Detective Comics # 456 was cover dated February of 1976, but it was on the spinner racks in time for the Christmas of '75. I was 15, about to turn 16 in January, and I was immersed in comics. Also in music; I believe that was the Christmas I received Introducing The Beatles and Let It Be, probably the first Beatles LPs I could call my own (other than the hand-me-downs in the family record library; those technically belonged to my older siblings). Batman and The Beatles. Some things haven't changed much for me since '75.
I'm pretty sure the Elongated Man story here was artist Kurt Schaffenberger's first ever new work in Detective Comics; I think Schaffenberger drew the Ibis the Invincible story in 'Tec # 441, but that was a reprint. Schaffenberger was certainly a veteran artist, known primarily for his work on the original Captain Marvel and company in the '40s and '50s, and for his work on the Superman family from the mid '50s on. Kind of amazing that he never worked on 'Tec until 1975. The lead Batman story displays some of the pulp influence I recall from the time frame, an ambiance that was particularly evident in writer David V. Reed's work (though this Detective story was written by Elliot S! Maggin).
To expand this into another faux 100-pager, we've selected 1940s adventures starring The Golden Age Green Lantern, The Phantom Lady, and a lesser Quality Comics character called The Mouthpiece. We also have some lovely Neal Adams artwork from the final issue of DC's licensed Hot Wheels comic book, and some knockout Nick Cardy work from The Brave And The Bold, both originally cover dated 1971. The latter story, Bob Haney's "C.O.D. Corpse On Delivery," remains one of my favorites from the pages of B & B. I think I knew who the mystery guest star was before I read it; my friend Michael LaHair told me about this great "Batman and...?" team-up, and I had to have it. [SPOILER ALERT for anyone who'd like to track down this story and read it for the first time: the selected artwork below does reveal the identity of Batman's surprise co-star.]
The Batman in "Death-Kiss," Detective Comics # 456 (February 1976)
The Batman and...? in "C.O.D. Corpse On Delivery," The Brave And The Bold # 95 (April-May 1971)
The Golden Age Green Lantern in "And Then There Was One!," Comics Cavalcade # 13 (Winter 1945)
Hot Wheels in "The Humbug Run," Hot Wheels # 6 (January-February 1971)
The Phantom Lady in "The World's Meanest Crook," Phantom Lady # 15 (December 1947)
The Mouthpiece, Police Comics # 8 (March 1942)
The Elongated Man in "The Un-Stretchable Sleuth," Detective Comics # 456 (February 1976)
Hot Wheels is copyright Mattel Inc., and everything else is copyright DC Comics Inc. The Phantom Lady and Mouthpiece stories are now public domain, while the rest can only be suggested in sample pages. My $2 a month subscribers see the whole thing. Our next 100-Page FAKE! will be a phony expansion of Adventure Comics # 449, but we'll return to Detective Comics shortly, toplining one of THE all-time iconic Batman stories.