On this Day… March 4th

march4th

detective#364From “The Curious Case of the Crime-Less Clues”, Detective Comics #364, June 1967

Script: Gardner Fox
Pencils: Sheldon Moldoff (signed as Bob Kane)
Inks: Joe Giella
Colours: uncredited
Letters: Gaspar Saladino

Batman and Robin investigate a series of riddle-based clues… but the Riddler has already been apprehended. It’s not a great story, let’s be honest, but I loved it when I was a kid and thanks to the riddle above this story comes to mind on this day every year.

batman bumper book sThis strip would have one of my first encounters with Batman — it’s certainly one of the earliest I remember — and it came to me via the Batman Bumper Book, published in 1970. That said, as I was only four years old at the time, I wouldn’t have seen it until several years later. Luckily, these British-published reprint books — regular Rusty Staples readers might recall the Super DC Bumper Book — featured strong cardboard covers and thus they tended to last a lot longer than comics.

The Batman Bumper Book contains four other strips, three text stories, and an assortment of other features, cartoon strips and pages of jokes. The text stories are uncredited and were most likely commissioned specially for the book, but a bit of detective work reveals the sources — and credits (except for the colourists) — of the other strips:

“Castle with Wall-to-Wall Danger”
Source: Detective Comics #329, July 1964
Script: John Broome
Pencils: Carmine Infantino
Inks: Joe Giella
Letters: Gaspar Saladino

“The Psychic Super-Sleuth”
Source: Batman #196, November 1967
Script: Gardner Fox
Pencils: Sheldon Moldoff
Inks: Joe Giella
Letters: Gaspar Saladino

“Secret of the Captive Cavemen”
Source: World’s Finest Comics #138, December 1963
Script: Bill Finger
Pencils: Jim Mooney
Inks: Jim Mooney
Letters: unknown

“The Day Batman Sold Out”
Source: Batman #191, May 1967
Script: Gardner Fox
Pencils: Sheldon Moldoff
Inks: Joe Giella
Letters: Gaspar Saladino


Bonus: The uncredited endpapers from Batman Bumper Book (cleaned up a bit in Photoshop)…

batman bumper book endpapers s

 

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