We discuss Gardner Fox, Shelly Moldoff, The Utility Belt, Batarang, Bat-Plane and more!
- Gardner Fox (Wikipedia)
- The Creators Of Batman (Book)
- Batman The Golden Age (Book)
- Sheldon Moldoff (Wikipedia)
- Fantasia (Blu-Ray)
- Ultimate Spider-Man (Book)
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: So I guess they’ve been waiting on Batman to show up and it is Sasquatch.
Welcome to bat lessons, the Batman history podcast. I am Brian Anders and I am joined by Alex Cash. And today, we’re going to learn about another early Batman writer, an artist, and then we’re gonna dive into some early Batman stories. They worked on that introduced key elements of the character.
[00:00:29] Alex: That’s right. Last time we read detective comics number 27, and it was written by bill finger and drawn by Bob Kane. And as we noted, bill finger wrote over 1500 Batman stories, but he’s far from the only golden age writer to write Batman. In fact, while bill finger did write Batman’s second story and detective comics, number 28, the next seven stories were written by someone else.
So issues 29 through 35 with the exceptions of two pages, were written by a man named Gardner Fox. So who’s Gardner Fox. So he was a writer, another Brooklyn native, who was born in 1911. He studied law at St. John’s college and joined the New York bar and practiced law for a few years by all accounts. He enjoyed being a lawyer, but it coincided with the great depression. And so there wasn’t a ton of financial downside to leaving and becoming a writer, which he enjoyed more.
And much like bill finger was recruited, to become a comics writer by Bob Kane, despite not having any real professional history. Fox was recruited by his, friend since elementary school Vince Sullivan. At the time he was writing fill in stories, and a fill in is kind of what it sounds like.
It’s a story that’s made by a different creative team that keeps up on schedule. So for example, like if you and I, Brian are writing, you know, Superman, we write 1, 2, 3 to come out and like June, July, August, but we’re behind on the September book, we would use a fillin issue to, to do September. And then we, you know, we’d be back in October.
[00:01:50] Brian: Doing a podcast, like the idea of fill-ins is kind of nice and like keeping your schedule and whatnot.
But I was also thinking about just like shows that I’ve liked in the past and how common something like a fillin is. And you’ve got different directors for different episodes.
[00:02:03] Alex: Sure.
[00:02:03] Brian: So like, with the X files, supernatural, those are like really famous. Maybe, maybe even notorious for some people, for having like that big overarching storyline that is not referenced in every single episode.
They’ve got rando, tangent, episodes all over the place. And so it seems like those are like good types of fill-in episodes in like a modern kind of angle,
[00:02:28] Alex: mm-hmm yeah. And modern comic makes to do this too. like it is not unusual for like, people talk about runs. there will be either a writer or writer, artist combo that is in charge of a book at a given point in time. Like we just finished the Nick Spencer run on Spiderman. Right. And, he’ll write issue, you know, 68, 67, 66, 65, 64, you know, but like maybe 63, they weren’t ready.
And so someone else wrote that issue. Right. It happens all the time.
[00:02:55] Brian: Yeah. And, and so like, we watch a lot of crime stuff, so it’s like N C I S CSI, criminal minds, like all, all those types of shows and they all have those fillin type things where there’s yeah. They, they like do an episode where like, this has nothing to do with the whatever killer that they’re after for the season.
But like they, they still have, cases to solve and whatnot.
[00:03:19] Alex: So he was doing fill-ins for speed Saunders, um, which was another, uh, story that ran monthly in detective comics, alongside Batman cotton, Carver, which ran into adventure comics. but, but bill finger had only written two stories and, and Fox is only a fill-in writer for other recurring comics.
but despite all that fact that Gardner Fox starts writing Batman fulltime in detective comics. So there’s some conflicting characterizations of exactly how this went. So we don’t exactly know why. in, in Jim Steranko’s history of comics, the story goes that Whitney Ellsworth, who was an associate editor at the time underneath Vince Sullivan takes finger off of Batman. It doesn’t go any into any reason, just says that Ellsworth is the one making the call, and that it’s explicitly about taking finger off the. History of comics is it’s kind of like this it’s one of the earlier comic book, uh, history books. And because it was written in 1970, we know it was compiled from lots of interviews with creators that were actually there in the golden age.
So it’s very well regarded, but it covers a ton. So it doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail. I’ve also been reading a much more recent book from 2021 called the creators of Batman, by an author named Rick worth. And I’m really appreciating this book because it covers a lot of the early years after detective number 27 with a focus on creators.
So either you get books like, the history of Batman, that’s more focused on the story, or you have like build a boy wonder that’s like very much about the first Batman story. This is one that, that covers the period right after which I, I really like. I, you know, at some point I’d love to have a Rick on the show to talk about it, but his accounting of events, doesn’t mention Ellsworth at all.
which makes sense to me because Gardner Fox was Vince Sullivan’s friend, the editor in chief. So why an associate editor is involved and I’m not really sure. but the book goes on to say that it’s not super clear why Fox has swapped in whether it’s, that his writing is preferred or, you know, maybe bill fingers, having trouble keeping up with the schedule.
it, it, it is seven issues right. In a row. So it’s not just like I’ll fill in here or there. my intuition is that it actually probably does have a lot to do with. Bill finger is notorious for not hitting deadlines. It’s something that people, a lot of people talk about in interviews with him.
and even as Fox is writing Batman stories, through issue 35, he shares issue 33 with bill finger. So that’s the, that two pages that we were talking about earlier. and that two page story is a pretty important one. So I think it implies that they still trust bill finger with the, with the character.
and you have to remember that finger is writing other strips for Kane at the time including rusty and his pals, which is, which is another story that’s running in adventure comics. And we know off the bat that Batman’s a success, but it’s not, you know, Batman, isn’t what we think it is today. So it’s not this great offense that like he’s not writing the second story or the third story or whatever.
whatever the reason finger is never on record as being upset that Fox is taken over Batman. if anything, finger has a really high level of regard for Gardner Fox. bill finger is an avid reader. That’s one of the things that comes up over and over and over again. When people talk about him in books is that he loves fiction and Fox is a great writer, a very successful writer.
He writes like over 150 novels, very successful in pulp magnet magazines. and we, we know that that finger loved pulps. So, you know, has an appreciation for, for Fox. he takes over and he, he only writes seven stories and he doesn’t write another Batman story until 1964. Right. So 19 39, 19 40, he writes a few issues.
And then, and then is outta the picture for, for many years to
[00:06:22] Brian: For 20 years,
[00:06:23] Alex: Yeah, that’s right. He comes back to the character in 1964. Yes, it is.
[00:06:27] Brian: Wow.
[00:06:28] Alex: But even having only written these seven stories, he introduces some really important tropes for the character, um, which I won’t spoil now, but we’re gonna read a, a story that he wrote in just a minute, and we’re gonna get to learn about some of the things that he brought to Batman. it’s not really important to the history we’re talking about today, but I do feel obligated to let you know, like people are gonna be really mad at me if I don’t, that after these seven stories, Fox goes on to create tons of stuff that, you know, he’s the creator of the flash of Hawkman, Dr. Fate Zana, DC’s Sandman, and the just justice society of America and justice society is like the first team book.
right. So like the Avengers don’t exist without just the society. Um, and the MCU ostensibly, you also writes a really important, yeah. He writes a really important issue of the flash called the flash of two worlds, which is kind of like the first multiverse book. Um, so kind of a big deal for the DC universe.
[00:07:16] Brian: Okay. So can I ask you a question that you may not know the answer to? Um, what came first, Superman moving super fast or the flash.
[00:07:26] Alex: I don’t know the answer to that question.
[00:07:28] Brian: Because I’m thinking, I’m thinking to like the influence of stuff and like coming up with the flash cold is, is really impressive, you know, um, riffing off of, and like peeling back powers from Superman to make spinoff characters is like, not that impressive, you know?
[00:07:45] Alex: at first, um, it’s worth noting is not as powerful as he come becomes later. Um, Superman is primarily
[00:07:52] Brian: fly and stuff. Right. He literally leaped buildings.
[00:07:56] Alex: right. He, one of his major inspirations was John Carter of Mars and John Carter of Mar’s whole thing is that, he’s from Mars where the gravity is stronger. So he’s just a stronger person and can jump higher and all that kind stuff, cuz he comes, you know?
And so that’s kind of where they’re riffing with, with Superman. And if you watch like the Fleisher cartoons that were from the thirties, um, you know, his big thing is he, he leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Right. And he’s faster than a speeding locomotive. Um, but that that’s not like running around the earth in, in a second
[00:08:22] Brian: right,
[00:08:23] Alex: and that’s not flying.
Right. Like he’s, he can run 70 miles an hour. Is that faster than the flash? I don’t know. this is a good question. we’ll have to, we’ll have to maybe loop back on that in the future episode. I, I do, um, you know, I wanna keep the show mostly focused on Batman, but I think it would be worth doing as we step through the ages to maybe do an episode about what’s going on in the rest of the DC
[00:08:40] Brian: Sure. Yeah. And I, I’m only asking the question to give, more credibility to, uh, Fox to Gardner Fox in, in his creative, you know,
[00:08:52] Alex: Yeah. You know, people talk about Gardner Fox even now and, and, you know, they don’t necessarily talk about his originality. One of the things, although, although I think, you know, the proof is in the pudding, that he was one of the things that they really talk about. One of the reasons he celebrated these days is he’s particularly socially conscious.
Um, he has, you know, views and themes in his book that are ahead of the time, let’s say in terms of, racial equality and gender equality and things like that.
So, I thought we would go ahead and read, detective comics number 29. And this is the first issue that Gardner Fox writes. And you can immediately see some of the differences that, that are in this issue.
[00:09:28] Brian: for reference. What issue does Batman appear in
[00:09:31] Alex: 27. So this is the third Batman story.
[00:09:34] Brian: Okay.
[00:09:35] Alex: Yeah. So bill figure writes 27, 28 and here we are on the third story, 29 and, and Gardner Fox is writing it.
so here we are the cover of detective comics number 29. Do you wanna tell us about
[00:09:45] Brian: Sure.
So the, the standard, like big old detective comics stuff at the top, July, 1939, who’ve got Batman swinging into what looks like a castle window. And it is like very distinctly, like my visualization of like modern Batman looks like essentially, he’s got like the black slash Navy blue cow.
And what do you call that? Like waist? I don’t know, out underwear, it’s out outer
[00:10:11] Alex: trunks. Yeah.
[00:10:12] Brian: Okay. He’s got his w his, Cape slash wings fried out to the sides. Uh, he’s swinging in on a rope and he’s got like the, gray suit, golden belt, the utility belt, he’s all set.
And it looks like he’s kicked, uh, the thug, I guess that’s what usually what they call ’em and
[00:10:29] Alex: Sure.
[00:10:30] Brian: So there’s like the bad guys. He’s the thug. So he he’s kicked this thug in the chest and the Thug’s falling backwards. He’s dropping a knife. and in the foreground, there’s this dude who, I mean, he looks like Frankenstein.
[00:10:44] Alex: doctor, not the
[00:10:45] Brian: the doctor, not the monster. Yeah. Wearing a monocle. He’s like looking over his shoulder, like, oh no, Batman’s here. but the, the reason I call the Frankenstein is it looks like this is Frankenstein’s castle. And there’s a bunch of like, experimental equipment sitting around. There’s even like a human skull on a desk in the background.
So it, it looks like Batman is swinging in to kind of ruin the night of, Dr. Frankenstein.
[00:11:09] Alex: This is also the first, um, cover of detective comics that, is actually an image of something that happens in the story for issues 27 and
[00:11:16] Brian: Uh,
[00:11:17] Alex: Um, they’re not things that are from the story. So this is, this is from the book.
[00:11:20] Brian: okay.
That’s interesting. in the previous episode, we talked about Batman being hyphenated, and I noticed that the cover of this one did not have Batman hyphenated. Right. But the title card and this first page does have Batman hyphenated.
[00:11:36] Alex: so this is gonna drive you banana sandwich. I, I was waiting for you to notice in the, in the title card, in the large block text, it is hyphenated by bat dash, man. And then the very next line says
[00:11:48] Brian: the Batman meets Dr. Death, not hyphenated.
[00:11:52] Alex: hyphenated twice in one panel,
[00:11:53] Brian: Yeah. And I’m looking in the dialogue, just kind of looking ahead at the dialogue and they are using Batman,
[00:12:00] Alex: no hyphen.
[00:12:01] Brian: no hyphen, but it is bat spaceman. It looks like,
[00:12:04] Alex: Yeah. so they’re kind of all over the place. There’s the editor doesn’t really care apparently.
[00:12:10] Brian: Apparently not. And then we’ve got, Batman standing in the door. He’s kind of got that like Nosferatu like, vampire look. He’s like, he’s got the Cape up over his shoulders and stuff, and he’s kind of looming over the scene and, presumably Dr. Death is sitting. I I’m guessing that because of the title card, but there’s this dude with the monocle looks like a scientist, bald, black beard.
He’s got that like, uh, stereotypical, like white, suit on. Like pressed white suit for his scientific stuff. He’s sitting at this desk with all sorts of stuff going on, experimental chemistry, look at things, uh, a skull again, and I’m and either he’s got his shadow on the wall behind him, or there’s
hint at a person.
Okay. I was guessing it was a shadow. So that that’s essentially the title card is Batman is walking in on Dr. Death. Dr. Death does not know Batman’s there.
[00:13:07] Alex: And the title card is like a second cover. Right? So this, this is not, uh, meant to be a, you know, where this story is starting. It’s just
[00:13:13] Brian: Right, right, right,
[00:13:14] Alex: a port 10th of things to come.
the first panel of the story, we have, a caption that’s written on a scroll and it says the Batman eerie figure of the night has become a legendary figure of the life of the teaming, metropolis, writing wrongs, and bringing justice where it has never been before.
and We have, again, Dr. Death, right? And he’s sitting at a desk and he’s smoking a cigarette and he says, job will come here. we go to the next panel and it’s the same dude.
the thug, as you described him that, Batman is kicking on the cover of the comic book. His name is Jabba and he’s got a, a, a turban. It is, you know, a racist depiction of, I’m not sure exactly where this person’s from there, you know, could be north Africa, could be, um, the middle east could be, you know, um, Southeast Asia, right? Know, maybe Indian, but it’s a large man. has a different skin color, than, Dr. Death. he’s got his arms crossed and he is got his turbine. And Dr. Death says Jabba. I have it last completed all my laboratory experiments. My death pollen extract is definite. I am ready to exact my tribute from the wealthy of the world.
will either pay tribute to me or die. And yet one thing troubles me. the man they called the Batman a crime such as ours is sure to attract his attention. He must be done away with if I knew who he is, but no one does. I must trap him.
we can contact him through the personal notice column in the daily newspapers. which is a really funny idea. so, so like, this is like the classifieds, right? He’s like maybe we can, we can contact Batman through the classifieds.
[00:14:40] Brian: So the next panel is, Bruce Wayne sitting, uh, in his study or something, reading the newspaper. Like apparently he’s gonna read, read the classifieds.
[00:14:52] Alex: that’s right. Yeah. Hmm. What’s this
[00:14:54] Brian: Oh yeah. Smoking a big pipe. Yeah.
[00:14:56] Alex: the ad says, Batman, if you will go to the general post office and ask for a letter address to John Jones, you will find a message of vital importance.
[00:15:05] Brian: Oh, this is like never gonna work. Any rando who reads the newspaper can walk up and say, Hey, do you have a letter addressed to John Jones?
[00:15:14] Alex: everyone’s like, oh man. Private message for Batman. I wanna figure out what’s at what’s in that
[00:15:18] Brian: Yeah. So usually the way they do this stuff is. It’s like a double code. Like you, you put something that like hints at something else that only the readers have any context of to be like, a letter for Dr. Zero, uh, the, the peacock flies at noon. And then the reader knows what that means, but it’s hidden to the general public.
[00:15:42] Alex: It’s also, you know,
[00:15:43] Brian: not doing that.
[00:15:44] Alex: No, they’re not on, on page one. They said, um, you know, the teaming metropolis, and here he’s going to the general post office. Like as if maybe, maybe this is the yeah. or, or maybe it’s like the distribution center for all the post offices. It’s also a really interesting, like talking about anachronisms like last, last, you know, time we read a story, it was like, ho hum.
And like transom and things like that. Um, the idea that you could just like write a letter and leave it at the post office so like someone could come pick it up is like, is there postage on this? Can you just do that? Like, I’m writing a letter to someone in the city and like, they’re gonna hold it there.
Like not the way that a post office works in my life. I didn’t do research. about whether that’s the case or if this is just a silly thing to begin with. But, next panel, we have Bruce Wayne he’s at the post office. Um, there’s, you know, a, a clerk at the, at the desk and he says, have you a letter addressed to John Jones?
[00:16:32] Brian: It is really funny that like doesn’t the post office person also read the newspaper and wouldn’t he just be like, oh, hi Batman, Bruce Wayne. Ah, okay. Bat. I can connect the dots here. I’ve been waiting for you.
[00:16:45] Alex: Oh, snap, this dude’s Batman. Yeah. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe they’re like counting on the fact that no one reads it. So the letter says Batman at 10:00 PM tonight at sweet B on the 14th floor of the Beverly apartments. I will commit a murder and I defy you without the aid of police to stop me. So it’s, it’s like, you know, a challenge.
It’s a kind of a more Sherlock thing. Like, duh, don’t bring you to police. I bet you can’t. Bruce returns home and he knees before a small chest and takes out his bat mantle.
[00:17:12] Brian: Bruce Wayne in his suit is opening up a chest and pulling out what looks like the Batman costume.
And he says, Half an hour to change and half an hour to get to the penthouse takes him half an hour to change.
[00:17:26] Alex: yeah. It’s well, and like, he’s just like, clearly, like in the study, like of his house or something like, and it’s just kind of right there and he’s getting it out. Like there’s no, there’s no bat pole to the, the, the bat
[00:17:36] Brian: There’s no back
[00:17:37] Alex: yeah. He’s not in a rush. It’s like, oh, like I’m gonna go do this thing later.
[00:17:40] Brian: And just like, in that last episode, I was saying it’s just some dude in a bat suit, driving a
[00:17:45] Alex: yeah.
[00:17:46] Brian: Like there’s no bat. There’s no, uh, bat mobile. It’s just like, imagine being on the road and like looking over like, dude do do, do, do what the fuck. Like
[00:17:57] Alex: there’s a dude in a Batman costume. he says these gas pellets of choking gas might come in handy tonight. If this is what I think it is. Likewise, these suction gloves and knee pads, the penthouse will require a bit of climbing. and this is one of the things that, that Gardner Fox introduces to Batman.
So he’s holding, we have the yellow bet, the yellow belt and issue one and issue two, but this is the first time he’s putting things into it. So he’s putting the gas pellets in the belt. he’s got these suction cups, they’re kind of gadgets, right.
[00:18:22] Brian: Yeah.
[00:18:23] Alex: we do have reference in the previous issue to a silk rope.
So, you know, bill finger does have, you know, Batman using tools, but the only tool he has him using is the rope, to, to swing, you know, from building to building. so, so this is one of Gardner Fox’s big contributions is, is kind of the gadget.
[00:18:39] Brian: So Batman is all suited up and he’s ready to rock and roll. And then he hops into not the bat. Uh, just like in the last episode. but a red, old,
probably a rolls Royce. Yeah, he is classic. It does make me wonder if it’s like a pedestrian car or if it’s like a rich person’s car.
[00:18:58] Alex: I don’t know.
[00:18:59] Brian: Uh, because that would be, that would be kind of interesting as like a sleuth on the street to be like, oh, there goes someone who looks like Batman in a extremely nice car.
Batman must be wealthy.
[00:19:09] Alex: Yeah. I don’t know, like when was the model T that was like the 1910s, right?
guess I don’t, I dunno. he says eight 30. Exactly. I’m off. I, I, I love that. They’re, they’re super worried about the schedule, like the, the, the timing of events that occurred here.
[00:19:22] Brian: Also, hopefully he doesn’t hit any traffic.
[00:19:24] Alex: yes,
[00:19:25] Brian: Like he’s down to the wire. He’s gonna, he’s gonna show up right on time and walk in
[00:19:31] Alex: we, We turn the page here. And one of the things that, is really interesting to me is that, Gardner Fox is a lot less wordy than bill finger. And he’s actually a lot less wordy than like most of the golden age, writers, right? usually pages like this are just like riddled with words.
And in fact there are captions, and or speech bubbles in every single panel. There’s not a single panel on this, that is wordless, but, this entire page is, you know, very action driven. You can just look at the pictures and not read any of the words and know exactly what’s going on. and that is not true.
necessarily for a lot of golden age, uh, writers. So I, I, I think that’s pretty cool.
[00:20:05] Brian: Yeah. So, uh, Batman shows up. it’s at some sort of a construction site. He sneaks through, uh, the construction zone. He throws a rope up to a ledge, and then he uses the ledge to climb up. And then, he switches over to his suction pads, which just, they look like section cups that go in his hands on his knees.
And I bet he looks really awkward shimming up at the wall that way, but he mission impossible climbs up this, uh, skyscraper, just like Tom cruise in, uh, Dubai. And, uh, at the penthouse. He climbs up onto the ledge of kind of a, a garden terrace outside of the suite.
[00:20:48] Alex: Yep. So he’s gotten the letter right from Dr. Death, the challenge to show up without the aid of the police. And he says, okay, I’m gonna do it. He dresses up like Batman, right. He gets there, you know, , the captions are kind of funny. They they’re very specific about the fact that like he’s parking across the street in an abandoned lot where there’s some construction happening.
He throws the rope up, like it’s not working very well. He’s like, let me switch to the suction cups, climbs up the building and he’s up there. Right. So kind of a, a cool action sequence of like, you know, he’s scaling a building from the outside.
[00:21:15] Brian: mm-hmm
[00:21:15] Alex: and then it says for a quick getaway, the Batman has his rope handy and he sort of ties it up on the, on the ledge of the building.
So implying that he’s gonna get away by rope out the, out the window again.
[00:21:24] Brian: So like you said, he, he tied up the rope, from, uh, the, the corner of this building basically, so that he can make his quick getaway. He, goes to the edge of the terrace, I guess, where there’s, big glass doors. I mean, it it’s a, I would say it’s a very stereotypical Batman move.
If you’ve seen the movies for him to like, just show up at the, doorway opening to a, a patio or something like that. So it’s kind of like that. and he’s standing there with his arms up his wings out, et cetera, looks a little menacing,
his in silhouette. Yeah. And his shadow’s coming in. there’s a couple of thugs that are obviously hiding in wait as I feel like any idiot would be expecting after this whole setup. one’s behind the curtains holding a gun, the other one’s hiding behind a, couch, also holding a gun, unseen by Batman are the gunmen placed to trap him by Dr.
Death. And one of ’em says,
[00:22:19] Alex: he bit for it? Shall I give it to him? no, the doctor said to kill him inside. So the police will find him in here. Wait, he’s coming in
[00:22:25] Brian: And then Batman he opens up these big glass doors and starts to walk in.
[00:22:30] Alex: so yeah, he comes inside and he kind of turns around and he sees, you know, they turn on the light and he sees the thugs and he says, put ’em up Batman, we’ve got you at last, but the gunman reckoned without the great speed and the agility of the Batman. So Batman kinda like dives through the air and grabs a statue that’s like on a Roman column. ,
[00:22:48] Brian: Yeah.
[00:22:48] Alex: in a really interesting way. You can see, you know, gunfire across the side goes, bang, bang.
[00:22:52] Brian: Yeah, so he tackles this column from kind of the mid, mid to low half, which I don’t, I don’t really know that this would even work because the way he’s tackling it, the statue stays attached at the top and it, it comes down, it just smashes on this bad guy. Uh, one of the thugs, but I, I think actually what would happen is he’d knock this pillar over and the statue would stay put in air because it wouldn’t be attached to the
[00:23:17] Alex: Oh shit.
[00:23:18] Brian: and it would fall down on top of Batman.
So, yeah. but yeah, so anyway, he, he tackles his pillar Takes out both of the thugs in one hit. Then he, jumps on top of one of the thugs and is just wailing on his face. Just like in that last, book that we had read, he’s sitting on his chest, socking him across the, the chin.
and after they’re all, beaten up, he seemingly puts them in the corner and starts to talk to him.
[00:23:44] Alex: Yeah. I, I think it’s, it’s really funny that like, we have this returning thing and it could be just because like, you know, Bob Kane is, is like not a great artist and is just like reusing the, this is the same thing that he knows how to draw, but yeah, he’s like straddled across him and like doing this, like punching across thing.
and one of the things that I think you might have missed, right. Is that yeah. He puts the two guys in the corner and he’s talking to them, but in his hand
[00:24:04] Brian: He’s holding a gun. Yeah, I
did miss that.
[00:24:06] Alex: Yeah. So Gardner Fox is the first person to put a gun in Batman’s hand. I won’t say that bill finger never does it cuz he does it a few times, but Gardner Fox far and away is the person that puts a gun in Batman’s hand the most.
he does it repeatedly, throughout these next few stories, which I think is really interesting. And he says, and who sent you? May I ask, we can’t tell you or he’d kill us, your choice gentleman, tell me, or I’ll kill you. And it’s just like, kind of crazy. Batman’s
[00:24:30] Brian: Yeah. Cuz bat Batman doesn’t kill at the same time. He does bluff people a lot where he like, he insinuates that he is going to drop them off of buildings and then never actually does he scares the crap out of him
[00:24:42] Alex: well, I think, you know, it’s, it’s safe to say that Batman, uh, does kill at this point in his
[00:24:47] Brian: at this point? Yeah. We saw him throw a body or throw a person,
uh, off of, oh, I was thinking more throwing them off of the building
and killing them to, yeah, they became a body once they hit the ground.
[00:25:00] Alex: that’s right. So, you know, perhaps not a hollow threat, at this point, Batman might, might be a killer, uh, in these first few issues. and then Jabba walks in the door and he says, good evening, Batman Dr. Death, since his greetings and
[00:25:13] Brian: Mm.
[00:25:14] Alex: Bang.
[00:25:14] Brian: It says, uh, the Batman is hit he drops the gun. He’s holding his shoulder, his, his right shoulder. So now we know Batman is right-handed and, um, there’s a bleeding bullet hole, kind of up in his upper, right.
It’s not quite his shoulder. It’s like the chest area, I guess probably where your rotator cuff is
[00:25:34] Alex: Yeah, kinda almost collarbone.
[00:25:36] Brian: you. Yeah. Almost collarbone area. the wounded Batman ejects, a glass pellet from his belt. So continuing to use the utility belt and,
[00:25:46] Alex: Yeah. The Batman holds his breath and slams the gas P on the floor in front of the giant Indian. Oh, we have a confirmation. He’s an Indian man.
[00:25:51] Brian: Indian. Okay. I was gonna guess because of the stereotypes that they were pulling from, it was gonna be Southeast Asia,
something. I, it reminded me a little bit of, like Indiana Jones in the temple of doom and how they dressed as well. yeah, the Batman holds his breath, slams the glass P on the floor, in front of the giant Indian man.
Ugh. I’m joking.
[00:26:11] Alex: And the room becomes filled with the deadly gas,
[00:26:13] Brian: deadly gas.
[00:26:14] Alex: Yeah.
[00:26:16] Brian: Dang
[00:26:17] Alex: I I don’t know if it actually is deadly or if that’s just an adjective they’re choosing to use. I think Jabba makes it out of this. but yeah, the room fills up with the gas and, the winded Batman leaps for the glass window leading to the penthouse roof
[00:26:28] Brian: so he jumps through the, the glass window. and then he runs in jumps off of the sea, uh, jumps off of the roof, um, with these slugs running behind him. they say, God he’s jumped off. and what they don’t know is what we do know is he put that rope there ahead of time. He grabs the rope, he swings to the ledge,
[00:26:46] Alex: yeah, we’ve got checkoffs bat rope. We’ve we’ve come back for it.
[00:26:49] Brian: check offs, bat roof. I like it.
[00:26:51] Alex: and, and one of the things that’s, that’s probably not clear as, as we’re sort of reading it. I, I tried alluded to it a little bit before is that like Gardner Fox is like very kinetic. We have, you know, an entire page again, of like, what is it?
6, 7, 8 panels, right. That happen in like, no more than 15 or 20 seconds. Right. And as you’re reading it, the, the sort of speed of this is like very where, where, like, he’s hit with the bullet, he’s throwing the gas pedal, he’s jumping out the window, he’s jumping off the ledge. Right. There’s not a lot of words.
this is how modern comics often sort of work in action sequences. And so it’s kind of ahead of its time, golden edge, you know, other, other authors, even in the silver age, like Stanley’s notorious, this would be like riddled with tons and tons and tons of words. often ones that are like adding extra detail, that’s totally unnecessary, or like contradict whats in the picture.
So it’s really, I think, great writing, at least in terms of action and so he’s standing on the ledge and it says the blood’s still seeping from his wound. He sleeps on suction gloves and knee pads. and then there’s a time jump. We don’t see him climbing down the building.
Um, now he’s in the car and it says the Batman in his car places, a pad of cotton on his bare shoulder. This will keep until I get to a phone booth. And then again, in the next panel, he’s in a phone booth and it says dressed in civilian clothes. Once more, Bruce Wayne, the Batman introduces a phone booth and it says daily globe, I want this inserted in your public notice co column.
I accept your challenge, Dr. Death, the Batman. So he’s called up the newspaper and he’s like passing a message back through the newspaper, again, as the Batman that he’s accepted the challenge. and he says, I best I’d go see my family doctor at once the shoulder is beginning to ache.
[00:28:15] Brian: beginning to ache. I have a bullet hole beginning to egg
famously achy those bullet holes.
[00:28:21] Alex: yep. So, pre Alfred normally in like, you know, modern comic, he would go to Alfred and, and Alfred would patch him up. you know, obviously you, you know, if you have a wound that is one that like Batman would have, it’s kind of a little suspicious that you’re showing up to the hospital and they’re like, what’s going on?
Like, why are you like this?
[00:28:36] Brian: Yeah. Who shot you?
[00:28:38] Alex: Exactly. And they kind of hang a lantern on it. So the doctor says it’s all right now, Bruce, but how did you shoot yourself when there are no powder marks on your flesh? And then Bruce says, I do funny things sometimes doc, I’ll tell you all about it someday.
Thanks for everything
[00:28:52] Brian: I’m not going to tell you.
[00:28:54] Alex: exactly. This is the 1939 equivalent of like, it’s the scene from, Batman begins, right? Where, you know, Batman’s telling Lucious Fox that he’s gonna use the, the, the fabric that like hardens out a as, uh, for like skydiving or base jumping or whatever.
[00:29:06] Brian: Yeah. I mean, he is effectively pleading the fifth in front of this
[00:29:10] Alex: exactly. the next morning, a doctor that study,
[00:29:12] Brian: we’ve got Dr. Death sitting at his desk with the same two thugs that failed him. And now we know the Indian dude, uh, Java hanging out over his left shoulder. He goes, you fools you bunglers. He walked into a trap and you let him go. if you miss the next time.dot do kind of implying, I’m going to destroy you guys follow me Jabba.
Also, I think it should be noted for the listeners who are like me will want to know it’s Java, J B a H not Jabba, J a B, B a like jab of the hu
[00:29:46] Alex: Java.
[00:29:46] Brian: So then now they’re in the, I don’t know, Castle’s basement.
[00:29:51] Alex: Yeah. It’s like a stone wall of like, what looked like large. It’s like not bricks and it’s not cinder block. They look like, you know, like it would be a castle and then there’s
[00:29:59] Brian: yeah. It’s like the castle Dungeons with like the. iron grates across the openings for
windows and stuff, there’s light streaming in. And so I’m guessing this is what was depicted on the cover. This is like the whole, uh, scientific area and, and Dr. Death says here’s a picture of John P van Smith.
What the heck of a name? he refuses to pay tribute to me. He must die. I have immunized you with my serum from this pollen, which you will blow at your victim as he comes from his club tonight. So Jabba goes on his errand of death. And so Jabba, is you see him in the next panel, walking away, he’s got a cloak over him.
but he’s just, I mean, obviously this really big dude, he’s got the turban, he’s still got the same clothes underneath, you can tell, but he’s wearing a big cloy CAPY thing. And that is actually reminiscent of like Batman’s cube.
[00:30:55] Alex: Yeah. So Dr. Death has called out a hit on this guy, John P van Smith. He gives this powder for Java to blow in his face, but apparently Java has like been immunized somehow. and just so happens as Jabba is walking down the street, Bruce Wayne is driving by and his like suit smoking his pipe in his hat.
[00:31:10] Brian: In the same car that he drives in, Batman. I did look it up by the way, because, He’s driving this red car, but it’s a convertible right
now and it hasn’t been a convertible previously. And I looked up and in the 1944 Batman, serial,
[00:31:25] Alex: mm-hmm 43. Would’ve been,
[00:31:26] Brian: L 43 is a Cadillac series, 75 convertible.
[00:31:31] Alex: oh, there you go.
[00:31:31] Brian: So there you go. Yeah.
[00:31:33] Alex: and he says my would be killer of last night. I think I’ll follow him. And then as this unsuspecting victim steps from his club,
[00:31:38] Brian: this John P van Smith is wearing a suit, fedora walking Jabba sneaks up behind him with what very clearly looks like a big perfume puffer thing, except he blows on it. You can see he’s got his, his lips puckered and he is blowing this pollen, this poisonous pollen onto this dude.
And in the background, you see Bruce Wayne kind of running.
[00:32:03] Alex: yeah, Bruce Wayne runs up behind him and he puts a cloth over his mouth and he says, don’t breathe or you’ll be dead. So like Java in the next panel is kind of running away as if he’s like accomplished this task. And Bruce Wayne has like come in after him and like intervened and saved this dude.
And he says, I haven’t time for questions, but I have a hunch that if you had breathed in what that man blew, it would be curtains for you. I’ve gotta trail him adieu. And so he follows Jabba back to, um, what is presumably this castle, and Jabba was like going inside the, the fence.
And Batman’s still there in his sort of like, or sorry, Bruce Wayne is still there and his sort of day clothes and he says, prepare for a visit tonight Dr. Death from the Batman.
[00:32:37] Brian: Because it takes him 30 minutes to change. He’s not gonna just like jump
in right now. Yeah, he has to gotta go home, gotta get his suit and spend 30 minutes.
[00:32:47] Alex: And that night on the sidewalk behind Dr. Death’s house,
[00:32:50] Brian: Batman is there. He is climbing the fence, jumps down the other side. he uses his rope to climb up to the second story of the house. And he says only a few minutes, more Dr. Death. We have a score to even.
[00:33:04] Alex: So he’s standing on the ledge. Um, and, and we switched to an interior shot where we’re looking out that same window that he was looking in and
[00:33:11] Brian: same silhouette shot as before. Right?
[00:33:13] Alex: Yeah, well, he doesn’t have his arms up, like holding up his Cape as a bat, but yeah, he’s like silhouetted by the moon and it says a Creek of glass cutter and the Batman enters, which is another gadget.
So we we’re like three gadgets
[00:33:24] Brian: He’s
got glass cutters, by the way, just as like a, a note, I don’t think he could cut through this glass because it’s got all of those hash marks on it.
[00:33:33] Alex: oh, right.
You’re reading that as
[00:33:35] Brian: inside of that glass.
[00:33:36] Alex: lead or something
[00:33:37] Brian: I was thinking more you know, when you’re at school and you’ve got those like industrial
doors with the wires inside of
them, I think it’s so
that they can’t break
[00:33:46] Alex: yeah. that would make sense, I guess. I don’t know if that is a thing in 1938 or 39 or whatever, but, it’s a fair point.
[00:33:51] Brian: but it’s also like an animated cartoon. So
[00:33:54] Alex: Right, right, right, right.
[00:33:55] Brian: let it, ride.
[00:33:56] Alex: I think it’s probably the hash marks are there to signify that there’s a material. Like it has to be glass. Like, I don’t know how you draw glass, especially when you’ve got like five colors or whatever. , it’s like six colors, whatever their limit is.
[00:34:07] Brian: Yeah. I mean, if you can imply glass pretty easily, I think like, like you’ve got the sheen on that mirror, for example.
[00:34:13] Alex: sure, sure, sure, sure. That’s true. We, in the last issue we had the, like the, the glass dome that lowered over and there wasn’t like hash marks all over that. I don’t think
[00:34:20] Brian: Right.
[00:34:20] Alex: the Batman finds Dr. Death and his servant Java in the laboratory. It won’t be long. Dr.
[00:34:24] Brian: that man’s looking in the, in the door And then he takes a lasso. He swings it up over Java’s head and he jerks him back by the neck. so Jabba is holding at his, his throat and he is being pulled backwards, basically being choked to death by Batman. there’s his big, like shadowy silhouette of Batman is in the background and Dr.
Death turns and he goes the Batman. And so assuming the job is outta the picture right now, Batman. Jumps in, in the foreground, like running towards Dr. Death. Who’s got his backup against the wall and Batman goes good evening doctor, but it won’t be after I’m through with you. It’s thrown in his jokes.
And Dr. Death is you fool. So Dr. Death, uh, he presses a button and he drops into a secret shoot on the ground and Batman runs up and he’s got a thinking bubble this time. he says, I can just make it before it closes. I hope. And then he jumps down into this shoot in the floor, this, this trap door, not knowing what’s down there at all.
And then he lands on a mat on the ground. And, so Batman lands on a mat on the ground. And you see kind of in the, the background Dr. Death running away around the corner, I assume he’s laughing, but it doesn’t say that he
[00:35:43] Alex: He does. So he doesn’t in that last panel, but the, the third’s the last panel on the page, he does, he’s laughing as he’s going down the trap door. He goes, Hey.
[00:35:49] Brian: oh, you’re right. Ha ha
[00:35:50] Alex: he’s very, very pleased with himself he prepared, he has a button on the wall ready to go to drop himself down in trap door.
[00:35:56] Brian: Three moves ahead.
[00:35:57] Alex: Exactly the Batman pursues, Dr. Death relentlessly. So they’re now like in this basement and he’s running after him. and , he, this is really funny to me. He runs him in a loop, right. So he’s dropped down this trap door and he’s running away from Batman. And then he like runs back up the stairs and says Dr.
Death returns to the laboratory and the last desperate attempt to allude the Batman. So they’ve, they’ve done like a Benny hill around this house. Yakety sax is playing right. and he runs back into the lab and he says, there is yet time. he grabs this vial, right? So, so Dr. Death is sort of like, you know, like gearing up to throw something like he’s got it behind his back, like he’s, he’s getting ready to, and it’s, it’s, it’s a vial of, of liquid.
And he says, you are too late. My phone watched the fiery death. And, in that same panel, Batman’s sort of across the way at the door. And he grabs a fire distinguisher off the wall and he throws it. So they’re throwing things at each other, right. but Batman throws first and he says, he flings it at the doctor knocking the deadly tube onto the floor where it simply ignites it blazed into a blazing Inferno so that whatever that, you know, vial of liquid, that the doctor at death had is now started a fire in the lab because, you know, Batman threw a fire extinguisher and I don’t know, Brian, have you ever picked up a fire extinguisher?
[00:37:06] Brian: Pretty heavy.
I mean, it.
[00:37:08] Alex: They made it like metal
[00:37:09] Brian: yeah. They’re well, it’s, they’re made of metal, but what’s heavy is, is all of the, powder and the compressed air that’s inside of it. That that’s the real weight. So, I mean, they’re probably 25, 35 pounds.
[00:37:21] Alex: Yeah. I mean, impressive that he is able to throw it. And then also, like, I would not want to, to
be hit by one that would hurt. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:37:29] Brian: Dr. Dust standing with fire all around him. kind of like the dog that says this is fine and there’s there’s
fire, right? like and yeah. So it’s this big science experiment room with fire all over the place and Dr. Death in the middle going ha ha ha. Oh ha ha ha. You fool
[00:37:47] Alex: And then Batman says you are the poor fool. He has gone mad. And then we cut to the next panel. It’s the last panel of the whole story. And we’ve got sort of the silhouette of Batman he’s standing in front of the door to this lab, right?
The flames are shooting outta the door The panel says death to Dr. Death. so yeah, like Batman at this point is, is assuming that Dr. Death is dead. He’s burned him alive.
[00:38:05] Brian: and killed him.
[00:38:07] Alex: yeah, but, the stinger card it says, but is it death to the arch criminal follow further amazing and unique adventures of the Batman in next month’s detective comics? we’re not gonna read detective comics 30, the one that happens immediately after this, but this is another thing that Gardner Fox is the first to do.
Dr. Death does return. And so this is the first time we have a recurring villain. and it’s the first time we have acknowledgement of what they call continuity. Right? So when you talk about common books and you hear someone say continuity, that means that like the events of the previous issue affect what happens to the next one.
So Dr. Death is back, but not only that, like his face is all burned. Right? lots of elements that, that Gardner Fox is bring to the table. Gadgets are a big one, sort of the utility belt, although it is drawn in previous ones, he’s like using it, the, you know, continuity and, you know, a lot of things in this issue stick.
one of the things that doesn’t stick obviously is guns. what do you think of that story by the way?
[00:38:56] Brian: it’s fun. I mean, it’s, it’s a little short, and it, and it’s easy to make fun of with the kind of the plot holes that are set up. It’s not. Uh, it’s not a very robust story. but it is certainly fun and, and it’s easy enough to like follow along and, and capture what’s going on. But like today that wouldn’t fly to, to allow for such extreme, uh, extremely flimsy, like potholes to be available.
[00:39:20] Alex: definitely. It is a different vibe than bill finger. Like, he immediately goes to sort of like, you know, bill finger is doing a lot of like, gangs and, and sort of like organized crime and like, think godfather and this is more, you know, think like Dracula or Frankenstein or, you know, there’s sort of like an Erie Gothic vibe and there’s, you know, poisons and powders and, you know, inoculations and, you know, things like that.
you know, secret laboratories and like, skulls and, um, it’s, it’s a very different vibe. And, and it also, like you said, it’s, you said short, I think this is actually more pages than the last story he read, but it moves right. Gardner Fox has like a very kinetic sort of thing. Um, like if you had to sum up the story, it’s like Dr.
Death’s a bad guy. He takes out, hits on people. He summons Batman through the newspaper. that doesn’t go well, but then Batman gets the last laugh when he like, just so happens to catch, you know, Java is trying to take out a hit, like it’s, it’s very simple story.
So the next, creator we’re gonna talk about is Sheldon Muldoff. Sheldon Muldoff is born in Manhattan in 1920, so he is a bit younger than most of the other people we’ve spoken about in the golden age, Bob Kane, bill finger, Gardner Fox, they’re all born in the 1910s. Shelly Muldoff, um, passes away in 2012.
So he made it longer than most of the creators too. Most of the folks we talk about died in the, in the seventies or eighties, this guy, you know, passed away recently, um, just 10 years ago. he grew up in the Bronx. Um, so born in Manhattan, grew up in the Bronx and unlike most of the creators we’ve spoken about, he didn’t have any higher education at all.
in some brief Googling, I couldn’t even find out where he went to high school, so he may not have even finished school. I don’t know, but he is on record saying that he is totally self-taught in drawing. he would even go through newspapers and magazines and cut out hands and feet and faces and legs, and he’d paste them up in a sketchbook and then, you know, imitate them right next to them, draw them over and over and over and over again.
after sort of, you know, that he becomes really enamored with flash Gordon, pulp magazines and would practice imitating their art, over and over and over and over again. He after having been self-taught tries to break into the comic book industry, you know, don’t have a lot of detail other than like he takes work to national and, and they hire him on his first piece of work for them is, uh, you know, a filler page and a filler page is, you know, if you think about the way that a comic book is constructed, it’s a bunch of sheets of folded paper, um, you know, folded in half and then stapled in the middle.
So for every single sheet of paper, you end up with four pages of a content, cuz you have one half of the fold front and back. And then in another, another half of the fold front and back. so let’s say you have a story that’s seven pages long. you can print that on two sheets of paper, but then you have an extra page in the book left.
so further pages are what they sound like. Um, they make sure that you have something to print if there’s not enough story or there’s not enough ads, like you’re not able to sell an ad. so, below is the first in, in the, the document. Brian, if, you, you go look is the first filler page that Muldoff did.
we don’t have to go over the whole thing cuz there’s a lot. but broad strokes. Could you describe this page to people?
[00:41:59] Brian: So in broad strokes, uh, it says odds and ends by mold off at the top. there’s a lot going on for sure. It looks like a bunch of sketches of possibly different historical figures at the time or something.
We’ve got the biggest picture is, a guy wearing a New York met.
[00:42:17] Alex: I don’t know. It’s Lou Gehrig.
[00:42:18] Brian: Okay. It’s Lou Gehrig.
[00:42:19] Alex: So whoever he played for
[00:42:21] Brian: yeah, I, I don’t know. I’m not a sports person, but yeah, he, he’s got a, he’s holding a baseball bat. It’s actually like a fairly decent, like artistic drying of, uh, like realism, shading and stuff like that. Smiling. But there’s like a dude sitting on his, um, elbow dressed like Tarzan and, calling out like, I’m guessing it’s it is Tarzan during the Tarzan call or something, standing on a bunch of, bags of money.
Uh, so I’m, I’m guessing that, and there’s, there’s a bunch of other little pictures, referencing like babe Ruth and, pitcher Lee Grum. And there’s a little, there’s a depiction of a pirate, which I’m guessing is gonna be the Pittsburgh pirates. So this is all about baseball, but I also think without like reading all this specifically, is it some sort of, political statement about
[00:43:10] Alex: no, it’s just a bunch of facts, right? Like if you think about, if you’re a, a kid or a, you know, a young man, right. Who’s just like into baseball and you, you know, have an extra page, this is like things that might be interesting to you. So like, one of the facts is like in the last 25 years, only two men have covered first base for the yanks, Wally PIP and Gehrig.
Right. Another one
[00:43:30] Brian: Oh, I, yeah, yeah, yeah. I, the, the reason I wondered if it was like a commentary was because you got Tarzan with all the money, but there’s a little, um, caption next to it that says Tarzan as he is called by his teammates is baseball’s highest paid star. And now having crashed, the movies will be quite a wealthy man when he retires.
So it’s not making a statement at all. It is, it is just like a cartoony depiction of like the wealth that he carries in the Tarzan nickname and stuff.
[00:43:59] Alex: Yeah. I think if you pick up, um, you know, a young Brian and Anders, you know, you take ’em out of 1996 and you put ’em in 1938, right. Um, this is your Wikipedia, right? Like just a bunch of random baseball facts. Right. and you know, there’s no photographs, right. So it’s just some drawings, like some caricatures that are kind of fun and some realistic pictures.
And it’s just like talking about stuff. Cause like, you know, on the playground tomorrow, you’re gonna be like, did you know about Lou Gehrig? You know, he’s got all this money. They call him Tarzan. Right.
So this particular filler page is notable, not just because it was drawn by Shelley Muldoff or that it was Shelley MULD off’s first published work, but also because it appeared in the inside back cover of action comics, number one.
So the first appearance of Superman. Yeah. Yeah. Back in January of this year, 2022, a copy of action comics, number one, sold for 3.1 million, you know, this picture is inside. So Shelly Muldoff is, is, is a part of that history, which is kind of cool. Um, in the golden age, what Shelly is most famous for is covers.
he did the cover to all American comics, number 16, which is the first appearance of green lantern. So like the first picture that anyone ever saw of green lantern, Shelley drew that, right. He drew the first cover to sorry, the, the cover to many of the first issues of the flash, the first picture that anyone saw of the flash Shelley Muldoff drew that, in the silver age, the 1950s and sixties Muldoff would become the primary Batman artist.
So, you know, I think it was like 55 through 65 or something like that. He’s drawing the majority of all Batman stories. he was a ghost at that time. Right. So even then all the books still say that they’re drawn by Bob Kane. so it’s secret that Shelly Maldoff is the one doing it.
[00:45:33] Brian: When you say ghost, you mean he’s a ghost writer?
[00:45:36] Alex: ghost artist.
Yeah. So like, it all says Bob Kane. And if you ask anyone like DCE, who’s drawing Batman it’s it’s Bob Kane, but Shelly Maldoff was the one really doing it throughout most of the fifties and sixties.
[00:45:46] Brian: Yeah, this is a really common thing at the time across the whole industry. So like even, there’s famous examples of like Elvis Presley. He would, he would sing other people’s songs, but the only way he would do that is if he could buy the writing credits from them. So it could always say written and recorded by Elvis Presley, even though like he didn’t actually write it. Um, and so there’s, and there’s like examples upon examples upon examples of this in, in the industry at the time.
[00:46:13] Alex: Yeah. It’s, you know, ghost writing is even something that’s not that uncommon today. Like if you are buying like a business memoir, like of someone who’s not an author, that book is often written by someone that it doesn’t say on the front cover. Right. yeah, because of the fact that, um, Shelly Muldoff was the sort of primary artist in the fifties and sixties, he co-created several notable characters that we’re gonna talk about later.
and he drew some really, really important sort of notable stories as well. So remember Shelly Muldoff cause when we get to the silver age, we’re gonna talk to him about, uh, talk about him a lot. why is he important to this episode of bat lessons? Maldoff spent a brief period of time in 1939 and 1940 as Bob Kane’s assistant.
So this is after the filler page that is in action comics. Number one, before he does all of the, the, you know, the cover pages for, you know, green lantern and the flash. and a minute we’re gonna read detective comics, number 31. And it’s not the first issue he works on. Um, but it’s the first one that we’re gonna read.
and I can’t find a definitive source, like for sure, for sure of what exactly he did. you know, some sources say he lettered some say he inked, some said he did the pencils. It’s unfortunately likely that no one knows exactly what he did because Bob Kane was taking credit for everything in this earliest period.
But knowing what we know about Bob it’s likely that he did a little bit of all of it. and I personally think, you know, if I’m trying to read into it, like we notice the difference in storytelling going from bill finger to Gardner Fox. I personally think there’s some art differences as well. We see differences in the paneling and things like that.
maybe it’s just a placebo, I don’t know for sure. but when we read this next book know that Shelly Muldoff worked on the art, and that he’s one of the first people that’s not Bob Kane to do so.
[00:47:44] Brian: Let’s do it.
[00:47:45] Alex: Okay. So detective comics, number 31 written by Gardner Fox with art by Shelly Muldoff
[00:47:50] Brian: Let’s let’s remind everyone again, just, just to make sure, number 27 was the first Batman.
[00:47:55] Alex: Yes.
[00:47:56] Brian: So this is four episodes. So there’s one episode between, or one issue between we, the one we just read and
[00:48:02] Alex: Yes. Yeah. So 29 is the second half of the story. It’s the, like the return of Dr. Death. we’re gonna read the, the first half of another two parter, right? It’s 31. So it’s the, the sort of the very next, Batman
[00:48:12] Brian: Just to, to nitpick. We, we just read 29 and 30 was part two
of 29 where Dr
[00:48:20] Alex: Yes, yes, yes. So, uh, Brian right now on the screen, we have one of the most famous covers of detective comics ever.
[00:48:28] Brian: I can see why.
[00:48:29] Alex: yeah. Do you wanna describe it to people?
[00:48:31] Brian: somewhat of a tangent, I just watched the 1940 something, Fantasia.
[00:48:38] Alex: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:48:39] Brian: And it looks just like this when the Demonn is coming up out of the mountain and, or it’s supposed to be Satan, I think. so we’ve got Batman. Huge up over the, like in the background of this mountain. So there’s this Rocky mountain with a castle up on the peak of this mountain. The summit of this mountain, looks like Dr.
Des castle. I mean, if we’re rolling with continuity here, there’s a dude in the very far foreground who is wearing a, a full on like red Holocaust cloak. I think that that’s what they’re called, um, with like a red, bag over his head or mask. Um, and he’s got a skull and crossbones on the chest. So, which also makes me think maybe this is what Dr.
Death becomes or something, because of the, the death reference and, this big red cloaked individual is carrying a woman who is either passed out or is shrieking in fear, uh, and running into this seemingly running up towards this castle. And so you’ve got in the background of all of that. You’ve got Batman standing, the moon behind him, obviously he’s, he’s got his head tilted down a little bit.
and he just, I mean, he looks like he is God looking over. this, this whole scene
[00:50:16] Alex: very, very serious look on his face. Like he looks like he’s gonna mess you up.
[00:50:22] Brian: Yeah.
[00:50:22] Alex: angry look almost.
and in the lower, right. It says powerful and awesome. The mysterious Batman, again, appears to oppose the evil forces of a terrifying master of crime known as the monk. it’s interesting that, that you, kind of like jumps to Dr. Death, cuz there’s a lot of sort of repeated themes of sort of like the, the, the Gothic horror almost, right.
Like it’s, it’s like evoking this sort of like, Eastern European castle, you know, um, supernatural sort of like a cold, like, you know, dark, um, vibe. and that is something that Gardner Fox definitely brings to the table. this is not Dr. Death. That is the monk and he’s wearing what, what frankly looks like, you know, kind of a, a KU Klux clan uniform, um, right.
Um, all red and it’s, it’s a kind of a hood with, with eyes cut out. and this is the monk. the title card, this is the first time we have sort of the semblance of. The Batman logo, which I think is really interesting. You’ve got Batman, um, where really all you see is his face, right? And then the rest of it, his wings are sort of more symbolic than it is the person.
And then it says bat on the left and man on the right, and this, this is kind of the way the Batman logo ends up for years and years and years to come. Right? Like if, if you look up like Batman 66, their logo
[00:51:35] Brian: Yeah,
[00:51:36] Alex: like this.
[00:51:36] Brian: do.
[00:51:37] Alex: Yeah.
and the title card says the Batman weird menace to all crime at last meets an opponent worthy of his medal, a strange creature, coed like a monk possessing, the powers of Satan, a man whose powers are uncanny, whose brain is the product of years of intense study and seclusion. yeah, they call it a cow. I don’t know why they call it a cow. And they say, he’s like a monk. It doesn’t look like a monk to me at all. I think they’re saying like, like a, like a Catholic monk who would be in like the sort of brown habit. Right. But it doesn’t look like that.
it looks like that. Yeah, exactly.
Exactly. but instead you’ve got like, you know, something covering the face entirely like a, yeah, like a Klansman.
[00:52:12] Brian: He looks like cover commander.
Like the hooded from GI Joe.
[00:52:17] Alex: I didn’t watch Joe. look like Cobra commander, except it’s red and sort of blue
[00:52:23] Brian: Yeah.
[00:52:24] Alex: bad guy. He looks like a bad guy.
[00:52:26] Brian: He definitely looks like a bad
[00:52:27] Alex: So, we jump to the, to the first few panels and we’re in the city and he’s jumping from rooftops rooftop. And here’s something in the first panel that, that Gardner Fox is introducing. That doesn’t stick, it reads through the dark of a New York night. in this story,
[00:52:41] Brian: okay.
[00:52:42] Alex: New York.
[00:52:42] Brian: Oh, he’s not in
[00:52:45] Alex: no, cuz Gotham doesn’t exist yet. Right? So where this is the fifth issue, right?
[00:52:50] Brian: man. I’m reading through this, like expecting you to say that he’s like flying or
something like that. I totally disregarded the whole New York night thing.
[00:52:58] Alex: yes, yes. Um, in previous issues they’ve either not said anything about it at all and they’ve just drawn it as a city or in the, in the one we just read, they called the bustling metropolis. This is the first time Gardner Fox is saying I’m building out the mythos of Batman. He’s from New York.
[00:53:12] Brian: Huh?
[00:53:13] Alex: Doesn’t stick.
[00:53:14] Brian: Doesn’t stick. Yeah.
[00:53:16] Alex: Yeah.
[00:53:17] Brian: That’s kind of wild.
[00:53:18] Alex: speaking of wild, this issue, it’s gonna get wild, hang tight.
[00:53:22] Brian: Okay.
Do I need to get like some paper ready? Like to tally up all the deaths or something?
[00:53:27] Alex: No, no, no. It’s, uh, uh, it’s gonna be ridiculous. Uh, just
[00:53:30] Brian: Oh, okay.
[00:53:31] Alex: yeah. So, uh, Batman is sort of like Pring about the rooftops. We have like four panels here, right off the bat where he’s jumping from one building to another, that middle panel, that middle top panel is one that Bob king traces over and over and over again, like this is like the third or fourth time it’s appeared in the first like four issues of Batman where he’s like, sort of like crouching.
this is a trace of a, a Tarzan. This is the promotional image that we talked about, uh, in a, in a previous episode. I think it’s funny that it just like keeps appearing. the same, the same panel.
and then he jumps to another building and then he jumps to the top of a, a power line, you know, like the big wooden, you know, with the, the wires coming off of it.
And it says he cites his quarry.
[00:54:06] Brian: in This next panel, we’ve got a, a man and a woman man wearing, Suit and fedora and this woman across from him. And she um, I have been sent to you by the master monk and the man goes, I help help. And then in the next scene, he, uh, I’m a little speechless.
Did he just hang
[00:54:29] Alex: no, no. no. yeah. So the, the, the, the visual storytelling, and this is, is not the best. what’s what, let me, let me explain what’s actually happening in the panels. I only know it because I read the story so what’s happening, right? Is this woman who’s like, it’s, it’s a, it’s a little, um, uh, scandalous, right?
She’s kind of got, her, she
[00:54:49] Brian: Oh
[00:54:50] Alex: a
[00:54:50] Brian: see He’s
[00:54:51] Alex: and it’s like falling off one of the shoulders. Yeah. It’s like very, uh, uh, uh, sexual,
almost re que is the right word. but this man’s like super afraid. Right. So he’s backed up against the, the pole. Like he’s backed up against the, the electrical pole and his eyes are really wide and he’s got his AR hands up.
He’s like, ah, help. Help. Right. and then the caption in the next panel says as if an answered to the doomed man. Right. So he’s running away from this woman. Batman has
taken his silk rope yeah. And whipped him up and he’s pulling him up the electrical pole now. Right.
[00:55:20] Brian: I kind of feel dumb cuz it’s like, I ignored the continuity in the story where Batman is also at the top of this pole. Yeah. He’s pulling man. The way, the way I had read it was. Kind of this woman saying I’ve, I’ve been sent from the master monk, the guy realizes and is like freaking out and then,
[00:55:41] Alex: kills himself. Cuz he’s scared of the monk.
[00:55:43] Brian: yeah.
[00:55:45] Alex: Yeah, it’s interesting. You know, it, it doesn’t help that she has drawn to be sort of like sultry or whatever, and like, um, not as intimidating, cuz this dude’s scared, but seemingly not of her. Right. But knowing the story that’s about to come, he’s supposed to be scared of her.
Right. It’s just bad art.
[00:56:01] Brian: Oh
[00:56:02] Alex: Yeah. and the dude now at the top of the power pole says, who, who are you? And Batman says remain until I give you leave to go. Um, and then he jumps off the, the light pole.
and then this is something, this is gonna blow your mind. Brian. I was telling you in this issue, we’re gonna have a lot of stuff that doesn’t stick.
The caption reads. The Batman recognizes his fiance, Julie Madison.
[00:56:22] Brian: he has a fiance
[00:56:23] Alex: a fiance and she’s right here, scantily
[00:56:26] Brian: Wow.
So yeah, Batman, uh, runs up at her at her and, grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her a little bit. She looks quite a bit like Julie Andrews or not Julie Andrews. Um, Judy Garland from, the wizard of Oz.
[00:56:40] Alex: Okay.
[00:56:41] Brian: She seemingly comes out of a trance or something. She’s like, what, what, what am I doing here?
Who are you? And so then the next panel is Batman driving in the car that she should totally recognize cuz it’s the same car that Bruce Wayne drives all the time. But Batman driving in his nice car and Julie’s in the passenger seat next to him saying, but if you are taking me home, how do you know where I live?
Why won’t you talk? You won’t tell me a thing. So she’s obviously a terrible detective. Um, this she’s like I’ve been in this car a million times before, but who’s at the driver’s seat. I can’t imagine.
[00:57:19] Alex: Yeah, she doesn’t doesn’t know. Yeah. So Batman and Julie get to an apartment or get to a house, right. And she’s, she’s, they’re inside. Right. And he started like climbing out the window and she says, but won’t won’t you tell me who you are. And Batman says, tell your fiance, Bruce Wayne, all that happened.
Goodnight and leaves. and then we cut to the next morning and, Bruce is sitting on the couch with Julie, right? He’s smoking his pipe. He’s in a suit. Yeah. He smokes a pipe every time. That’s how you know, right. Not Batman, Bruce mode smoking a pipe.
[00:57:47] Brian: So yeah, in this next panel, uh, SUA is sitting across from, or sitting next to Julie smoking a pipe looks like Julie is staring at him kind of unhappily.
[00:57:58] Alex: Yeah. Crossed arms.
[00:57:59] Brian: Yeah, crossed arms. I couldn’t tell if that was her eye or if that was a tear, but I
I think it’s her eye. and she’s, she’s just mad, Bruce.
There is something I must tell you a man dressed as an enormous bat, found me last night on the street, about to kill a Good Lord, suppose you we’d better. See Dr. Trent right away.
[00:58:19] Alex: scarcely two hours later. They’re now with the doctor
[00:58:21] Brian: uh, young lady. I’ve seen victims of an expert, hypnotist exhibit your Don’t you recall anything that would suggest something like that? I advise an ocean
[00:58:33] Alex: yeah, a little weird, a little weird. yet as Dr. Trent talks, Bruce Wayne notices, staring eyes in wonders.dot dot, and he says, yes, an ocean voyage to Paris, and perhaps later to hungry the lands of history and underlined wear wolves.
[00:58:49] Brian: Okay.
[00:58:56] Alex: the land of history. Sorry. I dunno. That’s so funny to me at this moment.
So we cut to, Bruce Wayne, he’s at a, a, a, a teller sort of window, and it says lunar lines. He says one ticket to Paris, please, port cabin. The next panel, he’s standing there hugging his fiance, Julie. And he says, I don’t like the crack. The doctor made about werewolves Julie.
And he seemed hypnotized himself when he gave you that advice. But maybe I’m imagining things. And she says, of course you are. I’ve worried about you, but I’ll be good. I promise. she leaves on the boat. She gets on the boat and she, she she’s, uh, this is her, uh, her treatment. And then back at the Wayne mansion, in his secret hanger known only to himself, do you wanna describe what’s in this panel, Brian?
[00:59:34] Brian: Uh, a really crazy looking helicopter thing. it’s what, what I would expect the bat wing to
look like if it was not a helicopter,
It looks like it looks like, yeah, it looks like a plane. It, it even looks like it’s got a propeller on the front. It’s got those big bat wings for wings. Um, but sticking up out of the top of it is helicopter blades.
[00:59:56] Alex: And it says two new weapons, my bat DRO in which Julie, uh, which to follow Julie and the flying battering modeled after the Australian Bushman’s boomerang. So these are two things, again, that Gardner Fox is introducing to the Batman with also that stick. This is the first appearance of a battering and the bat gyro is kind of a funny one.
I don’t know why a gyro, you know, like a helicopter instead of a plane. Um, maybe that was like considered more advanced technology at the time. And so it’s like more out there. but you
[01:00:25] Brian: Maybe that’s the way they’re explaining that he doesn’t have like a runway to take off
from or something. Cuz they, cuz at that time in technology, they, all they had is propellers. So they, they couldn’t do like a jet like vertical takeoff or anything like that
[01:00:39] Alex: But it, it’s also worth noting that like, maybe it’s not worth noting my brain is broken so I think it’s worth noting. This is the way I think that like this helicopter actually wouldn’t work because there’s no, there’s no propeller to counter the motion of the
[01:00:52] Brian: in the tail. Yeah.
[01:00:54] Alex: Um,
[01:00:54] Brian: the whoever wrote this is obviously not like doing a ton of research, um, based on like some of the other like foibles. So it, it, it evokes a helicopter, but it, it is not a helicopter
[01:01:08] Alex: it’s not, but what, what what’s really interesting is this is the first bat themed.
And the first bat themed weapon. So before right. He has the, um, utility belt and he gets like a gas pellet out of it, but it’s not the gas, you know, the, the bat pellet, right. He has suction cups, but they’re not the, the bat suction cups.
[01:01:27] Brian: have bat load goes on everything
[01:01:30] Alex: themed, but this vehicle, the gyro is Batman themed and he has a boomerang and it’s Batman themed as well,
[01:01:35] Brian: so, so one more thing about the boomerang is in, in the, what do you call that? A cell, the square,
[01:01:41] Alex: panel
[01:01:41] Brian: the panel. Thank you. The panel where, um, it is introducing this battering, you see the motion lines of, of Batman throwing it and it throws like, just like a, B a booming where it comes back to
[01:01:53] Alex: mm-hmm mm-hmm . And then he gets in, in his bat gyro and he flies away.
[01:01:57] Brian: The bat gyro is SIL wait by the moons flying up in the air. There’s a bunch of random people on the ground. It looks like a crowd of people. It actually looks like pandemonium the way it’s drawn. And they’re saying, look, another person goes a bat. And then the, another person says the end of the world.
We are attacked by Martians.
[01:02:20] Alex: Yeah. So this is a war, the world moments, you know, they see a flying bat. They’re scared of it. He’s striking fear to the, to the hearts of, uh,
[01:02:26] Brian: yep.
[01:02:26] Alex: and he’s looking down upon this crowd. So there’s a panel of him, uh, sort of peering out this, the side of the back copter again, moon behind him. And he’s got a smile
[01:02:36] Brian: Yeah.
[01:02:36] Alex: with the back fact that people are freaking out
[01:02:38] Brian: Chaos. Wherever I go. Ha.
[01:02:40] Alex: and he goes out to see, and, now he’s flying above the boat called the lunar lady, which is the one that Julie’s on and she looks up and she has a monster bat flying over the ocean. and go ahead. You should, you should read it.
[01:02:53] Brian: it’s just, um, this, this idea of like looking up and going, it’s just, maybe I, I live with a different mind, but if I looked up and I saw something like this, I wouldn’t think like, oh my God, a gigantic bat, I would think, oh, a huge bat shaped flying machine,
you know? Like, so yeah. Well,
[01:03:13] Alex: would think it’s a Martian. So
[01:03:15] Brian: oh yeah. Right. You’d think it, yeah. Good on you. You’d just like that person on the last panel. Yeah. So while on board, the lunar lady, I don’t know if there’s any significance to the name of the boat being the lunar
lady, but she goes, she, Julie looks up and, uh, a monster bat flying over the ocean and it’s this bat gyro flies up over the top of the boat.
Beman looks over the edge edge and he puts it on autopilot.
And then he climbs down a rope ladder
[01:03:46] Alex: I think it’s really cool that, hi, he’s got autopilot in, you know, 1938 or whatever, 39 or whatever.
[01:03:50] Brian: Yeah. They didn’t even have a name for it. They called it automatic control.
[01:03:53] Alex: Yeah. and he jumps off the rope, um, ladder onto the, the deck of the, the boat. And Julie says you here. the, the caption says, Julie explains her plight to the Batman. And so that’s why I’m here if.dot look out.
[01:04:07] Brian: Wow. He got there just in time, apparently.
[01:04:09] Alex: and, and and he’s ex she’s explaining her plight to him, which I’m not really sure that why we’re to believe that in plight. Right. Like she’s going on this
[01:04:19] Brian: well I
[01:04:20] Alex: to like,
[01:04:20] Brian: catching him up. She’s like, oh, I, so I went to the doctor and they said that I’m exhibiting signs of
hypnosis. This is crazy. And then he told me that the, the cure is an ocean voyage. So that’s why I’m here.
[01:04:35] Alex: but
[01:04:35] Brian: that’s what she’s saying to him.
[01:04:37] Alex: I think you’re right. You’re probably right. But what Brian, what you’re saying is he’s just in time, because. monk.
[01:04:41] Brian: yeah, the monk, this, this red cloaked, monk jumps out the eyes of the GAT figure, seem to burn. He is the arch criminal known as the monk. And so, uh, Batman,
[01:04:55] Alex: Yeah. He’s thinking to himself that man has uncanny powers. I seem to be hypnotized. It’s harder and harder to move. And so he’s standing there with, with the battering and I think it’s, we’re supposed to think like he’s frozen in time. Like he
[01:05:05] Brian: Yeah.
[01:05:06] Alex: ah,
[01:05:06] Brian: And there’s like, Uh, what do you call like aura of color around like his head and eyes that kind of suggests that he’s under
So then it says by a tremendous effort of will the Batman leaps into action and you see him throw the battering, I mean, it’s across the boat.
It kinda looks like a tennis court, but doesn’t across the boat at, the monk
So the monk ducks says the, the spell is broken and the monk of aids, the battering. Uh, and so it goes right up over his head. and then the next panel Batman has he’s left up and jumped onto the rope ladder.
He catches the battering and apparently leaves,
[01:05:45] Alex: this is like just a bunch of nonsequitors. He shows up the boat for some reason. We’re not sure why he is there.
[01:05:50] Brian: oh my
[01:05:50] Alex: up
[01:05:51] Brian: the Batman or the bad guy run away.
[01:05:54] Alex: exactly the monk just so happens to show up at the exact same time that Batman just so happens to show up. He like, apparently like Julie’s in danger, right? He has this like immense effort, like the force of will to like break this hypnosis, throws the battering pieces out I’m gone. so it says the Batman anxious to get to the bottom of the mystery, follows the ship in the monk to Paris.
So he flies his Badra all the way to Paris. And he’s
[01:06:19] Brian: Yeah.
[01:06:19] Alex: the rooftop of some building.
[01:06:20] Brian: So I, I feel like I have to make this reference. the Braves to Rob and ran away. Bravely ran away away when danger reared, his ugly head. He bravely turned his tail and fled
[01:06:31] Alex: Yeah. Leaves this fiance.
[01:06:34] Brian: Yeah.
[01:06:35] Alex: Yep.
[01:06:35] Brian: Good luck, Julie.
[01:06:36] Alex: so now he’s in Paris and it says the search begins and he jumps, you know, from rooftop to rooftop. and we have a few different panels here, right? There’s one where like, he’s like looking in a window to a pub and then there’s another where he’s like jumps onto a random car and then like looks in the window of the car.
He’s like on top of the car, on his hands and knees. And he’s like peering over the edge, some random person driving and the person who’s driving the car is like leaning out the side and going, woo
[01:07:03] Brian: Yeah, it’s a taxi. It says cab
[01:07:05] Alex: I didn’t catch that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:07:06] Brian: Yeah.
[01:07:07] Alex: And he says help the devil himself, which like, I can’t blame the guy. Can you imagine if some dude just like jumped on the top of the car and then like started looking in the side window at you?
[01:07:16] Brian: uh, no, I mean, I, I can, I can imagine my reaction being shock. I don’t think it would be the devil himself. I’d be like, oh, there’s a loon. dressed up as a bat on top of my
[01:07:29] Alex: I don’t know about you, man. I’m driving my car off the road. I’m jumping so far outta my skin that the wheels just going woo. You know, and I’m like into the tree,
[01:07:37] Brian: Oh, I’m slamming the brakes and Batman is, is landing on the, the road in front of me. And, uh, depending on how scared I am, I’m driving him over
[01:07:45] Alex: the next panel says the weird figure is seen all of Oliver Paris until one night. And this is really interesting to me because it implies that like he’s been looking for his wife in Paris for days.
[01:07:55] Brian: fiance.
[01:07:56] Alex: Oh, sorry. Fiance. Yes. Uh, and do you wanna describe what happens in the next couple panels
[01:08:02] Brian: ridiculousness. So, so Batman, uh, the weird figure is seen all over Paris until one night. So on that note, he didn’t just call and ask where she was. So I’m guessing, well, I he’s Bruce Wayne too. So I guess, I guess I’m to take it that she was hypnotized and has been kidnapped. Right?
[01:08:20] Alex: right. So I guess it’s true. They never told us there’s two ways. This could go, right. There’s one that like Batman has run away. And the battering throw that he did at the monk was like sufficient. And like, she’s just continuing on her cruise. Right. Hunky Dory, everything’s fine. Happy, you know, happily all along.
And like Bruce Wayne could just show up to wherever she’s staying, because that was the, the, the sort of turn of, of the trip. I think what they don’t say. And I think what is was happening is that like Batman bravely runs away and then like, she’s been kidnapped.
[01:08:51] Brian: yeah,
[01:08:52] Alex: is she
kidnapped? I don’t know. It’s not clear to me what her particular relation to the monk is.
Right. Or, or why she’s a target. you know, at the beginning of the story, she’s been hypnotized to like perform murder, which like you could, you could say like, well, any random person, right? Like is gonna be hypnotized by the monk to like perform a murder for the monk.
like, why is he going to Paris with her to kidnap her.
I don’t know,
[01:09:18] Brian: Yeah. There’s a lot of like leading the witness and like, just like an awful form of like checkout’s gun where like, it’s like may, maybe the ocean liner will go to Hungary where there are werewolves and that’s like the plant in the reader’s mind that maybe they’re when they see werewolves, they’re like, oh, that’s right.
Hungry. The land of WWS. But like why on earth would Bruce Wayne make any, like, why wouldn’t he be like, yeah, France and stay away from Hungary where there are werewolves or like as where does that comment come from at all? So, yeah. So based on these panels, he, the search begins. He’s looking for Julie, which makes the connection for me better that she’s been kidnapped or
something. And then he’s in this window. He goes Julie at last. And he seemingly steps into the where it says, but a warm reception has been prepared for him. So I guess they’ve been waiting on Batman to show up and it Sasquatch. It is a like 10 to 12 foot tall, like wooly, uh, big foot Sasquatch.
That’s what it is coming at him, uh, across this bedroom. And, uh, the Batman nimbly is the huge ape only to fly through the sliding through us sliding door and tumbles down, down, down into a gigantic net. now, now Batman is, is landed on this, this huge net and I guess is, is captured
[01:10:51] Alex: this is what I’m talking about with Gardner Fox, where he’s like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Right? Like he’s looking for Julie for the first four panels of this page. Right. He comes to a window randomly, right? He’s looking in, he sees her, she’s lying in a bed. Next panel. He’s in the room. There’s an ape, 12 foot tall coming at him.
Right. He Dodges the huge shape to go through a sliding door. Right. He’s fallen down a thing. Boom. He’s in a, a row. So it’s like hard left, turn hard left turn. Right.
doesn’t make a lot of sense. And in the next panel it says, caught like a rat in a trap as the net closes about him and Batman is inside a rope hanging from a chain.
there’s this balcony. And the monks at the top of the balcony, it’s all made outta stone again with the sort of like iron bars covering the windows. Like they’re in some sort of castle. Right. And he’s just hanging there, like, you know, Thor at the beginning of throw Ragner rock where like, you know,
[01:11:43] Brian: That’s right? Yeah.
[01:11:44] Alex: I, I wanna say there’s like a three musketeer story where something like this happens, but,
[01:11:48] Brian: Yeah,
[01:11:48] Alex: So he’s like fallen into this perfectly laid trap where like he comes in the window is scared by a gigantic ape to fall off a ledge into the net so that he could be hoisted.
Right. And it says the Batman was, again, faces the diabolical master the monk, and the monk says rash, mortal to dare face the power of the monk. Look below at your fate while I pull this lever, he’s pulling a lever. and then do you wanna sh tell us about the fate that is, uh, waiting for, for Batman?
[01:12:18] Brian: Yeah. So there are obviously in some kind of a dungeon because there’s also like chains on the walls and and it looks there’s a below where he is hanging in this net and the net slowly begins to descend into, uh, Aden of snakes. So you wouldn’t be able to tell from the
picture that it was Aden of snakes, unless you could read the caption, but yeah, he’s going into Aden of And then in a flash, the Batman flips his the, he lever,
[01:12:52] Alex: that the monk has pulled to start
[01:12:54] Brian: Right. the switch. Right. So he’s
switch back. Mm-hmm
And then the battering continues to fly in the same uh, and it crashes into the glass and then it comes back to the Batman.
He catches it still hanging in, in the net. So now he’s no longer descending into the Dennis snakes, but they’re in darkness, I guess, because of chandelier’s broken
[01:13:18] Alex: I don’t know if we’re in darkness or not.
Maybe we are, but, yeah. He catches his battering and he’s got his other hand out. Like he’s gonna catch some glass.
[01:13:24] Brian: Oh, good point.
[01:13:25] Alex: yeah, yeah, yeah. But what I really like is the, the text that we have inside the motion lines for the battering, it says zing.
[01:13:32] Brian: Zing.
[01:13:34] Alex: And then the next one says, zip that? It says zing
[01:13:37] Brian: I didn’t even notice that. Yeah. I saw the last Z when it goes to the chandelier, but I didn’t notice the other ones.
[01:13:42] Alex: Yeah. They’re really small.
and then the monk is standing there with the lever in his hand again, and he says a heroic gesture. But if you one, the lever will remain down this time, like he’s gonna flip it again. and then it says working against time, the Batman severs strand after strand. So he’s got a piece of glass from the chandelier and he’s like cutting the glass.
[01:13:58] Brian: he’s using the to cut the rope.
[01:14:00] Alex: Sorry.
[01:14:00] Brian: Yeah.
So Batman cut cuts through one row, but it’s a net. So he has to cut through a whole bunch of sections on the net to have a size big enough for himself to climb out. So then the next, we’ve got Batman jumping out at this net with den of snakes below him. You can clearly see the snakes this time.
and then Batman somehow jumps up to get onto the ledge where the monk is, the monk is running away from him at this point to, hide or something and goes through his door. And then Batman runs and jumps to the door, says the Batman in full pursuit of the fleeing monk.dot dot. Suddenly a barred door drops between the Batman and the monk.
So the monk is truly a chess player. He’s many, many moves ahead. He, he thought that Batman was gonna show up. So he put a, an ape in Julie’s room, prepared for Batman to jump out of the window to get away and land in a net. So it was like perfectly set and sprung
trap. Then when he inevitably got out of the net, that was going into the then of snakes, the monk was prepared for the next trap, moving like three moves ahead, right?
for Batman to chase him, to chase the monk through this door and then be stuck, behind this barred gate. Again,
[01:15:23] Alex: mm-hmm . And the monk says, I hear you fool. While I sit into the girl, Julie, onto my castle and hungry to feed my werew.
[01:15:30] Brian: again?
[01:15:32] Alex: yeah, and then it says the gigantic gorilla is lowered as the Batman is caged by bars all about him. So he’s like caged up in bars and the giant
[01:15:40] Brian: Yeah. I got three minutes with you. Bone saw is ready.
[01:15:46] Alex: and, and then, the, either Batman has gotten shorter or this gorilla has gotten taller because instead of 12 foot, he’s like, you know, 20
[01:15:54] Brian: It’s like 15, 20. Yeah. He’s like three, two to three times as tall as Batman is, this is massive.
[01:16:01] Alex: And, and it says the Batman makes a desperate leap for the rope that lowered the gorilla. Right. So the gorilla is being lowered by a pulley on like a hook and then he comes off of it and then Batman jumps on the hook. Right. So he’s on that rope. that just loaded the gorilla down. And it says, as he climbs hand over hand up the rope, he cites the guard about to draw a gun and then throws his battering at this guard.
I don’t know where the guard came from, but he’s at the top of ledge. Right. the battering hits his mark.
is hanging from a rope by one hand, he’s obviously thrown, uh, the battering with the other and, and you can see the, the swooshing motion and it goes, suck as it hits this bad guy right in the head. And he shoots straight the, the bad guy shoots straight up in the air instead of shooting at Batman on this totally random ledge up, up in the
[01:16:50] Alex: Yeah. It’s not clear to me if they’re in the castle or they’re out of the castle, they were in a dungeon at one point. Like
[01:16:55] Brian: yeah, there’s certainly some like architectural continuity issues with the way this is. Cause like he had jumped out of a window, so you’d think he’d be outside, but he landed in a net, but that net was actually in the dungeon.
And then he climbed up the dungeon onto a Les to chase the monk inside where he got caught into a, an arena.
It seems maybe, uh, based on like the whole cage situation, how they had to lower the, this massive ape gorilla thing.
[01:17:29] Alex: Oh, this guard is the person who lowered the ape. I just realized the guard is sitting next to a, like a big metal, like
[01:17:34] Brian: Oh yeah,
[01:17:36] Alex: I just put it together. Sorry, go ahead.
[01:17:37] Brian: yeah. I, I did, I had worked that out, but, um, Now you’re like 10 steps ahead of me on this whole thing. So I’m, I feel pretty fortunate that I got one out so he, uh, yeah, so he hits that dude, but it’s, but it is on this like random ledge. That’s just like floating up at the top of this. I don’t know it, I mean, the way, the only way I can describe this room, the way, the way it’s been drawn is some sort of square ground that goes up infinitely
[01:18:08] Alex: yeah,
[01:18:09] Brian: And somewhere up there is alleged in the corner with the door. And that’s how you turn this crane on and off to drop the, the bin. Like it’s, it’s incredibly unrealistic, but anyway, somehow between this panel and the next panel, Batman has gotten out of this infinitely tall room and, uh, it looks like he’s running on the roof of this building or something to, or he’s about to jump out of a window from the
building to, yeah. To a rope ladder. That’s been hanging from his gyro. So the bat gyro, I guess, has been up there this whole time on autopilot,
[01:18:48] Alex: says the idling bat plane hovers above the Batman. They call it a bat plane. As you realize, that’s the first time they call it a bat plane.
[01:18:53] Brian: but it hadn’t didn’t they call it the
gyro earlier. Okay.
Okay. It’s not a plane. It’s a
[01:18:59] Alex: Yep.
[01:19:00] Brian: Okay. So he climbs up into the bat plane slash bat gyro, whatever they determine is gonna be called from now on.
[01:19:08] Alex: And it says as a powerful car races towards the hun towards Hungary, the shadow of the bat follows it. I think the, the implication here is that, uh, the monk has gotten into this car and is speeding off. Right. And, and Batman gets into his bat gyro is following it.
[01:19:22] Brian: I’m kind of curious because of the way they’ve drawn this, um, both of these panels have the pull or have the car inside of the shadow of the bat plane. So the driver, does the monk know that the bat plane is right overhead or not? Cause either he’s following him in a hidden sense or he’s menacing him?
[01:19:46] Alex: sure, sure, sure, sure. It could be really, I mean, that’d be really cool. Like I’m, I’m trying to like envision that in a movie where there’s like this moment where the plane shows up and it’s casting the shadow and it’s like, oh no, the Batman, like there’s the, the striking fear into the heart of the criminals element.
That would be really cool. I don’t think they’re implying that, but, but who knows?
and then it says the Batman prepares to board the car from the air. So again, he’s put the, he’s put the gyro into autopilot. He’s climbing down this rope ladder as it’s zooming along, you see the like speed lines as they’re, they’re going down the road. and then we have a, uh, a bunch of panels on this page that like have no caption, no text, right. He’s kind of dangling, from the rope, uh, with the speed lines.
I think they’re just like sitting in this moment, like visually, cuz it’s just cool. Right? Like, and you have another panel where he’s sort of like floating an air between the, the rope and the car and he’s like falling down.
and then it says a glass pellet filled with gas is thrown into the car. So he throws one of his pellets into the window.
[01:20:38] Brian: more of that deadly gas.
[01:20:40] Alex: and it says the car swerves into a tree and you can see the car is like the front end is like crunched up into a tree. Right. Cause he can’t see cuz the gas,
[01:20:47] Brian: That’s extremely deadly, like knowing how cars were made at that time. Like they didn’t, they didn’t even have seat belts. They, they made these cars that are like tanks so that they wouldn’t get all dented up. But like when they’d get in accidents, the people inside would turn to confetti
[01:21:04] Alex: Or
[01:21:04] Brian: so, yeah.
So like Julie’s inside of this car, right? He’d he’d so presumably everyone inside that car is dead now.
[01:21:15] Alex: for the sake of the story, they’re not, but you’re absolutely right. and Batman says the monk knew better than to come, but I can save Julie. So the implication is that the monk is not in this car. Like he thinks he’s been following the monk, but now he
gets down on the ground.
[01:21:25] Brian: okay,
[01:21:25] Alex: and do you
[01:21:26] Brian: so he is just killed Julie instead. so he’s running, Batman is running with Julie, uh, up over his shoulder. runs and leaps up onto the, uh, rope ladder for the bat plane. He climbs out the, the bat plane. He is flying in that and he’s holding Julie and the cockpit and he says, ah, poor kid.
he sets his autopilot for Hungary, the home of the vicious monk and his werewolves.
[01:21:53] Alex: and we kind of fly off towards the moon.
[01:21:55] Brian: that’s the last
[01:21:56] Alex: Yeah. It’s last panel. It says
continue the thrilling adventure of the Batman and his combat against the mysterious monk. What plans has the monk in mind? Why does he want Julie see the next episode of the Batman, they call it an episode. I just realized.
[01:22:08] Brian: Hmm.
[01:22:08] Alex: of issue.
[01:22:10] Brian: Yeah.
[01:22:10] Alex: So I think this is a really interesting time capsule because, you get the vibe for like what Gardner foxes is going for. where bill finger is a lot of like organized crime, and sort of like robbers, you know, he does a story about Juul thiefs in, in number 28.
Um, number 27 is like these business people that are like killing each other over a contract, you know, Gardner Fox is like a lot of like a cult and sort of like, fantasy hypnotists and, poison chemicals and powders. he sets it in New York, but then he’s globe riding. He goes to Paris and he goes to Hungary, there’s wear wolves, which we don’t see in this issue, but rest
[01:22:48] Brian: He doesn’t actually get to Hungary.
[01:22:50] Alex: he does. Yeah. So the next issue, this is a tool part, two parter where we read the
first half of 2, 2 2
[01:22:54] Brian: this, sorry, I meant in this, in this
[01:22:56] Alex: no Uhuh
[01:22:58] Brian: He’s headed to Hungary at the
[01:22:59] Alex: that’s right.
So that whole with the, the, the castle and everything is happening in Paris.
If we talk, wanna talk a little bit about ways that potentially Shelley Muldoff has, influenced this story, uh, versus Bob KA art. Um, one of the things that I notice is that Batman’s ears, I think are a little bit longer, again, it’s, it’s maybe placebo,
[01:23:20] Brian: I think they’re attached in a different location
[01:23:22] Alex: might be yeah.
This is the first time we see the, the occurrence of that sort of like Batman logo. Another thing that Muldoff, I think probably brought to this is that the panels are less of a grid you have here on page one, the very first panels, like almost double height and it pushes the, the fourth panel down to make room for it.
We also have multiple instances of art being drawn outside of the panel line. So, on page number two, panel, number four Batman’s ears are sticking up outside
the panel, which is not something, um, that, that Bob Kane did, or at least is not present in, in other issues, of Batman up until this point.
think on page five, I’m not sure there’s that, that scene of like, the crowded New York street and everyone’s sort of like panicking because they see the side of Batman. It’s not only double height, it’s kind of double width. Right. Um, so we’re seeing like more interesting panel layouts. We’re seeing things being drawn outside of panel lines.
So, you know, who’s to say, um, whether this is Shelly Muldoff or whether this is, this is Bob Kane. but it is different, right? We’re starting to see some evolution in the way that the art is occurring.
[01:24:25] Brian: definit.
[01:24:26] Alex: so thoughts on, on, uh, this issue of Batman
[01:24:30] Brian: Uh, it’s fun. It’s a, it’s a little silver agey in that. It’s Um, it doesn’t seem to be quite as gritty as the previous ones have been. Um, there’s definitely a mystery that they’re solving. I like that, that they’ve been continuing with the just kind of general mystery story of the Batman stories far.
I like the idea of two parters because they’ve got more time to tell the story. That’s one of the reasons I like, um, docu-series over or television series over movies, um, is you’ve got more time to develop characters and develop story and stuff.
[01:25:04] Alex: yeah, it was, something that you mentioned after we read number 27 at the, the very last panel of the first Batman story, they say, um, they tell you that Bruce Wayne’s Batman, even though they hadn’t done it throughout the, the rest of the panels and you were like, man, I wish they had drawn that. And I think at this time, the assumption is that like you’re buying stuff off the newsstand and there’s no guarantee, right?
Like no one has a subscription to Batman, right. That you’re gonna be able to read both issues of a story. And so they really avoid continuity in a big way for a long time. Even in these two partners, they make, you know, sort of intentionally have things wrap up. So like, Julie, at the end of this is no longer in danger.
He rescues her and like, yeah, he’s gonna follow, you know, he’s gonna follow the monk to hungry, but that sort of like imminent threat is gone. He’s just like going after the bad guy. Right. so, you know, Stanley his, his ethos kind of famously, he, he said that like every comic is someone’s first comic.
And so they would often in sort of, you know, the sixties during all, uh, sort of the boom of, of Marvel comics, they would repeat things over and over and over again, they would explain people’s origin story. They would explain people’s powers. They would, you know, it was very, very verbose in that way. and that’s just following out of like the golden edge, they’re doing a lot of that same sort of thing.
So, it is exciting to see some semblance of, of like continuity of an ongoing story sort of being
[01:26:21] Brian: Well, and it, it is kind of interesting as you were talking, I was thinking about how. Um, they had those, I don’t remember what kind of, what they were called, but they had those books that would release like one page of the newspaper And, and like, there were these writers who were famous, um, for just being extremely verbose and descriptive of the and stuff so that they could one, like get more time to develop their story between issues, but also sell, just sell more cuz they got paid by the page So they’d make more money by just like that was obviously like a like books in general where I developed concept and then like inserting them into the newspaper was like a newer thing so that you could have this like serial And uh, comic books like being in their infancy at don’t have that same type of luxury to assume that you can have readers return week after serially, um, to develop on the previous story.
So like the, this is probably a pretty fresh concept of continuity in general for
[01:27:27] Alex: yeah, there, there are recurring, um, comic strips that show up in newspapers that tell a story over time. Like,
[01:27:32] Brian: Mm-hmm
[01:27:33] Alex: think we even talked about, um, that, uh, Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson had done an adaptation of Swiss family Robinson that was appearing in newspapers over and over and over again.
because someone might have a subscription to a newspaper. And because they, you know, the, the, like the color comics were only coming on the weekends, right? Like the Sunday funnies,
it was more reasonable for someone to assume that someone’s reading every single iteration of a comic because
They get the, the same newspaper every Sunday.
[01:28:05] Brian: And everyone’s
[01:28:06] Alex: That’s right. Whereas like a comic book is, is more disposable, right? Like it’s on newsstand, you’re just happening to pick it up. Whereas, you know, it, it does become the case that eventually people become to a hard fans. Right. And, and the sort of hobby store crops up.
Right. And comic book, store crops up, and people are going to places that are not just the stand to get their books. and, and, that is kind of one of the most defining characteristics of comic books, um, in the modern era is the continuity, right? The fact that they all tie into each other and they have, you know, crossovers and, and sort of like events that, that impact, you know, future stories and things like that.
But, it doesn’t happen a ton here at first
[01:28:47] Brian: right. And, and so I think based uh, detective comics, 27 coming it it makes perfect sense for them to introduce the And reveal the alter ego in the same, uh, in the same issue at the time. But if, if they were like developing Batman from scratch today and no one had ever heard of Batman, they probably would’ve
[01:29:07] Alex: Yeah. One of my favorite comic books, ever is ultimate Spider-Man, which is, uh, was a alternate universe that they created. Um, basically in the early two thousands, they were like, there’s too much continuity. Right? no one has read Spiderman since the sixties and especially if you’re trying to get to a kid, right.
They, they don’t know all of these stories that have happened. So they relaunched everything and they made a new earth. Right. It was a new universe of parallel track. It was the ultimate universe. Right. Um, and a lot of it was retellings. Right. So they would take a story that happened in the eighties and they would do it again with a modern spin where like the kids are in a, in a high school, in the two thousands or whatever.
And it’s kind of famous that like the first issue of Spider-Man an amazing fantasy, 15 is like, you know, 12 pages or something like that. And it, it does all of it. Right. He, um, does the, the, the sort of wrestling match and like makes the costume and like gets bitten by the spider and uncle Ben dies. And like, all of those things happen.
Right. And one issue in like
[01:30:06] Brian: covers a ton of ground.
[01:30:07] Alex: Which it’s like, you know, ends up as like a two hour movie for Sam Remy or an ultimate Spider-Man, is like six issues. Right. It’s literally a trade paperback that, you know, and they make it last forever. You know, he stays in high school for a very short period of time and ultimate comics, like he’s in high school, the whole serious, right.
Like, they, the sort of like methodology of storytelling. Has changed significantly. Um,
[01:30:27] Brian: Yeah.
[01:30:28] Alex: people call it, I don’t like this term, but there’s this sort of derogatory way that they talk about modern comics of, of decompression where like back, back in the day. Right. Because they had to tell a complete story and however many pages like, they had to pack a lot of stuff in.
Right. And so you read the story we just did. And like that means in New York and he’s like rescuing a person and his wife is hypnotized and she’s going on a boat and like he’s fighting the monk on a boat and then he’s fighting the bunk in Paris and then they’re going to hung. Right. Like tons of stuff is happening.
And they’re like, well, now people are riding to the trade and there’s decompression. And like, nothing happens. Like they’re unhappy that there’s less storytelling. Right. But, to me, which makes sense, right? Like if you’re paying like $4 an issue or whatever, and like there’s one action sequence in the entire thing.
Like people get upset that they’re paying a lot for, not a lot of story. But like, to me what’s exciting about that is you get more time to sort of sit with a character and like understand their motivation and under understand their personality. And it’s not just like a happens than B happens than C happens.
Right? Like you get to have this sort of like cerebral conversation about like, you know, what is the relationship between, you know, Batman and his villains and he’s putting ’em away in this asylum and like, what, why, how do they feel about that? And like, why, you know, is there a cyclical nature? It’s like, there’s introspection and meta textural sort of like, you know, content that ends up in these books.
[01:31:45] Brian: Yeah. It, it reminds me of this, uh, interview that I saw uh, I think it was Hugh and they were talking about Logan, um, the, the X-Men movie and how excited they were when, uh, 20th century Fox approved a rated because the writing changed a whole bunch. They, they were, they were kind of hamstrung by doing PG 13 because, uh, it has to happen at a certain pace for the attention span of a 13 year old to keep up, cuz that’s gonna be like your biggest target is like the teens and, and the, the young, young adults and when they got the R rating approval, they totally changed the story because they could be slower. could draw things out, they could do a lot more character development. They could talk about much more mature concepts and, and motivations of the character in the Um, Is definitely my favorite X-Men movie is Logan because of the pace and how much more, um, complex the characters are and and, and so like, I think about that in writing, in, in movies, a lot of uh, Steven, Spielberg’s a good example where, um, a lot of his movies aren’t about what you think they’re about like Jurassic park. Isn’t about dinosaurs. It’s really about the character development between Dr. Grant and these two kids, Dr.
Grant, not liking kids at the beginning and these kids not having a father due to a divorce. And so they like bond with each other. So the whole movie is really about like this, complicated, um, string of character development that I really And I like slower movies because they do a lot more of that character development.
So this like decompression thing, I think I would appreciate a lot because of the character Um, but I don’t have a 13 year old attention
[01:33:34] Alex: right.
[01:33:35] Brian: I understand like if it’s, if it’s aimed at kids, maybe kids
[01:33:38] Alex: Well, and you’re, you’re also not going to the comic book store every week to, to pay $4 for the next 10, you know, or 20 pages of a story. Right. If you’re reading a comic book at all, which I assume you’re not doing very often, you’re gonna buy a book where it’s already done. Right. And everything’s altogether.
And you can, you can appreciate it as, as one unit. So
[01:33:55] Brian: Yeah. And I do that with podcasts know that they’re doing a season, that’s serially, I’ll wait until. They have all the episodes out and like season four starts to
something. And then I can binge the thing at
[01:34:08] Alex: yeah. yeah.
what do you think about Batman having a fiance?
[01:34:11] Brian: Uh, it’s interesting. They, I mean, there’s a bunch of different ways they could go with that. Um, it is disappointing that they didn’t develop the romance start. They just like introduce, like, this is a fiance. So you don’t know anything about her. You don’t know this um, unusual person that’s rich called Bruce Wayne slash Batman would be interested in this woman much to put a ring on you know?
yeah. And not tell her about being Batman. Exactly. uh, but also it sounds like like as far as storytelling goes, there’s this huge opportunity in storytelling for her to continue to be like the damsel and distress that he has to And, um, which I know is really common in like that, that sort of like sexist, um, storytelling is the, woman’s always a
[01:35:03] Alex: yeah.
[01:35:03] Brian: distress probably until wonder woman rolls around, I
[01:35:06] Alex: Wonder woman, I think is not far from here. Um, she she’s in like a year or two. and unfortunately, you know, uh, her books are progressive in a sense, but not as much as you would hope.
[01:35:19] Brian: So I, I can easily see, like at the, the time that this is being told her recurringly being in these bad situations in Batman, having to save her and hopefully no one ever like figures out the connection between
[01:35:34] Alex: mm-hmm
[01:35:34] Brian: they will intentionally uh, kidnapping her to bait
[01:35:37] Alex: The Spider-Man dynamic.
[01:35:38] Brian: right.
Yeah. um, Mary Jane
and aunt Yeah. Um, what was the blonde’s name?
[01:35:47] Alex: Stacy,
[01:35:49] Brian: Stacy. That’s
[01:35:50] Alex: that don’t last for very long in Spider-Man.
What you were saying about like having that sort of like ongoing thread of like there’s this, sort of family attachment where, you know, bad guys are gonna get at them and, and there’s like, there is a story dynamic there that, that is one that’s like really common in Spiderman of like, um, it’s a way to get at ’em because he has this as far as I know, Julie doesn’t appear in any more of Batman Gardner break.
No, I don’t think so. I, to be fair, I have not read all the golden age stuff, but it’s a
Gardner Fox thing and bill finger. Yeah. There’s a lot of stuff that he kind of just doesn’t touch. Right? Like you’re familiar with the term retro Brett con right. Retroactive continuity. That’s where like, someone has an explanation, like they come along and they undo a story thread or they, you know, they explain that like, oh, that was a clone or that person was mind controlled.
Or that was a dream. Like there’s a reason. Um, as far as I know, bill fingering, doesn’t bother to re any of this stuff from Gardner Foxy. Doesn’t like, like the fact that Batman’s in Gotham and not New York city, I don’t think they just, they don’t hang a ter on it. They don’t say like, oh, and now he’s in Gotham.
It’s like, they just call it Gotham. And now it was Gotham. Right. did you Google it or did you find
[01:36:57] Brian: Uh, I’m I’m Googling Julie Madison. I’m guessing you’re responding to my eyebrows
[01:37:01] Alex: Yeah. Well, I saw you looking over at the side, but
[01:37:03] Brian: In detective comics, number 40, they establish her as an actress Um, and then she shows up in detective comics, number 49, and then it looks like from there she
[01:37:17] Alex: she shows up a couple times and 40 and 49 would be bill finger. So bill finger does write stories that include her. Apparently.
[01:37:24] Brian: Okay. But yeah, she, she disappears for 60 So there’s a picture of her in Batman volume, two number 33, September, 2014
[01:37:33] Alex: wow. fun.
[01:37:35] Brian: Um, and
[01:37:37] Alex: that’s new 52.
[01:37:38] Brian: okay. Yeah. So there’s the original version. Post-crisis I I’m guessing,
[01:37:44] Alex: Post crisis would
[01:37:45] Brian: And then the new 52.
[01:37:46] Alex: So that’s like, uh, 89 between 89 and 2012.
[01:37:49] Brian: So the there’s a six issue mini series Batman and the monster men published in
that’s when they reintroduced Julie
[01:37:59] Alex: Okay.
[01:38:01] Brian: as a law
[01:38:02] Alex: not the case that no one ever touches that thread again, I think there is a, a draw like of new creators to go back and like mind these old stories for cool stuff. Like, in fact, the first like 12 issues of Batman, um, someone did in the early two thousands, like they just redid them all. Like they retold them in a modern way, like is the exact same stories.
so like the case of the chemical syndicate from number 27, um, with
like modern art and all that kind of stuff. So like, say never comes back, but like, I’m pretty sure as far as like, the cannon is concerned of like between now and like 2014 or whatever, or 2012, or like whenever someone was trying to be clever.
And like, I remember, you know, you read that like wink, wake, nudge to nudge.
[01:38:39] Brian: years.
[01:38:40] Alex: Not an important
character for sure.
[01:38:42] Brian: if you liked 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 podcast. Tap 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, of the now playing screen to recommend us, it helps us a lot. we grow an audience, we can keep putting out episode. You can find all of our
episodes and show email@example.com. You can send us comments, questions, corrections, or even suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
you can tweet at us at bat lessons.
[01:39:24] Alex: Sidebar here, just jumping in to the, to the scripted bit. we really would appreciate your feedback. We’re kind of making this up as we go along. It is a hobby for us. Um, I think we’ve finally started to hit our rhythm. We’re doing a little bit of history. We’re reading some stories and we’re interested in if that, you know, is something that you’re enjoying or not.
Would you like us to do more stories, more history? Are you, uh, wanting, you know, more frequent episodes that are shorter? You know, let us know, give us feedback, uh, you know, no, no email too short, no tweet, too small. you know, don’t be afraid. We we’d love to hear from you.
[01:39:58] Brian: Definitely. Underscoring, we would love to hear from you. We would be incredibly stoked if we got more notifications from our bat lessons accounts,
[01:40:08] Alex: Indeed.
[01:40:09] Brian: uh, until next time I’m Brian Anders.
[01:40:11] Alex: And I’m Alex Cash.
[01:40:12] Brian: Thanks for listening.
Stacy. That’s right.
[01:40:51] Alex: that don’t last for very long in Spider-Man.
[01:40:55] Brian: oh man. Okay. Totally. from the
recording, did I send you the Lego, uh, animation of the Gwen catch? Oh man, I have to send it to you. It is
[01:41:08] Alex: Does her head pop, pop
[01:41:10] Brian: I don’t wanna say anything.
[01:41:13] Alex: that being really funny.
[01:41:15] Brian: Share Alex go
and feel free to, oh, you’re just gonna watch it here.
[01:41:25] Alex: By the way, talk about a really great scene on a really awful movie.
[01:41:30] Brian: Mm-hmm
[01:41:35] Alex: is this from a video game?
[01:41:38] Brian: I don’t know what it’s from. I
[01:41:39] Alex: It’s so high
[01:41:40] Brian: cracked me up. It’s really high quality Yeah.
[01:41:44] Alex: be from a, one of the video games.
[01:41:46] Brian: Uh, yeah, I was gonna guess that it was. Produced by Lego. Um, end, I was like, uh, maybe they wouldn’t do that,
[01:41:55] Alex: I mean,
[01:41:56] Brian: it’s super funny to me.
[01:41:57] Alex: a time game and you have to adapt to this scene, maybe that’s, that’s the way you go right.
[01:42:06] Brian: oh, it’s funny
[01:42:07] Alex: seeing her next snap.
[01:42:13] Brian: Uh, was it, is that what
[01:42:14] Alex: Yeah.
[01:42:14] Brian: thought it, I
thought it smacked her head on the ground really hard. And
that’s what killed her.
[01:42:18] Alex: in the movie, but, um, next Snap’s in the comic book.
[01:42:26] Brian: Oh
[01:42:26] Alex: And just on a bridge. Snap, they got in trouble for this, by the way.
Yeah. The, um, writer and artist likes kind of basically snuck it in, like the editor was asleep at the wheel and like didn’t realize they snapped her neck and they got in trouble after for being too graphic.