Batman (1940) #124 GD/VG (3.0) with Robin

Batman (1940) #124 GD/VG (3.0) with Robin
Only 1 left

Availability: In stock

Batman (1940) #124
GD/VG (3.0)
with Robin


Introduced in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939, Batman quickly became National/DC's second overwhelming success after Superman! The people demanded more - so BATMAN was given his own self-titled, 68 page quarterly which did away with the co-features in Detective, and featured ONLY Batman and Robin stories.

The series is still running to this day, and over the years has introduced a veritable who's who of iconic villains and supporting characters in the DC Universe.

Drawn and written by Bob Kane, and periodically by his assistant Jerry Robinson (who became one of comics' great innovators), the 40's issues are among the most priceless treasures circulating on the collectors market, with LOTS of later key issues belonging to the "highly in demand" category. Let's take a brief look at why that might be!

In Spring of 1940, Batman #1 was published and introduced new characters into Batman's pantheon, most notably those of Selina Kyle, a.k.a. the Catwoman (although initially she was just called the Cat), The Joker, who of course would become Batman's nemesis and Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, was introduced in issue #16 soon after. Other Villains which debuted during this early era included the Mad Hatter and Killer Moth in issue #49 and #63 respectively. It would soon become a collaborative effort to produce such prodigious content on a consistent basis. Although he was the creation of Bob Kane and Bill Finger it would take a steady stream of some of the Golden Age's finest artists and writers to keep the Caped Crusader's stories fresh and full of suspense and fear.

Assuming that Bob Kane would be drafted to serve in World War II, Editor Whitney Ellsworth assigned a Batman story to artist Dick Sprang in 1941. Sprang's first published Batman work was the Batman and Robin figures on the cover of Batman #18 late summer of 1943, reproduced from the art for page 13 of the later-published Detective Comics #84. Sprang drew the cover and the first three Batman stories, and penciled the fourth Batman story for his first original published Batman work, and first interior-story work, appearing in Batman #19 (Oct.-Nov. 1943). As was the norm at the time, Sprang went uncredited for his work. In 1953, mimicking Kane's art style and under Kane's supervision Sheldon Moldoff became another one of the primary Batman ghost artists who, along with Win Mortimer and Dick Sprang, drew stories credited to Bob Kane. In fact it was Bill Finger and Moldoff that introduced Ace the Bat-Hound in #92.

Batman started out as a vigilante. Dark. Violent. Batman became a dark character in March of 1939, when he appeared in Detective Comics issue #27 the story was truly a tale of murder and corruption, including the following scenes of death and mayhem - a man is stabbed to death, another man is shot to death (on page 2!) and the story ends with Batman knocking the villain into a pit of acid and killing him (no not by accident).

The tone really began to change in the early 50's as the stories began to reflect the desire to attract more younger fans. Crossover tales between the Bat and Superman became the norm just as comic books themselves came under fire from government caused in large part by a psychiatric study that framed the basis of a book called Seduction of the Innocent. Seduction of the Innocent is a book written by German born psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham about the harmful effects of comic books. In this work he concluded that comic books were a primary vehicle for promoting homosexuality, pedophilia and provocative behavior. Published in 1954 and reprinted numerous times since, SOTI, as it is known in Dr. Wertham's private files and also among comic book collectors, represents the culmination of years of research into juvenile delinquency and laid the blame for that delinquency largely upon comic books. Dr. Wertham's work helped spark a United States Senate investigation and would bring about the formation of the Comics Code Authority. The self policing body designed to cleanse comic books of ANY and ALL negative influences.

This is why Batman comics in the 50's and early 60's became primarily kid-friendly tales in which Batman and Robin serve as deputized public servants featuring crooks with silly schemes that consisted more of high jinks than high drama and almost zero in the way of destruction or violence. These issues would be replete with tales of petty crooks, monsters, aliens, almost becoming a science fiction book more so than a comic book. Always with the primary goal of avoiding the watchful eye of the Comic Code Authority, the organization that would rule the comics industry for the next 50 years.

There were a couple of minor attempts to bring Batman back to his roots but nothing too serious seemed to take root. Between sci-fi and the silly, campy Scooby Doo like adventures of the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder there seemed to be no room for the Dark Knight. But just when you thought Batman couldn't be sillier television would discover Gotham's secret and would put out a product that drove pop culture interest and literally made Batman and Robin a joke. While there were some highlights as far as the acting (primarily Caesar Romero - ok, ok, ONLY Caesar Romero) Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) would turn in over the top performances that, to Batman fans, were ridiculous but to the masses being exposed to them for the first time was comic genius. Unfortunately the TV show was so successful initially someone at DC decided it would be a wonderful idea to turn the comic book into a TV show promo book and soon Batman fans found themselves assaulted from all sides. Thankfully, the TV show only lasted a few seasons and shortly after the end of that campy, ridiculous spectacle Batman would get a new creative team.

Batman fans would have to suffer for nearly 20 long years through the early 50's to the late 60's before being rescued by writer Denny O'neil and artist Neal Adams. The two would return the Dark Knight to his dark roots paving the way for writers and artists alike such as Steve Englehart, Walt Simonson, Marshall Rogers, Jim Aparo, Irv Novick, Frank Robbins, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Todd Mcfarlane, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and more.

The next decade saw the Dynamic Duo reestablished as a two man team that would indeed strike fear into the those that roamed the night. Some of the most iconic stories would follow and from that point to this we don't go very long without the Bat's world being tested in darkness and danger. The future has certainly never been more bright for one of DC's darkest icons!

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Additional Info
Grader Notes GD/VG (3.0)
Publisher DC
Character Batman
Grade 3.0 GD/VG
Genre Superheroes
Certification No
Signed N/A
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