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Friday, January 13, 2012

BATMAN FRIDAY 

Why We Love Detective Comics

The Monk
For this one we have to go back to the dawn of comic books. Almost.


To Detective Comics #31 in 1939, probably early in the summer, when comic books with a cover date of September 1939 could be purchased at a newsstand.

Yeah, this is one crazy comic book. I read a reprint of The Monk story in the 1970s and it had quite an effect. It was awesome.

As a matter of fact, it was so awesome, it bled into the next issue of Detective!


(Which, unfortunately, didn't have Batman on the cover. But isn't that some nice Fred Guardineer art anyway!)

Let's see. Where to begin. Batman runs into Julie Madison acting very strangely. She's Bruce Wayne's fiancee, you see, and it's quite out-of-character for her to be wandering the streets of Gotham City (the text says New York City) wearing a robe and saying things like, "I have been sent to you by the monster monk!" as she tries to attack and kill a man.

This is very early in Batman's career. It's the fifth appearance, so there's no Robin, no Alfred, no Bat-Cave. But he does have a batgyro and a batarang!

Julie goes to Hungary to recuperate or something and Batman follows in the batgyro. The Monk, a hooded vampire and werewolf, tries to get Julie on several occasions, but batman is always there to rescue her.

Stuff like this happens:

But finally, at the end of the second ten-page story, after fighting giant gorillas and escaping from death traps and evading the vampire's scantily clad accomplice and being cornered by werewolves and so on - you, know, the usual - Batman kills the monk with silver bullets and takes Julie back to Gotham or New York or wherever.

None of it makes any sense whatsoever.

It's just one more reason why we love Detective Comics.

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