Batman #1 [Cover Number with Period]
(Spring 1940)

DC, 1940 Series
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Price
0.10 USD
Pages
68
Indicia frequency
quarterly
On-sale date
1940-04-24
Indicia / Colophon Publisher
Detective Comics, Inc.
Brand
A DC Publication
Editing
Whitney Ellsworth (uncredited)
Color
Color
Dimensions
Standard Golden Age, then Silver Age, then Standard Modern Age U.S.
Binding
Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format
Was Ongoing Series

Issue Notes

This issue has variants.

The on-sale date is the publication date reported in the U. S. Copyright Office filing found at the Catalog of Copyright Entries, Part 2, Periodicals, New Series, Volume 35, 1940, Number 2. Class B periodical. Copyright number B 455005. On-sale on April 25th per house ad in Detective Comics #39.

Indicia: Batman No. 1 * Spring 1940 Issue
Published quarterly by DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. 480 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y.


[no title indexed] (Table of Contents)

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder / cover / 1 page (report information)

Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
typeset; Jerry Robinson (logo design)

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Robin [Dick Grayson]
Reprints

Indexer Notes

The background inker credit was verified by Robinson. Logo design credit from Robinson via Todd Klein. According to Klein, Robinson was also probably responsible for the revisions to the logo over the next several issues.

Boys! G-Man Outfit (Table of Contents: 1) (Expand) /

The Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

The Legend of the Batman--Who He Is and How He Came to Be! (Table of Contents: 2)

The Batman / comic story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Finger
Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Sheldon Moldoff (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
Sheldon Moldoff

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne] (origin); Thomas Wayne (Bruce's father, death, flashback); Martha Wayne (Bruce's mother, death, flashback); Joe Chill (villain, un-named)
Synopsis
Bruce Wayne's parents are murdered by a cheap crook, and young Bruce vows to avenge their deaths by warring on all criminals.
Reprints

Indexer Notes

The background inker and letterer credits were verified by Moldoff.

[The Joker] (Table of Contents: 3)

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder / comic story / 13 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Finger
Pencils
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (see notes)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
Jerry Robinson

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Robin [Dick Grayson]; Henry (radio listener); Henry Claridge (millionaire, death); Mrs. Claridge (Henry's wife); un-named Police Chief; Jay Wilde (death); Judge Drake (death); Otto Drexel (mention only); The Joker (villain, introduction); Brute Nelson (villain, death)
Synopsis
Batman faces a new criminal who succeeds in killing famous men and stealing their prized possessions, leaving them all with "a smile" on their face!
Reprints
Keywords
Claridge Diamond; Cleopatra Necklace; Daily Star; infra-red lamp; Ronkers Ruby

Indexer Notes

First line: "Once again a master criminal stalks the city streets -- a criminal weaving a web of death about him..."

There is an earlier chronological appearance (and origin) of the Joker in Detective Comics #168.

Robinson verified with Gary Watson in July 2009 that he did some penciling (including the Joker's card on the splash page specifically), in addition to the background inks and lettering he already confirmed.

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 4)

Major Bigsbe an' Botts / comic story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Pencils
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Inks
Paul Gustavson (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
Paul Gustavson

First Line of Dialogue or Text
Yippe-e!" "Hey-cut that out!" "Waho-o-o!
Genre
humor; western-frontier
Characters
Major Bigsbe; Botts; unnamed Sheriff
Synopsis
Having bought the Bar Q Ranch, Major Bigsbe decides to celebrate by shootin' off his pistols...and lands in jail!
Reprints

Indexer Notes

Letterer credit added by Craig Delich. All Paul Gustavson credits verified by Terry Gustafson, son of Paul Gustavson.

[The Giants of Hugo Strange] (Table of Contents: 5)

Batman / comic story / 12 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Finger
Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
Jerry Robinson

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Professor Hugo Strange (villain); un-named monsters (villains, all die)
Synopsis
The Batman faces an arch criminal who has invented a serum to create a race of giant monsters, and nearly becomes one of them himself!
Reprints
Keywords
The Batplane; utility belt

Indexer Notes

First line: "While an innocent metropolis sleeps little does it realize that huge, terrifying man-monsters shall soon stalk the streets..."

This story was originally prepared for Detective Comics #38, but with the introduction of Robin in that issue, the story (sans Robin) was published here.

Oddity: Machine guns are mounted on the Batplane, which are used to kill.

The closing scenes of Batman battling one of the monsters looks as if it were taken directly from 1933's film, "King Kong."

The background inker and letterer credits were verified by Robinson.

Strictly Publicity (Table of Contents: 6)

text story / 1 page (report information)

Script
Guy Monroe (credited)
Letters
typeset

Genre
crime
Characters
The Chief; Terry Gallant
Synopsis
Detective Terry Gallant proves to his Chief that the late Barton Barlow had killed himself with a gun in a most mysterious way.
Reprints

Meet the Artist! (Table of Contents: 7)

text article / 1 page (report information)

Script
Whitney Ellsworth [as The Editor] (signed)
Pencils
? (photo)
Inks
? (photo)
Colors
? (photo shaded in magenta)
Letters
typeset

Genre
biography
Characters
Bob Kane (photo)
Reprints

Indexer Notes

First line: "Readers, meet Bob Kane, creator of THE BATMAN!"

Biography of Batman creator, Bob Kane.

[The Cat] (Table of Contents: 8)

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder / comic story / 13 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Finger
Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
Jerry Robinson

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Robin [Dick Grayson]; John Travers; Martha Travers; Dr. Wallace; un-named ship steward; un-named Captain (of "The Dolphin"); The Cat [Selina Kyle] [as Miss Peggs] (villain, introduction); Denny (villain)
Synopsis
Batman and Robin take a trip aboard an exclusive yacht in order to prevent the theft of the Travers necklace at the hands of the Cat!
Reprints
Keywords
Traver's Necklace

Indexer Notes

First line: "Among the guests walks a young steward..."

The Cat was later renamed Cat-Woman or Catwoman in next issue. An earlier chronological appearance was in issue #52 and in Brave and the Bold #197.

The background inker and letterer credits were verified by Robinson.

The 'Big Six' Comics Magazines Still Lead the Field! (Table of Contents: 9) (Expand) /

promo (ad from the publisher) / 1 page (report information)

Two Aces (Table of Contents: 10)

text story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
George Shute (credited)
Pencils
Raymond Perry
Inks
Raymond Perry
Colors
Raymond Perry
Letters
typeset

Genre
adventure
Characters
Lt. Bill Wayne; Doctor Synce; von Berket (villain, death)
Synopsis
Inventor Doctor Synce gets Navy flier Wayne to fly secret plans from Pensacola, Florida to the coast, when the pilot runs up against an old adversary and ace from years before.
Reprints

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 11)

Ginger Snap / comic story / 2 pages (report information)

Script
Bob Kane [as Ted Raye] (signed)
Pencils
Bob Kane [as Ted Raye] (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane [as Ted Raye] (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
Bob Kane ?

First Line of Dialogue or Text
Gosh! And only ten cents!
Genre
humor
Characters
Ginger Snap; Uncle Zep; un-named soda jerk
Synopsis
Uncle Zep takes Ginger to the soda shop for a soda, but ends up drinking way too many himself!
Reprints

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 12)

Fantastic Facts / cartoon / 1 page (report information)

Script
George Papp
Pencils
George Papp [as Geo. Papp] (signed)
Inks
George Papp [as Geo. Papp] (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
?

First Line of Dialogue or Text
In Egypt they say 'How are you sweating'? instead of 'How is your health'?
Genre
non-fiction
Characters
Jack Dempsey
Synopsis
Contains facts about boxer Jack Dempsey, kangaroos and "greetings and salutations."
Reprints

The Joker Returns (Table of Contents: 13)

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder / comic story / 13 pages (report information)

Script
Bill Finger
Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed); Jerry Robinson (backgrounds)
Colors
?
Letters
Jerry Robinson

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Robin [Dick Grayson]; Commissioner James Gordon; Chief of Police Chalmers (death); Edgar Martin (a political reformer, death); The Joker (villain)
Synopsis
The Joker escapes from prison to continue his rampage of death and to steal the famed Cleopatra necklace and Fire Ruby.
Reprints
Keywords
Cleopatra Necklace; Fire Ruby

Indexer Notes

First line: "Once again that harlequin of hate..the Joker..brings grinning death to a terrified people..."

As recounted in various sources, the Joker was supposed to die of his stab wound at the end of the story, but the editors decided this villain was too good to kill off, so the last panels were re-drawn to show him surviving.

The last panel of the story, titled "Golden Rules for Robin's Regulars", introduces readers to "Robin's Code" of conduct. The code (ROBIN): Readiness, Obedience, Brotherhood, Industriousness, Nationalism.

The background inker and letterer credits were verified by Robinson.

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 14) (Expand) /

Detective Comics / promo (ad from the publisher) / 1 page (report information)

Charlie Barnet Uses Home Recordo! (Table of Contents: 15) (Expand) /

Home Recording Co. / advertisement / 1 page (report information)

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents: 16)

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder / illustration / 1 page (report information)

Pencils
Bob Kane (signed)
Inks
Bob Kane (signed)
Colors
?
Letters
?

Genre
superhero
Characters
Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Robin [Dick Grayson]
Reprints

Indexer Notes

Pin-up of Batman and Robin, found on the back cover, made to cut out and frame.

Editing
Related Scans
Series Information
Table of Contents
  1. 0. [no title indexed]
    Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder
  2. 1. Boys! G-Man Outfit
    The Crowell-Collier Publishing Co.
  3. 2. The Legend of the Batman--Who He Is and How He Came to Be!
    The Batman
  4. 3. [The Joker]
    Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder
  5. 4. ["Yippe-e!" "Hey-cut that out!" "Waho-o-o!"]
    Major Bigsbe an' Botts
  6. 5. [The Giants of Hugo Strange]
    Batman
  7. 6. Strictly Publicity
  8. 7. Meet the Artist!
  9. 8. [The Cat]
    Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder
  10. 9. The 'Big Six' Comics Magazines Still Lead the Field!
  11. 10. Two Aces
  12. 11. ["Gosh! And only ten cents!"]
    Ginger Snap
  13. 12. ["In Egypt they say 'How are you sweating'? instead of 'How is your health'?"]
    Fantastic Facts
  14. 13. The Joker Returns
    Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder
  15. 14. ["The Batman appears in a complete episode..."]
    Detective Comics
  16. 15. Charlie Barnet Uses Home Recordo!
    Home Recording Co.
  17. 16. [no title indexed]
    Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Tony R. Rose
  • Lionel English
  • Ray Bottorff Jr
  • Matthew Head
  • Mike Nielsen
  • Jerry Hillegas
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Craig Delich
  • J.D. Sebastian
  • Allen Ross
  • Merlin Haas
  • R. S. Martin
  • Peter Croome
  • Ramon Schenk
  • John P. Selegue
  • Gregory Fischer
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Bill Wormstedt
  • Lou Mougin
  • Craig Delich
  • John Greb
  • Carlos Tasada
  • Jeremy Heier
  • Terry Vraspir
  • Donald Dale Milne
  • Gregory Fischer
  • Mike Nielsen