There’s uncertainty over the exact date of Batman’s 75th birthday. Some say April, others February. In any case, in this series of posts we’re revisiting 80 page Batman Giants from the sixties.
Batman 187 is dated December 1966/January 1967 and it was published in the period when I first read Batman comics. It was immediately preceded by “The Joker’s Original Robberies”- one of my earliest Bat-memories- and carries ads for these adventures:
I first read this Op Art exploit in a Double Double comic in the late 60s
I have a very vague recollection that I was given a copy of this giant as a child but I didn’t remember any of the images at all. I’ve ranked the stories numerically in the order I most enjoyed them.
Batman’s First Case: interestingly, this 1959 story is a remake of The Clock Strikes, a 1947 Robin story from Star-Spangled Comics. That was the second appearance of Robin’s arch-enemy of the 40s.
Here, Batman’s first “collar” returns as a gaudily costumed and rather ridiculous crook, possibly the inspiration for the Clock King on tv.
Until the Crisis, we could have chalked this one up as the first case of the Earth1 Batman; that would have left the SSC story as an exploit of the e-2 Robin, which would have pleased Roy Thomas. (1)
Phantom Eye of Gotham City: a convoluted tale of identity and surveillance. A crook impersonating a big game hunter impersonates Batman. Improbable -even by 50s standards-and hard to follow. (7)
Last Days of Batman: On an accidental trip to the future, Robin discovers Batman is apparently fated to die at the hands of a masked crook called El Bolo. (3)
Peril at Playland Isle: a whodunnit in which a benevolent millionaire is murdered on his amusement park island. Peril ensues on the rollecoaster and ferris wheel. (6)
The Batman of Tomorrow: Brane Taylor, the Batman of the year 3055 subsitutes for an injured Caped Crusader. He nearly gives himself away being too gallant to Vicki Vale. We also get a glimpse of his futuristic Bat-Belfry. Sc-fi fun. (4)
Ballad of Batman: a sweet little tale in which a hilbilly singer, Sam Strong, gets into hot water when his ballads about the Caped Crusader exploits begin to tip off crooks.(2)
Syndicate Story- Joker, Crime Clown; in this reprinted arc of newspaper strips, Joker escapes from prison in much the same way as he did on tv’s “The Joker is Wild” episode in January 1966. Here, however it’s in a football game rather than baseball. The story concerns his rivalry with a slinky lady crook called The Sparrow: an interesting and novel idea. (5)
This is not the most memorable of giants as we’ll see in the next Bat-post but it is undemanding entertainment.
Coming soon: Batman’s Bizarre Action Roles
All images are presumed copyright of their respective owners