Detective Comics #27 – Introduction of the Batman

Detective Comics #27 (Introducting the Batman) is available for free in your favorite eBook form. This issue is a 6-page story featuring the one and only Batman.

We know that the Batman has evolved over the years, and is typically retconned every decade or so. So how far as Batman come from his first iteration? Here are a list of things that strike me as very strange in that first appearance of my favorite character.

  • They can’t decide if he is Batman (cover), Bat-man (spoken), or “Bat-man” (narrative).
  • Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon are close friends, so much so that Bruce Wayne is often hanging out at Gordon’s house.
  • Despite the size of Gotham City, Commissioner Gordon is routinely called on to investigate single homicides. Ɨ
  • Gordon decides to invite Bruce Wayne to visit a fresh murder scene with him.
  • Gordon rides in Bruce Wayne’s car to the crime scene (red car, Gordon arrives at a location later in a green car, stated to be his car).
  • Batman’s chest symbol was originally just a black bat, no yellow circle.
  • Batman drives Bruce Wayne’s ordinary red car around while dressed as Batman.
  • At one point Batman ‘speeds his car forward to an unknown destination.’ Presumably this destination is known to Batman, just not us. Because in the next page Batman arrives at the correct place.
  • Throughout this episode, Batman is operating during the day time.
  • There is a lot of action narration that today’s comics omit. Batman picks up a wrench, jumps into the glass chamber, and smashes it with the wrench. In today’s comics, all of that would be derived from the art, and probably not stated.
  • Batman punches the murderer, who then crashes through a railing, and falls into a vat of acid. He’s dead. To this Batman says ‘a fitting end to his kind.’ The next day Bruce Wayne describes this story as ‘a very lovely fairy-tale.’ Bruce Wayne is a sociopath.

And here are the most glaring differences between original and modern Batman.

  • Batman considers Gordon to be a close friend, but Bruce Wayne is just something of an acquaintance to Gordon.
  • Batman prefers to work at night.
  • Batman wisely decides that driving around in his alter-ego’s car is a bad idea, and builds his own unique ride.
  • Gordon may still be a detective who holds the title of Commissioner, but at least he isn’t inviting rich kids to tag along and gawk at bodies.
  • Batman still kills, but he does it in a ‘I don’t have to save you’ kind of way, instead of ‘I’m punching you into a vat of acid’ way.

Ɨ To be fair, they didn’t actually name a city, but the only cities that bother to have commissioners are large ones, with thousands of police officers under the administrative guide of the commissioner.

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