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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Detective Comics Key Issues Part 14

This is Part 14 to this Detective Comics key issues and we only have a few more parts to go. We're getting close to the end of the Bronze Age, but not quite there in this one.

Definitely have a few that were once sleepers and now heating up in the market due to a certain movie coming out next year. Alright, this Part 13 link will bring you back to the prior post if you missed it.

If you're good to go, here's more Detective Comics key issues.

1st Modern appearance of Hugo Strange

Well, look who's back. That's right - It's Dr. Hugo Strange, one of Batman's first and earliest super villains from the golden age.

As of now, this bronze age Batman key issue is a sleeper and still quite affordable at CGC near mint 9.6. The boost in demand for this comic hasn't quite taken off...yet. Keyword there is "yet", and I doubt this key issue will still stay affordable in the high NM realm.

The 1st Modern appearance of Hugo Strange in Detective Comics #471 was published July, 1977.

1st appearance of new Deadshot
2nd appearance of Floyd Lawton 
New Deadshot costume

Not sure why guide as this as the first appearance of new Deadshot. After all, isn't this just a make over on his costume. It's still Floyd Lawton, and the character was last seen in Batman #59.
That makes this the 2nd appearance of Deadshot in comics. Still, this is an important key issue and gives the modern spin on the character who will become the only Suicide Squad member to be in every incarnation of the team. 

His first appearance and this one are hot now and is already getting major play in the market due to the Suicide Squad movie! This comic was published December, 1977.

1st appearance of 3rd Clayface
1st appearance of Preston Payne

Yup, there's been three different Clayfaces so far in the Batman mythos, and Preston Payne is the third. However, Preston Payne is definitely not the last. There are a total of eight Clayfaces in the DC Comics universe.

Preston Payne made a brief cameo in the issue prior to #478, but Detective #478 is his first full appearance. If you're on the hunt for the two Clayfaces before him, you can visit this link to see the first appearance of the silver age Clayface.

Click here if you're looking to find out the golden age Clayface and his first appearance. Detective Comics #478 was published August, 1978.

1st appearance of Julia Pennyworth

Okay, bear with me here. This is the 1st appearance of the character that would become Julia Pennyworth. In this issue she is named Julia Remarque, but in this story arc, we learn that Alfred was stationed in France during World War II and had a love child with famed resistance fighter Mademoiselle Marie.

This character does cross over into the New 52 and is also Alfred's daughter and named Julia Pennyworth. Her origin is revamped a long with Alfred's origin, and she was created by Gerry Conway and Don Newton.

Detective Comics #501 was published April, 1981

2nd appearance new Doctor Death

Paging Doctor Death! Paging Doctor Death! In Batman #345, the character of Doctor Death was revived from a long hiatus since the Golden Age by Gerry Conway.

Detective Comics #512 was published the same month and year as Batman #345 but it seems that this story chronologically comes after Batman #345. So, this marks the 2nd appearance of the new Doctor Death, though I'm not quite sure why it's noted as "new".

After all, Doctor Death is still Karl Hellfern in the revived version, and nothing really changed about the character except that he was paraplegic and had a minion named Toto as his right hand man. Since Doctor Death is one of the first recurring super villains for Batman, I decided to give this 2nd appearance of the new Doctor Death a nod at least.

I was really close to not even including this one and maybe I shouldn't have since it is a pretty minor key issue. March, 1982 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #512.

1st cameo appearance of Killer Croc

Technically, Killer Croc first appears in this Detective Comics issue right here. He is in a few panels and is wearing a trench coat and a fedora hat to cover up his scaly appearance.

However, it is considered a cameo in the current market and by industry. Regardless and because of the Suicide Squad movie, this issue is starting to see heat in the current market.

No longer a sleeper anymore for sure. Detective Comics #523 is steaming up right now and was published February, 1983.

2nd appearance of Killer Croc?
2nd appearance of Jason Todd

Ah, let the debate begin. Some out there were trying to tote that Batman #358 is the first full appearance of Killer Croc. It is the 1st Killer Croc cover and the first time he calls himself Killer Croc, and he is fully shown in Batman #358.

Batman #357 has Killer Croc hidden underneath his trench coat and fedora hat. He is shown in figure not in shadow, but we never get a clear look at him underneath his garb. Like Detective Comics #523, he is still addressed by the name of Croc.

So why is Batman #357 considered his first full appearance? Overstreet notes it as a brief appearance, but CGC notes it as a 1st full appearance. I think it's because that issue starts off the Killer Croc story arc or is the real beginning to it. Some argue that Batman #357 is yet another Killer Croc cameo as well. That could be true, and it is being debated as is everything nowadays.

However, chronologically and story wise, Detective Comics #524 comes before the argued first full appearance of Killer Croc in Batman #358. The story contained in Batman #357 continues in Detective Comics #524.

In this issue, Killer Croc's face is revealed for the first time and he appears quite often throughout the issue. If there's an argument about the first appearance of Killer Croc, I think this issue has a pretty good chance to make it a contender over Batman #358.

Right now, this issue is considered the 2nd appearance of Killer Croc. If industry ever decides to change the first appearance of Killer Croc, my vote would be for this issue and not Batman #358.

This issue has the 2nd appearance of Jason Todd, but he only shows up in a cameo. This is the first version of the character, and Jason Todd would be quickly retconned in Batman #408 Post-Crisis.

 Detective Comics #524 was published March, 1983. Batman #358 was published one month after in April, 1983.

Detective Comics #525
3rd appearance of Jason Todd

The 3rd appearance of Pre-Crisis Jason Todd. In this version of Jason Todd, the character's origin greatly mimicked Dick Grayson's.

He was from a circus family and they were acrobats for a traveling circus. Killer Croc would be the killer of Jason Todd's parents.

However, the character was revamped Post-Crisis. Instead of being upbeat like he was Pre-Crisis, Jason Todd was written as a reckless and angry hoodlum who was first seen trying to jack the Batmobile's wheels.

Detective Comics #525 sees the 3rd appearance of Pre-Crisis Jason Todd, and his parents would be murdered by Killer Croc in the next issue. This comic was published April, 1983.

Only about two or three more parts to go and I'm calling quits on this Detective Comics key issues series. I will include some Modern Age keys in the very last few parts, but there won't be many.

The PREVIOUS link below will bring you to Part 13. The PART 15 link will bring you to the next part so you can click it to continue with this series.


  1. Howdy Mayhem,

    just recently located a potential sleeper which I wanted to share here. With a Superman / Batman movie knocking on the door, it sounds like a no brainer to me: Worlds Finest 177 - first super villain team up of the Joker and Lex Luthor! Would be great to hear your opinion on this one, since I am planning to buy this baby.

    Max Rebo

    1. Thumbs up! I believe this one was listed on the World's Finest Comics key issues list. I do have this one that I bought in a comic lot many moons ago, but it's not high grade at all. Didn't even know I had it until I did the list and went through my Silver Age raw stuff.

      Is it still a sleeper? Haven't checked up on that comic in awhile, but I think it's a good one or at least should be.

  2. Hi Mayhem,

    I'm very surprised you left off Detective Comics #475 & 476 this list. For me the Joker's Laughing Fish storyline is a classic and any collection of Detective Comics would be incomplete without it. Just my two cents.


    P.S. - As always, thanks for the info. Your blog is a must read for me even on titles or characters I don't collect. And I can tell you do a lot of work in getting these uploaded for the rest of us to enjoy.

    1. Hiya Bob, I just realized I missed that particular issue and sorry for the late reply but usually get back to comments after I've done whipping up a few posts and was itching to conclude this one.

      I gave Steve Englehart and Marshall Roger's a nod at the end of Part 15 and admitted that I missed the Laughing Fish storyline and it should be brought to attention. Good call, man!

      Thanks for the kudos and I'm glad there are still those who enjoy this blog. I'll have to add at least #475 to this part of the series when I catch a breather.

      Thanks for commenting and reading!