Saturday, September 10, 2016


Ever since Sanctum Books publisher Anthony Tollin told me he would be publishing Black Bat, I have been eager to read the adventures of “the cowled crimebuster whose career paralleled the Batman’s and inspired the origin of Two-Face!” Now I have the chance. Expect a full review in the near future. For now...

The Black Bat #1: Brand of the Black Bat and Murder Calls the Black Bat [$14.95; August 2015] collects the hero’s first two cases from the July and September 1939 issues of Black Book Detective. These stories are written by Norman Daniels under the house name of “G. Wayman Jones.” Here are the back cover blurbs:

Doomed to blindness by an acid attack, D.A. Tony Quinn makes the night his weapon with the Brand of the Black Bat. 
Murder Calls for the Black Bat into a deadly war against corruption as Tony Quinn struggles to prevent the biggest jewel heist of the century.

The Black Bat made his debut a month after Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27. Both parties contemplated lawsuits, but, as this seemed to be a true coincidence, they struck a deal instead. As described in Will Murray’s historical essay, the Black Bat would stay out of the comic books and the Batman would stay out of pulp magazine.

However, the Black Bat did appear in comic books after a name and costume change to...the Mask! This first Black Bat collection also reprints the first Mask story from Exciting Comics #1 [April 1940]. The 11-page story was adapted by Raymond Thayer from the Black Bat debut novel. It’s a fast-moving thriller. I expect we’ll see more Mask stories as the Sanctum series continues.

ISBN 978-1-60877-183-7

Keep reading the bloggy thing for more information on Sanctum Books publications.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

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