I won’t try to complete the history of Batman here, others have done that already. I will try to recount my experiences.
Issue #34* is from May 1946. I had been looking for a reasonably priced copy for a while, because I wanted to beef up on traditional superhero comics in my collection – and I like the motorcycle cover. I took a chance on a copy on eBay despite my better judgment and received a lesson on the term “brittle.” Now I have seen some slightly brittle comics, where you have to gingerly turn pages to read the comic – but this one was brittle! It looked good in the photo, but in the hand the staples had actually disappeared somewhere into the pile of chips that once was a spine! I quickly moved it into a mylar and decided to move on from from the book.
From reading about comic preservation on the internet it is a fact Golden Age comics are “doomed” to disintegrate as the acids eat away the paper over time anyway. In that case – what is the point of spending 20 times the money for a VF 8.0? Makes one wonder what type of insanity comic collecting would be diagnosed as.
Still, eventually, I upgraded to a 3.5, which I also ultimately also sold because the small water stain bothered me.
Not so much of a bother, however, is the #25 from November 1944 that I cobbled together. Purchased coverless copy, then eventually found a cover to complete a Batman motorcycle cover. I also put together #17, similarly, but wound up letting that one go. I also have a sweet Daisy Air Rifle Company File Copy of Batman #32.
“Holy Good Girl Batman!” By the time issue #87* below was published in October, 1954 the Caped Crusader had been appearing in his own comic series for 14 years. Inside art was still being penciled by Batman’s creator Bob Kane and I find his artistic version of the story inside preferable to the cover done by artist Win Mortimer.
The crew at DC comics appear to be reacting to flagging sales as the superhero genre started to “Wayne.” With “Batman Falls in Love,” this was perhaps an attempt to gain a wider female audience, or to compete with the teen humor, crime and romance fads of the time. While not a classic cover, it does portray a classic tale. Batman battles his own emotions as he goes head over heals for Magda, an attractive actress. Will his sense of responsibility for Gotham City and fighting the Joker’s continuous crime wave be overridden by seeking to win her favor? It might be up to Robin the Boy Wonder and ever pining Vicki Vale to bring the Dark Knight back to his senses.
* Sold copy