Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hidden Gems: Man Bat #1 (1984)

Here's one that I didn't know even existed until a few weeks ago. I was flipping through a bargain bin when I saw this familiar image from Detective Comics #402. I thought to myself: What? 3 Chilling Conflicts? All in one place? Robbins? Adams? All for a dollar? Count me in! I am not sure why DC decided that 1984 was the perfect time for a Man-Bat reprint book. Was there some sort of animation project on the horizon? Were they just trying to milk those Adams pencils for all they were worth? In any event, I am glad they did, because it is nice to have these stories in an affordable format on nice, high quality paper. I know that they have appeared elsewhere, but for those looking to avoid shelling out the big bucks on an Adams hardcover book, this might be the solution for you. I kind of wish they'd included the Robbins drawn stuff, but I understand the polarizing effect he has on people, and we at least got a Robbins pin-up in this ish. Great, cheap stuff!

8 comments:

Jim McClain said...

As I recall, it was because of the new quality printing that they reprinted this, as well as Adams' art on Deadman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Brave & the Bold, and the rest. It was a great time to be a comic book fan!

Graeme said...

It was, as Jim says, part of DC's then recent program of reprinting work in baxter paper anthologies-- Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Deadman, Manhunter, New Gods, Aparo/Fleischer Spectre, Englehart/Rogers Batman also were reprinted. It was, I suppose, a precursor to what happens with reprinting older stuff in trades.

Anything with Adams art pretty much was reprinted-- and not just at DC. Marvel's own contributions to the baxter reprint book was reprinting Adams' Avengers and X-Men work

Peter Bangs said...

I still struggle to understand why Robbins' artwork isn't as universally loved as Adams'. I guess it's true about it's polarising effects. I bought Human Fly for the man's artwork so I guess that shows what camp I'm in.

Anonymous said...

Chalk me up as another Robbins fan. I liked his work on Captain America.

Scott Lovrine, aka Cherokee Jack

Neil Anderosn said...

Love Robbins stuff, particularly the 5 or so Batman stories he did, and the 4 issues of the Shadow, not to mention Captain America and the Invaders. Never got around to the Human Fly, though...My absolute favorite was a Batman story he did where Batman played Russian Roulette. It was in an issue of Detective, I think, and as far as I'm aware it's never been reprinted...

Edo Bosnar said...

Everyone pretty much covered it, but I would just add that I think DC was actually following on the heels of Marvel's Special Edition reprints, which started coming out in about 1982/83 if I'm not mistaken, and which included all kinds of goodness - not just the Adams X-men and Avengers that Graeme mentioned, but also Steranko's Nick Fury and Capt. America work, the initial Mantlo/Golden run on Micronauts, Starlin's Warlock saga, etc.
As for Robbins, like his work, but for me it depends on the title. I liked his work on Invaders, for example, but less so elsewhere I've seen it.

Scott M said...

I'm glad to see that there's so much Robbins love. In terms of his 70s work, I really love his stint on The Shadow as well. I really dig those Captain America and Batman stories, too.

Graeme said...

In many ways I think Robbins' work on The Shadow is superior to Kaluta's work (which I love), especially when Robbins inked his own stuff. I think part of the problem with his Marvel stuff is that it's largely indifferently inked by others.