etragedy's Detective Comics #27 - The Case of the Chemical Syndicate review

The "Bat-Man" Begins

Every so often I run into some yahoo that pontificates about how Batman comics are for kids and that the Batman movies are "too dark", and "not in the spirit" of Batman. The accusations are usually leveled at the Christopher Nolan movies, and say, "that's not Batman", all-the-while extolling the virtues of the Adam West TV series or (worse), the Joel Schumacher films.
 
To which, I respond, no, that's not Batman. One only needs look to the first appearance of Batman - then called The "Bat-Man" (yes, in quotes). Bob Kane and Bill Finger's shadowy crime fighter was inspired by the pulp hero The Black Bat, and the 1926 mystery film The Bat. This version of Bat-Man didn't have lots of gimmicky devices - he used whatever was at hand, a handkerchief, a wrench, or what have you. He didn't even have a Batmobile - he drove an ordinary red car. And, he had no compunctions about dropping villains off of rooftops, or seeing them take an unexpected acid bath. He lurked in the shadows and fought a grim, merciless battle on crime. That's Batman.
 
While Bob Kane's art may seem extremely crude by modern standards, there's no doubt that this conception of Batman holds up well more than 70 years after it first saw print.

7 Comments
Posted by Silkcuts

Great review, glad someone finally reviewed this.

Posted by Reaper_bat

too dark?? batman is the king of the dark is the biggest bad ass in comics, he uses darkness and fear to figth crime thats the bat!!

Posted by CrimsonAvenger

This is one of my favorites comics but I disagree with you on the Schumacher films because I really liked Batman Forever and parts of B & R. I've read this one a few times and I love it every time, it's a shame to see that Bill finger is no longer credited as the co-creator of Batman.

Posted by etragedy
@Silkcuts: Yeah, I was pretty surprised nobody else had.
Posted by etragedy
@Reaper_bat: Hey, not my words. But you can't say you've never run into one of those folks.
Posted by wangbumaximus

We must remember that the Batman of the Golden Age used guns and other violent methods to eliminate the cowardly criminals. Things changed for the Caped Crusader in his more than 70 years of comic existence, depending the discretion of the management. For example, in the 1950s, fear gripped in America due to the Cold War phenomena. In addition of the publication of the twisted book "The Seduction of the Innocent" by this equally no-brainer psychologist, which led to the creation of the Comic Code Authority, forcing editors and publishers to streamline the comics' contents, including the essence of making violence totally sanitized! Please reflect on how the television show "Batman" presented in the late 1960s to justify the long-term extent of this nonsense. It took Stan Lee, the underground comic artists and writers, and comic visionaries like Will Eisner, Frank Miller, Alan Moore, etc., from the 1970s to the 1980s to challenge this stupidity above. Yet, DC maintains that Batman fights, not kills, criminals. It is unfair really to compare the present-day take of writers and illustrators of Batman to the era of Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Time/circumstance/situation/era/continuity changes, depending the forces, seen and unforeseen, that take place. Same goes to the case of Captain America, where many modern people were shocked upon learning that Cap used guns to combat enemies during World War 2 in the comic world. Really, it's time to dig those very old issues and put them into proper context to make sense why some, if not many, things turn different. Nonetheless, the review is good!

Posted by etragedy
@wangbumaximus:  I don't think I was unfairly comparing the writers of today's Batman to Kane, Finger, et. al. - quite the contrary, I praised them for being more true to the original conception of the character. 
 
wangbumaximus said:
It is unfair really to compare the present-day take of writers and illustrators of Batman to the era of Bill Finger and Bob Kane.

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