Friday, November 02, 2012


Why We Love Detective Comics

Kurt Schaffenberger draws the Dibnys!

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about this week. I was thinking of skipping a week.

But then I got this in the mail!

That's Detective Comics #456, with a cover date of February 1976.

The Batman story, uh, well, you get an idea what it's like from the dialogue balloons on the cover:

She did something no man could ever do -- KILLED BATMAN!

You could tell they weren't being serious because there's only one EXCLAMATION POINT!!!

You see, Bruce Wayne is with this girl and - to maintain his playboy reputation - he kisses her, then he abandons her to run off and be Batman. But he's having trouble concentrating. And he's seeing things! He goes to a doctor who tells him he's been poisoned with something called amory and he realizes it must have been administered - via a kiss - by the girl on page two! And then ...

Well, that isn't what I saw in Detective Comics #456 that made me want to write about it. No! There's an Elongated Man story! And it has Sue! And the Dibnys are still traveling around the country - just the same as 12 years ago at the start of the Elongated Man series in Detective Comics way back in 1964 - and they are still a couple of freaks!

But now, they are being drawn by the amazing Kurt Schaffenberger!

Check out the first page:

It seems that now, the Dibnys are staying at a resort community called Cape Crescent, and Sue is wearing a nightie and she's really mad about something, and boy, is she cute in her nightie, being mad about something, and being drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger!

Here's part of the next page:

What's she mad about? If you've ever thought I was exaggerating about the Dibnys being a couple of FREAKS, then look no further!

Sue is mad  because the Cape Crescent newspaper has an article titled "Poll reveals nation's ten most admired women" ... and Sue isn't on the list!

Here's the list, or as much of it as I can make out: Betty Ford, Gloria Steinem, Barbra Streisand, Golda Meir, Grace Kelly, Rose Kennedy, Bella Abzug and someone with the first name Jacqueline, which is probably Jackie Kennedy Onassis. I assume the rest of the list is probably some combination of the following: Nico, Sally Field, Linda Rondstast, Patty Hearst, Gilda Radner, Joan Jett and Patti Smith.

Hey! How about Wonder Woman! Or maybe Rep. Barbara Gordon! (That's Batgirl. I'm pretty sure she was still a congresswoman at this point.)

Well, anyway, Sue didn't make the list. (I really have no idea why Sue is acting like Ann Romney in this particular issue. Sue is  a FREAK sometimes, but this is just a way-over-the-top childish temper tantrum. No, Sue, you are not Albert Schweitzer. And I really don't remember any other time where you thought you were!)

Ralph, not really knowing how to react to Sue's bizarre and unprecedented mood swing, needs some air, so he walks along the beach in his super-hero costume and helps a boy get his kite in the air. (The boy says, "Thanks, Mr. Stretch-Man!" Ha ha! He calls Ralph "Mr. Stretch-Man"! I love this bit!)

Then he sees some thugs and a cute blonde in hot pants stealing some mink coats and he leaps into the fray to stop them and he's defeated because his stretch powers wear off! You see, he gets his powers from a soda pop called Gingold and he forgot to drink the Gingold that morning because of Sue's weird tantrum!

(Man! They do not write them like this anymore!)

So the bad guys beat Ralph up and abduct him and it ends there for this month because it's continued in the next issue.

Which I don't have. Sorry!

But what more do you want?! Kurt Schaffenberger art! Sue getting all mad about something dumb and ranting and raving in a nightie and she's drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger! Ralph getting kidnapped by mink-stealing ruffians and their beach bimbo boss!

The Dibnys are a couple of FREAKS!!!

And that's why we love Detective Comics!


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