Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yiiiii! Yiiiii! Whoop! Whoop! Wednesday!

We haven't checked in on Batman over in Detective Comics for a while, have we? Let's see what's going on in the world of the intellectual chess match that is detective work:

Oh, yeah. We were in that era, weren't we?

Well, believe it or don't, this is the last issue before the "new" Batman days began. But before we bid adieu to the "weird Batman" days, let us taste that bittersweet fruit one last time:

They sure made it easy, didn't they?

Here's a little "it ain't cheatin' if the referee doesn't see it" moment from the J'Onn J'Onzz story from that very same issue.

Of course, this guy has powers very similar to Cyclops, including the need for special glasses to keep him from accidentally blasting things. So, being the ace journalist that I am, I took a look to see which came first.

The winner: Cyclops. He was, of course, introduced in X-Men #1, which had a publishing date of September, 1963, a good six months before this ish of Detective came out. I don't know how far ahead folks put together comics back in the day, so it's entirely possible that this story was either deep in the process or even in the can by the time Cyclops came about. Still, it's interesting that such similar afflictions showed up within months of one another.

Of course, Cyclops is still going strong while this guy was never heard from again as near as I can tell, so there's no doubt as to who wore the powers better. And let's face it: Comics, like movies and television, borrow and recycle ideas all the time. It's not about originality, it's about how entertaining the end result is.

See you tomorrow!


Britt Reid said...

"Comics, like movies and television, borrow and recycle ideas all the time."

Too true.

The X-Men and Doom Patrol, groups of heroes who were feared and misunderstood by "normal" people and featuring a leader in a wheelchair, debuted within a couple of months of each other.

Two detective heroes with a "bat" motif and a love of gadgets, The Batman and The Black Bat, debuted within a couple of months of each other.

Both were coincidences.

MarvelX42 said...

Sorry about that. I just didn't know for sure how to comment since the change. Aaaaaaanyways. Alot of those comic guys back then knew each other talked alot and even worked for multiple company's, yes?

Britt Reid said...

"A lot of those comic guys back then knew each other talked a lot and even worked for multiple company's, yes?"

Editors were VERY territorial back then.
Some editors didn't even want their writers or artists working with other editors at the same company!
That's why artists used "pen names" when working for companies other than their mainstays, or ghosted under other artists within a company.
For example, DC romance artist Gene Colan used "Adam Austin" when he started at Marvel Iron Man and Sub-Mariner until he finally got enough work from Marvel (at a higher rate) to drop his gigs at DC!
He used his real name from then on!

In addition, it took anywhere from three months to a year to get a strip conceived, produced, scheduled, and printed back in the day.

And, quite frankly, if you have the "next big thing" in your pocket, are you going to blab it to all your competitors so they can steal it?

These things happen.
Back in the 80s, there were a plethora of big-budget underwater alien movies all in production and release at the same time (Abyss, DeepStar Six, Leviathan plus a couple of lower-budget flicks.)
In the 90s, Independence Day and Mars Attacks were produced and released within 6 months of each other.

Gene Phillips said...

Jack Cole's 1940s hero THE COMET had a visor with a death-ray, which some suspect that Jack Kirby mighta seen and swiped therefrom.

So it goes...

MarvelX42 said...

It is sorta strange how abuncha different movies with very similar themes come out all at the same time. Volcanos, westerns, gangs, alien invasions, heists, disasters, etc. But back to comics, I coulda swore I read about some people cross talking about comic ideas back in the day. I know the book that I think said it. I will have to reread it and post the exact part from it when I come to it.

Aaron said...

I can never get enough of people able to shoot rays out of their eyes. Thanks for the post, I kinda dig whatever I see of this era of Batman but reprints seem to be kinda rare, with Showcases beginning with the New Look - people who find Adam West campy don't even know that it's actually a dark, hardboiled Batman compared to just a few years earlier. Though personally, I can never get enough Bat-Mite either.

LissBirds said...

It's nice to see a J'onn J'onzz story show up on this blog. You could have a field day with some (okay, all) of his early stories. :)