Top to bottom, left to right: 1) Illustration by John Duillo, 2) Jaymar picture puzzle “Chicken Charlie” (artist unknown), 3) insurance poster (artist unknown), 4) illustration by Cliff Roberts from The First Book of Jazz by Langston Hughes, 5) Burt Ward as Robin in the 1966-68 Batman TV show.
A self-portrait wearing my summer uniform. Here in Boston, this is wishful thinking.
Bat-Mite was a magical imp from another dimension who claimed to be Batman’s biggest fan. He wore a suit inspired by his idol and loved to visit Gotham City to see the Caped Crusader in action. And the more action the better. If he thought Batman and Robin were succeeding too easily in their fight against crime, he used his … Read More
Far off in the outer space of comic books, existed the whacky, cube-shaped planet known as Bizarro World. Inhabiting this cockeyed world were hordes of grotesque, imperfect imitations of Superman and Lois Lane created by a defective duplicator ray. These flawed replicas had limited intelligence and appeared to be formed out of white stone. Their behavior was governed by their Bizarro … Read More
In 1967, Aquaman was arguably at the height of his popularity—with both his own comic and Saturday morning cartoon. The character had recently gotten married and had a baby, so it probably seemed the next logical expansion of his supporting cast was to create a love interest for his sidekick Aqualad. Aquagirl was an orphan with a wild streak who came … Read More
It’s been a while, but I’m ready to finish this series. First up: Robin! Batman’s junior partner, Robin, has been around almost as long as the Caped Crusader. Introduced in 1940, just a year after Batman’s debut, Robin was created to lighten the dark tone of Batman’s stories and appeal to young readers. He was the first young sidekick of … Read More
Krypto the super dog’s first appearance in March 1955 must have been a success, because just a few months later readers were introduced to Batman’s canine comrade, Ace the Bat-Hound. Robin made a mask for the dog to cover a distinguishing mark on his forehead—but should he have even bothered? If the citizens of Gotham City weren’t clever enough to realize … Read More
When Superman was still a baby on the doomed planet Krypton, his father Jor-El built a rocket to safely transport the infant to Earth. While testing a prototype, Jor-El sent Krypto, the family’s puppy, into space. Unfortunately, the spaceship was knocked off course and it drifted aimlessly for years. When it finally reached Earth, Krypto was reunited with Superboy, the last surviving member of his family. Krypto was a popular … Read More
An accident on a European racetrack left wealthy international daredevil Cliff Steele with a body damaged beyond repair. His brain escaped injury, though, and a surgical genius transplanted it into a scientifically-advanced metallic body. It wasn’t until Cliff was recruited for the Doom Patrol that he learned that their leader, The Chief, had been the surgeon who turned him into Robot Man. Elasti-Girl and Negative Man rounded out the members … Read More
The Batman TV series that debuted in 1966 was a huge success, but by the second season the ratings had started to slip. The producers wanted to introduce a female character for the third season, so DC Comics created Batgirl as a new character for both the comics and the small screen. Batgirl was really Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon. Having received her Ph.D. … Read More