Happy BATMAN Day to all of my readers! International Batman Day (September 17th) began in 2014, to celebrate the character's 75th Anniversary! The even has grown much larger in the past two years. I thought it might therefore be fun to recount my favorite memories with the Caped Crusader! To begin with--the very first Batman comic that I ever had was Batman #281 "Murder Comes In Black Boxes!!"
I was instantly drawn to the cover image. Batman is dead center, punching two men at once! The stark brown background and the green colored suits the men were wearing caused me to quickly grab this issue to see who this brand new (to me anyway) superhero was. It is part one of a three parter and naturally I missed parts two and three later. But I was already hooked upon a new character--The Batman! Soon enough, it seemed as if everyone was hooked on the Batman. There were several different versions of Batman at around that time. There was the Batman in the comic books, of course.
Batman worked alone in the comic books. But there was also the Batman in the Super Friends cartoon show, plus the New Adventures Of Batman cartoon. Batman worked with Robin in both of those cartoons. Then, there was the Batman TV Series, which by the time that I had come around was being shown in repeats. Oddly enough, I absorbed ALL of these differing versions of Batman with no problem whatsoever. I enjoyed them all, and if Robin was not in the Batman books, at least he was in Batman Family! Which brings me to the next memory--Batman Family! The first issue of Batman Family that I picked up (well, my mother bought it for me) was Batman Family #8, "The Copycatgirl Capers". This comic is especially memorable to me. This is because my mother and I had spent the day with her best friend Sue and her daughter Kolene and her son Sutton. Amongst the places we had gone was a small shop that carried, besides other things, comic books! I forget what Kolene got but Sutton got a copy of The Weird War. I remember this because I looked through it with him but I was more than happy with my Batman Family.
The reason that this small incident sticks in my mind almost forty years later? Well, Sutton was my best friend at the time and we had a great deal of fun together--as kids. Sutton died young in a car accident. Even now , when I re-read that issue of Batman family, I think of that summer day in 1976 Back in those days, you got comics wherever you could find them. I got books from convenience stores, family members who had outgrown them or even from yard sales. But one fine day, my Mother took me to an actual comic book shop! I did not even know that such wonderous places existed! I bought three comics--the newest issues of Batman and of The Brave And The Bold (#'s 303 and 141 respectively) and--a back issue Batman #251 - "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge!"
My mother was less than thrilled with that last purchase. At a time when comic books were selling brand new for 35 cents, I paid a full TWO DOLLARS for an OLD comic book! I still have a copy of Batman #251 in my bookshelf right now! In fact, since admittedly, my collection is not as organized as it could be, the Batman is the ONLY character to be organized and have his issues in two shelves in a bookshelf in my book room! Even back in the late 1970s, I collected everything I could get my hands upon.
But the week that I looked forward to the most every month? That's easy !! It was the week that all of my top favorite DC Comics arrived! I would, for only two dollars at that point, get five comics--Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and the Justice League Of America (Green Lantern/Green Arrow came out the next week)! I remember spending MANY happy childhood hours on my front porch, reading those great comics! Happy Batman Day to my readers!