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Friday, May 15, 2015

Detective Comics Key Issues Part 12

In Part 12 of this Detective Comics key issues, we're revving up and zooming out of the Silver Age and into some Bronze Age key issues within this titled comic series. The Batsignal will shine the light on a few important comic artist keys of certain artist that became legendary for his artwork on Batman.

Also, we'll see the first collaboration between a legendary comic book writer and artist who both redefined the Dark Knight during this period. Most of these Bronze Age key issues are Batman centric, but good stuff nonetheless.

This Part 11 link will zip you there in case you missed it, but if you're ready for more, here's the next batch of Detective Comics key issues.

1st Neal Adams superhero story art
3rd S.A. appearance of Catwoman
4th appearance of new Batgirl

Neal Adams drew or penciled stories for non-superhero characters like Jerry Lewis, but when he first broke into superhero artwork, it was mainly for covers. Detective Comics #369 and the Elongated Man story Legend of the Lovers' Lantern is the first superhero story Neal Adams penciled for.

Prior to that, he was only assigned to draw covers concerning superhero comics like his famous Action Comics #356 cover. That issue is highly sought out and valuable because of Neal Adams.

But there is more to this issue than that. In the Batman sector of this titled comic, the 3rd Silver Age appearance of Catwoman is present in this comic. This comic also holds the 4th appearance of Barbara Gordon as the new Batgirl.

So most definitely one of the better Silver Age key issues in this titled series and worth mentioning. Detective Comics #369 was published November, 1967.

1st Neal Adams Batman artwork

An important issue concerning Neal Adams fans and for Neal Adams as well. Detective Comics #370 marks the first time Neal Adams does artwork for the character of Batman.

He only does the cover with Carmine Infantino in this issue, but the artist would soon start doing pencils for actual Batman stories. The first pencils for a Batman story would be in World's Finest Comics #175 in the story The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads.

His artwork on Batman would become Neal Adams' claim to fame and one of his signature characters along with the Spectre. So, yes, highly important artist-fueled key issue right here, and it was published December, 1967.

1st new Batmobile from TV show

The popular 60s Batman TV series had a unique look for the Batmobile. It would only be a matter of time before that version of the Batmobile found its way into the pages of the comics.

This Batmobile would be featured on the cover of Detective Comics #375, and the va-room room is an iconic piece of pop culture. It's probably the most recognized and remembered Batmobile look. Who doesn't remember that Batmobile? 

January, 1968 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #371.

1st appearance of Jason Bard

Important supporting character for the early Silver Age Batgirl. The character would go through some revamps, but in this version, he is a well-known private investigator in Gotham City.

He develops a close relationship with Barbara Gordon and even teamed up with his romantic interest often. Batman has even come to Jason Bard quite a few times for his expertise.

In the newer version Post-Crisis, Jason Bard is a detective for the Gotham Police under James Gordon. He received a knee injury from Killermoth and was forced to quit the force, in which he opened up his own private investigation agency.

Bard was still a love interest for Barbara Gordon and they were even engaged. After the events of The Killing Joke, Barbara Gordon called off the engagement. The character of Jason Bard has crossed over into the New 52.

Detective Comics #392 and the first appearance of Jason Bard was published October, 1969.

1st Dennis O'Neil & Neal Adams Batman work

An extremely important issue that kicks off the bronze age of comics for Batman. The creative team up for Neal Adams & Dennis O'Neil's Batman run is very much like the creative team up work between Chris Claremont and John Byrne during their famed X-Men run - Fans hail it as one of the absolute best within that series.

Detective Comics #395 marks their first team up work on the Caped Crusader, and there is no questioning why it's so well-loved even to this day. This comic has become one of the most important bronze age Batman key issue comics to snag!

There's no doubt that comic artist Neal Adams and writer Dennis O'Neil helped to revitalize the Batman series by bringing him and the Batman world back to its darker and more brooding roots. This comic was published January, 1970.

1st appearance of Man-Bat
1st Batgirl/Robin team up

Created by Frank Robins and Neal Adams, Man-Bat has been a pretty popular character in the Batman mythos. Going deaf, scientist Kirk Langstrom apparently developed a serum from the glands of bats in order to give him the same sonar sensory that bats have.

The serum was obviously a success, but there was a downside. It took away his intelligence and transformed him into a bat-like humanoid.

On some occasions, Langstrom is able to keep his intelligence after taking this serum, and the Man-Bat character sometimes does heroic deeds as well.

In the backup feature, A Burial for Batgirl, we see the first time Batgirl and Robin team up. The story would be continued in the next issue. Detective Comics #400 was published June, 1970.

2nd Batgirl & Robin team up

Continued from the backup Batgirl feature, both Barbara Gordon and Robin uncover a murder plot at Hudson University. In the course of their investigation, Batgirl finds herself the killer's next victim and is kidnapped.

Bound, gagged and sealed in a room behind a brick wall, Robin must carry on the investigation himself in order to find the whereabouts of Batgirl. He does and both heroes discover that the killer is a student named Jack Markham.  

Another amazing Batman cover by Neal Adams, July, 1970 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #401.


This has got to be one of the longest key issues series I've done to date, but it can't be helped. Batman is one of the oldest superhero characters in comics and this title definitely contains a lot of Batman key issues no doubt.

We're just breaking into the Bronze Age of Detective Comics also. Still, there's no doubt that Neal Adams work on Batman is legendary and a fan-favorite and the direction that Dennis O'Neil saved the Batman titles during a time when the Silver Age goofiness of the character saw slagging sales. 

Alrighty, since we've got more Detective Comics key issues to cover, I'll keep it short and sweet. The PREVIOUS link below will take you back to Part 11 if you missed it. 

Otherwise, more Bronze Age key issues from the Detective Comics title are featured in PART 13 of this series. Just click the link below.


  1. Man, Mayhem, this is getting ridiculous!!! 13 parts of Detective Comics key issues - get down to some important issues!


    Thanks for tackling that big field :-)


    1. Tell me about Ace...I realized it would be a long one when I was still in the Golden Age. I know you're joking but you do have a point in all honesty. Thanks for everybody's patience though. I'm glad to be done with this one.

      Fun but tiring and I hope it does help some out there. I did skip some pretty minor ones however. Maybe not enough though haha!