3: Creation Of Batman
Alex and Brian talk about inspirations for Batman, the creation of Batman, and credit for that creation. Then we read Detective Comics #27 together and talk about inspiration for that story specifically.
- Bill The Boy Wonder (Book)
- Batman and Me (Book)
- Zorro Theme Song (video)
- The Shadow Radio Catchphrase (video)
- DC Universe Infinite
- Batman The Golden Age (Book)
- Dial B For Blog (wayback machine)
You can find an archive of all episodes at batlessons.com
Send your comments, questions and corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at us @batlessons
Podcast Artwork by Sergio R. M. Duarte
Podcast Music by Renzo Calma
[00:00:00] Brian: For
anyone still listening the, um, where we’re listening to the sound of Alex read books is he pulls from his stacks of, of Batman history books that are sitting around him off screen.
Welcome to bat lessons. The Batman history podcast. I am Brian Anders and I am joined today by Alex, the dark night cash. And today we’re going to be talking about the creation of Batman. And in our last episode, Alex gave me some homework and all of the audience to watch bill the boy wonder.
And if you did that homework, some of this will be familiar. But we’ll try to move more quickly through the stuff, you know, and focus more on the stuff that you don’t. We’ll also spend some time talking about the documentary itself. So hopefully you did do the homework. If you didn’t feel free to pause, go watch the documentary and come back.
If not, that’s cool. We’ll just keep rolling.
[00:01:06] Alex: Yeah. So, if you recall where we left you at the, at the end of last episode, it’s the year 1939 and VIN Sullivan, who is the editor in chief of national comics has gone to various people on staff, including Bob Kane, and he’s asked them to create another Superman character. Superman is a, is a smash at success and they want to replicate it.
So Bob Kane, who’s who who’s Bob Kane. Bob Kane was a cartoonist from New York city. . He went to the Whit Clinton high school. And then Cooper union Cooper union is a private art college in New York city. And afterwards worked briefly, in animation at Fleischer studios.
He did inking and coloring. Didn’t do any of the primary art because he was, you know, just out of school. And he worked on Betty. Boop. If you’re familiar with Fleischer studios. Yeah, they did Betty, Betty, boop. They did, Popeye, the sailor man. They did. In fact, they did a famous Superman cartoon if you’ve ever seen, the original Superman cartoon that was Fleischer studios, competitive with Disney.
Eventually he ended up doing, uh, stories for national comics.
He had some pretty moderately successful, strips. So, so when he left animation, left Fleischer studios, he started doing, primary art. So he was doing the penciling creating artwork for, for comics. And he had had strips in action comics and adventure comics, which were two different themed books that started after detective comics
if you remember, Dick detective comics was the first theme to book that national ran. He ran a shop of sorts where national contracted him to deliver completed comic stories with the words and the art, inked everything. And he would in turn, employ other people to do various jobs. They would script, they would do pencils, they would do inking, they would do lettering. And we do know that at this time he definitely was actually doing penciling himself.
But it’s unclear for how long he did it. If you believe his personal accounts, he was drawing Batman comics as late as you know, the sixties, but we know that. Yeah. But we, we know that, there were artists hired on a very early Dick Sprang, Jerry Robinson were hired by Kane to, to start doing art and they, they were drawing Batman as early as 1943.
as, as we’ll go on here, you’ll see. Hear a lot about how Bob is kind of famous for not actually doing a whole lot of work himself and taking credit for other people’s work. Bob hired a writer named bill finger to script stories for him. Bill and Bob went to high school together at Dewitt and Clinton high school
as a side note about the Whit Clinton high school, a lot of famous creators went to this high school Will Eisner, who he talked a little bit about in the previous episode, was a classmate of Bob, that they actually knew each other in high school. Stan Lee of Marvel comics, what to do in Clinton high school, although much later.
And Bob and bill didn’t know each other when they were in high school. they actually met after high school, at a party. And we don’t know a ton about their relationship, whether they were really, really good friends or mostly professional, but they were somewhere on that. Because they would, um, the Bob said that they would go and hang out at Pope park, together and talk about their jobs.
Pope, Pope Ark was, um, is a, park in the Bronx where there’s a cottage that Edgar Allen Poe lived in, that’s been preserved. and
[00:04:18] Brian: that’s where the
[00:04:19] Alex: they would
[00:04:20] Brian: park is Edgar Allen Poe. Okay. Got it.
[00:04:22] Alex: That’s right. so we know that they would go there and they would sit on the benches and they would talk about their jobs. Bill was a shoe salesman, which was a job that he really hated.
He wanted to become a writer. And so as Bob is seeing success with his comics, it now. He brings bill on to start scripting, some of his strips cook Carson rusty, and his pals, both of these, these comic strips that were appearing adventure comics at the time. Bill is one of the people that’s working in a shop and Bob is really excited about writing another Superman type character for VIN.
Primarily because Superman is making the big bucks, he sees dollar signs and so he goes home and he draws a man in a red union suit, which is essentially tights. Right. And then begins tracing over it over and over and over again with different features. We don’t have this original drawing that he did, but the story, this exact story of the drawing is recounted by, Bob in his autobiography, Batman and me, which is a very interesting book.
We’ll talk quite a bit about today. That came out about the same time as, uh, the Batman movie in 1989. But it’s also recounted by bill. This is exact same story, in history of comics of book written by Jim Stanko from the seventies, and, and corroborated by a few different people. So we’re pretty sure it happened this way.
And, after he traces over at a bunch of different times, that the thing that Bob ended up with was a character that’s in these red tights. And remember Superman is like red and blue as well. , black trunks, and gloves, the gloves are black as well. domino mask, which is like one that covers just the eyes like,
[00:05:49] Brian: like Zorro would wear a Robin or,
uh, what the Riddler
[00:05:54] Alex: yes. Yeah. and stiff wings that are attached to the arms, that kind of come out the side, that looked like a bat.
[00:06:01] Brian: When they show that picture in the documentary and the stiff wings, I was like, what a stupid idea like
[00:06:09] Alex: Yeah.
[00:06:10] Brian: specifically the stiff wings is like, oh my gosh, but that’s just my take.
[00:06:16] Alex: We’re going to talk in a bit about where we think, Bob was inspired to, create those stiff wings. Yeah. Because they didn’t actually come out of nowhere. Which is really interesting, but I agree, kinda dumb. you know, you’re trying to fight crime. You’ve got these big things hanging off your back.
[00:06:29] Brian: Yeah. You spin around real quick and you start knocking people down or something like it’s just crazy.
[00:06:35] Alex: yeah so he takes this design red, a suit, domino mask, black trunks, black gloves, wings, and he, he takes it to bill. You know, who’s writing for him and says, what do you think of this? And bill is the one who , suggested essentially making it Batman that we know today. A lot of the things that we consider, he says, do a Cape, and take, take the edge of the Cape and sort of scallop the edges make these like, sort of repeated curves that you know, exactly like a bat might have so that when the Cape is like furled out behind him, it looks like a bat.
But a little bit, a little bit more practical. Instead of red, let’s make the suit gray, do a cowl instead of a domino mask, which is, you know, something that comes from behind the covers, the top of the head. And then, and then white slits instead of eyes. So you don’t, you know, not drawing pupils, but just kind of the cutouts where, where the eyes would be.
And, and Bob says, okay. And he adjusted the character to match bill suggestions. kind of reduce the drawing, and takes it to Vince Sullivan, who liked the idea and agreed to move forward with that story for detective comics number 27. And that would be the first appearance of Batman.
[00:07:37] Brian: It’s a good thing that, that, Bob took the drawing to vent and not to Edna mode. She never would have supported, she would not
have approved the Cape.
[00:07:45] Alex: capes now.
So Bob continued to run his shop, making the Batman comics for many years to come. But national, right. He takes that story. He goes, and he sells it to now. They don’t know about any of the people that are working in Bob’s shop. And they don’t know how much involvement any of those people have in the creation of Batman at all.
As far as they’re concerned, Batman, was created solely by Bob Kane and all the Batman comics for many, many decades listed only Bob Kane as the creator, put a pin in that we’ll come back to it.
[00:08:18] Brian: Yeah. I mean, everyone who did the homework knows where this is going, but
[00:08:23] Alex: But while, while we’re here in, in, 1939, and I want to talk about some of the things that are inspirations for Batman,
cause you know, I want to, I want to talk about, you know, we, we know that story of like the red union suit and the suggesting the changes and stuff, but like where do those changes come from? Like where did they decide we’re going to do something about, about it all. Where did they get the ideas to do like the slits for eyes, things like that.
unfortunately we don’t have a perfect picture of all of these things. It’s not super clear. One because of some conflicting accounts too, because you know, some of these things never got asked or never got properly written down. A lot of what we know comes from Batman to me, and there are parts of that story that are very contested.
So for example, one of the things that, that Bob sights as an inspiration is, drawings that Leonardo DaVinci did of something called an ornithopter, And Brian, if you look in the document, there’s two pictures there. The one on the right is the one that Leonardo DaVinci actually did. , and the one on the left is, is one that people have done after the fact sort of make a completed picture of when an ornithopter would be.
But can you describe it to
[00:09:26] Brian: sure, sure thing. Okay. So The ornithopter that Leonardo da Vinci actually did, it looks, I mean, it really, the outline of it looks just like bat wings. , it’s, it’s got the same like finger looking structure. And on the bottom, it’s got the account of reverse curves, whatever you want to call that, like the concave curves,
[00:09:46] Alex: The scalloping is what people call it a lot
[00:09:48] Brian: Scalloping. Okay.
[00:09:49] Alex: Yeah.
[00:09:49] Brian: and it’s got some sort of, I would guess wooden structure for where like the bats fingers would go for the structure of what holds the wings open. Um, and it looks like maybe in the middle, there’s some sort of straps for, uh, a backpack or something like that to how the, the wings would attach to the person.
So then, uh, the, the one that is like, was that like an interpretation after the fact of, of what they thought
he was going for?
[00:10:16] Alex: yeah. So what Leonardo DaVinci had are kind of like blueprints almost or technical drawings. And then someone has like, okay, if you were to take all of these pieces and put it together into like something you would actually build,
[00:10:25] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. So, so the one that DaVinci did looks quite a bit more sketchy, like it was something he was thinking about and working on and stuff. And the one that is quite a bit more polished and is, uh, sketched in like a more three-dimensional,
space. Uh, It basically looks like a man. How do you describe this?
[00:10:46] Alex: It almost looks like a hang glider to me.
[00:10:48] Brian: it does, it does look like a hang glider, but the way that the person is positioned is quite a bit higher than the hang glider would be like if their body is right up against the wings, rather than hanging below a bit.
And then in this picture, I think it’s. It’s obvious to me that the wings are supposed to flap because there’s little kinda handles hanging from the sides where I imagine the person grabs on and like swings their arms back and forth to do it kind of a flapping. But in this picture, the wings are up up a little bit, like maybe a 30 degree angle on both sides instead of straight out. And then there’s a little tailfin
[00:11:29] Alex: Yeah. So, Leonardo DaVinci, you know, lived in like the 1450s, right? Like, he, it was a long, long time ago. And so it’s like really cool that like someone was thinking about like humans flying, what would it work? Like? You know, um, like, well, well, well in advance of like, you know, the airplane and stuff
[00:11:44] Brian: 500 years. Yeah.
[00:11:46] Alex: right? Yeah.
[00:11:47] Brian: Yeah. Half a millennium. Yeah.
[00:11:49] Alex: Yeah. So it’s cool to think, right. That like the Batman could have this connection to the sort of thing. And if you look at the pictures, you know, you could see like, oh yeah, the, the wings for Batman kind of could look like this, but we’re pretty sure this is bullshit that he was not inspired by, uh, DaVinci.
The, the reason being in his book, he ties it back to this drawing, that he claims that he made when he was in high school. In fact, in this drawing, there it is dated. So if you look at it, it says 1 17 34. So this is a picture that he produced for this book. , and they talk about it in the, in the documentary a little bit.
You know, he, he has a phone call with Tom Andre, ghost writer of the autobiography. And he’s explaining that, he found this, you know, drawing from when he was a kid, of a character that’s called Birdman. Brian, do you want to describe the, the Birdman to people.
[00:12:38] Brian: Yeah, Birdman, uh, I mean, it, it looks like Batman, if he was like a full body bat suit, like, I can’t tell if there’s a Cal or not, but like, there’s definitely some sort of wings, like big wing things on the sides.
And whereas hands connect to where those wings are for some sort of flapping motion. He’s got the big bat symbol on his chest. He’s got the ears, like a cowl up at the top of his head. And he’s even got some pointy toes. So it, I mean, it really looks like, I mean, it kind of looks like in the movies when they do a nightmare version of like a giant human bat looking thing, that’s
kind of what this looks like.
[00:13:22] Alex: So we’re pretty sure that that, Bob Kane made this drawing, after Bilfinger has come out of the woodwork in the sixties, to contest the creation of Batman. So he’s invented a, an artifact that proves that he is a, created Batman before bill fingers in the picture. And, and this is the one that, that is sort of tightly, coupled and closely tied to the, the defense, the DaVinci drawings.
So that’s the fiction that that’s, that’s the one that most people think is not true. But there are some inspirations that, that, Bob talks about that we think are correct. That that seemed correct. , and I’m not going to cover the ones that you probably know really well since they’re, relatively self-explanatory.
Sherlock Holmes is one that is thrown around a lot. Dracula is one that’s thrown around a lot, but there’s, there’s a few that I do want to talk about that you may not know, or, are even sort of more closely tied to Batman. The inspirations, you can draw more of a straight line.
So in, in Batman, in me, Bob sites, two movies, one called the bat from 1926 and a remake of that movie called the bat whispers from 1930. They’re both from the same director and the first one is a silent film. And the second is an early talkie, which is, you know, uh, a film that has, music and sound, recorded simultaneously and played back simultaneously.
Meaning, you know, it has sound, both are black and white. And they’re basically the same movie. In a lot of cases it’s like literally just like shot for shot remake. They just added sound, you know, they have different actors, right?
[00:14:53] Brian: So the difference between the bat and the bat whispers is that one of them has speaking in it, is that where like the whispers and the title comes from, like,
if they’re exactly the same, except one, you can actually hear voices and they sit. So the first one’s a silent movie, so right.
This, the bat, the bat is a silent movie. So that means it was played with like maybe an organ live
or something piano. Okay. And then, uh, any kind of dialogue they had up on the screen, like, not like subtitles, but
[00:15:23] Alex: So you’d have footage and then it would
cut to a card. Yup. And then cut back to the footage.
[00:15:28] Brian: And then, uh, the bat whisper. Is much more like a traditional movie.
It’s probably like 1930s quality, obviously, but you can hear what they’re saying and there’s music and
[00:15:40] Alex: Neither unfortunately are available legitimately for streaming anywhere. you can purchase DVDs on Amazon if you want to pay money. They do happen to be on YouTube movies. From this era are often sort of abandoned by the studios or the rights are sort of like up in the air.
It’s not really clear who owns them anymore. So, you know, if you want to watch them, you can find them. they are adaptations of a popular Broadway play from 1920 called the bat. And the bat is in turn a loose adaptation of a 1908 mystery novel called the circular stake staircase. Um, so adaptations upon the adaptations.
I did watch the entire 1930 talkie all the way through,
[00:16:17] Brian: um,
[00:16:18] Alex: Uh, great movie. it’s, it’s really, you know, if you’re looking for a time capsule, if you want to see kind of like what movies were like back then, you know, if I made it through the movie, uh, so, so you could, you could go watch it. Um, there’s some cool, special effects.
Like they have these, Dolly shots, with, with models of like buildings and they’ll do like really cool, either like zooms towards the building or like there’s a skyscraper at one point where it’s you know, zooming down the building and then like panning towards, um, you know, the, the entrance.
And then they’ll cut from the model shot to like a live action shot. Yeah, so like really early special effects. And the plot of these movies are a bit of a mess, , it revolves around a home in the countryside, being rented out by a woman named Cornelia van Gordener there’s a bank robbery in the nearby town of Oakdale and the president of the bank is the owner of the home that’s being rented.
So, for reasons that aren’t really well explained other than like, you know, the, the guy who owns the bank owns the house. Various people believe that the money that was taken from the bank is in the house. So you have the, they all sort of descend on the house, Ms. Van Gordon, or his niece, Dale and her boyfriend, move into the house like Dale tries to convince her aunt, that her boyfriend is a gardener and that he’s gonna like do work on this house, what she doesn’t own, by the way, she’s renting the house.
[00:17:36] Brian: wait. So you’re saying they believe the money is hidden somewhere on the property.
[00:17:41] Alex: That’s right.
[00:17:42] Brian: So this is like a treasure hunt. They’re trying to find the money.
[00:17:46] Alex: That’s right. so yeah, she and her boyfriend moved in the house. They’re trying to get it. There’s a detective that shows up and he starts asking questions. He’s looking for house money in the house. There’s like a doctor that shows up for some reason. There’s all of these people coming to this house, including a famous burglar named the bat, who, , were to believe didn’t commit the burglary itself, but is trying to Burgle the burgled money.
Tried to steal the stolen money from the house. I’m not sure why, like maybe it’s easier to steal from the house than it was from the bank, but the bad is one of the people that, that, is trying to get them the money. The plot is really irrelevant if you’ve ever seen. Or house on haunted hill. You’ve seen this movie, but you’ve seen it done better.
It’s a dark and stormy night. There’s, a cast of disparate people. There’s physical comedy, they’re all running around the house. They’re scared and, uh, periodically there’s murders like people die. And the group’s trying to figure out why people are dying and where the money is.
[00:18:44] Brian: Got it. It’s like, so it’s like Scooby doo except no one dies
[00:18:48] Alex: bit.
[00:18:49] Brian: doo.
[00:18:50] Alex: Yeah. but you can see how the bat character, specifically is an inspiration. He’s a mysterious figure seen on screen. Very rarely. I’m usually in the shadows and he wears all black. And early on in the movie, he has. that come out of the back much like, the early drawings that Bob had before bill came in and told them to fix it up, it’s not really clear what the wings are made out of something really light it’s, like resin or like plastic, cause he’s like kind of moving around with it and it doesn’t seem like to be a burden or anything, but for whatever reason, like later in the movie, when you actually see him directly on screen, instead of in shadows, he’s addition to the wings in favor of like a Cape.
And they don’t really bother to explain it. yeah. In the 1930 movie. So the talkie, the newer one, he’s, he’s wearing like an undertaker’s hood, so it’s like this loose cloth, like mask with holes cut out for the eyes. And in the 1926 version of the film, he wears a gigantic bat mask with pointy ears, like think Donnie Darko,
[00:19:44] Brian: nice. Okay.
[00:19:45] Alex: it’s
furry and like huge, yeah, huge point years.
And it’s furry. yeah, You can, you can sort of see how, this sort of mysterious figure that’s in the shadows. It could be an inspiration specifically for Bob, this character is a burglar who’s like kills people.
It’s not really clear how he could be related to Batman and sort of any sort of story way, right? Like he’s not a vigilante. He doesn’t have, you know, but Bob sites them and I believe it right, because it, it, the visual elements are very much the same. And in the 1926 version of the film, the silent version of the film, there’s actually a few more visual elements that, Tightly, coupled to Batman, including a scene in the movie where the bat scares the inhabitants of the house by cutting the electricity, it’s all dark in the house and shining in onto the wall, a light that is basically a bat signal.
It’s a circular white light with a floating bat in the center of it. And it moves slowly across the walls of the inside of this mansion. And they’re all freaking out. It’s very scary. And you’re like, oh yeah, that’s like, that’s the bat signal. likewise at the beginning of the bats leaving a note, to the police after he’s performed a heist and it’s on a piece of paper, that’s shaped like a bat.
And so like, oh, there’s these like bad
cards. There’s these
[00:21:04] Brian: Yeah.
[00:21:05] Alex: Yeah. A lot of visual elements that are very believable as inspirations for Batman.
Zorro, are you familiar with sorrow, Brian?
[00:21:13] Brian: uh, Yeah. I can’t remember the guy’s name. He’s putting boots, but he, uh, Bandaras, that’s what
he is. Uh, yeah, he, uh, the, the mask is Dora, right? I mean, that’s, that’s a much more contemporary or modern,
[00:21:30] Alex: Yes.
[00:21:31] Brian: zero, but Yeah.
[00:21:32] Alex: Yeah. There are two Antonio Banderas movies. There’s one from 1988 and one from 2005.
[00:21:37] Brian: Oh, there’s two of them. I didn’t know that.
[00:21:39] Alex: yeah, both with Antonio Banderas. And that’s like for our, our age group, probably what we’re most familiar with, but there are, other things that Zorro, that was not his height of popularity. Let’s say there were other times when Edwin Zorro was much more popular.
[00:21:53] Brian: Oh yeah. Huge way back. Probably when my dad was a kid watching,
the lone ranger and stuff. right,
[00:22:01] Alex: right. So, he’s his most popular adaptation of all time was probably a TV show that ran from 1957 to 1959 on ABC
[00:22:08] Brian: I would have been the right time for my
[00:22:10] Alex: Yeah. it was produced by Disney. little sidebar because I, um, just love Disney. I’m not gonna lie. Disney owns ABC now, but at the time they didn’t, and they’ve always had programming blocks on ABC.
There was Walt Disney’s Disneyland at the very beginning, which is like basically an infomercial for Disneyland that ran on ABC. there was a Walt Disney presents Disney’s wonderful world of color. wonderful world of Disney, which is what it would have been called when we were growing up.
In 1957, Disney was producing a ton of TV for ABC. And one of the things was this ROTC TV show. and Zorro was actually like very much part of the Disney brand at the time. So like he was at the theme parks, he was like part and parcel with Disney. So yeah, probably the most popular adaptation.
[00:22:52] Brian: yeah. I remember listening to like the zero theme song. I believe there was this old, like three CD set of like classic Disney music that had like, um, yeah, it had like, Davy Crockett and, lavender blue dilly dilly. And I mean, it’s like songs that are on movies. They don’t even like let people watch anymore, um, and stuff.
And like, I’m pretty sure.
there was a zero theme in there.
[00:23:21] Alex: So that was all after, you know, Bob and bill could have been inspired by it. So let’s step back. zero is a character that’s created in 1919 by a writer named Johnston McCauley. And he first appeared in pulp magazines. his first appearance specifically was in a magazine called story weekly.
And Zorro is a period character he’s set in California in the early 18 hundreds. So at that time, California was under the rule of Spain. And Zoro is the alter ego of a man named Don Diego Dayla Vega. he’s kind of a Robin hood type character who, you know, his he’s his primary trope is that he’s challenging the authority of the Spanish and pushing back against unfair treatment of the people.
So not really a crime fighter, although he does fight crime, but a general sort of do gooder most of the stories take place in Los Angeles when it was just a Pueblo. So not like a sprawling metropolis, but he does travel up and down the El Camino real, which if you’re familiar with sort of California history, yeah.
Is a road that connects like San Diego all the way to San Francisco. And there’s still like bells, up and down highway 1 0 1.
[00:24:41] Brian: yeah,
it’s a, it connects to the California missions. I think
[00:24:46] Alex: that’s right. Yeah. So, there were Catholic missions that were all up and down the coast, and that’s what the, the road connects, So, yeah, that’s the backdrop of a lot of these stories are different puddles emissions missions in the 18 hundreds and in CA in California. And one of the big things about Zorro is that he’s very, very good at evading. The authorities. Zorro is Spanish for Fox, which is his nickname because his ability to fool authorities avoid being captured. He wears all black, including a Cape, a wide brim hat and a bandana mask think teenage mutant, ninja turtles, a long black, peice of cloth that, is tied around his head with, holes, cover his eyes.
And the bandana goes all the way, to his hat. So you don’t see any skin or hair until the bottom of the mask. He often has a pistol and a whip, but his primary weapon is a rapier and a rapier is the sword that has the same width all the way up and down. So like a broad sword is broad at the, at the bottom and like becomes.
thinner at the top. Rapier is like very long and thin, and it has a handle that covers your hand. So you’ve got that the little guard it’s usually fancy and
[00:25:46] Brian: yeah,
[00:25:46] Alex: diamonds
[00:25:47] Brian: I
[00:25:47] Alex: stuff.
[00:25:47] Brian: think a think princess bride
[00:25:50] Alex: absolutely, yeah, that’s a rapier. And he uses it to cut a Z wherever he goes as a calling card.
So like if there’s, a cloth that’s hanging from somewhere, if there’s like bags of like rice or whatever, like he’s, he’s cutting Zs wherever he goes. So that, he, the authorities know that the Fox has escaped him once again. Yes. so there’s the visual inspiration where he hit the top of his head is sort of covered, kind of like Batman’s cowl, but there’s also a thematic inspirations as well.
Both Zorro and Batman are vigilantes, the social sort of above the law. They evade authorities and they have alter egos.
[00:26:19] Brian: He like? Well,
[00:26:20] Alex: I don’t know. I know that they position them as kind of a, a fop.
[00:26:24] Brian: Okay. So I Googled it it says Don Diego LA Vega is a wealthy landowner who takes up.
the mask identity of Zorro to avenge the helpless, to punish cruel politicians and to aid the oppressed,
the sources love craft.fandom.com.
[00:26:45] Alex: Yeah, so that’s, to be honest, I have no. Watched like anything with zorro I don’t even know if I’ve watched the Banderas movies.
[00:26:52] Brian: oh, that’s pretty good. I mean, it makes me want to watch it right now. I’ve been on this kick to watch like. Just like nineties action, adventure movies. not critically claimed just like fun. It’s like the other day I definitely spent like 30 minutes Googling like the mummy. cause that’s, I mean, I really dig that.
It’s just fun. It’s just super fun. So Yeah.
I would, I would put this in that category. Just fun action. Adventure,
[00:27:17] Alex: Yeah.
[00:27:18] Brian: crazy.
[00:27:18] Alex: Another inspiration that is cited, is the shadow, are you familiar with the shadow?
[00:27:24] Brian: I think I have heard references to it maybe in the Batman, a bill or whatever.
[00:27:30] Alex: They might’ve, they might’ve done it in passing. There actually is. Speaking of like nineties action flicks, there is an Alec Baldwin, shadow movie from 1994. That is not great. yeah, that’s about this character. The origin of the shadow is kind of convoluted. It involves a pulp magazine called detective story magazine, which ran from 1915 to 1949.
Detective story was published by a company called street and Smith. And. The shadow actually didn’t appear in that magazine. But the street and Smith in order to promote the magazine, decided that they wanted to have a radio show. In 1930 they hired an advertising agency to make a radio show that would adapt stories from the magazine. that show started on July 31st, 1930, and was, uh, called the detective story hour. And for the show, they decided that they needed a narrator and they decided that the narrator of the show should be a character. Called the shadow. And at first there wasn’t a whole lot to the shadow. He was mysterious. Didn’t have a backstory on purpose. He was just kind of a creepy voice.
He had a ha a cackle, um, his tagline was
who knows what evil lurks in the heart of man the shadow knows.
[00:28:38] Brian: it’s ridiculous. Oh, so what time, what year is this? 1930. Oh man. Such a product of a time. I mean, it sounds like it’s from the thirties is, I mean, it’s like almost like Vincent Price type, like yeah,
yeah. I mean also strong shades of a Scooby doo.
[00:29:30] Alex: like a Scooby-Doo villain, right? Like not, not to someone that you would yeah. Not something that you would think of as a hero.
[00:29:36] Brian: Oh yeah. That I didn’t think about that. Yeah. the shadow sounds like a villain, but I guess is it’s like, it’s like if Freddy Kruger was a good guy,
[00:29:47] Alex: Yeah. A little bit. And that’s kind of the shadows shtick. Well, we’ll, we’ll talk about it more here in a second. Detective radio hour was canceled after only 54 episodes, which was not a lot for the time.
[00:29:56] Brian: yeah, only 54. I hope
we get to 54 on this show.
[00:30:00] Alex: we are. We’re literally in episode four,
But the character proved to be really popular.
So soon, um, he would get his own pulp magazine simply called the shadow. So remember the pulps are literary fiction, basically novellas. They’re not comic books. Um, and this is where the character of the shadow is fleshed out. Eventually he does get back onto the radio he’s on the radio by 1936.
Interestingly at the time in 1936, when he came back, the shadow would be voiced by a 22 year old Orson Welles. yeah, which is really cool. if you’re not familiar, Orson Wells is the one that did the famous, like war of the worlds, broadcast, amongst other things kind of a famous actor.
[00:30:43] Brian: I mean, yeah. Okay. That’s pretty famous, but like his most famous role or just considered like the greatest movie of all time a citizen Kane, right?
[00:30:52] Alex: That’s right.
[00:30:53] Brian: it the same dude? Yeah.
I mean, kind of crazy.
[00:30:57] Alex: Yeah. And so the shadow has a whole magazine dedicated to him. He has, you know, radio shows that are dedicated to him. The shadow wears a long black flowing cloak. It’s almost kind of like a trench coat, and, and a wide brim black hat. And he has a Scarlet red scarf that’s wrapped around his neck and lower face.
So just beneath the nose, but covering his mouth, he’s often depicted with two Colt 45 handguns, but sometimes also has a Tommy gun and some cases has two Tommy guns. In the early pulps, he hunts down and sometimes kills criminals using various tricks to scare the criminals and convince them that he has supernatural powers.
so like kind of like slights of hand and magic, he uses chemicals, to scare them,
[00:31:36] Brian: it also
kind of sounds like the Punisher little bit, cause
[00:31:39] Alex: uh, a little bit.
Yeah. But, in the radio show, which was the more popular version of him at this time, um, he does less killing. Like I listened to several episodes. He didn’t actually kill anybody in any of the episodes.
So I don’t know if he actually killed people on the show or not. and in that version, he actually kind of does have mystical powers. Like it’s not just like, he’s trying to trick people. He travels the world learning from different martial artists and spiritual leaders and mystics,
which is a thing that later yeah.
Batman does, to, you know, sort of gain skills to, you know, fight. And in the radio show as well that I listened to, he does the thing where, he appears and disappears without people noticing
[00:32:19] Brian: got it.
[00:32:19] Alex: on, which is the
thing that Batman does.
[00:32:21] Brian: he does.
[00:32:24] Alex: and another thing that he does is that he has, different disguises and alter egos that he uses to go and do investigations and talk to people. So a big inspiration for Batman because he’s designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. He Larsen the shadows trap, travels the world, uh, to train himself, sudden comings and goings many disguises.
[00:32:43] Brian: oh yeah.
The, the comparison is also a really strong here.
[00:32:46] Alex: So yeah, at the time that that Bob and bill created Batman, the shadow was basically only on the radio and in pulps, but later the shadow would go on to be successful in, in comic strips and comic books, has been adopted in several movies, including the 1994 Alec Baldwin movie. Yeah, kind of a big character in his own right.
So those are some of the inspirations. We, we talked a little bit about who created Batman, Bob Kane and bill finger, what inspired him. but we haven’t talked too much about the credit for Batman, which is what basically the movie, was about Batman and bill that we gave you the assignment.
[00:33:21] Brian: yeah,
[00:33:22] Alex: Because Bob was solely credited for credited, for Batman, wherever the credit was given. The world basically didn’t know about bill finger for decades and decades. there were diehard fans that knew, um, you know, nerds who read the books, including strength, the history of comics, which was written in the seventies, or Bob’s audio biography from the eighties that knew about bell.
People knew about bill, but largely he was unknown to the public. Which was crazy because bill finger wrote 1500 Batman stories
over the course of 25 years. Yeah. So that leads us to Marc Tyler nobleman. Mark Tyler nobleman is a children’s author who started researching about Batman in 2006, with the intent of writing a book about the creation of, of Batman.
He also wrote another book about Jerry Siegel and Joe Joseph Schuster first. So this is really uncharted territory for him. And that book that he wrote came out in 2012, it’s a book called, , buildable boy wonder, and it’s really, , sort of a narrative story. It’s very, you know, it’s got lots of, pictures.
It is a children’s book where, it just kind of puts bill at the center of the story. It doesn’t really talk a lot about Bob, or his involvement in the creation of, of Batman. It just talks about, you know, the types of stories that that bill wrote. it talks about sort of his life and the fact that he didn’t get credit.
And the fact that, you know, that that was hard for him. Mark also went on to, after this book came out, sort of do a public sort of advocacy campaign where he would go on podcasts and write blog posts do Comicon appearances and things like that to try to get people, to know.
[00:35:00] Brian: No.
[00:35:01] Alex: About bill. He found Athena finger, Bill’s granddaughter, and
after urging her to sort of, you know, start a legal battle, to get bill credit, in 2015, DC did that and gave, bill credit, wherever that credit has shown. And then in 2017, there’s that documentary that, we had to go watch.
What’d you think of the documentary, Brian?
[00:35:20] Brian: I loved it. I thought it was super interesting. I will admit that I am the kind of person that reaches for documentaries more commonly than a lot of other media. cause I like learning especially about things like this. It was super, super interesting. especially in the way that. It’s like a bit revisionist history where it like goes back and it finds out the information you don’t have in it.
And it brings new light to something that we all kind of took as granted to an extent, you know? And, also like taking a step back. It blew my socks off that Marc Tyler nobleman was the guy who went on like the strongest, campaign, I guess, to resolve this wrong, to right this wrong, you know? And I just think that like that backstory was so fascinating, but like it children’s author, just trying to figure out the interesting details about, who created Batman to make a children’s book and then was sucked down the rabbit hole on what, like a 10 year. Focus to come, come to like, it’s just like, I don’t know. It’s so interesting thinking about having something that would hold my interest so strongly in maybe one of like the only people who knows it to just like keep pushing and keep pushing and not give up and not get tired of it, you know, until it, you can see it through until the, the resolution, I guess,
[00:36:52] Alex: Yeah, super driven.
[00:36:54] Brian: just lay layers of wildness. Yeah.
[00:36:56] Alex: And that’s why I thought it would be good too, because let’s be honest. Like I’m never going to be able to tell that story in such a compelling way that they were able to do in that documentary. Not just because, um, you know, sort of the story of the injustice that, that, that sort of B fel bill is so compelling.
Um, you know, everyone who hears that story, comes to care about it on some level. Right. , cause it is sad. Right? You do want to see, , you know, people recognized for their work. But also because it’s a story about mark, right. And, and his sort of determination and, and his, sort of rightly like calling out that this is a thing that we should care about.
Right. And trying to get people on board,
[00:37:36] Brian: for sure. Like the, the, we live in a world where we don’t see enough justice, or at least we don’t feel that we’ve seen of justice. And, I think there is a certain reflection there of Batman in that he was trying to right. A wrong, he, he saw something that was wrong and he set out to make it right.
And the, I think part of what makes the story so compelling to hear about is that there was a happy resolution.
[00:38:03] Alex: Because I was, you know, sort of so obsessed about, this movie and the story of Bob and bill and Batman, I kind of kept digging and it turns out that, Marc Tyler nobleman is still, you know, posting to his blog on a regular basis about other things.
He he’s writing other books too, but he occasionally writes about Batman and he writes about Bilfinger. And, you know, I got really interested in something , decided to reach out and send him an email, and he wrote back. And so that’s the sort of exciting news is, is that, um, next episode of bat lessons we will have as a guest, Marc, Tyler nobleman.
I hope, um, you can all look forward to it. Yeah.
So we’ve talked a lot about, the creation of Batman in this episode, but I thought, we would actually get to some of the story for the first time on, bat lessons. .
We would read. of comics number 27, the first appearance of Badman, if you would like to follow along, you can. I highly recommend a service called DC universe, infinite. It’s a subscription app. Think about it like Netflix for comics. You can read as much as you want. They have tons and tons of back catalog.
If you want to do a.
Copy of this particular book, there’s a bunch of ways to do it. There’s the Batman golden age omnibus, which is like a big oversized sort of like library, hard cover, really nice zone binding edition of like tons of the early Batman stuff. There’s also, paperback versions of, Batman in the golden age.
They call ’em trade paperbacks. If you just Google Batman golden age, trade, paperback volume one, this would be in there.
There’s, there’s a bunch of ways to read it, but I recommend digital, especially because I think you’ll find if you try to start reading golden age comics for fun, that it’s a bit much . But, if you’d like to just listen along while, Brian gets to hear about the story for the first time, you can, you can do that as well. So Brian, we’re looking at the cover. Can you, um, describe the cover to
[00:39:54] Brian: Yeah.
So, big yellow background. It doesn’t look like it’s nighttime at all. Number 27 May, 1939, it says, 64 pages of action and then detective comics in huge letters, like, I don’t know, a third of the whole. Cover says detective comics and starting this issue, the amazing and unique adventures of the Batman, let’s see, this is, I mean, it’s 1939, but it’s like very, or like late 30 thirties, early forties style of stuff. So they’re wearing like, there’s a couple of dudes wearing fedoras and like over coats, one of ’em holding some sort of like a six shooter revolver. And they’re on looking Batman swinging from a rope.
[00:40:41] Alex: They’re on like the roof of a
[00:40:43] Brian: yeah. Yeah. Thank you. They’re on the roof of building and Batman’s swinging and it looks like he’s got some dude in like a choke hold in one arm while he’s like holding onto a rope and swinging with the other.
[00:40:54] Alex: and they’re swinging away from the dude’s fedora. Like it’s clearly come off. Like he’s snatched him off the, the, the, like roof of this building that’s adjacent. And, and these two guys with the guns are like, what’s going on?
[00:41:05] Brian: Yeah. I, mean, I, I could really critique the art in this. Like, I don’t know how they moved in that motion while Batman is holding him in that particular position.
Cetera, but like, it’s a cool cover.
[00:41:17] Alex: Yeah, there’s, there’s a lot to critique about Bob K art. It’s not actually that. Great. And we’ll talk a little bit more once we’re done with the story about, particular ways in which Bob K art isn’t great. but some of the things that are no notable on this cover are 64 pages of pages of action.
Comic books at this time are anthologies, right? So, there were 64 pages in this issue, but only eight pages of which were a story about Batman. The others are just like various
stories. So the story we’re gonna read is only eight pages. Likewise what’s really interesting is that here on the cover, it says the Batman, B a T M a N no space, no dash.
But you’ll notice when we get inside the book, it, it has a dash much like Spiderman still does to this day, day B a T E dash M a N.
like I said, uh, page one panel one we have, on, on there, the Batman. B a T dash M a N by Robert Kane. And the dash sticks around for a while. during the golden age they would, they would do it bat dash man.
This issue is called the case of the chemical syndicate, and there’s a caption in the first panel that says the Batman, a mysterious and adventurous figure fighting for righteousness and apprehending the wrongdoer and his lone battle against the evil forces of society.dot his identity remains
[00:42:31] Brian: To be noted in this little bit of art here. The piece that Alex just read is in what looks kind of like bat wings. It’s like, it’s almost like Mon Python. It has words inside of scrolls or something.
This is inside of bat wings. And the, in the background, there’s, obviously Batman, but it’s a, it’s a dude standing up on top of a rooftop, holding his arms up in the air with the wings.
And I’m, I’m actually picking up on stuff like in the, was it 1989 Batman with, uh, who’s the Batman,
[00:43:04] Alex: Michael Keaton
[00:43:05] Brian: Michael
Thank you. So Michael Kea, when he first shows up in that movie, he he’s in, he’s striking that exact pose. He comes down from the sky, like if he’s flying and he’s got his arms up and he’s holding the Cape up, like a bet.
And it’s exactly that pose right there. So it makes me wonder if they’re paying homage to that or not. But it, I mean, it jumps out to me right away.
[00:43:27] Alex: Yeah. And he’s, he’s in silhouette. He’s in front of the moon, right? He’s just kind of a shadow, right? You don’t see his face. You don’t see there’s no bat logo. There’s no, you know, gloves, there’s no detail or anything.
[00:43:37] Brian: Yeah.
[00:43:37] Alex: and then, we start the story. So the, the first few panels we’ve got, two men, um, sitting, sitting in sort of armchairs across from each other one with gray hair, one with black there, one’s smoking a cigar, another smoking, a pipe, and, wearing a yellow suit.
And in that yellow suit, we’ve got Bruce Wayne and in the white suit, with the gray hair and the cigar, we have commissioner Gordon. So, panel two of page, one of the very first Batman story, we already have Batman and commissioner Gordon.
[00:44:05] Brian: Gordon is an OG. I mean, he.
Pan like first, first?
[00:44:09] Alex: right. To the very beginning, but it’s worth noting at this point that people don’t know that Bruce Wayne is Batman. So we have this man here named Bruce Wayne.
[00:44:16] Brian: Oh, the
That’s a really interesting point because it’s, it’s like you can’t put it the genie back in the bottle.
Like we go in reading this and we know who Bruce Wayne is. There’s no, there’s no shock factor coming later in the story. It’s like when I watched the first, when I, the first time that I watched like empire strikes back, like I already knew Darth Vader was Luke’s dad. Like everybody knew that. And so I never experienced the shock that the, the world experienced in 19, what, 80, when, , empire strikes back came out.
So this is kind of like that, like, I can’t, it’s tough, but I can’t put my mind in the place of the like original reader who had no idea that
Bruce Wayne was anything
[00:44:56] Alex: yeah, you have to kind of try. It’s an exercise. Like if you think about it, the, the, that cover that we saw before, where you’ve got sort of Batman swinging through the air and he’s got a dude in a headlock, that’s the cover. That’s the first time anyone has ever seen Batman. Right. So they don’t know who this is.
They don’t know anything about him. That’s their first exposure. so yeah, there’s, there’s this dude named Bruce Wayne. Who’s that guy? I don’t know. He’s with another dude named, you know, commissioner Gordon.
[00:45:18] Brian: Obviously a commissioner. I mean,
it’s in the
title. Mm-hmm uh,
[00:45:23] Alex: yep. Phone rings, commissioner Gordon picks it up. He says what’s going on? And then, the person on the other end of the line says that Lambert, the chemical king has been stabbed to death.
And his son’s fingerprints are on the knife. I’ll be right over. And so commission Gordon’s like, I’m going into this crime scene and Bruce Wayne’s like, oh, well, nothing else to do might as well come. So they get in a car and they speed towards the Lambert residence and they show up commissioner Gordon says, is everything under control.
And this, you know, uniform police officers. Yes. We’ve got young Lambert in the room, in the back, they walk past like a dead body on the floor. Do you wanna describe the
[00:45:58] Brian: Uh, yeah. Yeah. So there’s, a dude there. I mean, it’s, it’s 1939. So they drove
old car. They’re all standing around with like their fedoras. The police officers are black head to toe. They’re wearing like white shirts and black ties. Um, there’s obviously like a couple of reporters there or, or maybe they’re, they might be crime scene photographers.
I’m not sure if they’re reporters or not, but they’re in like these Tweed, like head to toe Tweed suits, it’s awful like kind of cat Putte green and. And they’ve got like those, like, I don’t know what those are called, those big, long cameras that look kind of like accordions and, uh, he’s holding his flash up over his head with the other hand.
, and there’s just a dude laying on the ground in the middle of what seems to be some kind of a library or something wearing, it looks like a red robe on the ground, not moving.
[00:46:58] Alex: So
they go past the crime scene. They, come up to a dude in a red armchair, he’s wearing a blue suit. He looks very distressed. And commissioner Gordon says, hello, Lambert. They say, you killed your father.
And he says, I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. Um, he says, calm down, calm down. Tell me all about it. And he says, well, you know, I got home earlier tonight and I saw, you know, my dad was on the floor. I heard a gro. I rushed in, I thought I saw someone jump out the window. Then I went to his body and I pulled the knife out of the body and I turned towards me and I heard him say contract contract.
Oh. And then he died. And that’s how I got my fingerprints on the knife. It’s the truth commissioner. And commissioner Gordon says, Hmm, did your dad have any enemies or people who would’ve interests in his business activities? And then Lambert young Lambert says not that I know of, except he has three former business partners.
Let’s see, they were Steven Crane, Paul Rogers, an Alfred striker. So like, like just very much exposition dump. I didn’t kill my dad. I touched the knife to pull it out of him. Uh, he said something about a contract. He’s in business with these three other dudes, crane Rogers and striker. And then a uniform police officer says commissioner, there’s a, a man named Steve crane who wants to speak to old Lambert.
And when I told him that old Lambert was dead, he got very excited and wanted to speak with you. And then commissioner picks up with the phone and says, this is commissioner Gordon. What’s the trouble. The person on the other end says yesterday, Mr. Lambert called and told me he received an anonymous threat in his life.
And today I received the same. That’s why I called I’m afraid. It’ll be next. What should I do?
He says, and then commissioner Gordon says, wait, and do not let anybody in. We’ll be over as
soon as we can. What’s that Bruce. And then Bruce says, ho hum. Literally he actually says, ho hum, I’ll leave you here to finish your work.
I’m going home. and there’s like, honestly, there’s not a whole lot of interesting art here.
[00:48:37] Brian: Like reading into this a little bit. The there’s one, one thing that’s interesting is like, it is statements of the time, right? Ho hum may have been a very common thing for people to say at the time, but also like, uh, dude heard that Steven Crane’s on the phone. He heard that old Lambert’s dead and he got excited and I, I don’t think that’s like, huh, I’m very excited.
My friend died. It’s like, he became like, uh, upset, like over, over,
animated. That’s a better way to say that. Yeah.
[00:49:08] Alex: Yeah, it’s, that’s just the sort of shift in vernacular, like excited is, is not wrong. We understand it. Right. But it’s just not the way that someone would
[00:49:17] Brian: totally.
[00:49:17] Alex: so meanwhile, literally we have a, meanwhile, we cut to a different scene. Steven Crane is sitting in the library with a feeling of impending danger.
Do you wanna describe that panel where we’ve
[00:49:26] Brian: Yeah. It’s a, it’s a dude who, who, he’s I mean, the, the whole panel’s green, he’s wearing a light color green. He’s sitting in a big, armchair, like one of those armchairs that’s like taller than you are. What do you call those chairs? They’re they’re like,
there’s a common name
[00:49:42] Alex: I don’t know,
but if they kinda like wrap around you
[00:49:45] Brian: Yeah. I mean, it’s like, it’s exactly what you would expect from like a really old Victorian style house or something, but green chair, he is got this big shock on his face and he’s obviously going, ah, and then there’s a dude. Standing in front of him. You can’t see his face, but he’s holding a gun pointed at what I’m assuming is Steven Crane.
sitting in the chair.
[00:50:07] Alex: That’s crane. Yeah.
[00:50:08] Brian: okay. And he’s wearing, yeah, head to toe green, but it looks like maybe black pin Stripe,
but yeah, just standing there, ah, with a gun.
[00:50:19] Alex: And he is got like a news boy hat. Like, I don’t know how to describe it or what the, the proper name is, but like, clearly that, that, that character’s
like meant to be younger.
[00:50:25] Brian: Oh, clear. Okay. That wasn’t clear to me, but I guess I can, I can see it.
[00:50:31] Alex: Yeah. So, so crane is, is bald, right? And he’s kind of roun. Um, so he’s you, you get the sense that he’s sort of older, he’s a fat cat he’s well, to do this kid in, in the Stripe pin, pin, Stripe suit with the, with the hat, like I would guess probably twenties and he’s slender. So next panel, there’s a sickening shot and crane slumps over in his chair, dead, the murderer, rushes to the safe and secures a paper.
So that all happens in text. Right. In this next panel, the kid is just like jumping out the window and crane is already dead. So they’ve, they’ve done like lots of exposition.
[00:51:02] Brian: yeah, they, they let
you figure out the action. They, they give you the setup where the, the kids there with the gun, and then they give you the exit. When the kids like literally climbing out of the window with like paper and hand and in kind of the foreground, uh, is kind of the back of this body.
That’s slumped over in a chair.
[00:51:22] Alex: you, do you see where he got the paper?
[00:51:23] Brian: So I see that there is a painting on the wall. That’s kind of a SKU and it looks like there is a port hole. So I’m guessing that’s like a safe with the
door open or something.
[00:51:34] Alex: Right. So the safe is behind the painting. They’ve hidden, hidden his important documents behind in a safe behind the painting, which I thought was, is kind of cool. So yeah, in, in, in one page, literally 1, 2, 3, 4 panels apart, we have introduced the concept of three business partners for Lambert, the, the first murdered, and then one of them is already dead.
So we’re down to two business partners left. we jumped to the next page. There’s , you know, the kids climbing up onto the top of the building and there’s another man in a fedora. And he says, did you get the paper? And he says, yeah. And the next panel, we have Batman,
[00:52:06] Brian: yeah. So Batman is big. I mean, I mean, obviously somewhat of like a larger than life figure in the shot. You can see ankles to the top of his head. He’s standing there and kind of a power stance. With his arms crossed and he’s got his, a really funky looking Cape in this, picture at least, um, over his shoulders and kind of like flowing out to the sides and he just, he does not look like a happy camper.
[00:52:32] Alex: the, these two guys, they say the Batman and they look really distressed.
[00:52:37] Brian: Mm-hmm and they
hyphenated, Batman in their words as well.
[00:52:40] Alex: yes, yes, they will do that. This whole story. They hyphenate Batman everywhere. It’s written,
[00:52:45] Brian: except for the
[00:52:48] Alex: for the cover. That’s right. the Batman lashes out with a terrific right and grabs his second adversary with a deadly headlock and a mighty heve and sends to the Birdly criminal flying through space.
Do you wanna describe this, this action of, of, of Batman, like chucking this.
[00:53:03] Brian: I mean, yeah, it looks like he just like flipped him, like full body, flipped him up over his shoulder and, uh, in a very comical, like, like flipping him over in the way that his feet would’ve swung up over the top of his whole body, um, to, to do this flip. And so, , it’s the guy, I mean, it’s, it’s the dude that shot crane.
I mean, you can tell by the way he is dressed, it’s the dude that shot crane. And he’s, he’s got that paper that’s falling out of his hand, it’s like if you took a body, there was like a stiff board that’s facing you and just grabbed it and flipped it end over in like right up over the top of you.
feet up and that’s, that’s basically what this is.
[00:53:47] Alex: Yeah, so the dude’s
[00:53:48] Brian: So
[00:53:48] Alex: through the air
[00:53:49] Brian: flying Batman
[00:53:50] Alex: Yeah, he’s he’s, he’s he’s sailing. Batman swiftly picks up the paper that the murderer stole from Steven Crane’s safe. And then meanwhile, the commissioner draws up in his car. and we see this wide shot of the house.
And, can you describe the, the scene in front of the house a little bit?
[00:54:06] Brian: yeah. Actually I paused for a long second because he’s in a green car, but he was in a red car before, but I’m guessing the red car was Bruce Wayne’s red car, but anyway, it doesn’t
[00:54:19] Alex: I would not read into it too much.
[00:54:21] Brian: Okay. All right. So they’re just swapping colors. So there’s this car that’s parallel parked in the street.
There’s two dudes in the front yard, kind of like waving their hands in the air. There’s a obvious body laying on top of this roof. I mean, it looks like kind of a two door kind of house, like in the game of life or whatever. And then you’ve got this big, I mean, it’s obviously Batman, but this big bat, winged looking Cape thing, silhouetted with the moon behind it, , of as Batman seemingly runs away.
But on the roof and then in the far foreground, there’s some random silhouetted dude holding a revolver. So he’s like, like,
feet away from all this
[00:55:10] Alex: I read that as a police officer.
[00:55:12] Brian: you
see it as
a police officer.
[00:55:13] Alex: read that as a police officer. I think
so. But, but what you’re
missing is what’s between the officer and Gordon the sidewalk.
[00:55:21] Brian: is there a body on the ground?
[00:55:23] Alex: That is the, the body that he that’s the dude, he just
[00:55:26] Brian: He flipped
[00:55:27] Alex: house.
[00:55:29] Brian: Oh my gosh.
So there’s a dude there checking on this body. Oh, I didn’t. Yeah, I didn’t see that at all.
[00:55:35] Alex: they don’t explicitly say that my man is dead,
[00:55:39] Brian: been, but
yeah. Oh my God. So like Batman punches a guy and knocks him out and that was the nice thing.
The other dude, he
bodily flipped up over his shoulder off of a roof off the second floor of a roof
[00:55:57] Alex: sidewalk.
[00:55:57] Brian: onto a side. Yeah.
[00:56:01] Alex: and we’re just gonna skate past it. One panel. He flips him. He’s on the ground. Someone’s
clearly checking on him. Well, And one of the person is, is yelling. It’s the Batman get him. And Batman runs off. So commissioner Gordon shows up with the front door, to Crane’s house and the Butler comes out. Cuz of course, crane has a Butler he’s wearing like a purple suit, you know, with a bow tie. And the Butler says, Mr Crane’s been murdered.
It’s horrible. And Gordon says the obvious that’s two dead partners in one night. Let’s go to Roger’s next. So they’re gonna go to the, the next business partner and, , Batman reads the paper he’s snatch on the killer and a grim smile comes to his lips. Which I think is funny cuz in the panel it doesn’t really look like he’s smiling at all, but, but okay.
He speeds forward in his car to an unknown destination, I think maybe you’re right. I think maybe the red car is Bruce Wayne’s car. I, I never realized that until you, uh, pointed it out. Cuz the red car is the one that speeds away.
[00:56:52] Brian: no Batman bill. It’s just a dude in a bat suit. Driving a regular car
[00:56:57] Alex: That’s right. There are many elements of Batman that don’t show up for a long time. And the Batman mobile is, is not one of the things that, is in the first Batman comics. He’s just in a dude in a car. So meanwhile Rogers, so one of the two remaining business partners has learned of Lambert’s death by news broadcast.
So he’s like heard the radio or something, and has already gone to the neighboring laboratory of his earth, wild partner striker. So Roger shows up to striker the, you know, he goes to the house of the othering partner.
[00:57:22] Brian: so yeah, Rogers is wearing a, I don’t know, like a dark. Tan or, or a, like kind of a mustard, yellow suit he’s wearing a light tan or like a off white fedora.
He actually really looks like Tom Sellek from the back. He’s got
um, this big mustache. Yeah. And then the dude to cross from him is Jennings. And he, honestly, he looks like stereotypically, he would run a bar or something of that time. He’s got like the, the white, long sleeve, shirts. And he is got that like tie thing on the, it probably mean is probably some important thing in, in the times, but he’s got like this tie thing on his arm, like an Armand kind of thing.
He’s wearing a, green checkered vest with green pants. He’s a little bit larger than Rogers. Roger seems to be a little bit more fit.
[00:58:21] Alex: It’s not just that he’s he’s, um, he’s kind of got a pot belly. It’s really interesting. They make a point of like, from his shoulders down to his chest, it’s kind of straight. And then the, his tummy kind of like comes, comes around. It’s very,
[00:58:32] Brian: no, that’s right.
[00:58:33] Alex: in the way that he’s fat.
[00:58:34] Brian: Yeah.
[00:58:35] Alex: And so, Roger says, hello, Ginnings I must see striker quickly. And he says, oh, once you come in and then sock, he hits him in the back of the head.
[00:58:42] Brian: yeah, with like a
[00:58:44] Alex: yeah, that comes from somewhere. I don’t know where
[00:58:47] Brian: Yeah.
[00:58:49] Alex: and I love the, the, the, um, the way that it says sock it’s in this like white, like jagged, like balloon ,
um, with an exclamation point sock, uh, cuz that’s what you say when you hit people sock. So Jennings, Striker’s assistant carries Rogers to the basement of labor laboratory and he goes, Hey, one more out of the way soon I’ll control everything, which is funny, cuz this is not striker. This is Jennings who say he’s gonna control everything. I don’t know if that’s a continuity error or what, but and then he explains this is a gas chamber.
I use to kill Guinea pigs to experiment with, but now you are my Guinea pig. Hey, Hey. When this glass lid covers you entirely gas will come through the jet and kill you. And then then, and then Rogers says you feed
[00:59:38] Brian: way he’s doing all everyth funny’s then he explains this is a you feed
And then Roger says
[00:59:41] Alex: uh, yeah, the Jennings pulls a lever and the glass dome starts lowering over the top of, of Rogers. and at that moment, Batman leaps through an open transom, speaking of words, that people don’t really say anymore, transom, it looks like a skylight. I’m not, I’m not sure.
[00:59:58] Brian: uh, yeah, lever and the, like the skylight. Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh, I can look that up
[00:59:59] Alex: Yeah, you should. So he grabs a wrench from the table and, uh, leaps for the gas chamber. And so at this point in this frame, Rogers is tied up on the floor with his hand tied to behind his back. And he’s got like a very worried look on his face. But the glass, dome is probably still like, I don’t know, five feet above the ground as Batman is like standing right next to it with a wrench in his hand.
And you’d think that like, maybe he would just like, I don’t know,
Break the glass, but instead he jumps inside this dome. So he he’s in this dome that is lowered with the dude. So Rogers and Batman are both inside the glass dome. And the caption says the Batman quickly plugs the gas jet with a Hanker chief as the gas chamber descends over them.
So he plugs
[01:00:47] Brian: you can see it
[01:00:48] Alex: out.
[01:00:49] Brian: Oh,
[01:00:49] Alex: Yeah. There’s like little squiggles to symbolize the gas. And then I, kid you not in the next, in the next caption, he says he then unties Rogers. So order of operations here, he goes inside the, the glass dome. Then he plugs up the gas. Then he unties the dude and then third, he takes the wrench in with a powerful swing, breaks it open,
[01:01:11] Brian: window. I did
some more looking. So have you ever seen a house that has like a window above the front door?
[01:01:17] Alex: Yes.
[01:01:18] Brian: So that’s like a transom window and some of them
[01:01:21] Alex: Okay.
[01:01:21] Brian: open.
[01:01:22] Alex: Okay.
[01:01:22] Brian: if you were to go back to that page, it’s not a skylight.
Oh man. It looks
[01:01:29] Alex: That’s on a
[01:01:30] Brian: That is a
Def that’s definitely a
There’s more, more issues anyway.
[01:01:34] Alex: Well,
and, and that’s not uncommon for comics, right? Like, you know, the person who drew it is not the same person who wrote the script and it’s probably not a third person that did the lettering. So. funnily enough comics at this time are written much the way they are today, but they went through a big period from like the sixties, seventies, eighties, where they’re not written this way at all.
But at this time, right, what happens is like bill writes a script of like, this is what’s gonna happen in the book. Bob draws it. And then they hand it off to a letterer and the letterer takes the script and the drawing and puts it together. Which is much the way it’s done now. So, you know, obviously an editor is
supposed to fix these sorts of things, but you know,
it’s 19 30, 8 or
Yes, exactly. so Jenning shows back up and he goes, what the, and he’s reaching for his gun. and then the Batman greets Jennings. And, and what does, what does greeting Jennings look like?
[01:02:22] Brian: so, uh, just tackling him, just flying through the air, tackling him knocking. I mean, it looks like he got his shoulder right to the groin. and
[01:02:33] Alex: Like he’s put his head
[01:02:34] Brian: oh yeah.
[01:02:35] Alex: and is like driving
him with a
[01:02:37] Brian: Yeah. Also it’s worth noting that in the text, greets is underlined.
But it’s like kind of a squiggly underline, like SARC, like greets, he greets Ginnings with a
[01:02:52] Alex: yes.
[01:02:52] Brian: and then the next one, he is holding him down and he is
punching him in the face. Jennings is laying on his back. Batman is like straddling his chest and just wailing on his face.
[01:03:04] Alex: Yeah, it
looks like he’s sticking, like repeated swings, like haymaker back and forth.
[01:03:08] Brian: Yeah. And it’s
[01:03:09] Alex: and it’s also worth noting. This is like one of the only
[01:03:11] Brian: the only panel
[01:03:12] Alex: entire comic
doesn’t have any text.
Normally there’s a
[01:03:15] Brian: let’s
[01:03:16] Alex: bubbles or both. There’s
[01:03:18] Brian: yeah, it was cuz it’s like the editor looked at it and was like, what are we supposed to say? Batman beats the hell outta Jennings. we’ll say nothing. Well, pause for a beat and let people watch him beat the hell outta Jennings.
[01:03:30] Alex: Which I, I think is one of the awesome things about, about the comic medium, like that this is happening even in, in like back then, is that like, you have a single picture that isn’t, you know, you don’t see what’s happening before you don’t see what’s happening after there’s no amount of time assigned to it, but it’s just kind of implied, like you, you see it and you’re like, oh, I
know what’s going on.
[01:03:49] Brian: Oh, you’re like, oh yeah, it’s got like
those clear motion lines that like show you where the arm came from. And there’s like a, I mean, it kind of looks like a little cotton ball almost, but like a little puff of white to show where the contact took place in the past, because it’s not where the fist or the face are at the moment.
So yeah, it is, it is a single non-moving piece of art that conveys a whole lot of motion in action.
[01:04:16] Alex: and then another dude shows. Who is bald. He’s got a cul-de-sac, you know, he’s got the hair around the back, uh, you know, going from ear to ear. And he’s in a gray suit and he says, Rogers, what happened? And, Roger says your assistant. Ginnings tried to kill me. And then like on a dime, on a dime.
Striker’s like, so he didn’t get you after all, we’ll finish you and then throw your body in the acid tank below. So like, he’s very concerned for him. And then when he finds out that he’s been trying to kill, he turns instant villain mode. He’s got a knife, you know, kind of holding it up. Like he doesn’t know how to use it.
[01:04:50] Brian: yeah, totally. I mean, it’s like in one shot, he’s saying Rogers, what happened? And in the very next one, he’s got this aggressive look on his face and he’s like charging forward with, with the knife, blade down, like in his fist, like he’s coming to a murder. Also, I understand the continuity era you pointed out
before that this guy is so Jennings uh,
[01:05:16] Alex: is one of the business partners. No, sorry.
[01:05:18] Brian: Jennings.
[01:05:19] Alex: the business partners.
[01:05:20] Brian: Jennings is the doorman.
Yeah. He’s Striker’s assistant. Which also like what a, I even thought about that when they were giving the names, I was like, oh, striker, why don’t they just call him?
Like beater or killer? Or,
[01:05:35] Alex: bad guy.
[01:05:36] Brian: Yeah. They called him
[01:05:39] Alex: yeah. and so Batman comes up behind striker and, grabs the ha hand that had the knife. And, he’s got this very distressed look on his face and he goes, oh my hand.
[01:05:51] Brian: He’s yeah, he is got like the sweat drops on his, on his temples and stuff.
[01:05:55] Alex: yeah. somehow Rogers is still confused about what’s going on, uh, which doesn’t make any sense to me. And he says, what’s the idea? Why did he try to kill me? And Batman says, this rat was behind the murders. You see, I learned that you Lambert crane and striker were once partners in the apex chemical corporation, which is all things we already knew, right?
Like Lambert’s son tells ’em that they were partners together. And in the next panel, Betman says striker, who wished to be the sole owner, but having made ready cash made secret contracts with you to pay a certain sum of money each year until he owned the business. He figured by killing you and stealing the contracts, he wouldn’t have to pay this money. This doesn’t make any sense to me. He says you were in an agreement to sell your part of the company back to striker. You had contracts written up, but what we’re gonna do, what Striker’s gonna do is gonna kill you and steal the contracts and then get the company for free somehow.
[01:06:50] Brian: We’re we’re going to hide the evidence that there was an agreement that he would end up with the company and he would stop you guys from paying him money.
[01:06:59] Alex: yes,
[01:06:59] Brian: then magically three quarters of the company would come over to him magical
[01:07:06] Alex: Yes,
Yeah. Like I’m not a lawyer, but like if, if somehow he had some sort of right of survivorship, like, I don’t know that the contract makes any sort of difference
[01:07:14] Brian: right. Well also, like, I kind of want to be like, Hey striker, you might be gonna jail, but you got out a whole lot easier than your friends on the roof. You know, Batman killed one of those guys. You’re just being like held and probably taken to jail. Like, unless the next shot is Batman beating this guy to death or throwing him in the chemical vet.
Like he kind of got off easy with his interaction with Batman.
[01:07:39] Alex: and so then in the next panels, um, Roger says, Hmm, a very clever scheme and, being the contracts were a strict, uh, secret between the four of us, our heirs or the outside world wouldn’t know a thing about them, but how did you know all of this? And then Batman says, I secured this contract from one
hired killers. So again, they’re explaining this more. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. suddenly striker with the strength of a madman tears himself free from the grass of Batman. And he’s reaching inside his sort of coat pocket and pulling out, a gun. And then what happens in this next panel? Another
[01:08:11] Brian: happens?
[01:08:11] Alex: list, um,
[01:08:13] Brian: Batman punches striker in the face, the sound effect is suck striker is kind of falling backwards and his, his gun is pointed in the air and he shoots and you can see the puff of smoke from where he shoots.
Striker falls through a guardrail and he’s falling.
And I guess I’m thinking I called it that he’s gonna fall into a VA of chemicals.
didn’t make it out easier than his
[01:08:39] Alex: yeah, he goes, yeah.
[01:08:41] Brian: and Batman. Oh, and, uh, what was this? Who is this? Roger Rogers says he’s fall. He’s falling right into the acid tank. so he falls in and Batman goes a fitting in for his kind.
It’s like, holy smokes, This is
[01:08:58] Alex: Yes. And there’s a little, yeah. There’s.
It is. Yeah. And there’s this green, splash like this, this there’s this like liquid coming up out of the, like, to infer that like he’s, he’s landed in this VA of acid and it’s going everywhere.
[01:09:10] Brian: how can
I ever thank you.
[01:09:11] Alex: gone
so, so this is the first ever Batman disappears in the middle of a conversation. Rogers is TA saying, how can I ever thank you. Batman’s gone. he me? This dude he’s out.
[01:09:24] Brian: he’s not going down for murder.
[01:09:25] Alex: that’s right.
[01:09:27] Brian: That’s why
he wears gloves. Right?
technology is fingerprints.
[01:09:29] Alex: Uh . and then we cut to the next day and we have, again, just like we had in the very first panels of the story, we.
You know, Bruce Wayne is smoking his pipe commissioner. Gordon’s there, they’re in their office together. We have sort of the, the trailing end of a sentence where, commissioner Gordon saying, and then Rogers said that the Batman went through the skylight as if he’s like finishing to tell the story that we’ve just read.
And then Bruce Wayne says, Hmm, a lovely tale, indeed. commissioner
[01:09:58] Brian: the commissioner is sitting there holding a, a, piece of paper. Obviously the person drew out the whole interaction in, in a comic strip type
[01:10:09] Alex: Commissioner Gordon has just read us this comic book. , and then Bruce, Bruce, it says after Bruce Wayne is gone and commissioner Gordon’s talking to himself and he says, Bruce Wayne is a nice young chap, but he certainly must lead a boring life, seems disinterested in everything. , and then we only have two panels left, and it says Bruce Wayne returns home to his room.
A little later, his door slowly opens and it reveals its occupant. If the commissioner could see his young friend, now he’d be amazed to learn that he is the Batman.
[01:10:37] Brian: Watch
for a new
thrilling Batman story next month.
[01:10:41] Alex: that’s right.
[01:10:41] Brian: And they revealed they, man, they should have drawn that out?
[01:10:45] Alex: Oh, like not tell you.
[01:10:46] Brian: Yeah. Cuz this whole time they had very little about, um, Bruce Wayne. I mean, there is a little bit of like checkout’s gun here. Like you can’t have that guy just show off me like, oh this is boring and leave. And then at the end be like, oh,
[01:10:59] Alex: Yeah.
[01:10:59] Brian: Hm.
Interesting. And then
having be nobody in the story.
[01:11:03] Alex: he has a very conspicuous exit, right? Like he’s having a conversation with, he cos with commissioner Gordon to the crime
scene and after he hears.
that. That they’re gonna go to the, the partner’s house. And he says, ho hum, I’m gonna leave you here. And then Bruce Wayne gone the rest of the pages. So they’ve, they’ve kind of planted the seed that like, you know, Batman is Bruce Wayne, but I agree they could have kept it a secret longer. and there on the last page, it also says Robert Kane. So
signed by Bob Kane.
[01:11:29] Brian: say finished. It says. Looks
like the H is missing,
[01:11:33] Alex: What is, is there a difference between finish and finish?
[01:11:36] Brian: uh, the H yeah, the spelling.
[01:11:39] Alex: gotcha.
So that is detective comics, 27, the first appearance of Batman. What did you
[01:11:45] Brian: I mean, it was really interesting cuz obviously this is the time capsules, the first time. And as someone who is reading this 83 years later. it’s I mean, it’s kind of crazy. It’s just like all the stuff that’s going on. They don’t know any of the rules that they’re breaking.
Like they don’t know that Batman doesn’t kill , , et cetera. And, and it is, they’re trying to take a story and squeeze it into eight pages. So like, I understand that it is, a, I mean, it’s a product of his time, but I don’t mean that in the way that it’s doing something like egregiously racist or whatever, but like, it is just, it is a comic book made for may of 1939, very first Batman.
So it’s like not, I didn’t have really high hopes that it was gonna be like something amazing that had been held back for me all these years. But it is, uh, funny. It’s definitely, definitely like an interesting read. Um, but I’m, I also feel like very, if I was gonna pick up comics for Batman, I would probably jump ahead like 70 years from that one.
[01:12:53] Alex: I think we’re gonna spend a little bit of time in the golden age because there’s a lot of firsts I would like to do, like the first appearance of, you know, cat woman and the joker and the Ridler and all that kind of stuff. But beyond that, the golden age is not very fun to read. I’ll be real with you.
It’s a lot of stories like this. There’s not a lot of, um, you know, character development or subtext. It’s, it’s very much like a happens then B happens then C
[01:13:16] Brian: Mm-hmm
[01:13:17] Alex: so what if I told
[01:13:19] Brian: I told you
[01:13:19] Alex: was more
[01:13:20] Brian: there,
[01:13:21] Alex: about detective comics number
[01:13:23] Brian: I would believe
you a thousand percent
[01:13:26] Alex: and that we have come to learn, in recent years, that it is largely plagiarized?
[01:13:31] Brian: is not, it’s not surprising to me at all after the whole Bob Kane thing. Like, it sounds like all does, is rip people off and put his name on it.
[01:13:39] Alex: Yes, that’s right. So both in art and in story, This issue of Batman is wholly unoriginal. So there is, uh, a story from the shadow pulp magazine in 1936 called partners of peril about, business partners that, are, uh, systematically murdered by one of the other business partners, culminating in a scene with a, glass dome that lowers down upon one of the business partners and is going to, kill him with gas. So this particular issue of the shadow, is a little
bit more than inspiration for the first
Batman story. And this is something that actually, bill finger would come to admit in Steranko’s book, the history of comics.
And if I, I will go ahead and share my screen. There is, a blog that is no longer around, called dial B for blog. And I wish I had known about it sooner because. As I’m trying to piece together, sort of the story of the creation of Batman, I’m going to a million different sources. I’m going to build a boy wonder I’m going to Batman, the complete history, Byles Daniels.
I’m going to, you know, all of these different books, like, and they’re referencing things like, one of the, one of the inspirations was, this movie, the, the bat whispers, right. Or it’s Zora, or it’s the shadow. Right. And then I’m going back and I’m saying like, I’m listening to episodes of the shadow radio show, or I’m like watching the bat whispers.
And I felt like there was no one who had sort of like put this together before in like this nice digestible way in the format that I would’ve preferred. And at the
very end of I, you know, having done all this research, I find out that there was in fact, a blog had these things.
that has gone offline sometime in like 2019,
[01:15:20] Brian: close,
[01:15:20] Alex: Yes. Like recently this blog, went out of existence.
[01:15:23] Brian: uh,
[01:15:24] Alex: but thankfully in the way back machine still. so we can see these blog posts. interesting. Note about dial B for blog. We don’t know who it was written by it was, uh, someone who, intentionally kept their secret identity.
And these blog posts are goldmine. And I, I, could you not, I had written the outline for this entire episode before I found this. So I’ve, I’ve gone and figured out, like, you know, the bat whispers and I’ve watched the movie, I’ve done all this about Zora, you know, and then like you go in there and like, he’s got it.
And he’s got like screenshots as he got screenshot of the bat signal from, from the movie. And he’s talking about the partners apparel, there’s the, the shadow story. Right. And I’m going, gosh, I wish I had this blog post when I started. But one of the things that’s really nice about this blog post is that he has put together all of the art swipes that appear in de detective comics, number 27, including art swipes that come from, I kid you not partners of peril.
So there are illustrations that went with the shadow story that they are lifting, that they have exactly copied. And, I will, I will put this link in the show notes, but you can see. One for one lifts where he’s drawn, things that are similar. So for example, we’re looking at here, a picture of a police officer.
Who’s got his, face in his hand. Um, and he’s sort of looking away from, the camera, so to speak. And there’s a similar picture of Batman. It’s different. It’s a different drawing you can say. Okay, well, it’s kind of inspired. There are other drawings that are essentially what appear to be tracings.
Do you wanna describe this one, Brian?
[01:16:57] Brian: So Olson captain of the police is sitting wearing, I mean, it really looks like he’s wearing a Navy uniform because the way he’s got the, like the things around the, the wrist, but like yeah.
As police officer young dude, black hair with like the, the nice part on the left with the phone up to his ear and he’s holding a pencil, like he’s writing notes and then immediately to the right of that is the exact same pose, exact same pose. Like someone traced it. And it is commissioner Gordon, another police officer commissioner, Gordon, older dude, not, not young wearing he’s wearing a different texture on his suit, but it’s the same suit, the same arm placement.
He’s holding the same pencil in his hand. He’s got the same phone to his ear in the same way. It’s all exactly the same, but like minor details have been adjusted in like texture only very little, like he’s wearing glasses. The other guy’s now wearing glasses. Like very, very, it’s like just textures are what’s different, but the body shape
[01:18:03] Alex: right. Yes.
[01:18:04] Brian: else is like the broad strokes.
The gestures are the same.
[01:18:07] Alex: It’s to the point where like, there’s a bit of a cuff link. Like the shirt that’s underneath the suit jacket is sticking out in the hand, that’s holding the phone and it’s on both men. The, the cuff is like sticking out in the same amount. Like the way that the suit is like fit on the body, is the same.
[01:18:23] Brian: Yeah. It’s pretty
[01:18:24] Alex: Here’s another one have a classic car. That’s sort of speeding down the road.
[01:18:28] Brian: This is worse.
[01:18:29] Alex: from yes, one from
[01:18:31] Brian: the same.
[01:18:33] Alex: another from detective 27. It is traced.
[01:18:35] Brian: It is. It is of like a stamp. Oh yeah. It’s exactly the, I mean the light beams in the exact same way. And, but you can tell that like, there’s a slight loss of fidelity from one to the other that does signify that it is trace that like it’s lot. Like, I don’t know if you can see that like right front tire is tilted in a funky way.
Like it lost per like the artist lost perspective on, like what was rolling or whatever. And like the, the light beams come out of nowhere. Whereas the light beams on the original one are obviously coming out of lamps, like they’re circles.
[01:19:12] Alex: Mm-hmm
[01:19:13] Brian: So yeah, there’s a, a loss of fidelity that you would get in, uh, tracing. But yeah, it’s it’s the same.
[01:19:18] Alex: And so he just goes on and on and on with lifts from partners, apparel, including like the mechanisms for the, the sort of glass dome, like there’s a, a gas tank with like gauges on the top. That’s got the same gauges that are swipes, you know, even the, the stabilizers by which the gas tank is like affix to the ground with.
If we keep going, there are other pieces of art that aren’t from partners in peril. That are also swipes in detective comics, 27.
[01:19:47] Brian: so what you were saying earlier about what makes Bob Kane’s art bad? Is it just that he traces everything all the time. He’s not an artist at all that it’s like a great, good artist. Copy, great artist steel kind of thing.
[01:20:00] Alex: So we don’t know, unfortunately, cuz it was 80 years ago and the dude lied obviously a lot, but it is very likely that he never did very much drawing of his own at all. In fact, like one of the most famous sort of promotional pieces of art that, that he did of, of Batman is sort of him in this jumping pose where he’s jumping off of a building, that we now know is, is a, a trace of this Tarzan pose.
yeah, it, it just kind of goes to show that like, I think there is a lot of originality in bat. But it doesn’t start here.
[01:20:31] Brian: a lot
[01:20:31] Alex: the things that
[01:20:33] Brian: interesting,
[01:20:34] Alex: um,
We know that, like Jerry Robinson, as an example, was definitely drawing complete Batman stories as early as 1943. It may have been occurring earlier. And so, you know, Bob Kane shuffles himself out out of the picture pretty quickly, bill finger, starts flushing out the character pretty quickly.
So we start to get some really cool original ideas here pretty soon.
[01:20:55] Brian: Mm-hmm
[01:20:55] Alex: uh, detective comics, 27. Is not it. Yeah, so that that’s the story of the, the first Badman comic.
[01:21:02] Brian: I mean, Uh, this is exactly what I came here for.
This is really interesting.
I wanted to drop in a little bit about the work that I’ve done, uh, which is I watched that documentary.
So, so if anyone wants to write in and, or like us or tweet us or something about like, wow guys, you did a great job, Alex is doing all of the work, everyone I’m, I’m intentionally not learning anything so that Alex can like blow my mind live on these episodes. But yeah, he’s reading like lots of books and he’s listening to audio stories and radio shows and watching the old Batman stuff.
And I’ve been like staying away from all that stuff. So yeah. Alex has been doing a tremendous amount of work. I wanna make, I wanna get that out there. So everyone knows and I’ve been doing very
[01:22:02] Alex: you know, I’m just having a lot of fun doing it. Um, I do have some amount of regret knowing that, like, I don’t actually have to pull all these things together. Like
[01:22:10] Brian: I don’t actually have
[01:22:10] Alex: there, it turns out there, there are really great resources where people have done this before, but you know, that’s part of the journey,
right? Like you’re
[01:22:16] Brian: to pull up these things together. yeah. Oh, for sure. No. Yeah, we wouldn’t be
doing this. If it, if it wasn’t enjoyable, like you, you signed up for this it’s it’s not like we decided to start this podcast and you got stuck with all the research stuff. Like we, you knew, uh, when we were going into this, that that was gonna be like your role and you were already reading a lot of those books anyway.
[01:22:34] Alex: It’s true.
[01:22:34] Brian: Yeah.
[01:22:35] Alex: I, I, this is very much, um, I’m having fun. I’m having
[01:22:39] Brian: Yeah. This is great.
[01:22:40] Alex: If you like the show, then you can help other people find us, tell your friends about the show. If you think they’d be interested. If you’re using apple podcasts, tap on the name of the show, scroll down and find the place to give us a review. All you gotta do is tap on the stars, but if you write a review, we might even read it on the show.
if you’re using overcast, hit the star at the bottom of the now playing screen, and that recommends us, it helps a lot. If we grow an audience, we can keep putting out episodes.
You can find all of our episodes and show notes at batlessons.com. You can send us comments, questions, or corrections to email@example.com. You can tweet at us at bat lessons until next time. I’m Alex Cash.
[01:23:17] Brian: and I’m Brian Anders.
[01:23:18] Alex: Thanks for listening.
[01:23:58] Brian: all right. Your Amy for me to jump into it.
[01:24:00] Alex: I am not ready at all. Let’s do it. This could be, this is gonna be a disaster.
[01:24:05] Brian: Yeah, we’ll see how it goes. Um, welcome to bat lessons