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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Detective Comics Key Issues Part 15

Detective Comics key issues Part 15, and this will be the last part to this series. I decided to cram what's left over all into one part.

We're moving out of the Copper Age and into the Modern Age, so if you're not a big Modern Age fan, you may want to skip this one. However, there are some interesting tid-bits in this one.

Also, if you have no problem with Modern Age comics, there are some keys that are starting to get recognized in the current market and high grades have steamed up a little for them. Not like super hot, but are gaining recognition.

Anyways, this Part 14 link will bring you to the PREVIOUS post in case you missed it, and I hope you enjoy these last few Detective key comics.

Todd McFarlane cover
Todd McFarlane pencils
2nd appearance of the Reaper

No doubt one of my favorite Batman covers is this one right here done by Todd McFarlane. This is part of the Batman Year Two story arc and is the best cover of the bunch in my opinion.

When I first bought this issue back in the day, I was amazed at how well McFarlane drew Batman. Love how this cover is designed and how it draws you into the scene. 

The detail of the tattered cape and torn pieces of Batman's costumed clinging over the sickle in the forefront easily takes your imagination to a place where the inside story could go a thousand ways. All you knew was that Batman was in grave enough trouble to be holding a gun at his attacker, and McFarlane uses a great sense of perspective for this cover.

First time I ever saw Batman use or hold a gun was on this cover, and I totally geeked out as a kid. McFarlane also pencils the interior story for this issue.

It's still an awesome issue for any Todd McFarlane fan to seriously consider snagging. Actually, McFarlane also draws the covers and pencils the stories for issues #577 and #578, and if you're a Todd McFarlane fan and Batman fan, these three issues are definite must-haves.

I thought the Reaper was a pretty cool villain, but they did not use the character much in the Batman mythos. His 1st appearance is in Detective Comics #575, and this issue is the 2nd appearance of the character.

Detective Comics #576 was published July, 1987, and it's pretty much a biased opinion why this is on here.

1st appearance of Scarface & Ventriloquist
1st appearance of Rhino

The original Scareface and Ventriloquist was created by Alant Grant, Norm Breyfogle, and John Wagner. Actually, the only character out of this villainous duo to have changed is the Ventriloquist. 

This Ventriloquist was a meek Arnold Wesker who took on the persona of a 20s Al Capone like gangster through a dummy dressed up like one. The dummy named Scarface was the evil persona of the Wesker, though later a supernatural aspect was hinted at but never confirmed.

The Wesker version of the Ventriloquist was the voice of reason and was often degraded by Scarface. The other versions of the Ventriloquist were more in line with Scarface's brutality and penchant for violence. 

The first appearance of Scareface and Ventriloquist was published February, 1988, and this is a pretty cool cover by Mike Mignola.

1st appearance of Anarky

As the name states, this villain introduced in the late Copper Age was all about over-throwing governments. Created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, the character was only supposed to be used in the story arc he was intended for and that would it. Alan Grant decided to continue with the character.

Anarky, also known as Lonnie Machin, sporadically appeared throughout the early 90s and was received well by fans. Dennis O'Neil also praised the character. The character got his own spin-off title after a successful limited series, but the on-going series was less successful.

I remember picking up this copy back in the day and thought the character was cool but not ultra cool. I didn't fully appreciate the character until I got into the Sex Pistols freshman year in high school.

The character has crossed over into the New 52 and is pretty much a fan favorite villain for Batman. The character of Lonnie Machin was revealed to possibly be the Joker's biological son in the Anarky volume 2 #8 issue.

Grant was suppose to write the rebuttal proving that this was false, but the series was cancelled and the rebuttal was never written nor published. Dennis O'Neil was against the idea from the get go until Grant promised to write a story immediately disproving this.

I don't think DC Comics accepts that Lonnie Machin is the Joker's son. However, they've yet to write a story that refutes this, and it probably doesn't matter since the continuity changed already. Detective Comics #608 was published November, 1989.

1st appearance of Stephanie Brown

When Chuck Dixon reinvented a villain called the Cluemaster, Stephanie Brown was written into the three part story arc in Detective Comics as merely a plot device. Well, so Chuck Dixon thought anyways.

The fans liked the character, and her first appearance as the Spoiler is in Detective Comics #648, the following issue. This issue number 647 is the first appearance of Stephanie Brown and she would later take up the mantle of Batgirl.

As Spoiler, however, she was used as a foil and love interest for Tim Drake. She is also the Cluemaster's daughter. Detective Comics #647 was published August, 1992. 

1st appearance of Spoiler

Directly after the first appearance of Stephanie Brown, she gets all vigilante like and appears as the Spoiler. This character has been rising in popularity over the years as more female comic fans have also risen.

Created by Chuck Dixon and artist Tom Lyle are credited with creating this character. Stephanie Brown has also been Batgirl, but she reappears in the New 52 as Spoiler.

This character is a well-known member of the Batman Family, and she doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. Over-looked key issue right now, but I think that will change in the near future. 

September, 1992 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #648 and the first appearance of Stephanie Brown as Spoiler. It may be her first full appearance as Spoiler as she may have a cameo as the vigilante in the previous issue.

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1st appearance Crispus Allen
New Batman look
1st appearance of Stacy

Alright, I'm only noting the new Batman look because this comic also holds 1st appearances, one of which is not so minor and the other one is. As for the new Batman look, I think the only thing that changed is that they went with the Golden Age, all black bat symbol without the spotlight around it.

In case you haven't noticed but I completely bypassed the Knightquest new costume that Jean Paul Valley wore when he was briefly Batman after Bane took Wayne out of commission for a while. I believe that was exactly the time I stopped reading Batman.

As for the first appearance of Crispus Allen and why it's an important one. Well, Crispus becomes the new or third Spectre. Actor Andrew Stewart Jones plays this character in the Gotham TV series.

Stacy is a civilian administrator for the Gotham City Police Department and has a close relationship with Commissioner Gordon. She was also the only person permitted to turn on the Batsignal since she is a civilian and the police are not legally allowed to acknowledge the existence of Batman nor have a working relationship with a masked vigilante. 

March, 2000 is the publishing date for Detective Comics #742.


1st appearance of Whisper A'Daire
1st appearance of Kyle Abbot

Former agent of Ra's al Ghul, Whisper A'Daire was given a serum by Ra's al Ghul that granted her immortality and the ability to shape shift. Kyle Abbot is another former agent of Ra's and was Whisper's bodyguard.

Kyle Abbot was also given the ability to shape shift and chose a wolf while Whisper chose a serpent like form. 

Detective Comics #743 was published April, 2000.

1st appearance of Sasha Bordeaux

Created by Greg Rucka and Shawn Martinbrough, Sasha Bordeaux started off her comic career as a Batman supporting character. She was Bruce Wayne's bodyguard and a skilled martial artist hired by Lucius Fox.

After finding out Bruce Wayne's secret identity as the Dark Knight, Bruce trained Sasha Bordeaux as an apprentice and she became his sidekick for a while. Later, Sasha Bordeaux would become an agent for Checkmate and rise through the ranks eventually becoming the right hand woman to Maxwell Lord, leader of the agency.

I put this one on here simply because she is connected to Checkmate, in which the agency is connected to the Suicide Squad. She later is revealed to be an OMAC cyborg, but had a relationship with Bruce Wayne.

Purely a speculative comic, and this Modern Age key issue was published December, 2000.

1st appearance of Jessica Midnight

Another member of Checkmate, Jessica Midnight is the one who recruited Sasha Bordeaux into the organization. She is known as the Black Queens Bishop and was ordered by Maxwell Lord to exterminate the Kings and Queens of the Checkmate organization after he took over.

Key issue first appearance, but still a bargain bin. Detective Comics #773 was published October, 2002.

1st appearance of Nyssa Raatko

Ra's al Ghul has another daughter and her name is Nyssa Raatko. She is the half sister of Talia al Ghul and was created by Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson.

Nyssa Raatko does make a few appearances in the DCU, but mainly as a Batman rogue. Highgrade copies are seeing a little heat for this first appearance, but nothing to get overly excited about.

If you have it, may want to consider dumping it to help fund a more solid comic investment. This character has appeared on Arrow TV series and was played by actress Katrina Law. She married Green Arrow, but was the former lover of Sara Lance, The Canary, sister of Laurel Lance the Black Canary on the show.

The first appearance of Nyssa Raatko was published August 2003.

1st appearance of Ventriloquist II

The 2nd version of the Ventriloquist is Peyton Riley, daughter of Irish mob boss Sean Riley. Scarface calls Peyton Riley "Sugar" and she is a more compatible and violent partner for the dummy than Wesker.

Like Wesker, she also suffers from multiple personality disorder. Shauna Belzer would be the Ventriloquist in the New 52.

Detective Comcis #827 was published March, 2007.

Alright, this key issues request tore me up and that concludes this series. In case you haven't noticed I did bypass story events like Knightfall, Knightquest (Jean Paul Valley takes over as Batman) and the other crossover events after Knightquest that came in the late Copper Age and early Modern Age.

Most of the keys for that era took place in the Batman title, such as the first appearance of Jean Paul Valley as Batman in Batman #500. Also Bane breaks Batman's back in Batman #497 from the Knightfall story arc.

While I am aware of these story arcs and grew up reading some, I didn't include them. I think Detective Comics #667 does see the first appearance of Batman (Jean Paul Valley) in that armored get up, but I'm not that sure.

That may be one I should've put on here, but it is still pretty much a bargain bin. Still may be a key issue though. Not like any of the Modern first appearances of some featured in this last part weren't bargain bins either.

There is the Joker's Laughing Fish story and that's probably another one that should be in this series. It was highly acclaimed at the time and is a fan-favorite, and I did forget to put that one in there.Oop

Steve Englehart and Marshall Roger's portrayal of the Batman is now considered classic, but, hey, if there's any Detective keys you think are worth mentioning, go ahead and rattle them off in the comments section and explain why those keys are worth the attention of other comic collectors or comic investors. 

I'm sure we all would appreciate it. Never presumed to know everything, and besides these key series mostly deal with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th appearances and origins. Occasionally, I'll throw in a death here and there and sometimes a fan-favorite story arc or an important artist and writer's work on a titled series.

Any how, another key request done! I'm gonna take a break for a bit. Hope this helps you on your hunt or helps you to determine what comics to dump. Either one and up to you.

Thanks for reading and for those of you who don't much care for Detective Comics, thanks for your patience.


  1. damn mayhem great job take a vaca JW

    1. JW is right you need to take a vacation but for once you get back I request a hawkeye key issue list. ~ EC

    2. Will do. Thanks for the suggestion JW. Hawkeye keys list in the pipeline.

  2. Thanks Mayhem you have no idea how much this list means to me.