Detective Comics #446 (1975)

It’s been a long time since I talked about a DC comic, mainly because the vendors at the Totem Lake comics show only brought Marvels. Something about them selling better. Damn sellers, trying to make as much money as possible. So out of my enormous stack of unread comics, I unearthed this one. And it’s an eye-opener. Batman has changed a hell of a lot since 1975.
 
For one thing, in this comic he actually seems to be enjoying himself, dressing up in disguises and getting caught in death traps. He even has thought balloons (when was the last time Batman had thought balloons?) and thinks to himself like a real person: "Well – let’s hear it for the man with the pointy ears! I was right!" or "I should probably make some remark about irony right here – but I think I’ll make tracks instead, before the police arrive." It’s weird to read a Batman story where he’s not a psycho or the creature of the night.
 
For another, the comic is so darn fun. The lead Batman story is only 12 pages, but writer Len Wein manages to tell a full story about Batman fighting some dude who wants to corner the world’s gold supply, all graced with some glorious old school Jim Aparo art. It’s nice breezy fun.
 
The back up is a little six-page Hawkman story. I don’t know why DC was obsessed with running back-up stories in that era instead of full-length stories, but they were all over DC’s line, and were part of what made DC unique. Usually, like this one, the story was absolutely nothing special – just a little yarn about a criminal hijacking Hawkman’s anti-gravity belt (yeah, he has an anti-gravity belt along with wings – seems unfair for him to have two ways to fly when other people have none). But, again, it’s a cute, fun little story. 
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