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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #27

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!’” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.

Enjoy!

First time Spider-Man used his webs to create an object like a parachute/First time Spider-Man ran out of web fluid

Reader Joseph M. wanted the answer to both of these questions, but since they appeared literally pages apart, I figured I’d combine them.

They both occurred in 1963′s Amazing Spider-Man #1, in the second story in the issue, as Spidey fights the Chameleon.

First, Spidey uses his webs to form a parachute…

The next page, Spidey runs out of web fluid for the first time…


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First time Hector Hammond had the giant noggin

When Hector Hammond first faced Green Lantern in 1961′s Green Lantern #5, he was a normal looking guy who used a meteor to evolve OTHER scientists to do his bidding.

In 1963′s Justice League of America #14, though, Hammond shows up again looking quite different…


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First time Riddler wore the green question mark dress suit and bowler hat

Reader Ethan K. wrote in asking to see: The first time we saw the Riddler in the question mark dress suit, rather than the green spandex bodysuit.

Well, first of all, the FIRST time we see it is in the TV series…

But in the comics, it was not until 1989 and Neil Gaiman’s brilliant Riddler story in Secret Origins Special #1 that the later TV look made it into the comics…


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Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

16 Comments

“The Joker’s KILLING people, for God’s sake!”

You’ve been gone for too long, Edward.

“If I didn’t know better..I’d say that man was Hector Hammond, even if he now looks like a man of the future!”

I guess a hydrocephalic retard who looks like Hector Hammond is out of the question, eh?

There was an odd change in that Spider-Man story when it was reprinted in Marvel Tales in the ’80s. Where it says ‘There’s a red sub surfacing to meet it’, the word ‘red’ was edited out. And a later panel where Spider-Man calls the Chameleon ‘Commie’ was changed as well. I wasn’t aware it had been changed until I read the story in an Essentials years later.
But it still had the Chameleon referring to ‘Iron-Curtain countries’ and the Hammer and Sickle emblem on the submarine was still there, so I’ve never understood why the changes were made.

nice always wondered how Hector got his head to be that big had to be some experiment gone wrong. plus always wondered if the riddler ever did a wardrobe change .

Wow, I certainly remember when that Riddler story came out, but he looked so natural in the suit that it hadn’t occurred to me that it was anything new to the comics–but of course I also know the TV version pretty well.

If not sure about your answer to the Riddler question. I seem to recall Don Newton portraying the Riddler in hi suit and bowler (maybe in a Doug Moench story) and he passed away a few years before the Secret Origins story (which is, of course, absolutely brilliant).

If not sure about your answer to the Riddler question. I seem to recall Don Newton portraying the Riddler in hi suit and bowler (maybe in a Doug Moench story) and he passed away a few years before the Secret Origins story (which is, of course, absolutely brilliant).

Aha, I found the issue you’re referring to! Riddler does, indeed, don a suit and bowler cap in Batman #362, but only as a disguise to gain entrance into a television studio (his traditional Riddler costume is worn underneath), and it is not the famous question mark suit, but just a regular green suit and hat.

Aha, I found the issue you’re referring to! Riddler does, indeed, don a suit and bowler cap in Batman #362, but only as a disguise to gain entrance into a television studio (his traditional Riddler costume is worn underneath), and it is not the famous question mark suit, but just a regular green suit and hat.

But if you’re going to make that distinction, then he’s not actually wearing the “famous question mark suit” in the story you referenced either (at least not in the page you posted). There appears to be a question mark on the top of his hat in one panel, but the suit itself is otherwise question-mark-free.

And whatever happened to Bernie Mireault?

But if you’re going to make that distinction, then he’s not actually wearing the “famous question mark suit” in the story you referenced either (at least not in the page you posted). There appears to be a question mark on the top of his hat in one panel, but the suit itself is otherwise question-mark-free.

He’s wearing a giant question mark on his hat (and you can’t see in these pages, but he’s wearing a question mark tie clip, as well). He is not wearing a giant question mark on his hat in the earlier issue, he’s just wearing a regular green bowler hat and a plain green suit.

He was definitely wearing the full bowler hat and question mark suit in what I think must have been his next appearance: the “Dark Knight, Dark City” in Batman 452-454 in 1990.

He had a few appearances in the old costume before that story (and after the Secret Origins Special), Eric, including an appearance in the pages of The Question!

But yeah, he had the full question mark suit in Dark Knight, Dark City.

Dark Knight, Dark City was a big step in establishing the new costume, since the artist on that story — Kieron Dwyer, who is coincidentally John Byrne’s former stepson — was assigned to pencil the Riddler’s Who’s Who entry in the late 80s/early 90s giant looseleaf format on the strength of that story.

Dwyer used the suit and tie Riddler for the pin-up image. That made it the go-to visual reference for future artists, and probably did as much to cement the new costume as anything. Dwyer, interestingly got to work on another significant Riddler story thereafter: he picked up the assignment to pencil Chuck Dixon’s “Year One” Riddler story in the 1996 Detective Comics Annual. There, the Riddler wears both costumes.

As to Gaiman…it’s not really in dispute how important he is to DC and Vertigo comics, but his influence on Batman’s rogues is significant. He also reinvented Posion Ivy in another Secret Origins issue, and that revamp — tying her to the Floronic Man and, through him, to Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and its elemental mythology — has been the basis for virtually everything done with the character since.

“He’s wearing a giant question mark on his hat (and you can’t see in these pages, but he’s wearing a question mark tie clip, as well). He is not wearing a giant question mark on his hat in the earlier issue, he’s just wearing a regular green bowler hat and a plain green suit.”

True. But the original question pertained to him wearing the “question mark dress suit” from the TV show, i.e., a suit that was covered in question marks, as in the Frank Gorshin photo. That’s not what he’s wearing in the story referenced above. He’s wearing a plain green suit with a question mark hat and tie pin.

Matthew Johnson

June 27, 2011 at 8:41 am

Here’s Bernie’s website, kalorama: http://bem.spiltink.org/

Reader Joseph M. wanted the answer to both of these questions, but since they appeared literally pages apart, I figured I’d combine them.

Thanks for featuring some of my questions. Did I also ask when was the first time Spidey used his Spider-Sense to locate his Spider-Tracers? I can’t remember.

True. But the original question pertained to him wearing the “question mark dress suit” from the TV show, i.e., a suit that was covered in question marks, as in the Frank Gorshin photo. That’s not what he’s wearing in the story referenced above. He’s wearing a plain green suit with a question mark hat and tie pin.

Think of it this way: he wears a coat and bowler in Batman #362, but not as his “costume” – it’s just a disguise to get him into the building. This Secret Origins Special is the first time he’s actually wearing a coat and bowler as his costume, even though the question mark motif has been toned way down…

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