Batman in the Seventies

Distributed By: DC Comics

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The name Batman has become synonymous with the term superhero.  Just ask anyone, young or old, and they will be able to tell you numerous tales about the caped crusader.  That’s because Batman has been fighting crime for over 70 years!  The costumed vigilante detective first came on the scene in the 1930s.  Since then, the caped crusader has undergone many changes.  A new series of trade paperbacks has sought to document these changes, compiling the best Batman comics from each decade and providing readers with important facts about Batman’s personal and professional life during each particular decade, as well as supplying information about the writers and artists of that time period.

            Batman in the Seventies covers the period from 1970 thru 1979.  At this time, the Batman series had shifted from the campy focus of the ‘60s and began veering toward a darker and more realistic portrayal of the hero.  Dedicated to Bill Finger, who, along with Bob Kane, created the legend of Batman, the trade paperback features an introduction written by Dennis O’Neil, one of the featured script writers for Batman in that decade.  In the introduction, O’Neil explains how much Batman has changed over the years.  O’Neil puts forth his belief that it is this constant growth of character that has kept Batman a fan-favorite all of these years.

            The trade paperback contains 10 full length comics, each with its own style and each bearing an important impact on the life of the caped crusader.  These comics were selected from each of the numerous titles Batman appeared in such as Detective Comics, Batman, the Brave and the Bold, Batman Family and more.  Although I found all of the comics interesting, being a big Birds of Prey fan, my favorite story was From Each Ending…A Beginning.  This comic told the tale of the origin of an alternate Earth’s Huntress, daughter of Batman and Catwoman.  I also enjoyed Night of the Reaper, in which Batman hunts down a notorious Nazi at a Halloween masquerade party.  The comic has bits of comedy inserted to offset the intensity and a killer twist in the end. 

            Although The Invader from Hell contains one of my favorite heroines, Batgirl, I found the story somewhat silly.  However, I applaud the writers who were trying to get a message across to their readers – that of patriotism.  Also, I was saddened to see that the “I Killed Batman” series, in which several Batman villains take credit for Batman’s seeming demise, was not included in this series.  I rather enjoyed that series as a child…so much so, that I recently purchased the four comic in the series on eBay.  But, really, I understand that they were left out.  After all, those comics featured the villains, not the Batman himself.  Thus, the omission is acceptable. 

            Batman in the Seventies provides a plethora of information about the Dark Knight throughout the decade, offering looks at cover art, styles of writing and more.  There is a two page spread dedicated to the artists of the era, another devoted to the cast of characters, another to the villains, and another to all of those who contributed to the series.  They provide interesting information, behind the scenes stuff, and more.  I especially enjoyed the edition of pinups of Batman, Batgirl and Robin, and the Batman Family.  It was also interesting to see all of the series Batman was included in and check out all of the interesting cover art of the time.

            At $19.95 (U.S.), containing 192 pages which include 10 full-size comics, art, and information, Batman in the Seventies is a virtual steal!  I can’t wait to check out the rest of this series!



Read more about DC Comics!  Check out these titles:

Birds of Prey
Black Canary / Oracle: Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey: Old Friends, New Enemies
Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds
Birds of Prey: Sensei & Student
Birds of Prey: Batgirl / Catwoman & Catwoman / Oracle
Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Batgirl Year One


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