Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Single Issue Hall of Fame: Batman #185

This was the first 80-Page Giant that I ever bought. It would have been in 1980 or so, and I'll bet it didn't cost me more than a buck, as that's usually where I drew the line as a 8-year old. It was very early exposure to DC Silver Age stories. They were certainly unlike any I'd ever read, and this grouping of Robin-centric stories is particularly dramatic. The "Robin Dies at Dawn" story is truly one of the best Silver Age Batman stories and, although it has been collected elsewhere, it's great to see it in this format. All of the stories in this collection are wonderfully entertaining, and serve as a great example of the charm of the 50s and early 60s. "The Boy Wonder Confesses" and "Batman Jr." are two standouts that further explore the relationship between Batman and Robin. I don't think I've ever seen the phrase 'Personal Adventures' used on a superhero book. The other reason for tracking down a copy of this book is that it showcases Shelly Moldoff's talent as a storyteller, as he could make just about any premise work. A definite Hall of Famer.


Oak said...

DC put out quite a few of these during the Batman tv craze and I had most of them. These stories were fascinating to me. Especially stories like Batman Jr. These stories were all just a few pages long, but everything was wrapped up nicely at the end and I felt like I had learned something important about Batman and Robin.

benay-dot said...

Silver Age Batman stories warm my heart. Moldoff and Sprang were the perfect creators for this sort of storytelling. I love the Weisengerian Superman tales in all their crazy manifestations, but the Bat stories just had a panache that translated into terrific pop art. Craig.

Dan Bailey said...

Definitely one of the 80-Page Giant covers that most intrigued & thrilled me (along with, I remember distinctly, Jimmy Olsen #95) when I came across it in house ads of old DCs -- my only means of exposure, back in the pre-internet days of yore, to the predecessors of my first 80-pager, Superman #197, which would've come out maybe 8 months after this one.

(As you know, the 80-pagers were, & remain, my top comics obsession of all time, outstripping -- yes! -- even Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos.)

I'll maintain till my dying day that the 80-pagers' covers mark comics finest artistic achievement, everything taken into account.