Batman (comic strip)

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The Batman comic strip began a few years after the creation of the comic book Batman. At first titled Batman and Robin, a later incarnation was shortened to Batman. The comic strip had three major and two minor runs in American newspapers.

Batman and Robin, 1943–1946[edit]

The first series was written by Bob Kane and others. It was published as both a daily strip and a Sunday strip. This series has been reprinted by DC Comics and Kitchen Sink Press in one Sunday and three daily volumes. It was distributed by the McClure Syndicate.

From Joe Desris’s introduction to the first book of daily reprints: ‘…this newspaper strip, Batman and Robin, … has important historical significance: It is the last large body of work that Batman creator Bob Kane penciled completely solo…and it contains stories by all of the significant writers from the first five, formative years of the feature’s history: Don Cameron, Bill Finger, Jack Schiff and Alvin Schwartz.”[1]

Batman and Robin, 1953[edit]

The second series was written by Walter B. Gibson and was published on Sunday only. This short-lived attempt to revive the Batman comic strip ran only in Arrow, the Family Comic Weekly, which was edited by Gibson. A few of these very rare strips are reprinted in the book Batman: The Sunday Classics 1943–46.

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder, 1966–1974[edit]

Although it was credited to "Bob Kane", this series was actually ghostwritten, as noted below. The strip ran on Sunday from 1966 to 1969 and daily from 1966 to 1974. At first, this series was a camp revival drawing on the popularity of the Batman TV show as exemplified by the guest appearance of celebrities like Jack Benny and public figures like Conrad Hilton. Later, it told more serious Batman stories, and featured guest appearances by Batgirl, Superman and Aquaman. A 1970 sequence featuring Green Arrow and Man-Bat was reprinted in Amazing World of DC Comics #4-5 (1975). It was syndicated by Ledger Syndicate.

Episode guide[edit]

Episode # Fan Title Writer Artist(s) Start Date End Date Inc. Dailies? Inc. Sundays?
01D Catwoman Whitney Ellsworth Shelly Moldoff 1966-05-30 1966-07-09 yes no
01S A Penguin with Shark Teeth Whitney Ellsworth Shelly Moldoff 1966-05-29 1966-07-10 no yes
02D Joker On Parole Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-07-11 1966-09-24 yes no
02S The Nasty Napoleon Whitney Ellsworth S. Moldoff/J. Giella/C. Infantino 1966-07-17 1966-10-16 no yes
03D Jolly Roger Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-09-26 1966-12-10 yes no
03S Batchap and Bobbin Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-10-23 1966-12-11 no yes
04 Poison Ivy Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-12-12 1967-03-18 yes yes
05 Batman Meets Benny Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-03-19 1967-04-30 yes yes
06 Batgirl Begins Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-05-01 1967-07-09 yes yes
07 Amnesia Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-07-10 1967-11-12 yes yes
08 Zodiac Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-11-13 1968-03-?? yes yes
09 Superman's Missing Powers Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-03-?? 1968-08-15 yes yes
10 Aqua-Batman Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-08-16 1968-12-05 yes yes
11 Plastic Surgery Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-12-06 1969-05-?? yes yes

The Sunday strip ended July 13, 1969. The daily strips continued, and were drawn by Plastino through Jan. 1, 1972, with Nick Cardy assisting on the art toward the end. They were written by Ellsworth until July 1970, and then by E. Nelson Bridwell. A new artist and writer took over the strip on January 3, 1972. Batman disappeared from the strip, although Bruce Wayne continued as a character. The strip featured a hero called Galexo until it ended in 1974.

The World's Greatest Superheroes, 1978–1985[edit]

From 1978 to the late 1980s, Batman appeared in a strip variously titled The World's Greatest Superheroes, The World's Greatest Superheroes Present Superman, and The Superman Sunday Special. It was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate. For information on writers and artists, see Batman: the Sunday Classics 1943–46.

Batman, 1989–1991[edit]

The most recent revival of the strip, titled simply Batman, ran Sunday and daily from November 6, 1989 to August 3, 1991. The first story was written by Max Allan Collins and drawn by Marshall Rogers. All of the other stories were written by William Messner-Loebs and drawn by Carmine Infantino and John Nyberg.[2] It was syndicated by Creators Syndicate. All of these strips were reprinted in Comics Revue.

Episode guide[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Batman: the Dailies 1943--1944, Kitchen Sink Press, DC Comics, 1990, ISBN 0878161198
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 41. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8. Shortly after the 1989 feature [film], Batman even returned to the funny pages for a bit, in a comic strip by...legendary artist Marshall Rogers. Lacking enough support from various papers to make it financially feasible, the new comic strip folded after two years, despite Carmine Infantino trying his hand at its art chores. 

External links[edit]