For a comic fan growing up in the '40s and '50s, one of the greatest conundrums was that of who wrote and drew the comics they loved – very few artists signed their work, even fewer writers were properly credited, and of those features that actually bore names, the credit often went to the feature's originator or the head of the studio, as opposed to the actual production team.
So, though he was the artist of that era who best captured the look and feel of the Dynamic Duo, Richard W. "Dick" Sprang spent his most productive years in relative anonymity. DC's arrangement with Bob Kane specified that Kane be the only name credited for Batman stories.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Catwoman comics.
As much as I love Batman, and I think the record will show that I love Batman a whole heck of a lot, I haven't really been looking forward to sitting down and cracking open the new Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years hardcover. Last year's Superman anniversary hardcover was a disaster of revisionist history, 300 pages that would have you believe that one of the world's greatest superheroes did nothing for seven and a half decades but cry. With that in mind, I had no idea what DC Comics was going to do with Batman. If you'd asked me to bet on it, I would've put good money on a prediction that they'd craft a narrative that acknowledged Batman only as a scowling vigilante, consumed with vengeance and every bit as crazy as the villains he fought.
But it turns out I didn't have to worry. The Batman hardcover is exactly what it says it is -- a celebration of Batman across different eras, with a roster of stories that highlights one of the character's true strengths: How well he works across different kinds of stories.
Batman may be the one turning 75 this year, but DC Collectibles' recent celebratory release schedule was big on the Clown Prince of Crime. Topping off the some 50 pieces of Batmerch coming from the company between now and the fall will be a Batman Black and White: The Joker by Dick Sprang statue. Though the posted prototype photo recreates Sprang's simulteaneously rubbery and wizened version of the Joker as was seen in his many decades drawing Batman in periodical comics as well as the newspaper strip, it's also a dead-ringer for the villain taking a moment in front of a mirror to take a selfie. Truly fiendish!
Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's why every week, Senior Writer Chris Sims puts his comics culture knowledge to the test as he responds to your reader questions!
Q: Which superhero's superpower origin (how she or he got abilities) is your favorite? -- @cabinboy100
A: Origins are always pretty interesting, but focusing on the particular mechanics of
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