Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Golden Age Continuity Examples

Over at the always awesome Comic Treadmill, H has another one of his terrific posts on the Prop Stars, the giant props that featured in many Batman stories. But note this part:

Finally, today’s entry closes with two more circles, a Giant Prop Roulette Wheel and Ball, making 8 circular Giant Props this entry. I had already uncovered a flashback panel to this story in Batman 76 (May 1953). Who knew it was referencing an actual story from six years earlier? That kind of continuity just wasn’t done in the Golden Age. Color me impressed.

Actually, I've discovered that the Golden Age frequently had bits of continuity in flashback sequences. Maybe, back in the 1960s and 1970s we didn't know it because there were no resources like the Grand Comics Database, and so we assumed that it was made up by the writers. But that does not appear to be generally the case.

For starters, let's consider the famed story, The Secret Life of the Catwoman, from Batman #62. In that tale, Catwoman is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head. When she regains her senses, she has lost all memory of her years as the Catwoman, but recovered her memory of what came before, when she was an airline stewardess known as Selena Kyle. Batman and Robin confront her with evidence of her criminal past here:

Nine Lives Has the Catwoman comes from Batman #35. Oddly, though, the action shown is not duplicated in the original; in fact, it's Batman who uses the whip to prevent Catwoman from shooting him:

The Duped Domestics is from Batman #22, while The Claws of the Catwoman first saw publication in Batman #42, and The Lady Rogues in Batman #45.

My personal favorite example of continuity comes from Detective #220's The Second Batman and Robin Team. Medieval scientist Roger Bacon makes a startling discovery:

Reading from left to right, Peril in Greece from Batman #38, It Happened in Rome from Batman #24, and Batman and the Vikings from Batman #52.

In Detective #145, Robin/Dick Grayson loses his memory. Hoping to trigger his recovery, Bruce takes him to a movie showing some of Batman's greatest adventures:

The Fowls of Fate popped up in Batman #48 and features a similar sequence to that shown above:

The Underworld Surgeon appeared in Detective #131 and did indeed feature Robin rescuing Batman from a similar predicament.

Those are all the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but here's the one that H mentioned in his post. In Batman #76, the Caped Crusader wants to join the Danger Club, and has to tell of three occasions in the past when he faced danger. Here's the first:

As noted by H, that peril first occurred in Batman #44:

Here's the second danger that Batman mentioned having faced:

This refers to The 1001 Trophies of Batman, from Detective #158.

And the third danger:

Batman first encountered The White Whale in Batman #9.

Any others that you can remember? I suspect that these types of flashbacks would be most common in stories featuring returning criminals and (as in Detective #145 above) amnesia stories.

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