippers, green tights and a yellow and white shirt with matching bands on his forearms. His cape separated into wings whose purpose seemed more to complete the effect than to enable him to take flight.

Luring the Dynamic Duo to a rooftop, he introduced himself as the Grasshopper, an apparent mutant whose "mighty leg muscles ...enable[d] me to match [his namesake's] leaping prowess." The Grasshopper's incredible ability enabled to escape a multitude of tight quarters, included the dead-end alley where Batman and Robin thought they'd cornered him. Arrived on the roof where they'd last seen him, Batman discovered a note from the insect bandit, who vowed "to steal your most prized possessions." Beginning with the Batmobile. An embarrassed Batman could watch helplessly as the Grasshopper drove off, having circumvented all his safeguards and started the car without a key.

Things only got worse when the double-jointed rogue contorted his body to hide in a hollow podium, leaping out to steal a Batarang from the Caped Crusader at an Alfred Foundation charity auction aboard a yacht. Adding insult to injury, the Grasshopper escaped in the Batboat, carrying Batman's most prized "possession" -- Robin himself!

What Batman hadn't realized was that he was dealing with twin brothers. While one Grasshopper diverted attention in the Gotham alley and charity event, the other stole Batman's transportation. The Grasshopper sibling still aboard the yacht had twisted himself into a ball and hidden in a large reinforced chandelier, emerging only after the room had been cleared. The Caped Crusader had belatedly realized that the voice of the Grasshopper had been different each time and deduced that he dealing with two men. Noting that one of the yacht's crew had the same voice, Batman trailed him when he left the ship ... directly towards a room from which Robin's voice beckoned him. It was a trap, of course, and Batman realized it immediately, rolling to the floor to avoid a hail of gunfire and taking out both of the Grasshoppers.

Locating his missing car and boat, Batman freed Robin and explained that how he knew that Robin's vocal invitation had been spliced together on an audiotape. "As soon as you said, 'This is Robin' -- I became suspicious. You'd know that I would recognize your voice, so there was no necessity to identify yourself."

The Dynamic Duo could take little satisfaction in their capture of the gang. An ominous recording attached to the Batmobile's phone revealed that the Grasshoppers had merely been working on behalf of a much more dangerous foe, a man who vowed to terrorize the heroes as never before. "Your peril is only beginning, Batman," purred the Outsider. "It will end when I take your most prized possession -- your very life!" (DETECTIVE COMICS # 334, by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella)

True to his word, the Outsider threatened Batman and Robin again and again in the months to come (DETECTIVE # 336, 340, 349). Nearly two years after it had begun, in August of 1966, the game of bat and mouse reached its climax. A pair of red-headed delivery men, accompanied by a driver, arrived at Wayne Manor with two coffins. And emerging from those caskets were mannequins of Batman and Robin who vowed that the Dynamic Duo would perish within an hour. Switching to their costumed identities and pursuing the delivery truck, the Dynamic Duo soon learned that the red-headed duo was the Grasshoppers -- and that they were accompanied by a third Grasshopper, an acrobatic who presumably didn't possess his partner's extraordinary abilities. Even in triplicate, the Grasshoppers were no match for their targets. Batman knocked out one while Robin slammed the other two leaping bandits into one another.

Setting aside concerns about what knowledge the Grasshoppers might possess regarding their true identities, the Dynamic Duo dropped the trio at police headquarters and used a radiation detector to final track the Outsider to his lair. He was, they were stunned to learn, Alfred Pennyworth, whom they believed dead (since DETECTIVE # 328). Alfred had, in fact, been revived thanks to a radical experiment that transformed him into a bizarre reversal of his normal self who hated Batman and Robin as much as his normal persona loved them. With moments to spare, Batman shut down the machine that would have transformed him and Robin into inanimate coffins and serendipitously helped restore Alfred to normal. Fearing that Alfred would be devastated by the news that he'd tried to kill them, the Dynamic Duo vowed never to tell their friend that he'd been the Outsider (DETECTIVE # 356, by Fox, Moldoff and Giella).

Still, the attacks by the Grasshoppers and the Outsider hadn't been without some benefits. They underscored some security issues in Batman's arsenal, notably the Batmobile. Within months of Batman's first encounter with the Grasshoppers, the Joker made his own attempt to steal the famed car only to be greeted by raucous sirens and an engine that refused to start. "What the Joker didn't know," Batman noted to himself as his fist struck the villain's jaw, "was that after having the Batmobile stolen by a crook, Robin and I installed a special alarm -- to prevent it ever happening again" (DETECTIVE # 341). Those precautions apparently didn't extend to the wheels. Years later, a kid named Jason Todd would successfully steal the front tires of the Batmobile (1987's BATMAN # 408).

The Grasshoppers were never seen again but their legacy lived on in Chicago, where a metagenetically enhanced man with red hair shaved as a mohawk launched a series of "smash and grab" robberies in 1989. Although his streamlined costume had the same color scheme as Batman's old foes, the new villain (dubbed the Grasshopper by the local police) shucked the hood and cape in favor of green sunglasses and suspenders. His legs had "the strength to kick in metal bars and plate glass windows" and he could leap like, well, a grasshopper. Following his arrest, a cross-reference check revealed that "he's on a work release program. All of these robberies were committed on his way back to prison" (MANHUNTER # 18, by John Ostrander & Kim Yale, Grant Miehm and John Statema). With his string of jewel thefts curtailed by Manhunter in a mere two pages, the latter day Grasshopper shouldn't expect job offers from the Outsider anytime soon.

posted February 04, 2002 04:02 PM


So, even the Grasshopper has Silver Age roots (I'm in awe!)

posted February 09, 2002 04:12 PM

"The Society has always existed and will exist when we are all gone. IT -- not YOU or I -- has importance. No one of us has failed our sacred calling -- the sublime art -- DEATH! DEATH by the hand of the assassin." The Sensei (1968's STRANGE ADVENTURES # 215).

The League of Assassins. For most long-time DC fans, its mention conjures up images of Ra's al Ghul or the Sensei. And yet, curiously, NEITHER villain was originally affiliated with the League. Neal Adams' Sensei had overseen the SOCIETY of Assassins and Denny O'Neil's Ra's, while the leader of a vast, vaguely defined organization, would seem to be, on the face of it, an ADVERSARY of the League since it was they who kidnapped his daughter.

But there it was, in the pages of 1971's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 94. Mike Friedrich was part of a new generation of writers, a fan turned pro who loved peppering his scripts with details from DC's past and establishing connections between previously unrelated characters. In one fell swoop, Friedrich established that the Sensei, Ra's, and the League's Doctor Darrk were all part of the same global network.

The development came as a surprise to O'Neil and, when he next used the League in 1976's RICHARD DRAGON # 13, they were just as he'd originally conceived them -- a band of supremely talented (but generic) killers. Eventually, though, Denny embraced the idea and used the Sensei and Ra's al Ghul's power struggle as the basis for a series of Batman stories in 1979 and 1980. In the process, he killed both villains, though death would prove to hold more permanence for the Sensei than the Demon's Head.

There was still a major secret in the Sensei's past, however, and Andy Helfer and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez's four-issue DEADMAN mini-series (1986) blew the lid off of it. Here it was revealed that the Sensei was inhabited by Jonah, a spirit not unlike Deadman. Denied eternal rest, Jonah had retaliated against Rama Kushna by seizing control of the Sensei's League of Assassins and pushing its forces to development sophisticated weaponry. In the end, both Jonah and Rama Kushna were destroyed but the Sensei survived, destined to fight Ra's al Ghul for control of the League in the future.

The post-Sensei League of Assassins has largely vanished from the front lines of the DC Universe although they continue to lurk in the shadows, surfacing in BATMAN # 431 (1989) and ACTION COMICS # 772-773 (2000). The latter reaffirmed that Ra's al Ghul remained in control of the society.

Despite the revelations of the DEADMAN mini-series, nearly all of the League of Assassins' pre-Crisis appearances are still valid in current DC continuity. Virtually the only exception is the Paul Levitz-scripted PHANTOM STRANGER # 39 (1975), wherein the Sensei used occult powers in an attempt to kill Cleveland Brand in response to the events of STRANGE ADVENTURES # 215-216 and BRAVE & BOLD # 86. A chronology of the League's history follows:

"It has been whispered in the darkest places for 500 years that a cartel of criminals has slowly sucked its way into the rich veins of the Earth. Many are its names spit from the mouths of men, but most often it is cursed only as ...the Demon. It has a leader ... a head ... but the Sensei guides its power, its League of Assassins --which is known in terror as ...Demonfang!" -- JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 94.

Though the immortal Ra's al Ghul -- the Demon's Head -- had formed the League of Assassins, he eventually put much of the control of his warriors in the hands of the Sensei, an aged martial arts master from Hong Kong. The Sensei would often refer to the group as the SOCIETY of Assassins, a subtle means of asserting his command of the killers. "I do not fear the leader," he once noted. "It is HE who should fear ME -- for am I not the powerful FANG which protects his HEAD ?" (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 94, by Mike Friedrich, Dick Dillin, Neal Adams and Joe Giella)

In time, the wandering spirit known as Jonah discovered the Society of Assassins and realized that they could be useful in his ultimate plan to destroy the deity Rama Kushna and her mystic land of Nanda Parbat. Inhabiting the Sensei's body, Jonah "ordered the group to develop all manner of warlike technology -- a technology he would further twist to help complete his private goal" over the next ten years (DEADMAN [second series] # 2, by Helfer and Lopez).

"ONE encounter with the League in a lifetime is ENOUGH for most men, Anthony. TWICE just begs fate." -- Shrike (ROBIN: YEAR ONE # 4).

In Gotham City, a League assassin named Shrike was training a group of boys in the darker applications of the martial arts as part of his Vengeance Academy. Shrike's decision to accept a contract on Two-Face's life proved disastrous and, in a battle that drew the attention of both Batman and a disguised Robin, the assassin was impaled on his own knife and killed. One of Shrike's students, a young man named Boone, left Gotham in the company of Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Talia, determined to fulfill the promise that his teacher had seen in him (ROBIN: YEAR ONE # 4, by Chuck Dixon & Scott Beatty, Javier Pulido & Marcos Martin and Robert Campanella).

"The tendrils of the Sensei's organization are EVERYWHERE, reaching out, CRUSHING what little there is left of virtue and goodness on this world." -- Jonah (SECRET ORIGINS # 15).

Elsewhere, Roy Matson, one of the Sensei's prized assassins, paid the penalty for failing in an assignment and had his right hand cut off and replaced with a hook. As an assessment of his skills, the newly-christened Hook was sent to America and assigned to execute a presidential candidate. Instead, Matson was manipulated by Rama Kushna into assassinating aerialist Boston "Deadman" Brand, unwittingly creating an agent that the deity could use to oppose Jonah and protect Nanda Parbat (SECRET ORIGINS # 15, by Andy Helfer and Kevin Maguire; based on STRANGE ADVENTURES # 205, by Jack Miller, Carmine Infantino and George Roussos).

While Deadman sought his killer (STRANGE ADVENTURES # 206-214 and others), the young man named Boone took the name of Shrike and "traveled alone throughout the Pacific Rim, gleaning an array of martial arts skills both sacred and profane from a variety of unsavory teachers, including several former operatives of the insidious League of Assassins. In the back streets of Hong Kong, Shrike met the 'Master' who would forge the already hardened youth into a disciplined fighting machine, undertaking contract eliminations throughout Asia and the former Soviet bloc -- and never once failing to make a kill" (NIGHTWING SECRET FILES # 1, by Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel).

Elsewhere, Deadman finally caught up with the Hook in Hong Kong. Assassin "Willie Smith" led Matson beneath a temple that housed all manner of sophisticated weaponry and delivered the Hook to the Sensei, who pronounced judgment. Matson could only make excuses for his decision to kill Boston Brand and the Sensei observed that he'd even failed in that objective. Unknown to the killers, Boston's twin brother, Cleveland, had taken his place at the circus, creating the illusion that Deadman had survived. With only his limbs as weapons, the Sensei killed the Hook and cheated Boston of his vengeance (STRANGE ADVENTURES # 215, by Neal Adams).

"I can go forward with my plan to destroy Nanda Parbat ... utterly. No more will there be a refuge for those weary of evil. Unrest, dissension, revolution, murder and destruction will run rampant. And THERE, ready to reap the spoils of carnage, will be the Society of Assassins. Our services will be GREATLY in demand." -- The Sensei (THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 86).

Following Matson's execution, the Sensei turned his attention to the destruction of Nanda Parbat and sent Willie Smith on a bombing mission. Deadman stopped the killer but Smith managed to salvage the operation by drugging Brand while he was in a transitory state between his tangible and material forms. Smith manipulated Deadman into transferring his anger at the Sensei to his greatest ally -- Batman. Alongside Lotus, an evil woman whose nature had been held in check by Nanda Parbat's magic, Smith reported the news to the Sensei and a full-scale invasion of the mystic land was scheduled. Batman, however, managed to restore Deadman's mind to normal and, after Boston took control of his brother's body, they rushed to Nanda Parbat to thwart the assault. The heroes succeeded but the Sensei escaped, smoldering with hate (STRANGE ADVENTURES # 215, by Neal Adams; BRAVE & BOLD # 86, by Bob Haney and Adams).

"Before I met him, this man called Sensei was NOTHING -- a cheap hoodlum, devoid of any but the most PETTY of ambitions. I molded him, manipulated him -- made him BETTER than he could have ever DREAMED. He controls CORPORATIONS now -- shipping companies, munitions plants, scientific research labs -- all because of ME!" -- Jonah (DEADMAN [second series] # 3).

Now aware of Deadman's role as Rama Kushna's champion, the Sensei/Jonah ordered Lotus to execute him while he inhabited Cleveland Brand's body (DEADMAN [second series] # 1, by Helfer and Lopez). Though Cleve died, Boston survived and flew to the Hong Kong temple on a mission of vengeance. Instead, he found himself snared in a trap that caged his ectoplasmic form (# 2) and watched helplessly as Jonah flew the inhabitants of Nanda Parbat to the outside world, where their evil nature would reassert itself (# 3).

"There have been moments of ... CLARITY over the years -- moments in which I could THINK and REFLECT on my PLIGHT. Listen to me, Deadman. This spirit -- this Jonah -- HE is responsible for all I have done. He USED my body, suppressed my SOUL. Perhaps I WAS evil before, but there are LEVELS to even THAT. He has haunted me for a DECADE now, Deadman -- and when he has achieved his goal here, my TORMENT shall begin ANEW. To him, I am like a GARMENT ... omething to be worn and DISCARDED when its usefulness has run its course." -- The Sensei (DEADMAN [second series] # 4).

Able to assume human form in Nanda Parbat, Jonah separated from the Sensei as his plans reached fulfillment. Meanwhile, Deadman agreed to track down the evil denizens of Nanda Parbat and protect its innocents on behalf of Rama Kushna. Boston pushed Jonah into the bowels of Rama's temple and the two beings effectively obliterated one another. Meanwhile, the Sensei had regained control of the League of Assassins and ordered them to destroy the temple, which erupted in a display of cosmic fireworks (DEADMAN [second series] # 4).

Elsewhere, the League had undertaken a series of executions aimed at shipping magnates who were smuggling weapons to South American rebels. Coordinating the efforts on behalf of the rebels' opposition was the League's self-described president, Ebenezer Darrk. When the string of murders reached Gotham City, Batman became involved and defeated an Asian martial artist named Tejja, a veritable "human machine -- programmed for death" (DETECTIVE COMICS # 405, by Denny O'Neil, Bob Brown and Frank Giacoia). When an assassination attempt left one of the magnates paralyzed instead of dead, Doctor Darrk stepped in to personally complete the assignment (DETECTIVE # 405, by O'Neil, Brown and Giacoia).

Having failed, Darrk hired Doctor Tzin-Tzin to murder Batman but this plan unraveled as well (DETECTIVE COMICS # 408, by Len Wein & Marv Wolfman, Neal Adam and Dick Giordano). Desperate and having fallen from grace with the Demon's Head, Darrk took Talia as a hostage even as Batman trailed him to a small Asian nation. After running a gauntlet of assassins and freeing Talia, Batman found himself held at bay by the knife-wielding doctor. Insisting that the gun-toting Talia was "far too sweet" to kill him, the stunned Darrk reeled backwards from the impact of the shot and fell directly into the path of an oncoming train (DETECTIVE COMICS # 411, by O'Neil, Brown and Giordano). Ra's al Ghul would have much to say to the detective in months to come ... but that's another story ...

"Might not this assassination go ill with the Demon's Head ? He holds the would-be victim in his favor. He is already quite suspicious of our League since Dr. Darrk tried to kidnap his daughter." -- Merlyn (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 94).

Weeks later, the Sensei dispatched M'Naku to kill Batman and, after he failed, sent the even more formidable archer known as Merlyn the Magician. As further protection against the Dark Knight's powerful Justice League allies, the League's munitions experts provided him with specialized arrows to overcome the heroes. In the end, Merlyn was defeated by Green Arrow and acknowledged that he could "never return to the organization. The price of failure in the League of Assassins is ... DEATH" (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 94). Months later, Talia was given the mission of executing Merlyn and restoring the League's honor. She failed only thanks to the intervention of novice hero Black Lightning (BLACK LIGHTNING [first series] # 2, by Tony Isabella, Trevor Von Eeden and Frank Springer).

Through intermediaries, Barney Ling hired the League and others to kill martial artist Benjamin Turner (revealed in DC COMICS PRESENTS # 39). After Turner was poisoned, his friends Richard Dragon and Lady Shiva fought off sword-wielding attackers. Recognizing "the style of their swordsmanship" as that of the League, Shiva noted that the Assassins were presently based in Mongolia and traveled there with Richard to find an antidote for the toxins in Ben's body . In the mountainous country, Richard and Shiva confronted Viper, the League's foremost creator of poisons, but the villain was killed in a helicopter crash while attempting to escape (RICHARD DRAGON # 13, by Denny O'Neil and Ric Estrada).

Though Turner was eventually cured (RICHARD DRAGON # 14), the attempts on his life continued and King Faraday of the Central Bureau of Investigation assigned Ben and Richard "to take down the League of Assassins" (SUICIDE SQUAD # 38). The League, however, was perilously close to Turner, thanks to his romantic involvement with a woman named Janey Lewis (sometimes known by the pet name of Miyoshi). Janey's father was an ally of the League and arranged for Turner to be attacked by the Axeman on the night Ben proposed. The murder attempt went awry, Janey was killed (RD # 15) and a vengeful Ben disappeared after confronting her father in arctic (RD # 18).

"The Sensei was very careful when he spoke to me. He found my anger without tapping it. Said things, made me want to put my life in his hands. We talked about my anger and the ways the O-Sensei showed me to channel it. The Sensei said it could be sent away. Diverted from me, so I would never have to deal with it again. He had me build the tiger mask. Told me to put the anger in the mask. Give it a name: the Bronze Tiger. The anger would dwell there. It worked. For the first time in my adult life, I was free from the rage. I even breathed differently. The anger was still there, of course. But it wasn't my problem. When I wore the mask ... it was the Bronze Tiger who dealt death in joy and rage." -- Benjamin Turner (SUICIDE SQUAD # 38).

Ben was taken prisoner by the League and the Sensei personally subjected him to brainwashing techniques that ultimately led to the creation of Turner's deadly alter ego, the Bronze Tiger (SUICIDE SQUAD # 38, by John Ostrander & Robert Greenberger, Luke McDonnell and Geoff Isherwood). After a brief, ambiguous reunion with Richard Dragon (RD # 18), Turner began to embrace the role that the Sensei had cast him in.

"We claim no criminal cunning. Crime is for lesser men. Our strength is in our ARTS -- the crafts and sciences of MURDER." -- The Sensei (DETECTIVE COMICS # 485).

Meanwhile, Ra's al Ghul resolved to quash the Sensei's attempt to control the League and manipulated him into believing that circus owner Kathy Kane was a threat to his organization. Despite Ra's' warning of the impending attack on his friend, Batman was unable to save her life and Kathy was murdered while the Dark Knight scuffled with the Bronze Tiger. Batman traced the League to their headquarters and learned that the Sensei was in the United States to personally supervise a project of major importance. Informed that Batman was to be killed following a duel, the Bronze Tiger rebelled and the Sensei ordered both men killed. Though Batman was able to capture the two assassins who actually perpetrated the Kane murder, the Sensei, the Bronze Tiger and the other representatives of the League disappeared. As Ra's al Ghul had hoped, Batman vowed to crush the Sensei and those loyal to him (DETECTIVE COMICS # 485, by Denny O'Neil, Don Newton and Dan Adkins).

Within weeks, Batman even joined forces with Ra's and Talia to prevent the League from gaining possession of a formula that transformed anything it touched to crystal (BRAVE & BOLD # 159, by O'Neil and Jim Aparo). Meanwhile, wrongly convinced that a writer named Sergius had learned of their plans and not wishing to reveal the League's presence in Gotham City, the Sensei hired a local killer named "Ma" Murder to execute the potential obstacle. The Batman managed to save Sergius (DETECTIVE # 487, by O'Neil, Newton and Adkins) and prevented the assassins from slaying a hospitalized Ben Turner. Thanks to his earlier injuries at the hands of the League, Turner had shaken off some of the mind control and revealed to the Dark Knight that the Sensei's plans involved a geologist (DETECTIVE # 489, by O'Neil, Newton and Adkins).

"[Death is] a small price to PAY for witnessing my GREATEST work of art. Yes ... ART! For I am an artist -- of DEATH. To assassinate such fools as these, whose very EXISTENCE I despise -- and to accomplish it by means never before EMPLOYED -- this is both a CULMINATION and a GLORY." -- The Sensei (DETECTIVE COMICS # 490).

Batman ultimately discovered that the Sensei intended to destroy the entire delegation of an international peace conference in Gotham. The Sensei's weapon was a fault line beneath the delegation's meeting site, a fissure that he would awaken by using explosives. Batman managed to evacuate the mansion before being rendered unconscious by Talia. Ra's al Ghul entered the building for a final confrontation with the Sensei but both men were lost when the earthquake was triggered and the mansion was swallowed up by clouds of dust and debris (DETECTIVE COMICS # 490, by O'Neil, Newton and Adkins). Ra's survived thanks to the Lazarus Pit (BATMAN ANNUAL # 8) but the Sensei, from all accounts, was not so fortunate.

Ben Turner continued to struggle against his programming, falling under the sway of Barney Ling and being rescued by Richard Dragon (DC COMICS PRESENTS # 39). The Bronze Tiger soon returned to the League once more and the C.B.I.'s King Faraday resolved to rescue Ben once and for all. Alongside Colonel Rick Flag and Nightshade, he led a raid on the League's mountainous stronghold. Faraday "finally got the drop on {Turner] and pumped him full of tranqs." The Bronze Tiger was returned to the U.S. for deprogramming, eventually being recruited for Amanda Waller's Task Force X (SUICIDE SQUAD # 38).

In the wake of the Sensei's death and the Bronze Tiger's recovery, the League returned to the shadows, its involvement in crimes rarely detected. Through a middle man named Thaddeus Gladden, the League was hired by a Gotham mobster to assassinate a federal attorney. Batman eventually brought the quartet of swordsmen to justice but had to deal with the fact that they'd studied under Kirigi, the same martial artist who'd instructed a young Bruce Wayne (BATMAN # 431, by James Owsley, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo).

The most conspicuous leader among the current League of Assassins is a flamboyant executioner known as the Scarlet Scythe. He explained to a captive Lois Lane, "We discovered the unthinkable. An unknown party infiltrated the League, used our resources to stage an attempt on Superman's life and promptly disappeared -- along with our ship, our security and our honor, somewhere off the Russian coast. Needless to say ... the Master is vexed. For a person to dupe the League and vanish, they would have to be more ruthless, more cunning, than Ra's al Ghul himself" (ACTION COMICS # 772-773, by Joe Kelly, Kano and Marlo Alquiza).

In time, the League learned that the betrayer had worked on behalf of General Zod. After Zod presented the League with the man's severed head, the Scarlet Scythe declared a truce (SUPERMAN: OUR WORLDS AT WAR SECRET FILES # 1, by Kelly and Alberto Saichann). "The general has restored HONOR to the League," the Scythe declared, "and undone what he has BEGUN. The mark on his head is washed CLEAN with BLOOD."

"The sins of great men do not wash clean so easily," observed Zod.

"Indeed," the Scythe agreed. "Nor would a SECOND infraction against my brothers."

It is the 21st Century and the League of Assassins lives on, its dark ideals surviving the power struggles and the loss of influential leaders. Death, as Jonah once said, "not YOU or I -- has importance ... The Society has always existed and will exist when we are all gone." And as long as it exists, champions like The Batman and Deadman will rise to oppose it.

Black Lightning [first series] # 2 (behind the scenes)
The Brave and The Bold # 86, 159
Detective Comics # 405-406, 408, 411, 485, 487, 489-490
Justice League of America # 92, 94
The Phantom Stranger [second series] # 39
Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter # 13
Strange Adventures # 215-216
Who's Who '86 # 13

Action Comics # 772-773
Batman # 431
Deadman [second series] # 1-4
Nightwing Secret Files # 1 (text: Shrike)
Robin: Year One # 4
Secret Origins [third series] # 15
Suicide Squad [first series] # 38
Superman: Our Worlds At War Secret Files # 1

Batman: Gotham Adventures # 6, 8-9

Elseworld's Finest # 1

posted February 15, 2002 03:39 PM

For a little more on the MOST current whereabouts of the League...

...look for the current DEADMAN issue (#3) (not saying any more, for those who have it and haven't read it...heck, I only skimmed it, so I might be wrong!)

I wonder...has the League of Assassins ever worked for the Council (mob or science versions?)...and, isn't it odd that Batman has always been around for the end (even a temporary one) for the Council (DETECTIVE # 443 for the one who faced Paul Kirk... and B&B #193 for the one Tom Tressor chased...)

And, currently, there is a Nemesis (now, a female) linked to a surviving branch of scientific Council...


posted February 15, 2002 08:55 PM

Two-Face --

I'm glad you enjoyed the history (and I apologize for the long wait). By the way, I just read DEADMAN # 3 and have to back datalore up. You'll want to see this issue.

datalore --

Fascinating thoughts, as always. One of these days, I'm going to dig into the mystery of the multiple Councils for myself.


On another subject, I wanted to reprint this exchange from THE POWER COMPANY board:

JSA Jim:

"I think it would be serving our best interests to spread this enthusiasm to 'those who don't know.' PowCo is here and it's fun!"


Kurt Busiek:

"Well, I'd be all for it. One of the great things about message boards like this is it's a place where you get a lot of focus, where people can talk about what they like without it getting lost in a welter of other discussions."

"One of the bad things is the flipside of that -- it's a place people go only if they're already interested. One of the best things that can happen for a comic is word of mouth -- people who like it recommending it to people who might not have considered it yet, but who'd like it if they tried it. Word of mouth helped enormously on MARVELS, ASTRO CITY, THUNDERBOLTS, UNTOLD TALES ... even AVENGERS."

"So if anyone wants to spread the word to those who'd like the book but for one reason or another haven't given it a try ... by all means, be my guest!"



Miki here again:

Consider this a free plug for THE POWER COMPANY. It's a very cool book on many levels with a different approach to super-heroes (they're set up like a law firm), great writing (Kurt Busiek), great art (Tom Grummett & Wade Von Grawbadger) and tons on bits plucked from throughout the DCU. This link will take you to my own post on the subject --

Drop in at the PCo boards and say hello!

And tomorrow in this location ... Naw, I'll keep you in suspense.

posted February 16, 2002 07:54 PM

The bald, slightly hunchbacked man in the white smock described himself as "a humble workman" but Eivol Ekdal was far more. He was a "master craftsman, builder of escape gadgets and tantalizing traps for the criminal underground of America." Ekdal's clientele extended beyond the underworld, most notably to one of the world's most famous escape artists -- the great Carnado. Eivol Ekdal had effectively created Carnado's act, conceiving traps and solutions that the magician took credit for and which catapulted him to fame. Though he was pragmatic enough to realize that he didn't possess the escape artist's good looks and stage presence, Ekdal couldn't resist needling his famous patron during their annual meetings.

Carnado, for his part, tolerated the craftsman's taunts and handed over Ekdal's fee ($100,000) each year for his newest deathtrap. Despite a prestigious career, the magician found himself forced to steal the fee each year and, in the fall of 1965, Batman began to wonder why a thief would take precisely $100,000 from a bank and leave far more behind. This would be the first domino to fall in a sequence destined to ruin the escape artist's career.

Elsewhere, Eivol Ekdal was playing with Carnado more than usual, offering a deathtrap that consisted of unbreakable plexiglass walls and an electrified vent that released deadly gas ... and then revealing that he couldn't figure out a way to escape. For an additional $100,000, Ekdal would explain to him how to find the solution to the trap. With his popularity waning, Carnado was forced to agree.

"You bill yourself as the World's Greatest Escape Artist, but you and I both know there is someone else who really deserves that title. Of course I mean --Batman! No matter how impossible it's seemed, Batman has always managed to safely work his way out of the most diabolic traps that his enemies have devised for him." Ekdal proposed that Carnado disguise himself and lure the Caped Crusader into his "inescapable doom-trap."

The initial phase of the plan worked perfectly, as Carnado managed to separate the Dynamic Duo and lure Batman into a mansion where the trap was hidden. Before an audience of two, Batman fell to his knees in the plexiglass cell, reeling from the effects of the gas. Clinging to life, the Caped Crusader gambled on a dangerous maneuver and slapped his metal utility belt against the grate, creating sparks that ignited the gas and set off an explosion that shattered the walls of his cell. Dazed by the explosion, Batman was unable to pursue his captors.

Despite Carnado's insistence that they'd left no clues to their whereabouts, Eivol believed that Batman would inevitably track them to his modest workshop. With that in mind, he arranged a second deathtrap, placing two gunmen in opposing mummy cases that seemed to be mere props in a magic act. As expected, the Dynamic Duo arrived but Ekdal's pride in his plot betrayed him. Noting the little man's eyes flit in the direction of the mummy cases, Batman ordered Robin to hit the dirt just as the thugs opened fire. The gunmen were soon taken into custody as were Ekdal and the publicly-disgraced Carnado. Searching Eivol Ekdal's workshop, the police eventually unearthed a huge sum of money, "all neatly piled in $100,000." A judge with a flair for the ironic opted to set bail for each man at, yes, $100,000 (DETECTIVE COMICS # 346, by John Broome, Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella).

On sale during October of 1965, DETECTIVE # 346's story was seized upon by the producers of the imminent "Batman" TV show and they used it as the template for one of the earliest two-parters in the series (airing on February 9 and 10, 1966). In this version, Eivol Ekdal (played by Jack Kruschen) was characterized as "a strange Albanian genius" and the magician who retained his services was a woman, Zelda the Great (played by Anne Baxter).

Perhaps thanks to his TV appearance, Ekdal made a return visit to the comics in January of 1967 though the creative team was entirely different than his first episode. "The Dynamic Duo's Double-Deathtrap" in DETECTIVE COMICS # 361 sprang from the pens of Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Sid Greene.

By this point, Ekdal had escaped from Gotham Pen ("How could prison hold the greatest trap-maker of all time ?" laughed a client) and was preparing to sell a variation on his "inescapable doom-trap" that would effectively slay both Batman and Robin. It was a transparent safe whose walls sprang up from the floor and instantly began generating intense heat. Robin was its intended prisoner. When Batman figured out the combination (as Ekdal was certain he would), the final click in the sequence would trigger an explosion guaranteed to "blow Batman and Robin to bits." The price, unaffected by inflation, was still $100,000.

Eivol Ekdal had other things on his mind, though. In East Berlin, the Secret Police had discovered that people were being smuggled past the Berlin Wall via the props of magicians. Led by the Berlin Butcher (a.k.a. Yuri Belikov), a group of KGB agents arrived in Gotham to question Ekdal about who might have manufactured the devices. The shaken Eivol got a reprieve when his American clients entered, guns drawn. Belikov waved them away, observing that "neither of us wants the police rushing in here." Rather, he said, he would return at a time of Ekdal's choosing ... and with the $100,000 fee.

The plan to cage Robin went on as schedule but Batman's safecracking hit a snag. Earlier that evening, Bruce had been helping Dick memorize a phone number by using a mnemonic technique in which he substituted letters for numbers. When he began to open the plexiglass safe, Batman realized he was spelling out "Ekdal." And if Eivol Ekdal designed it, the Caped Crusader concluded, "it's a lot trickier than appears to the eye." As the cell continued to heat up, Robin noticed that the glue holding the walls together was beginning to give and managed to kick out a wall.

Returning to the Batmobile, the Dynamic Duo was stunned to receive a call from Commissioner Gordon. He'd just received a tip about Ekdal's whereabouts. German freedom fighter Thea Albrecht had been taken into custody when she drew a weapon on another man but, upon investigation, the authorities discovered a potential international incident. Thea's target had been Yuri Melikov and he was carrying a briefcase of documents on escape devices with potentially deadly ramifications for her fellow crusaders. The young woman revealed that the Communists had been approaching a house believed to be Ekdal's and Batman and Robin began racing towards the address.

Meanwhile, Ekdal had stalled Melikov as long as he could. Asked about the grenade on his workbench ("You're an escape-gadget maker -- not a munitions expert."), Eivol noted that it was a special creation that he hoped to sell for a million dollars. Feigning disinterest, Melikov again asked for details on the mysterious escape device craftsman and Ekdal implicated "Hans and Adolph Brauner." Satisfied, the Berlin Butcher vowed to have them executed within the week. Leaving the building, Melikov commanded his men to go back in, murder Ekdal and retrieve their $100,000 ... and the grenade. "Dead men have no need for a million dollars."

Batman and Robin arrived in time to find Alexei and Igor standing over Eivol Ekdal's body and Yuri Melikov desperately grabbed the grenade, hoping to salvage the operation and kill the American heroes. He pulled the pin ... and it exploded instantly. Ekdal had anticipated betrayal and tempted the Berlin Butcher with the rigged grenade. Even after his death, Eivol Ekdal would have his revenge.

Adding to the commotion, the gangsters who'd bought the heated death-trap arrived moments later to confront Ekdal over its failure. One short encounter with the Dynamic Duo later, the thugs were en route to the Gotham police station alongside Igor and Alexei. With Yuri Melikov no longer alive to press charges, Thea Albrecht was released. Weeks later, Dick Grayson noted that another twenty people had escaped East Germany thanks in part to their efforts. "We helped people escape the largest trap in the world," Bruce agreed, "the one behind the Iron Curtain."

posted February 24, 2002 08:05 PM

"I pride myself on my rationality, Batman. Emotion has no place in my life. I've killed sixty-six men -- and only the very first of them was due to anger. All the rest were cash considerations only -- until you crossed my path!" -- The Tally Man, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT # 34 (1994).

The boy who would be the Tally Man had lived in poverty, his mother struggling to feed him and his sister and trying to pay a debt that her husband, dead for five years, had owed a loan shark. "He's a bad man, darling," she choked to her son. "Everybody has to pay the Tally Man."

The day came when his mother couldn't meet the payment -- and he watched as the collector began to beat his mother. Grabbing a fireplace poker, the boy lunged at the tally man, all the anger and resentment flooding out of him with each blow to the brute's body.

A murderer at the age of twelve, the young man was sent to a juvenile detention facility for the remainder of his youth, enduring endless taunts from the other inmates. "He was just a boy who loved his mom. He wasn't bad. He wasn't crazy. They made him that way. Everything starts to fade to black -- and then it hits him, that final image, the one that snapped the slender thread that sustained him." Arriving home after his release, the young man found his sister Eliza dead and his mother's corpse hanging from the ceiling (SHADOW OF THE BAT # 20).

And so he became the Tally Man, his tall, slim frame accentuated by a black suit and top hat as archaic as his name. A blue, beaked mask highlighted his already angular nose. In the months to come, the Tally Man sold his services to any mobster who could afford his services, dispassionately executing their gangland enemies via guns he held in each hand.

In 1993, he took a contract from the Buto family to kill Mike and Johnny Mahoon ... and Batman, whom they imagined had conspired with the siblings to kill Joey Buto. The Mahoon hits went off as expected but Batman was a different story. Unknown to the Tally Man, Bruce Wayne had ceded his costumed persona to Jean Paul Valley. Time and again, the new Batman defeated the executioner only to see him return for another bout. "I took a job," the Tally Man snapped. "It isn't finished until you die -- or I do!" Furious at being attacked for an alleged sin of Bruce Wayne, Jean Paul lashed out at the Tally Man, slashing at him with his clawed gloves before he regained control. Minutes later, Detectives Bullock and Kitch discovered the villain -- and shuddered when they saw what "Batman" had done (1993's SHADOW OF THE BAT # 19-20, by Alan Grant and Vince Giarrano).

As he recovered, the Tally Man's buried emotions rose to the surface and he found himself consumed with anger. Escaping from prison, he laid a trap for The Batman and took him captive. Pointing a gun at his head that was loaded with a single bullet, the Tally Man began to play Russian Roulette with his hostage -- unaware that this wasn't the original Batman either. Dick Grayson, who'd been filling in for Batman, desperately tried to convince the Tally Man that he was making a mistake but the madman refused to listen.

"Beating me wasn't enough, was it ? You rat! You had to brand me -- mark me, as if I'm your accursed personal property!" Ripping open his short, the Tally Man exposed the bat outline that "Batman" had carved into his chest.

Working at his bonds, Dick played for time by prodding his impassive captor about his past. It was the phrase "momma's boy" that finally set the Tally Man off but, by then, Batman had freed himself from his bonds, let his opponent fire his only bullet into the air and saved him from being killed in machine works. The Tally Man calmly thanked Batman for the rescue, declared their slate cleared and proclaimed, "We can part as temporary intruders on each other's lives." Dick respectfully disagreed and, after a brief scuffle, left the Tally Man trussed up for the GCPD (1994's SHADOW OF THE BAT # 34, by Grant, Mark Bright and Scott Hanna).

The Tally Man resurfaced during Gotham's period as a "No Man's Land," serving as executioner in Two-Face's mock court (1999's DETECTIVE COMICS # 732, 734). The Tally Man was ultimately taken into custody after his assignment to hold Sarah Essen hostage (BATMAN # 572) drew the attention of Batman's extended family, notably Robin, the newest Batgirl and Azrael (DETECTIVE # 739). Now presumably in Blackgate, the Tally Man has no idea that he still hasn't faced the original Batman.

posted March 03, 2002 06:24 PM

Well, things have gotten piled up again so it looks like I'll have to back-burner the bios for a little while. In the meantime, here's the press release on my latest project:

"Twenty-one years ago, this neighborhood was the dwelling place of the rich and soon-to-be-rich ... a place of gourmet restaurants and fashionable theaters ... of elegant women and suave men. But the dry rot of time set in, and the laughter stopped and the lights dimmed, and those elegant women and suave men sought their pleasures elsewhere ... and now, only the forlorn and the desperate walk these streets. For one night, two brutal slayings occurred, signaling the beginning of the end ... the area known as Park Row acquired a new name -- Crime Alley ... and there is no hope in Crime Alley."

Those words opened one of the best-remembered Batman stories of the 1970s, a modest twelve-page story published in late 1975's Detective Comics # 457 that reprised the brutal attack on Thomas and Martha Wayne that led their son to become The Batman. Built around the logical detail that a social worker or counselor would have been on hand to take care of Bruce Wayne in the wake of his parents' deaths, the story introduced Leslie Thompkins, the woman who comforted the youngster on that night. Like Bruce, Thompkins was profoundly affected by the Wayne murders but she chose to effect change through peaceful methods even as Batman took the route of violence. Created by writer Denny O'Neil, Leslie became a more assertive, outspoken character under Mike W. Barr in the latter half of the 1980s. Today, she remains an important viewpoint character in the Batman franchise, playing roles in Ed Brubaker's Catwoman and O'Neil's own Azrael: Agent of the Bat.

Leslie Thompkins' story is just one of the features in this spring's edition of The O'Neil Observer, now combined with John Wells' Destination Cool! Named after Denny O'Neil, the Observer is devoted both to the legendary writer and to the craft of comics writing. Destination Cool!, by contrast, deals with the history and evolution of the fictional characters published by DC Comics in its 67-year history.

John Wells is a long-time comics scholar best known for his DC Comics research. In the past two decades, he's written for publications including Amazing Heroes, the Comics Buyer's Guide, Comic Effect, CAPA-Alpha, It's A Fanzine, the O'Neil Observer and 1980s DC Index series. On-line, Wells is well-known as "Mikishawm" and contributes regularly to the internet magazine Fanzing. John also shows up frequently at Bob Rozakis' weekly "Answer Man" column at http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/ as Bob's "official unofficial researcher."

The centerpiece of the first Destination Cool! issue is, of course, a history of Leslie Thompkins, discussing what made her introduction so effective and detailing her evolution over the past quarter-century. Denny O'Neil offers fresh commentary on Leslie for this article and Mike W. Barr speaks in depth of his treatment of the character during the 1980s. The piece also looks at the life of Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, who inspired O'Neil's portrayal of Leslie.

Continuing with the theme of everyday heroes, the magazine also includes short features by Wells on DC's long-running Gang Busters comic book and the Fireman Farrell series published in the first issue of the historic Showcase title. "A New Metaphor: America's Rite of Passage," an essay by Leslie Klein Pilder, offers a hopeful perspective on the post-September 11 American experience.

In a more super-heroic vein, Jeff Clem looks a unique 1984 crossover between Daredevil and the Two-Gun Kid while John Wells recalls the circumstances in which Superman nearly became Captain Marvel. Wells also contrasts the stories that introduced kryptonite with the famous 1970 Superman episode that did away with it.

Also in the issue:

Editor Bob Brodsky opens the "Writer's Workshop" with a sample script while the man known only as "Dark Mark" offers his own fascinating exercise in fan fiction.

John Poppa tips his hat to Denny as he retires from comics editing. Our tribute to late comics scholar Richard Morrissey continues with a selection of fan letters from the mid-1970s. And the current activities of Mike W. Barr and Max Allan Collins are revealed in "Where Are They Now ?"

The issue's design and central cover illustration are courtesy of Scott McCullar, best known as one of the world's foremost Green Arrow experts and Kevin Smith's research consultant on the celebrated current GA series. Scott also maintains multiple comics-related websites, including "Dixonverse" and "The O'Neil Observer," holds down a day job, raises a family and, we're told, finds time to sleep.

Details on ordering a copy of The O'Neil Observer/Destination Cool! # 4 can be found on-line at http://www.oneilobserver.com/ , including a complete posting of the out-of-print first issue.


Denny O'Neil was a reporter for the Southeast Missourian in Cape Girardeau, MO when a 1965 interview with comic book writer Roy Thomas led him into his own career in comics. O'Neil was one of the central figures in the 1969 recasting of Batman as a darker, more atmospheric character and he served as editor of the Batman titles from 1986 to 2000. Although the Dark Knight remains the character that he is most associated with, O'Neil has written a host of other characters, taking on the revamping of such iconic characters as Superman and Wonder Woman and scripting the consciousness-raising "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" in the early 1970s. As an editor, he presided over Frank Miller's legendary run on Daredevil in the early 1980s and contributed to such Batman events as "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land" during the 1990s. Although retired from editing, O'Neil continues to script the monthly Azrael comic book and penned the recent DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics.

New Member
posted March 13, 2002 04:57 AM

Who knows some (short) info about Devlin Davenport.....?

posted March 20, 2002 01:40 AM


Quick question for YOU.

In your posts you usually relate the histories of a character to a certain Earth in the multiverse, and, while Im familiar with most of them, some have me stumped - can we, WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME, of course, have a list of the worlds you assign the characters to?



posted March 24, 2002 06:59 PM


I'll see if I can get to that list of parallel Earth IDs soon.


Here are a few notes on Dev --

"The man in question is certainly suspect in a lot of ways. He lacks any kind of socially redeeming value. He's egotistical and boorish. He cares for little outside of his own interests. He's a cut throat businessman and ruthless in every way. I wouldn't be surprised to find that he's involved in lots of unethical enterprises. But I don't think J. Devlin Davenport is our killer." -- The Batman (DETECTIVE COMICS # 709).

When it comes right down to it, there isn't much more to J. Devlin Davenport III than that. He's everything that Bruce Wayne pretends to be ... and more!

A real estate baron (ROBIN # 99), Davenport has lived on the estate next to Wayne Manor for at least a decade (BATMAN # 583) and, one presumes, inherited his considerable fortune from his namesake father. Certainly, his consuming passion is not his business but rather golf (DETECTIVE # 685). Perhaps his most prized memento, in fact, was a trophy he'd won years earlier: "It rained that morning. I came from behind on the back nine after a weak start. I made three under club par on the last four holes. I took this trophy from that year's PGA champ" (DETECTIVE # 724).

Soon after he and his father moved into the neighborhood, Tim Drake got his first taste of the Davenport charm when a wayward golf ball landed on the Wayne grounds ('TEC # 685). "I don't see you at the club these days, Brucie. You should get out and play a round or two. You're a fair hand at golf for an amateur, if I recall. Well, I won't stray from my own green again, Brucie. ... So long, Jim."

TIM: "Tim."

BRUCE: "I don't like that man."

TIM: "Tell me what you really feel ... Brucie."

On the playing green, Dev routinely mocked his neighbor's golfing prowess and "Brucie" played the part. "I could beat Davenport playing blindfolded with a snow shovel as my only club," he confided in Tim. "Knowing that is enough" ('TEC # 691).

When he wasn't golfing, "one of Gotham's most eligible bachelors" ('TEC # 709) had a succession of women on his arm ('TEC # 708-711; BATMAN/WILDCAT # 2; 'TEC # 724) and was constantly inviting Bruce to join him at some of the city's strip clubs (ROBIN # 17; 'TEC # 711). And he wasn't above involving himself in shady enterprises, from subscribing to a series of underground pay-per-view fights between Gotham's super-villains (BATMAN/WILDCAT # 1-2) to unspecified business dealings with the mob. The latter, in fact, nearly got Dev killed when his name landed on a hit list of Gotham's most influential citizens ('TEC # 708-710).

Returning from a vacation in Bimini, Dev found Gotham ravaged by an earthquake and the prize of his real estate properties -- Davenport Center -- laying on its side. Despite the obstruction to "relief trucks and workers," Dev refused to allow the city to demolish it and clear the road. "I still hold the lease! You can't touch my building! ... I'm getting an injunction on you clowns. You shift one brick of Davenport Center and my lawyers will tear you apart!" Late that evening, Batman settled the matter by ramming an earth-mover through the structure and creating an instant bridge. Dev did not take the news well ('TEC # 724). "He lost a pile when the quake and quarantine hit. Bruce wound up owning a lot of his old properties" (ROBIN # 99).

Post-"No Man's Land," Davenport (or at least his advisors) have put more emphasis on their business dealings in Gotham, making a "bid for the electric company that Lexcorp abandoned" (GOTHAM KNIGHTS # 4) and funding a documentary intended to expose Batman as more than an urban myth (BATMAN # 584). And, though there's no love lost between J. Devlin Davenport and Bruce Wayne, an investigation by Alfred and Oracle has cleared Dev of any involvement in the recent murder of Vesper Fairchild (ROBIN # 99).

"J. Devlin's such a philanderer."

"Philanthropist, precious." -- Dev and friend (DETECTIVE COMICS # 709).

posted March 24, 2002 09:48 PM

I was reading some bound volumes of BATMAN at work (god, I love working at the library) and there was a character that appeared in one of the issues very briefly called Gregorian Falstaff - he was big and fat and had a red hair and beard. The issue was from the late 70s/early 80s, I think. My impression of the characer was that he was just one of those generic crime bosses - was he anything more than that?