Friday, July 13, 2012


Why We Love Detective Comics


This may be my nominee for BEST COMIC BOOK COVER EVER!

This is from Detective Comics #311, cover-dated January 1963. I don't have a copy of it. I just love that cover, though. "The Challenge of the Cat-Man!" And there's a giant robot cat swatting at Batman and Robin! And there's a dude dressed in yellow and orange riding the cat! And they're in a castle with green eyes on the walls!

I'm not really sure I need to own this issue. Just looking at the cover is almost too much awsomeness for a mortal mind to handle!

It's the first appearance of the Cat-Man, who appeared two more times in the next year or so (all in Detective Comics!) before disappearing for a decade or more. Batwoman also appears in this one. (Cat-Man falls in love with her. Which is what you did in the early 1960s when you guest-starred in the Batman comics.) And this is also the first appearance of Zook!

Zook was in the backup feature. The little orange space-monkey was the sidekick or pet or whatever of the Martian Manhunter. (Maybe "familiar" would be a better noun for Zook.) He was a regular character in the Martian Manhunter series for several years, even after it moved from Detective to House of Mystery. He was always getting into mischief and causing no end of trouble for the Martian Manhunter. I used to think he was awful, but Zook's kind of grown on me over the years.

The Catman has been bouncing around in the DC Universe in recent years. (Writer Gail Simone seems to really like him.) But nobody has seen Zook for ages.

And what about that gigantic robot cat? It's just what DC needs right now.



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