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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 305

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at another Alan Brennert one-off classic, “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” from The Brave and the Bold #197 (with art by Joe Staton and George Freeman)…


By the time Brennert wrote this issue, the Earth 2 Bruce Wayne and his wife, the Earth 2 Selina Kyle, had both been dead for awhile, and their daughter, Helena, had become the Huntress.

In this issue, Brennert has Bruce tell us the story of how he and Selina got together. It is a charming, heartfelt story exceptionally told by Brennert, who really is a master of the short comic book story.

Joe Staton does a marvelous job on the story evoking a Dick Sprang-esque style to achieve a sort of subtle way of showing that this is the Earth 2 Batman (the Golden Age Batman). And Brennert uses the auto-biography aspect of the story to great effect…

This issue takes place about fifteen years into Batman’s career, and he is mostly worried about being alone…

This fear of being alone is exploited by the Scarecrow’s fear gas…

In a clever solution, showing that even when his mind is altered Batman is still thinking strategically, since the Scarecrow’s gas has made all those that Batman cares about disappear, Batman turns to someone he DOESN’T care about, Catwoman!

Naturally, though, the two are drawn together during their case (which Batman tells her is a case about Robin and others being kidnapped). Here’s a great scene together…

And here’s an even better one…

But now that they are close, what happens when Catwoman ALSO disappears? And how do they stop Scarecrow? Pick up this issue to find out (or read the various “Best of” collections it has appeared in)!!!


“Pedophile” shoes, eh? Oh those rascals Staton and Freeman.

Nice job on Catwoman, though, and I don’t usually like that look.

That shoebox was the first thing I noticed…yikes. Cronin did an Legends on that once, didn’t he?

always wanted to know which issue lead to earth 2 cat woman and batman marrying. for interesting to know even batman can be lonely. and desires companmanship.

"O" the Humanatee!

November 2, 2010 at 7:13 am

One of my all-time favorite comics stories. (Never noticed the shoebox.)

The shoebox thing is a cheap and not particularly clever joke.

I’ve always loved the Earth-2 Batman. His chronology always made sense, since his parents died when he was 10, he became Batman 15 years later (at 25) and had a 15 year career. So, he is roughly 40 in this story and is acting like it.

“Our” Batman has to fudge his chronology to fit a shifting back catalog of stories into an indeterminately long career.

I love that they kept Bruce’s pipe. And though I know others strongly disagree & it’s impractical and all, I’ve always loved this version of Catwoman’s costume, no doubt partly because it’s the one I grew up with.

In some sense, it is a clever joke – a play on the prefix ‘pedo’, as in relating to feet e.g pedometer. OK amend that – maybe too clever for it’s own good.

That is pretty cool.

One thing I noticed–I’m pretty sure the scene with Selina helping Bruce with some burns was copied almost word-for-word and with similar panel arrangements in Hush.

One thing I noticed–I’m pretty sure the scene with Selina helping Bruce with some burns was copied almost word-for-word and with similar panel arrangements in Hush.

Loeb rips off I mean homages old comics and movies a lot, so maybe. A good rule of thumb is if the writing was coherent and made sense. If so, Loeb is ripping off an older work.

I like the motive for this Catwoman better than “Selena-the-street-walker-turned vigillante/thief.” The modern Catwoman has to many skills to ever debase herself as a hooker. No one whores themselves if they have other options.

This Selena had few options. She could have easily have fallen into prositution but found a more satifying alternative. And her transition from housewife to cat-burglar makes sense.

Which collection is this in? It looks pretty interesting, some great artwork by Staton here.

Staton = Earth 2. No one else compares.

@ Stealthwise – I know it was included in the original Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told – I’m not sure if it’s in one of the newer versions.

Ronald Kearschner

November 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I was always a Marvel Zombie, but I did pick up an occasional Earth-2 story, especially ones with Joe Staton art.

This is one of the best Batman stories and is far superior to the issues featuring the deaths of Earth-2’s Catwoman and Batman. The climax of the story isn’t the capture of the Scarecrow (which happens off panel) but the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. One of the great things about the Earth-2 stories of the 70s and early 80s is that it allowed DC to let their characters develop in ways they couldn’t (at that time) with the Earth-1 big properties like Superman and Batman. On Earth-2 Clark and Lois could get married, Batman and Catwoman could indulge in their mutual attraction, and Robin could grow up, which the status quo didn’t allow on Earth-1. Next to the Earth-1 Superman, the Earth-2 Superman seemed like a more realistic character; he lived his life while Earth-1’s kept pretending he was a clumsy fool to the woman he loved. Even at 9 I knew that was ridiculous.
Earth-2 also let DC tell stories about aging superheroes, and this is one of the best stories to explore that theme. Besides the scar tissue scene (one of my favorite Batman moments ever; it adds weight to the character to consider the irrevocable damage done to himself in his career), Batman, in the middle of the initial fight with Scarecrow, tells him they’re both getting too old for that kind of stuff. Such a great portrait of Batman in the twilight of his career.

Looks good, even though I’m not too familiar with Earth-2 history (the whole Catwoman amnesia stuff left me scratching my head), but this stuff does look good. And some really good scenes between the 2 characters.

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