mourgos's DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #20 - Batman review

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Spectacular Look at the Golden Age!

The 100 page Super Spectacular series was really fun to read. The Batman tales from the 1940s even more so.

This issue is designated DC-20, printed September 1973 and has ten pretty decent stories from the Golden Age of comics.

The development of "Harvey Kent" (later "Dent" in modern comics) was interesting -- a madman throws acid on half his face, and he turns to a life of crime. The story is an interesting mix of romance, knocking some sense into Harvey's head, and as Harvey turns from crime how his crime pals don't take too kindly to that.

The Black Canary art was quite feminine. As with most 40s gals, they are not supposed to be fighting crime but to buck under male domination. Canary runs a flower shop but her pal sets up shop with his detective agency. As she attempts but fails to convince him to leave, she gets on her Canary outfit and breaks up a gang that has framed Canary for murder! This character has no super powers as she later developed.

Starman gets his powers from a star rod and he can fly and deflect bullets -- even voodoo spells from a camera! There are all kinds of puns in the story -- the criminal is named Cain, and Starman "raises Cain". Yeouch!

Blackhawk devolved in the 1950s and 60s as a character that fought monsters and aliens, but in this tale he goes to a Mideast country to break up a gang that has taken over and bilked the populace

from their cash and taxes. Much better tale than the later monster moves. Some racist overtones with Chop Chop but that's to be expected in these kinds of stories.

The "good old days" had its share of racist commentary that has now swung the other way with the current "PC" generation, but I digress.

Dr. Mid-Nite has a secret identity in a Dr. McNighter. Like no one could figure that one out! He fights well and has fancy glasses but that's about it. Not too impressive.

The Batman and Robin in these tales also are sarcastic and witty and even blow it a time or two. Quite well done for the time.

Bottom Line:

Great overview of the Golden Age characters. I can see why Stan Lee and Julius Schwartz wanted to modernize their childhood favorites to be more relevant to their new generation of readers. Recommended.

You can pick up a near-mint copy on eBay for $60!

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