Batman 1977 pt. 2

I separated these posts on the assumption that I'd have so much to screencap and discuss that it would make the reading of it all easier if I split the year's Bat-stories in two. But after making my way through 1977's stretch of Batman, Batman Family, and Detective Comics, I see I was mistaken. There's really just not too much to write about.

None of the issues below are terrible or anything, just rather unremarkable. And it strikes me typing that out that I've written some variation of that sentence too many times during these Bat-blogs. So nah, not this time. We'll resume normal commentary next time around. As for the below, outside of a couple of captions here and there, all text is from guest-blogger Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast

Mostly - the enterprising Hemingway reader will notice a couple from other books.
None of which have nothing to do with Batman or Gotham City, obviously, but it's easily much more worthwhile than anything I could drum up about this rather routine lot.

If Hemingway is not your thing then please enjoy the pics, and we'll see you (hopefully) next time. (Where all commentary will be replaced by quotes from Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned. Joke.) 

(Note: I didn't consciously match quote with image, but some happy accidents nevertheless occurred. Also, with the exception of the Fitzgerald bits, I didn't pay too much attention to being chronological or grouping anything, so one should not assume any quote is a continuation of the previous one.)

“You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad.”

(Issues 283 - 294)
Writers: David V. Reed, Denny O'Neil. Artists: Ernie Chua, Romeo Tanghall, Frank Springer, Irv Novick, Bob Wiacek, Mike Grell, Vince Colletta, John Calnan, Tex Blaisdell

“Never confuse movement with action.”

“Later (Gertrude Stein) got to look like a Roman emperor. Which was fine if you liked your women to look like Roman emperors.”

“Some people show evil as a great racehorse shows breeding. They have the dignity of a hard chancre.”  

“By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.”

“And that, Senator McCarthy, is why we fought in the Lincoln Brigade.”

(Issues 10 - 14)
Writer: Bob Rozakis. Artists: Bob Brown, Vince Colletta, Curt Swan, J. Delbo, Don Newton, Marshall Rogers, Bob Wiacek, Don Heck.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”  

Wait... isn't her costume a long sleeve? How does this work? And where did she stash her cape? I know, I know...

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

The spring always came finally, but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.

I absolutely adore this cover. In the story itself, they're not wearing wedding clothes based on their costumes, which is too bad.
“Never to go on trips with anyone you do not love.”  

My, she said. We're lucky that you found the place
We're always lucky, I said and like a fool I did not knock on wood. There was wood everywhere in that apartment to knock on, too.” 

(Issues 467 - 474)
Writers: Bob Rozakis, Steve Englehart. Artists: John Calnan, Vince Colletta, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, Walt Simonson, Al Milgrom.

“Hunger is good discipline.”

“By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.”

“Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.”

 “Maybe it is easier in the end to break your legs than to break your heart although they say that everything breaks now and that sometimes, afterwards, many are stronger at the broken places.”

“Zelda was very beautiful and was tanned a lovely gold color and her hair was a beautiful dark gold and she was very friendly. Her hawk's eyes were clear and calm. I knew everything was all right and was going to turn out well in the end when she leaned forward and said to me, telling me her great secret, Ernest, don't you think Al Jolson is greater than Jesus? Nobody thought anything of it at the time. It was only Zelda's secret that she shared with me, as a hawk might share something with a man. But hawks do not share. Scott did not write anything any more that was good until after he knew that she was insane.” 

(Scott Fitzgerald's) talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became more conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think. He was flying again and I was lucky to meet him just after a good time in his writing if not a good one in his life.

“When I had finished (Gatsby) I knew that no matter what Scott did, nor how he behaved, I must know it was like a sickness and be of any help I could to him and try to be a good friend. He had many good, good friends, more than anyone I knew. But I enlisted as one more, whether I could be of any use to him or not. If he could write a book as fine as The Great Gatsby I was sure that he could write an even better one. I did not know Zelda yet, and so I did not know the terrible odds that were against him. But we were to find them out soon enough.” 

“For a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle.” 


“When you have two people who love each other, are happy and gay and really good work is being done by one or both of them, people are drawn to them as surely as migrating birds are drawn at night to a powerful beacon. If the two people were as solidly constructed as the beacon there would be little damage except to the birds. Those who attract people by their happiness and their performance are usually inexperienced. They do not know how not to be overrun and how to go away. They do not always learn about the good, the attractive, the charming, the soon-beloved, the generous, the understanding rich who have no bad qualities and who give each day the quality of a festival and who, when they have passed and taken the nourishment they needed, leave everything deader than the roots of any grass Attila's horses' hooves have ever scoured.”  

“But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”  

“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.” 


  1. I love how basically the Batcave still looks the same today. I think there is a huge difference in story line today. So much darker I feel like. I just read Batman and Robin vol. 4 new 52 and it was dark and sad. The old ones look a little more fun.

    1. Yes, the darkness began in the mid-80s and never went away. There was a return to darkness in the late 60s/ early 80s, but it wasn't anywhere near as dark as things got with Killing Joke, Dark Knight, Year One, Death in the Family, Arkham Asylum, et. al. The old ones were indeed more fun. (The late 50s/ early 60s Batman in particular, although they tended towards the absurd. But the absurd can be fun.)

      I keep meaning to read all of Morrison's Batman. It's on the proverbial list.

  2. (1) The cover to Batman #283 cracks me up. Because, like, I can SEE the dude! He's right there! So what's Batman's excuse? (I know that depicting invisibility is tough at best, so I'm not actually confused by the cover. But since we CAN see the dude, it makes Batman look like a chump that he can't. We should NEVER feel superior to Batman, by gum!)

    (2) "Which was fine if you liked your women to look like Roman emperors." Nearly did a spit-take on that one. Well done, Ernie.


    (4) Batgirl's long-sleeved costume is easily explicable. It IS a longer-sleeved thing than the blouse she is wearing as a civilian. However, the sleeves to the Batgirl costume are intricately rolled up inside the sleeves of her outer shirt, so that when she removes it as depicted, the Batgirl costume's sleeves roll down over her arms. Simple!

    (5) “Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.” I believe that cats were put into the world mainly to take smelly poops in the next room while I'm trying to eat in this one.

    I wonder if the semi-bright-and-sunny Batman will ever make a comeback? The odds against it seem daunting, but I guess you never can say for sure.

    1. (1) This is certainly true. Batman isn't really that formidable in the 70s. If you are confronted with him, either wrap yourself in the curtains/ wallpaper and tell him you're invisible, or wait until he walks by, sneak up, and knock him out cold with a blow to the back of the head.

      (3) That one is really something. If a single panel of the decade is to be preserved, so far, I'll go with that. It's only too bad he isn't a tree, looking at a mansion in the distance, while coming to this conclusion.

      (4) Batgirl was seriously bad-ass.

    2. (1) * confronted by

      (3) * ...only too bad he isn't IN a tree... (although, were he actually a tree, for whatever reason, I guess that would be even worthier of preservation.)