My Batman Confession!

“You can never escape from me. Bullets don’t harm me. Nothing harms me. But I know pain. Sometimes I share it. With someone like you.”

Batman

I have a bit of a secret. Secrets can gnaw at you, demanding to be let out. Well, mine isn’t quite that dramatic, but I felt it was time to come clean! I’ve been a huge Batman fan for as long as I remember. I love the caped crusader. The best detective in the world. Yet despite my adoration (which some might label obsession) I have never read the first appearance of the Batman.

Yep! Cat’s out of the bag. I’ve never read Detective Comics #27. Shame on me. Why then? Why has such a devout fan committed this heinous crime? Well, the answer to that is twofold.

The first reason begins with a small history lesson. Batman, or as he was referred to in those days the Bat-man, first appeared in Detective Comics #27, which was published on 3 June 1939. It was a seven page story entitled “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”. The character, the Bat-man was the brainchild of writer Bill Finger and Artist Bob Cane (who also did the cover for this issue). This comic book is now exceedingly rare and therefore ludicrously expensive. Obtaining, let alone reading, such a rare comic is near impossible these days. Currently the website Key Collector has the price of a low quality copy at $250k U.S. And a high end copy at a whopping $2.2M U.S. So … yeah!

So why not just read a digital copy, I hear you ask? To put it simply, I just never got round to it. I’ve never been a huge fan of reading much stuff digitally, so I just never found the space to do it. Until recently!

About a week ago I stumbled across an app called DC Universe Infinite. For a monthly subscription you can read literally thousands of DC comics, including oldies. So I thought I’d give the 7 day free trial a go. I’m glad I did! I finally got to read Detective Comics #27!

And I loved it!

Right from the very first panel where we’re introduced to a young socialite, Bruce Wayne. Groovy threads!

First visual appearance of Bruce Wayne

I’m not going to bore you with a full review of a 90 year old story, but what I would like to share with you are a few select panels that made an impression on me. Having said that, I do recommend reading this story if you haven’t already. It’s a great little murder mystery, even though it’s kinda solved by the Bat-man behind the scenes. It’s got action, some suspense, and of course Bat-man using the “little grey cells” to get out of a few tight situations along the way. Well worth the read!

The most important panel in this story must be the first visual appearance of the man himself. Dated writing styles notwithstanding, this appearance packs a real punch! Do you guys agree?

First ever panel illustrating the Bat-man.

After saving the day a couple times, Bat-man hones in on the killer. But one more henchman stands in his way.

Dispatched in style!

Finally the killer is revealed

Absolutely brilliant. Reading this story, immersing myself in noir-age language is an amazing trip down memory lane, the nostalgia of a childhood spent buried in the musty pages of crime stories so thick I could almost grab onto it. Wonderful!

Then right at the end of the story, the true identity of the caped crusader is revealed to the audience.

The identity of the Bat-man revealed.

Guys! Wow! Just wow! Dated, yes. But full of character. And laced with the charm of a bygone era. What do you guys think of this story, this first Batman appearance?

Until next time …