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March 11, 2009


Pat Curley

Wow, great post! Two-Face was awesome, absolutely one of the best characters in comics history.

His character was based originally (the first story makes it explicit) on the RLS novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The initial trilogy of stories in Detective (#66,68 and 80) are masterpieces, and the newspaper serial, which featured a grimmer ending, was amazing too.

Sadly Two-Face only appeared once in the Silver Age and that was a reprint in Batman Annual #3 (the World's Finest cover appearance turned out to be a hoax), and even there it was the second or third Two-Face (Paul Sloane) and the CCA required some substantial revisions to the artwork (to airbrush out a love triangle between Sloane and a stagehand's wife).

Mark Engblom

That's right! I had forgotten that Two-Face was banished from Batman's Silver Age world (hence his absence from the Batman TV show). Thanks for the insights, Pat!


As much as I hate to stand against the march of time, I do miss some of those Denny O'Neil stories, with Neal Adams doing interiors.

Al Bigley

Speaking of Batman's "old" costume color scheme-

I teach cartooning sometimes to kids, and one of my recent students, age 15, was discussing the new (and great) BRAVE AND THE BOLD cartoon currently running. About the look of Batman on this cartoon, he said, "I don't know. I mean, Batman dressed in blue and gray?!"

Yep. To him, that's just one more nutty costume version for a character who hasn't had a "regular" outfit in 20 years, thanks to the movies, cartoons, and endless "events" and such in the DC comics themselves. The "blue and gray" is a sort of aberration to him!

Feel old yet?

Al Bigley

Mark Engblom

LOL! Oh yeah...I feel old almost every day from stories just like this. I suppose the non-blue & gray Batman has been the "norm" for most kids and teens, so seeing the old colors must be quite a shock. Speaking of the Brave and the Bold cartoon, I'm nuts about it. I've really been enjoying the stories with their lighter touch and sense of FUN. The recent Owl-Man story was a real gem.

"As much as I hate to stand against the march of time, I do miss some of those Denny O'Neil stories, with Neal Adams doing interiors."

Well, believe it or not, I've only experienced a few of those stories in my time as a comic book fan. I'd love to read them all some day...which leads me to a question for the rest of you: Is there a current reprint volume that DC has published that reprints the O'Neil-Adams run...preferably in color? I'm not aware of one, but it sure would be a crime not to have one available. I've seen a bunch of books reprinting their Green Lantern run, but nothing for Batman. What gives?

Pat Curley

There aren't as many as you might think. Reading Neal's own checklist shows that they did seven stories in Batman together, one Brave & Bold, and four stories in Detective. Hugely influential of course and there is sufficient quantity for them to do a reprint book, which would be a great idea.


The stories are reprinted in color in the Neal Adams Batman Hardcovers (3 volumes)

Mark Engblom

Thanks, guys! Wow...not that many together, huh? I assumed there were many more. Maybe Adams did more covers than he did interiors.

Thanks for the tip, Simon. I will add that book to my "buy" list ASAP.

David Morefield

Actually, not all the stories in those hardcovers are O'Neill/Adams pairings. Some of it's Neal's work with other writers (like Bob Haney on Brave and Bold).

Also be advised much of the art has been re-engineered by Adams, fast becoming the George Lucas of comics, so what you get in those HBs is NOT what you'd have gotten in the original comics. There are those who think it's a good thing that Neal's redone the art to reflect his current tastes and skill level. I am not one of them.

Caveat emptor.

Mark Engblom

Thanks for the warning, David. I read similar cautions on a few of the Amazon reviews, and it really gives me pause. I'm not a fan of Lucas-style fiddling...since I believe it reveals the towering egos of both Lucas and Adams (and the insecurity their earlier work obviously generates). Disappointing.

Maybe I'd be better off hunting down the individual original issues, especially since those reprint volumes run in the $35 to $50 range.

ShadowWing Tronix

I loved Richard Moll's portrayal of Two-Face in the Animated series. They knew how to work with the dual nature of Harvey, and it was my first exposure to the character. Tommy Lee's version was closer to the Joker without the deadly practical joke.s

Pat Curley

I would not think that a complete collection of O'Neill-Adams' Batman in original would run you much on ebay if you weren't looking for mint and were willing to skip the ones you might already have in numerous reprints--GBSET reprints two of them and Waiting Graves was a Millenium issue IIRC.

I'm startled to see I have them all, but Batman was my character and those were my prime buying years; I should dig out that B&B House of Mystery X-Over and do a review. Looks like an interesting comic and I tended not to reread the B&Bs, so it might be entertaining to look at.

Matt Byrd

I have this comic and have always loved this cover. And speaking of Batman: Brave and the Bold, I love it. I have a 3 year old and it gives me an excuse to watch it. The reason I am posting is because of your last comment: Were you one of the messy roommates or the one of the clean ones?

Mark Engblom

LOL! I was one of the cleanER ones. Of course, no college guy is completely tidy...but compared to the other two guys, me and the other roommate were pretty orderly.

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