The Brave and the Bold #68 (Oct.-Nov., 1966)

If you’ve been a comics fan for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the concept of the “Silver Age of Comics” — a hallowed era of comic book history extending from (probably) 1956 to (maybe) 1970.  You may even have an image that comes to mind if someone says a phrase like “the Silver Age Flash”, or “the Silver Age Thor”, visualizing an emblematic artistic interpretation of a character that flourished in that era.  But even if you’re as old and grizzled a fan as this blogger, you may find yourself hesitant, and even confused, should someone ask you to visualize “the Silver Age Batman.”

That’s as it should be, frankly, because the decade-and-a-half period we call the Silver Age encompassed a number of distinct interpretations of Batman, all involving different approaches to depicting (in story, as well as art), the character and his world.  My own, personal inclination is to identify the “Silver Age Batman” with editor Julius Schwartz’ “New Look” version of the character, introduced in 1964.  And I can make a strong case for that, I believe, based on Schwartz’ role in the Silver Age revival of superheroes like Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom — said revival being one of the main markers of the era.  But, when it comes right down to it, my inclination probably owes at least as much to the fact that that version of Batman happens to be the one I first encountered as a reader, way back in 1965.     Read More

Green Lantern #43 (March, 1966)

Guest appearances and crossovers are par for the course in the superhero comics of today, but it wasn’t always that way, at least not at DC Comics.  In 1966 you had DC’s big guns teaming up every month (more or less) in Justice League of America, and Superman and Batman appearing together regularly in World’s Finest.  And The Brave and the Bold had by now evolved into a book featuring a constantly revolving lineup of (usually) two headliners (although Batman would soon lock down one of the co-starring slots as an ongoing gig).  But to have, say, Aquaman turn up in an issue of Wonder Woman?  That sort of thing didn’t happen very often. Read More