Batman 253 (November 1973)

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What an awful comic book.

Not the art, the art is absolutely fantastic, making something of an Irv Novick convert out of me… but the writing is just hideous.

O’Neil writes Batman as a thuggish cross between Spencer Tracy and a beach movie surfer–the Spencer Tracy imitation makes sense, since O’Neil “pays homage” to multiple set pieces from Bad Day in Black Rock, but the surfer speak is… to make Batman seem cool?

The comic’s from 1973 and there’s no Robin in it so I’d assume it’s not being done to fit in line with the TV show version… so there’s got to be some other explanation for the godawful dialogue. What’s initially stunning is the use of exclamation points. It’s the standard for the era, but O’Neil doesn’t seem to understand how silly all of his bad, but quiet dialogue looks with them.

It’s a truly awful read.

CREDITS

Who Knows What Evil?; writer, Denny O’Neil; penciller, Irv Novick; inker, Dick Giordano; editor, Julius Schwartz; publisher, DC Comics.

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