Friday, September 21, 2012


Why We Love Detective Comics

Go-Go Checks!

What are go-go checks?

(You may well be asking.)

are go-go checks!

And for a time in the 1960s, DC Comics decorated the tops of their comic books with go-go checks. And so their comics looked like this:

Whenever you see go-go checks on the top of a DC comic book, you know it's going to be full of some weird-ass shit. Trust me. It may not be particularly good, but it will freak out your shit, it will freak out your shit but good.

This particular issue is Detective Comics #364, with a cover date of June 1967. The go-go checks had been around for more than a year and only had a few more months to go.

I'm trying to describe what happens in this issue, but it's a bit convoluted and hard to explain, and sorting through it is making my head hurt a little bit. There's a reason I don't remember this issue very well, even though I just read it a few months ago: It's a bloody mess.

Batman and Robin fight The Riddler and defeat him after two pages. The Dynamic Duo is confounded by a series of clues that are even more random than usual. Alfred yawns a lot. (Which turns out to be a clue!) Aunt Harriet appears for a few panels. More random clues!  Generic thugs attack. Batman and Robin follow some fooprints that lead up a wall, onto the ceiling and to an abrupt end. Tricked! Then, the Founder's Day Parade includes wax figures of their greatest foes!

And so on and so on.

The bad guy turns out to be The Outsider. (Which explains why this story SUCKS so much.) You see ... (deep breath) ... The Outsider is actually Alfred, who was believed dead for a time, but he was actually under some kind of trance after an explosion (or something) and thought he was the Outsider and he tried to kill the Dynamic Duo several times between Detective Comics #334 and #356, and even after Batman and Robin solved the mystery of The Outsider (and brought Alfred back to his senses), they didn't tell Alfred he had been The Outsider, so in this issue (#364), The Outsider is taking over Alfred's body and making him play villian to Batman and Robin (which is why Alfred is yawning), and then they solve it and everything's OK.

(Detective Comics #364, by the way, is on my short list for worst issue of Detective Comics ever.)

And then there's an Elongated Man story where Ralph and Sue go boating and one of the other guys renting a boat is acting suspicious and Ralph has to investigate and so he stretches his eyeballs like twin persicopes and ...

That's about all I can take today. There are THREE panels where Ralph is stretching his eyes like a snail's eye-stalks and it's just GROSS!

Nice art by Irv Novick.  (Except for Ralph's stretchy eyes. Yuk!)

It's not always good. And that's why we love Detective Comics!


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