Saturday, May 25, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 145

Two house ads for the Columbia Pictures movie serial Batman (1943); printed in (top) Batman v.1 #20 (December 1943-January 1944) and (bottom) World's Finest Comics #12 (Winter [January] 1944)

Ad artwork taken from the iconic cover of Batman #9:

Cover of Batman v.1 #9 (February-March 1942), pencils by Fred Ray, inks by Jerry Robinson

Here's the first chapter of the serial! Please do not judge it by the quality of Batman's cowl. And a note: the historical wartime racism in this film is sadly typical for this period, but is not approved of by yours little stuffed truly.


BillyWitchDoctor said...

I find the costumes in these serials quite charming in their primitiveness, depending on the effort that went into them; Tom Tyler's outfit in The Adventures of Captain Marvel is an astounding masterpiece of detail, while the half-assed, not-even-remotely-complete get-up seen in Captain America just makes me sad, and colicky.

The costumes from Batman and its jingoism-free follow-up Batman and Robin are a bit sloppy but still fun; Bats regularly has to adjust his cowl during fights, dumps a pack of cigarettes out of his cape pocket while descending a fire escape, and at one point sweeps his cape back to reveal a full-size acetylene torch rig tucked into his utility belt--all suggesting the serials were a major inspiration for Lorenzo Semple, Jr.'s 1966 TV show.

And yet, I still find that cloth cowl and its big silly horns quite cool.

Props must always be given to the first serial for inventing "The Bat's Cave" and its grandfather clock entrance--subsequently adopted by the comics--despite all the other nonsense necessitated by the low budget: Batman using Bruce Wayne's car; B&R running in and out of the front door of the suburban "Wayne Manor" bungalow in full view of any neighbors walking by; and keeping the costumes crammed inside a filing cabinet.

Rockett Davey said...

I Agree
This Is BATMAN 1940's
And It Kicks Ass
Think About It
There hasn't been any visual
On Film Just A Comic Book
I Think Columbia HIT IT
And I Think The BATMAN Costume
Is Right on

Blam said...

I haven't watched the serial in 20 years or so, but that filing cabinet always sticks out painfully in my mind. The cowl is bad, too, never mind the jingoism, but the spartan early Batcave is to laugh.

That cover to Batman #9 sure got around.