Sunday, 11 August 2019

Batman, Son Of Krypton

Here's a great World's Finest piece from the same era as when Julie Schwartz & Carmine Infantino were bringing Batman into his 'New Look' period, and wiping away all that Zebra Batman / Bat Hound / Batman on alien worlds nonsense.
Just a year or so earlier, the idea that The Caped Crusader might actually have come from Krypton would've been explained away by Red Kryptonite, or a practical joke Supes was playing on his pal for no apparent reason, and in fact, you read this whole story on tenterhooks waiting for just that to happen.
But no. In line with the comparative seriousness going on in Bats' own book at the time, writer Edmond Hamilton plays this one dead straight, and the rage Supes feels at the 'truth' of Krypton's destruction is genuine.
I always knew Curt Swan was great of course, but just now discovering how great Hamilton was too.


  1. Heh. One of the very first comics I ever read was the Hamilton/Swan issue of WORLD'S FINEST where Batman gets a gigantic future brain & Superman becomes a Super-Caveman - and of course, they fight.

    Thus began a life-long love of the Mort-edited Superman titles & their unique brand of sober goofiness.

  2. You can't help but love 'em, and like I say, this one at least has a vague awareness that the Silver Age is over, and we should be a tiny weeny little bit serious ( but not too much )

  3. 1964? Still waist-deep in Silver Age silliness then.
    Can't help but wonder whether or not Edmond Hamilton (a well-respected Golden Age sf writer, who predated John Campbell!) had to put up with the petty, mean-spirited abuse Mort Weisinger inflicted on nearly all of his writers and subordinates pro forma. Swan, Schaffenburger and Wayne Boring were exempt from it (because Weisinger wasn't stupid - just sadistic).

  4. In the 6th volume of Byron Preiss' Weird Heroes, there's a biographical memoir by Hamilton, and in it, he very obviously comes across as not wanting to say a bad word about anybody.
    I don't know if he edited himself, or was just a very very nice person, but here's a quote: 'Mort and Jack Schiff were the nicest guys in the world to work for, but they took their work seriously, and if I made a stupid error or scuffed over anything, they told me so at once, and loudly.'

  5. And that really is far as he goes.

  6. Swan was one of the industry's great talents. But he was very rarely paired with good inkers, Klein, Kaye and Anderson being the exceptions.