Retroactive: Detective Comics 1954 & Amazing Spider-Man 1978

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My Favourite Covers
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Okay, so our journey through the past is complete for this week but which covers reign supreme? For Detective Comics, the crown goes to: Detective Comics #213. The Dynamic Duo are dazed and confused, standing at the mercy of the “mysterious Mirror Man”. In the foreground stands the villain himself as he makes a bold proclamation to the reader: he’s going to use his X-Ray mirror and discover Batman’s secret identity! I love how the various mirrors create lots of visual interest and the expressions on the faces of Batman and Robin are simply priceless. After this cover, the Mirror Man only appeared in a DC Comic three more times in his entire history (1963, 1986, and 2003). A memorable cover featuring a forgettable foe indeed. For Amazing Spider-Man, the title goes to: Amazing Spider-Man #180. Featuring the Green Goblin, a character that was featured on a third of the covers this year, being unmasked as…another Green Goblin looks on? What? The cover promises the revelation of the new Green Goblin’s identity and from the look of the hair it ain’t Harry Osborn. “No!! It’s not possible! You can’t be the Green Goblin!” Those words uttered by Spider-Man piques the reader’s interest as our minds race to deduce his identity. And what about the second Green Goblin? Is this one Harry? Someone else? It’s a double whammy that ensures we have double the reason to part with that 35 cents. Add all of this to the nicely detailed background and the moody atmosphere/colouring choice and you get one amazing cover indeed.

dc213ASM180
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So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

13 thoughts on “Retroactive: Detective Comics 1954 & Amazing Spider-Man 1978

    • I know! I saw that one and was wondering what was going on? Batman was Robin? No way. That flies against everything we know. Must be some ruse, must be a swerve, must be… Mission Accomplished! I want to find out the answer. That cover was my second choice for Detective Comics this week.

    • While doing this week’s new edition of Retroactive I realized I made a horrible mistake. I don’t know how it happened but for 1954 I used the 1955 Detective Comics covers. I’ve since rectified the situation and this piece is now correct. You can now view Detective Comics 1954 Covers in this posting or go to https://thegothamrogue.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/retroactive-detective-comics-1954-amazing-spider-man-1978/2/ to be taken instantly there. Your choice of #214 is actually Detective Comics #226 for 1955. I apologize for the mistake and to make it up…this week I’m going to post 2 Retroactive features!

  1. My favorite Batman cover is Detective Comics # 208, because it has a very detailed background, a group of mobsters on Batman’s way (you can recognize them from their typical hat) and a “Green Arrow – ish vibe”, given by the fact that the fake Dynamic Duo is using arrows to stop the mobsters.
    My favorite Spidey cover is ASM # 176, because of Flash Thompson. I’ve never liked the old version of the character (when he was just your typical high school bully), but, since Marvel recreated him and gave him far more deepness, I’ve been appreciating him much more.
    Also, his solo series made Betty Brant come back in the Marvel Universe, so I should appreciate him for this reason alone. Anyway, I don’t like Betty Brant’s new version: I remembered her as a smart, brave and sweet secretary, and now she’s just a whining, frustrated and desperate woman. At least, this is the impression I got from the few Venom comics I read (issues # 1 – 4): I hope that, in the following issues, she became less depressive and more similar to the character I used to know and love when I was a child.
    Talking about “Green Arrow – ish vibe”, from this preview (http://www.comicbookresources.com:8080/?page=preview&id=15594) this new comic book, titled simply “X”, seems to have the dark atmosphere that make me love Green Arrow, Daredevil and Batman so much. I’m going to buy it, that’s for sure.

    • “My favorite Batman cover is Detective Comics # 208, because it has a very detailed background, a group of mobsters on Batman’s way (you can recognize them from their typical hat) and a “Green Arrow – ish vibe”, given by the fact that the fake Dynamic Duo is using arrows to stop the mobsters.”
      There sure were a lot of Batman imposters these last few entries I did on Detective Comics. What was happening in the 50s?

      “I’ve never liked the old version of the character (when he was just your typical high school bully), but, since Marvel recreated him and gave him far more deepness, I’ve been appreciating him much more.”
      Exactly. Hopefully one of these days the live-action movies will give him a fair chance. They always start him as the bully and then…he just disappears.

      “I hope that, in the following issues, she became less depressive and more similar to the character I used to know and love when I was a child.”
      Now she’s not even featured in Venom since he moved to Philly. Not featured in Superior Spider-Man either. She’s been swept to the wayside sadly…

      “I’m going to buy it, that’s for sure.”
      Glad you found another series that caught your attention and imagination!

      • “There sure were a lot of Batman imposters these last few entries I did on Detective Comics. What was happening in the 50s?” Probably a movie or a novel released in that period and focused on that cliché had much success, and comics simply went with the tide.
        I don’t find the imposter cliché particularly interesting, but surely there are a lot of clichés that bother me much more: for example, when a character of a novel or a comic book loses his memory, I instantly stop reading. I can’t stand the amnesia cliché.
        “Now she’s not even featured in Venom since he moved to Philly. Not featured in Superior Spider-Man either. She’s been swept to the wayside sadly…” Nooo! Even if her characterization in Venom was awful (definitely the worst Betty Brant ever), it was better than nothing. I wonder why they decided to cut her? It can’t be just because of Flash moving to Philly, they could have kept her somehow anyway.
        Thank you for your reply! : )

    • While doing this week’s new edition of Retroactive I realized I made a horrible mistake. I don’t know how it happened but for 1954 I used the 1955 Detective Comics covers. I’ve since rectified the situation and this piece is now correct. You can now view Detective Comics 1954 Covers in this posting or go to https://thegothamrogue.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/retroactive-detective-comics-1954-amazing-spider-man-1978/2/ to be taken instantly there. Your choice of #208 is actually Detective Comics #220 for 1955. I apologize for the mistake and to make it up…this week I’m going to post 2 Retroactive features!

    • Also updated my choice for Detective Comics 1954: For Detective Comics, the crown goes to: Detective Comics #213. The Dynamic Duo are dazed and confused, standing at the mercy of the “mysterious Mirror Man”. In the foreground stands the villain himself as he makes a bold proclamation to the reader: he’s going to use his X-Ray mirror and discover Batman’s secret identity! I love how the various mirrors create lots of visual interest and the expressions on the faces of Batman and Robin are simply priceless. After this cover, the Mirror Man only appeared in a DC Comic three more times in his entire history (1963, 1986, and 2003). A memorable cover featuring a forgettable foe indeed.

          • Yes, the final scene of that movie is set in a room full of mirrors, an attraction you routinely find in every funfair.
            “What was so memorable about the movie?” It’s a typical noir movie, but it’s hugely superior to an average noir movie because it’s been written and directed by an absolute genius, Orson Welles. Watch it: you’ll thank me.
            Thank you for your replies! : )

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