Wednesday, February 6, 2019

100-Page FAKES! presents: DETECTIVE COMICS # 452

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

100-Page FAKES! continues its mission to expand more mid '70s issues of Detective Comics into phony 100-pagers. The real-world 'Tec # 452 was writer David V. Reed's second Batman story of the '70s, following "Invitation To A Murder" in Batman # 267, published the previous month. But Reed was no stranger to the character, as he'd written a slew of Batman stories circa 1949-1954; in 1950 he created the villain Deadshot, originally a one-story character, but later revived by Steve Englehart and now an important member of Batman's gallery of rogues. Reed, born David Levine, had a long career writing comics and prose under various pseudonyms. 

As a teenager, my reaction to Reed's work was mixed, vacillating between interest in his pulp-rooted storytelling and discomfort with his frequent gimmickry. The latter reaction prompted me to write a letter to Batman and Detective Comics editor Julie Schwartz, expressing my worry that Batman was in danger of devolving into the camp of the 1960s TV series. I received a reply (ostensibly from The Batman himself, though I suspect someone else--maybe Alfred--wrote it for him), promising that our hero "would eschew camp like cyanide from now on, rest assured!"

I should go back and re-read this period of Batman. Just as the passing of decades has made me much more appreciative of writer Len Wein's Batman, perhaps a fresh look at Reed's Bat-c.v. will inspire a similar reevaluation. (And I have to admit that Reed's wacky ingenuity inspired me at age 15 or so to come up with a vague notion of writing a Batman story to be called "The Men Who Read To Death!" It was a really goofy idea, even for me, and it never got further than a title.)

Along with the Batman story by Reed and artists Ernie Chua and Mike Royer and its original Hawkman backup by E. Nelson Bridwell and José Luis García-López, we've added another Hot Wheels reprint, a Robin the Boy Wonder solo outing from 1966's Batman # 184 (the first issue of Batman I ever owned), and some Golden Age adventures starring the Dynamic Duo, Phantom Lady, The Black Canary, and Minute Man and The Crime Crusaders Club. The latter was as close to a super-group as Fawcett Comics ever gave us in the '40s, a one-off combo of Master Comics stalwarts Minute Man, Captain Marvel Jr., and Bulletman and Bulletgirl. I wrote about this in a previous separate entry, but figured I oughtta include it in one of my faux Super Specs as well.

Oh. And I included a 1976 Black Canary pinup by Alex Toth, originally black and white, but colorized by someone somewhere along the way. It's an anomaly for this '76 work to appear in a 1975 comic book, but I hope no one will complain.

The Batman in "Crackdown On The Crime Exchange," Detective Comics # 452 (October 1975)
Hot Wheels in "Stakeout," Hot Wheels # 3 (July-August 1970)
The Batman and Robin in "The Ghost Of Gotham City!," Detective Comics # 150 (August 1949)
Minute Man and The Crime Crusaders Club in "The Man Who Demanded Death!," Master Comics # 41 (August 1943)
Phantom Lady in "Ace Of Spades," Phantom Lady # 20 (October 1948)
Robin the Boy Wonder in "The Boy Wonder's Boo-Boo Patrol!," Batman # 184 (September 1966)
The Black Canary in "Time Runs Out!," Flash Comics # 99 (September 1948)
Hawkman in "The Curse Of The Ancient Weapons!," Detective Comics # 452 (October 1975)

Hot Wheels belongs to Mattel Inc., and DC Comics owns the copyright on all of the other properties. The Minute Man and Phantom Lady stories are now in the public domain, while the rest can only be depicted sparingly; I share the whole thing with my subscribers. More fabricated 100-Page Super Spectaculars coming soon.


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  1. There was a short lived Saturday morning cartoon series of Hot Wheels back in the late 60’s/early 70’s. I suspect the Hot Wheels comic fake here is based on that series?

    1. Yes, same characters and setting as the cartoon. I remember watching the TV series when it was on (and digging its theme song), but I think the comic books were more satisfying.

  2. Look at the cover. 'Tec 452 never received Comics Code approval. Lovely to see my first Batman era begin to flower in your project. If this is an extension of 'Tec 100-page SS's, then let's have some golden-age Manhunter back-ups. That way, Paul Kirk shall not have died in vain.

    1. Good idea, but I'm limited by the scans I have on hand.