Wednesday, November 7, 2018

100-Page FAKES! presents: DETECTIVE COMICS Special Edition

100-Page FAKES! imagines mid-1970s DC 100-Page Super Spectaculars that never were...but should have been!

Well, I was wrong. When I posted my recent faux expansion of Detective Comics # 448, I wrote "With this, 100-Page FAKES! is likely done with Detective Comics," figuring (correctly) that I wasn't much interested in continuing past writer Len Wein's "Bat-Murderer" serial. I wouldn't mind going back to expand the fabulous Detective Comics # 437--Archie Goodwin's first as 'Tec editor, with a great Batman story by Goodwin and artist Jim Aparo, the introduction of Manhunter by Goodwin and artist Walt Simonson, and the issue that immediately preceded the 100-Page Detectives--but I don't have a digital file of that one. Given all that, it was reasonable to conclude that 100-Page FAKES! would have to move on from Detective Comics.

Just when I think I'm out, I pull me back in.

The [KOFF!] exquisitely-rendered cover sketch seen above was, of course, scrawled by a young teen me back in...1974? Probably. The lack of Manhunter would place this after Goodwin left the job, succeeded by Julie Schwartz with the 444th issue, dated December 1974-January 1975. I've already done a 100-Page FAKE! based on one of my clueless teen scribbles (Super-Hero Grab Bag); why not do one more? 

That said, I wish I'd been just an eensy bit more imaginative in selecting superheroes to appear as back-up strips here. Hawkman? Elongated Man? I'd guess that Hawkman story would have been new rather than a reprint, but jeez, why didn't I slot in Spy Smasher or Kid Eternity? I preferred Golden Age to Silver Age at the time, so I can't fathom why I would cede that space to 1960s heroes.

On the other hand, I was certainly imaginative in choosing Hydroman and the original Daredevil, two 1940s characters that DC has never had the rights to use. Awrighty, then--in our fanciful Boppinverse, DC must have purchased the rights to both, allowing their appearance in this 100-page Detective Comics Special Edition. If this had actually happened, I'm pretty sure it would have been the first and only time that any work by the great writer/artist Bill Everett ever appeared in a DC book; aside from his lesser-known brainchild Hydroman, Everett is best remembered for creating Marvel Comics superstar The Sub-Mariner. I'd read about Hydroman in some book about comics history (either All In Color For A Dime or Steranko's History Of The Comics), and was intrigued. 

And if Hydroman intrigued me, the Golden Age Daredevil absolutely fascinated me. I had seen a black and white repro of the cover of Daredevil Battles Hitler in a comics mail-order catalogue in 1972, and I was hooked. 

We're gonna relegate Hawkman to reprint status, and we'll go with the Golden Age version. We'll grab a Golden Age Sandman story from World's Finest Comics.There was no Golden Age Elongated Man--y'know, other than Plastic Man--so he'll appear in a reprint from the '60s. We'll close with one of Robin the Boy Wonder's theoretically solo adventures from Star Spangled Comics, though Batman's participation in this one calls in question its status as a solo Robin outing. 

But what to do about a "new" Batman story?

Hey! Howzabout a 1970s Batman story illustrated by Neal Adams and his studio, a story that never appeared in a DC comic book? Instead, it was published as the book part of a book and record set from Power Records in 1976. That's a little late for our 100-Page FAKES! timeline, but close enough, I say. Besides: it's NEAL ADAMS!!

The Batman and Robin in "Robin Meets Man-Bat!" [Power Records Book And Record Set, 1976] 
The Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl in "The Timetable Of Crime," Flash Comics # 39 (March 1943)
The Elongated Man in "Case Of The Curious Compass!," Detective Comics # 338 (April 1965)
Daredevil and The Little Wise Guys (untitled). Daredevil # 32 (September 1942)
The Sandman (untitled), World's Finest Comics # 5 (Spring 1942)
Hydroman (untitled), Heroic Comics # 1 (August 1940)
Robin the Boy Wonder in "The Mystery Of Rancho Fear!," Star Spangled Comics # 90 (March 1949)

Daredevil and The Little Wise Guys and Hydroman are now public domain. The rest is copyright DC Comics Inc., and can only be shown here in representative sample pages; I share the whole thing with my paid subscribers. Sure, sure, the cover ain't exactly Neal Adams, but dig what's inside! More than forty-four years in the making, please enjoy this 100-Page FAKE! special edition of Detective Comics.

(And a big ol' tip of the Boppin' beanie to the Power Records blog at I may need to spend a few days just diving in over there!)


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