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Comics Should Be Good Top 50 Countdown! – #47

Here’s #47! Click here for the master list!


Batman #47

Once again, there is a really good argument to be made that an issue of Kirby and Lee’s Fantastic Four should be this pick, as well, as #47 continued the Inhumans storyline (and I believe #47 was the first appearance of the Inhuman’s black sheep, Maximus the Mad).

The Inhumans storyline, besides introducing some notable Marvel characters, was a great epic storyline, with a lot of bombastic Kirby action and character design (what design work he did in this story!) plus a nice humanistic hook for the story to rest on (Johnny/Crystal).

However, I was considering perhaps going with the first appearance of Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, in Marvel Premiere #47.

Then I remembered Batman #47, which I think is a truly memorable issue, as this is the issue where Batman’s origin is first told in full – all under a really nice Bob Kane (of whoever was his ghost in 1948) cover.

The Bill Finger story has become etched in our memories, and this is where it was really laid out, including the whole “Joe Chill” part of the story.

I think this is definitely a top choice for this number.

The usual suspects show up with notable #47s – Gaiman, Moore, Morrison, Ellis (on Stormwatch), Milligan (on Shade) and Lee/Romita.

Any other big ones that I didn’t mention?

Reader Ajit reminded me that Dian Belmont first showed up in Adventure Comics #47, that one I should have remembered, but I totally thought that Dane Whitman (Black Knight) debuted in Avengers #48, but nope, after checking the issue, Dr. Whitman was in the previous issue (he just didn’t become the Black Knight until #48)!


Well, Dane Whitman became the new Black Knight in the pages of Avengers #47 and Dian Belmont was introduced to the Sandman in truly dramatic fashion in Adventure Comics #47, but on the whole I was hoping that Batman #47 would make the cut when you started this series.

I had joked before about an issue of Quasar featuring all the ’90s “cool” charatcers that disappeared as soon as thier tittles were over — Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, Deathlok, Moon Knight. Everyone except Thuderstrike. So here he is: Thunderstrike! All the powers of Thor, all the personality of some guy wandering on the street! He helps Quasar get back his Quantum bands, which Quasar has been without for seriously the better part of a year.

American Flagg! #47 featured the return of long-missed creator Howard Chaykin as writer, bringing Paul Smith with him as artist.

Ooo, neat. I’d say the earlier quickie telling of the origin in Detective #33 may be more iconic in the sense of people knowing the panels by heart (“Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot,” etc.), but there’s no question this one is huge.

#27, #47 — man, what is it with these Batman vs. Ant-Man face-offs? In the spirit of poor Scott Lang, I’d like to stick up for another C-lister who showed up at at #47: the Melter in Tales of Suspense.

Brian, as far as comics.org knows, Bob Kane drew the cover himself. And from what I can tell from my research, the “Origin of Batman” story is also penciled by Bob Kane alone. At this time (and until 1953, when Sheldon Moldoff took over as “Bob Kane”), it was typical for Kane to draw the Batman and Robin characters and have Lew Schwartz draw the rest of the panels, though Kane still fully penciled a few stories until 1953. In fact, the other two Batman stories in Batman #47 are penciled in the Kane/Schwartz collaborative manner.

But I always found that rather appropriate — one of the last Finger/Kane stories was the first complete origin of Batman.

DC Comics Presents #47 revealed that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are in fact part of the DC multiverse, or at least were, pre-crisis.

I wonder if now you’d switch this one to Marvel Premiere #47, since Scott Lang is anchoring his own movie franchise. Regardless, it’s funny how things like this can change over time.

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