Detective Comics #39

These are the characters integral to the iconic inception of D.C., or Detective Comics. The debut issue of Detective Comics in 1937 marked the birthplace, paving the way for Batman‘s emergence just 27 issues later in May 1939. This groundbreaking move closely followed the publisher’s introduction of Superman in Action Comics #1 in June 1938, laying the foundation for the cultural phenomenon we recognize today.

In my collection, a cherished piece is Detective Comics #39 from May 1940—the second-ever appearance of The Boy Wonder, Robin. Notably, it includes an advertisement for Batman #1. Within the gripping tale, “The Horde of the Green Dragon,” the Green Dragon, engaged in the opium trade, abduct two millionaires. Despite Batman’s strict instructions, Robin defies orders and finds himself captured. Forced into a duel with a Mongolian swordsman armed only with a wooden sword, Robin faces adversity until Batman arrives to save the day, dismantle the opium ring, liberate the kidnapped millionaires, and earn folk hero status in Chinatown.

Detective Comics #44

Detective Comics #44

Detective Comics #44 from October 1940 holds a special place, particularly for its cool Batman wrapped in an endlessly large cape cover. Adorned with cover art by Bob Kane (Batman’s co-creator with writer Bill Finger), this edition is significant for Batman enthusiasts and features an inside story starring the superhero The Crimson Avenger as an added bonus.

Another prized addition is Detective Comics #54 from August 1941, my second favorite “post-Robin” cover. Its striking resemblance to the renowned Issue #33 from November 1939 adds an interesting layer of historical fact. I also lucked out with a #42, the third coolest post-Robin cover, and a #56—prompting the question of whether I can afford to continue this collecting spree?

Detective Comics #54

Detective Comics #54

Detective Comics #33

Detective Comics #33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Comics #42

Detective Comics #42

Detective Comics #56

Detective Comics #56

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning from past experiences, particularly the lesson of “never, ever sell anything Batman” (see below), I safeguarded a coverless copy of Detective Comics #59 from March 1942, discovered in a small horde of books I managed to acquire.

Detective Comics #151

Detective Comics #151*

Among the other Detective Comics that have passed through my hands are those procured for their motorcycle and football covers. For instance, Detective Comics #151, featuring Batman riding in a sidecar motorcycle driven by an enchanting blonde, combines everything I appreciate in a comic. Released a full ten years after Batman’s initial appearance in July 1949, this issue, illustrated by Jim Mooney as a ghost artist for Batman creator Bob Kane, emerged near the peak of the superhero in the Golden Age comic book era.

Detective Comics #51

Detective Comics #51*

Detective Comics #161

Detective Comics #161*

Detective Comics #82

Detective Comics #82*

* Sold copy