Monday, October 6, 2014

Batman Rogue's Gallery Spread from 1981

I found this incredible artwork of Batman's Rogues Gallery years ago using a Google image search.

It reads, "Batman's ROGUE'S GALLERY" "Can you identify all 24 villains on the Darknight Detective's "most wanted" list? (See next page)"

However, I wasn't able to name all of the villains. I even got together with my friend Andrew Blackman and yet we were still missing three names. It really started to bother me. 

I found it very difficult to find which comic this two page spread came from. An extensive Google search revealed nothing. But after identifying the artists (Dick Giordano and Denys Cowan) from their signatures on the bottom left I had some leads. I followed them up with my friend Cesar Perez and we both independently came to the same eBay posting. Because the person that listed the item included interior shots I was able to confirm that this was the comic:

It is from The Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest (aka the biggest little guy in comics). Here is the back cover:

So I bought it for ten dollars. Here is the first page with the table of contents:

Here are some closeups:

Here is the key on the next page to finding who all of these vintage, lesser-known characters are:

They include. Professor Hugo Strange, Talia, Cat-Man, Scarecrow, Cavalier, Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, Gentleman Ghost, Getaway Genius, Clayface II, The Joker, Two-Face, Ra's Al Ghul, The Riddler, Captain Stingaree, Clayface III, The Blockbuster, The Black Spider, The Spook, The Penguin, Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum, and Catwoman.

I didn't know the Getaway Genius, Captain Stingaree, or the Black Spider.

Finally, the comic also contains reprinted Batman stories involving each of the bad guys on the cover. There are also five one page origin tales for them which I will include here. 

Here is a cropped version of the scanned image with some visual adjustments applied (brightness, exposure, highlights, contrast, tint, saturation, and warmth). I used Adobe Illustrator with my friend Cameron London to crop out the spine and fix some of the irregularities, distortions, and printing artifacts. I also inserted the character names at the bottom.

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