month by month
(all stories at a glance on the sub-list: Last Months of Batman and Robin–on sale)
story titles in red are revivals
story titles in blue are finals
7th of MARCH ’63 – 5th of MARCH ’64
1. 7th of MARCH ’63 – 4th of APRIL ’63
The Sheldon Moldoff cover for BATMAN No. 155 (May ’63) features the return of that Bird of Bumbershoot Banditry, the Penguin. But before the story behind that cover can be told, it’s the case of Batman’s Psychic Twin–a freak accident creates a psychic link between Batman and a crook–from writer Dave Wood and the art team of Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. Then, as promised, having done his time in prison, the Penguin is goaded into returning to crime after he gets no respect from gangland–it’s The Return of the Penguin from Batman scribe emeritus, Bill Finger, with Moldoff and Paris providing the pictures. This renaissance classic arrives on newsstands March 7th. Note: The Penguin last appeared seven years earlier in BATMAN No. 99 (April ’56).
Dr. Henry Gault summons beasts using science and the supernatural in The Beasts of the Supernatural, by Bill Finger and Jim Mooney. Hunt down the cover by Mooney and Moldoff for WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 133 (May’63) at your newsdealer on March 7th.
In JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 19 (May ’63), at your local newsstand March 14th, the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes are forced to leave Earth, but continue their mission in their secret identities–in The Super-Exiles of Earth. It’s no secret that the team creating this adventure is Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs, with the cover art by Murphy Anderson
Jungle Man, in the model of Tarzan, is manipulated into conducting a crime spree, with wild beasts under his control in The Jungle Man of Gotham City for DETECTIVE COMICS No. 315 (May ’63), with Moldoff and Paris providing the urban jungle art and Wood submitting the script. Snatch your copy while you can on March 28th.
Following the example of Batman and Robin, Superman and Jimmy Olsen become the masked crimefighters, Nightwing and Flamebird, in the bottle city of Kandor. The Dynamic Duo of Kandor in SUPERMAN’S PAL JIMMY OLSEN No. 69 (June ’63), goes on sale April 4th. This is the second Nightwing and Flamebird team-up–from the creative team of Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein. They first introduced this Dynamic Duo in SUPERMAN No. 158 (January ’63). Cover art by Swan and Klein.
2. 18th of APRIL ’63 – 25th of APRIL ’63
Run don’t walk to your newsstand April 18th for the most shocking chapter in the lives of the Dynamic Duo–in BATMAN No. 156 (June ’63). While Batman is away, Robin the Boy Wonder encounters The Secret of the Ant-Man. Meanwhile, in the second story, Robin Dies at Dawn–Batman believes he is on an alien world where Robin has died. Both are by Finger, Moldoff and Paris. The iconic cover art is by Moldoff and Paris. Note: Arguably, in this adventure, there are revival elements from earlier times, such as the pieta style cover image of Batman holding the lifeless body of the Boy Wonder–recalling the same scene from The Case of the Honest Crook, BATMAN No. 5 (Spring ’41).
Get ready for The Band of Supervillains by Finger and Mooney in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 134 (June ’63) on sale April 18th. Our three heroes visit Science City–a model city of the future–but are trapped within its forcefield, when they are menaced by three alien creatures. Jim Mooney provides the cover.
It’s Double Batman vs. Double X, when Dr. X and his energy twin Dr. Double X make their second appearance after a nearly five year absence, in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 316 (June ’63) coming out April 25th. Wood is the wordsmith, while the interior art is by Moldoff and Paris and the cover art has Moldoff inking Moldoff. Note: The previous appearance of Dr. X and Dr. Double X was in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 261 (November ’58).
While Batman, Superman and the Atom are on their own mission in space, the rest of the League are menaced by a giant in The Mystery of Spaceman X, from Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs. All will be revealed on the 25th of April in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 20 (June ’63), cover by Sekowsky and Anderson.
3. 23rd of MAY ’63 – 6th of JUNE ’63
Read about The Strange Lives of Batman and Robin–in an 80 page collection from editor Jack Schiff–when BATMAN ANNUAL No. 5 (Summer ’63) goes on sale May 23rd. Cover montage by Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Stan Kaye and Charles Paris.
The secret scripter Wood and the frequent flying artists Moldoff and Paris reveal The Secrets of the Flying Bat-Cave in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 317 (July ’63), with a Sheldon Moldoff cover, on sale the 29th of May. Note: A similar such Flying Bat-Cave debuted eleven years before in The Flying Bat-Cave, from the creative team of David V. Reed, Lew Sayre Schwartz and Charles Paris in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 186 (August ’52).
Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris contribute the art for the cover and both stories in issue No. 157 of BATMAN (August ’63). The first adventure, written by Dave Wood, has Batman encounter a mentally unbalanced crook named the Jackal, The Villain of the Year. Then, in The Hunt for Batman’s Secret Identity, written by Bill Finger, Mirror-Man returns for a belated encore crime spree upon reflection–after virtually disappearing almost nine years earlier following his debut in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 213 (November ’54). But this second take may prove to be his last. Don’t break your promise to pick up this issue at your newsdealer June 6th–or else you might be cursed with seven years bad luck.
4. 13th of JUNE ’63 – 27th of JUNE ’63
In what will become an annual event, the Justice League of America encounter the Justice Society of America when Crisis on Earth-One by Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs, in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 21 (August ’63), arrives in stores June 13th. Iconic cover by Sekowsky and Anderson. The adventure continues in issue No. 22. Note: Although Jay Garrick and some fellow JSAers and Earth-Two adversaries have already been revived in THE FLASH, this is the first appearance of several characters after more than ten years–including Dr. Fate, Hourman, Black Canary, the Wizard and the Icicle.
In the August ’63 WORLD’S FINEST COMICS, Batman and Robin pursue Future Man into the past, with the aid of their old friend, Carter Nichols. Issue No. 135‘s Menace of the Future Man is written by Bill Finger and–although the illustrator did return to do some work many many years later–this is the final classic work by one of the greatest Batman creators and one of the greatest funny book artists of all time: Dick Sprang. Sheldon Moldoff inks and the cover is Mooney and Moldoff. At your newsstand June 13th.
The Cat-Man seeks to make Batwoman his queen, as the new Cat-Woman, when The Cat-Man Strikes Back, as researched by Bill Finger and visualized by Jim Mooney, in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 318 (August ’63), coming June 27th–cover by Dick Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff. Note: This was Cat-Man’s second appearance having debuted in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 311 (January ’63)–from the same creative team. This is the first new appearance of a Cat-Woman in nine years, albeit Kathy Kane and not Selina Kyle, meow.
5. 18th of JULY ’63 – 25th of JULY ’63
Sheldon Moldoff draws the cover, featuring Ace the Bat-Hound, for the September ’63 issue of BATMAN. And Moldoff and Paris illo all three adventures in No. 158: Ace–the Super Bat-Hound; The Secret of the Impossible Perils; Batman and Robin–Impostors. The incredible imp Bat-Mite grants Ace the Bat-Hound super-powers (batted in by Dave Wood). Then Batman and Robin help Matt Carter and his son Ted gain membership in the Explorer’s Club (from wordsmith Bill Finger). And lastly, a fake Batman and Robin aren’t what they seem to be (from the desk of Dave Wood). Arriving on comic racks July 18th.
The Caped Crusader has a Twilight Zone experience as The Batman Nobody Remembered by Finger and Mooney–don’t miss this thriller when WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 136 (September ’63) goes on sale the 18th of July. Cover by Mooney and Moldoff.
You’ve heard of Two-Face and False-Face, now meet The Fantastic Dr. No-Face–on the face of it a scientist driven insane by his disfigurement yet the underlying truth of No-Face will prove not so superficial. From the team of Wood, Moldoff and Paris–and Moldoff sculpts the cover for DETECTIVE COMICS No. 319 (September ’63) at your newsdealer July 25th.
The first JLA/JSA team-up continues in Crisis on Earth-Two, as Batman and Wonder Woman hope to defeat Dr. Alchemy, in this classic by Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs for JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 22 (September ’63), with an Anderson cover. July 25th is the expected time of arrival.
6. 29th of AUGUST ’63 – 5th of SEPTEMBER ’63
On sale August 29th, search out Batman and Robin–the Mummy Crime-Fighters, by Wood, Moldoff and Paris, as Moldoff covers issue No. 320 of DETECTIVE COMICS (October ’63). To protect their secret identities, the Gotham Gangbusters must wrap themselves in bandages, but Vicki Vale is suspicious. Note: This is the penultimate bow of Vicki Vale in new stories for a very long time–she has a two panel cameo in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 156 (March ’66) and then nothing for the next ten years. This case captures the essence of the Vick Vale situation, as the GOTHAM GAZETTE reporter always suspects that the Gotham Gangbusters are the scion of Gotham society and his ward .
In The Great Clayface-Joker Feud, Kathy Kane and Betty Kane make the moves on Batman and Robin, while the Joker is angered when gangland thinks Clayface is better than him–it’s another great yarn as only Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris can tell it. Note: This was the fourth appearance of Matt Hagen as Clayface, having debuted in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 298 (December ’61). Next up: Alfred continues to imagine what might happen in the future for the Batman family and fills in the details on how Bruce Wayne Jr. was born and raised: The Boyhood of Bruce Wayne Jr.–kudos to the Wood, Moldoff and Paris creative team for a bang-up job. It all unfolds in BATMAN No. 159 (November ’63)–look for the Sheldon Moldoff cover at your neighbourhood newsdealer on September 5th.
The Dynamic Duo frustrate Luthor’s plot to besmirch the Man of Steel in Superman’s Secret Master by Finger and Mooney–with a Mooney and Moldoff cover. WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 137 (November ’63) comes out September 5th.
7. 12th of SEPTEMBER ’63 – 26th of SEPTEMBER ’63
Batman shows up too late to take part in Drones of the Queen Bee, the latest adventure of the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA by Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs in issue No. 23 (November ’63) of the super-team’s title on sale Septermber 12th. The cover artists are Sekowsky and Anderson.
Sheldon Moldoff provides the cover for the Return of The Terrible Trio–the Fox, the Shark and the Vulture, after a five year stay in the big house–for their second go around against the Dynamic Duo. And Batwoman arrives in a pinch to even the odds and make it a three-on-three match. You can do all the sums on September 26th when DETECTIVE COMICS No. 321 (November ’63) arrives on the spinner racks. Note: Wood, Moldoff and Paris create this adventure as they did the first Terrible Trio yarn in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 253 (March ’58). The inventive criminal geniuses pull their jobs on land, sea and air as befits their masked identities.
8. 17th of OCTOBER ’63 – 29th of OCTOBER ’63
Sheldon Moldoff’s cover for BATMAN No. 160 (December ’63) unmasks The Alien Boss of Gotham City. But before the Masked Manhunter can tackle that case, Finger, Moldoff and Paris challenge Batman to solve The Mystery of Madcap Island. Then–in the cover featured yarn by Wood, Moldoff and Paris–a new gang in Gotham is armed with alien weapons. All will be revealed on October 17th.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 24 (December ’63) guest stars Adam Strange, when Kanjar Ro uses the aural forms of five JLAers (but not Batman) to lure their physical forms into his traps, in Decoy Missions of the Justice League by Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs, on sale October 22nd. The cover artist is Murphy Anderson. Note: This is the third appearance of the alien villain Kanjar Ro, who debuts in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 3 (February-March ’61). After that Kanjar Ro challenges Adam Strange in MYSTERY IN SPACE No. 75 (May ’62), which also guest-stars the Justice League of America, including Batman.
Travel to the Stone Age to unlock The Secret of the Captive Cavemen–by Finger and Mooney–in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 138 (December ’63) promised for October 22nd. Note: Professor Carter Nichol makes his final bow as a recurring character in this issue. He first started sending Bruce and Dick through time back in 1944, in It Happened in Rome by Joe Samachson and Dick Sprang for BATMAN No. 24 (August-September ’44).
Coming October 29th, in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 322 (December ’63), Robin and Bat-Girl have to battle Batman when he becomes The Bizarre Batman Genie by Wood, Moldoff and Paris. Meanwhile, Jack Miller and Joe Certa present The Man Who Destroyed J’Onn J’Onzz–this issue’s John Jones, Manhunter from Mars, back-up story–with the return of Professor Arnold Hugo, who gains the Martian Manhunter’s super-powers. Note: Prof. Hugo first menaced Batman, in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 306 (August ’62), when he used his technology to increase his brain-size. Batman makes a cameo appearance at the end of this Martian Manhunter story; however, after this, Hugo would have a few more encounters with the Manhunter, but not with Batman. Additional note: Professor Arnold Hugo seems to be a combination of two earlier villains: Professor Hugo Strange–from DETECTIVE COMICS No. 36 (February ’40), BATMAN No. 1 (Spring ’40), DETECTIVE COMICS No. 46 (December ’40)–and The Mental Giant of Gotham City from DETECTIVE COMICS No. 217 (March ’56) reprinted in BATMAN ANNUAL No. 3 (Summer ’62).
9. 14th of NOVEMBER ’63 – 5th of DECEMBER ’63
Read about Batman and Robin’s Most Thrilling Mystery Cases in an 80 page collection from editor Jack Schiff–when the Winter ’64 BATMAN ANNUAL (No. 6) goes on sale November 14th. The cover montage features art by Sheldon Moldoff and by Win Mortimer.
Do you believe the stars can predict the future? When the Zodiac Master uses the astrological signs to foretell disaster, it’s a mystery that Batman must go undercover to solve. Wood, Moldoff and Paris chart their birth signs in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 323 (January ’64) on the cusp November 27th. Moldoff’s cover art augurs caution.
Note: In the same yarn that introduces Vicki Vale–Jervis Tetch, aka the Mad Hatter, first appears in The Scoop of the Century, in BATMAN No. 49 (October-November ’49), looking like John Tenniel’s illustration of the character in ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. After a lapse of more than six years, Tetch returns in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 230 (April ’56)–looking very different (red hair, moustache). The Hatter then cools his heels for seven more years before making his return this issue–at newsstands December 5th—BATMAN No. 161 (February ’64), in The New Crimes of the Mad-Hatter. Meanwhile, in The Bat-Mite Hero, the mischievous imp decides that if he can’t make Batman his hero, then he’ll make someone else a hero. Both stories are by Wood, Moldoff and Paris, with a Moldoff cover.
10. 12th of DECEMBER ’63 – 26th of DECEMBER ’63
The Ghost of Batman haunts the newsstand on December 12th when Jim Mooney and Sheldon Moldoff’s cover for WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 139 (February ’64) appears. Inside you’ll find the yarn behind that cover from Wood, Mooney and Moldoff.
*Note: Batman makes no appearance in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 25 (February ’64), on sale December 12th.
The classic team of Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein present The Superman Super-Spectacular in ACTION COMICS No. 308 (February ’64), on sale December 26th. Superman is honoured on OUR AMERICAN HEROES, a TV program, where Batman and Robin are surprise guest stars. The cover is by Swan and Moldoff. Spoiler Note: President John F. Kennedy also appears–this issue was prepared before the president’s death, but went on sale after.
11. 23rd of JANUARY ’64 – 30th of JANUARY ’64
In BATMAN No. 162 (March ’64), when the Caped Crusader becomes a rampaging beast, Batwoman and Robin must work together to subdue The Batman Creature. Note: While there’s a scene here that’s obviously meant to invoke KING KONG–elements of this yarn recall the Hugo Strange monster story in BATMAN No. 1 (Spring ’40)–as well as, THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU by H.G. Wells. This story is essentially the final appearance of Ace the Bat-Hound, although Ace has a two panel cameo in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 143 (August ’64). Also in this issue: find out Robin’s New Secret Identity, after the Boy Wonder loses his memory. The cover is from Moldoff and the stories are from the Wood, Moldoff and Paris team. Don’t forget to get your copy while supplies last, on January 23rd.
Cat-Man cheats death time and again, as his costume grants him nine lives, while Batwoman pursues him as Cat-Woman in The Strange Lives of the Cat-Man from Finger, Moldoff and Paris–in DETECTIVE COMICS No. 325 (March ’64) due on January 30th. Cover by Moldoff. Note: This is the final appearance of Cat-Man for many years to come. His true identity is big game hunter Tom Blake, but he isn’t the first to be hailed as The King of the Cats–in a story of the same name, the original Catwoman’s brother, Karl, once held that title, when he went on a feline-themed crime spree in BATMAN No. 69 (February-March ’52).
At newsstands January 30th, it’s the latest Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs adventure, Four Worlds to Conquer, for the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA in their March ’64 issue–No. 26. Despero transports Batman and Green Lantern to I-Earth, a world ruled by insects.
Clayface squares off against Superman in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 140 (March ’64) as the outgoing team of Wood, Mooney and Moldoff present The Clayface Superman, at your newsdealer on January 30th. This is the last issue of the title edited by Jack Schiff–as well, it’s the last comic to give Green Arrow his own feature for many years to come (barring reprints). Cover by Mooney and Moldoff.
12. 27th of FEBRUARY ’64 – 5th of MARCH ’64
When the Bat-plane crash lands in the jungles of Africa, the Gotham Gangbusters are abducted by aliens and become Captives of the Alien Zoo–in one last yarn from the forward line of Dave Wood, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, for DETECTIVE COMICS No. 326 (April ’64) going on sale February 27th. Moldoff is the cover artist. This is the last issue of DETECTIVE COMICS to be edited by Jack Schiff. The Martian Manhunter’s back-up feature makes its final appearance here, as well, as J’Onn moves over with Schiff to HOUSE OF MYSTERY.
In the last of Alfred’s tales of the future, an old flame is rekindled when the former Bat-Girl (Betty Kane) becomes Batwoman II and crosses paths with Batman II (Dick Grayson). Bat-Girl–Batwoman II is by Bill Finger with other Bob Kane ghost Chic Stone and inker Charles Paris. Meanwhile, back in the present day, The Joker Jury is by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. The Joker puts Batman on trial in a kangaroo court, with himself as judge and his hirelings as jurors (made up to look like the Clown Prince of Crime), rendering final judgement on the Dark Knight–by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris. Note: Although this is a final story in one sense, it’s also a revival of the old castle motif, as seen in a few Bill Finger stories–a castle from the old world, rebuilt in the new word–such as in The Joker’s Crime Costumes, BATMAN No. 63 (February-March ’51). BATMAN No. 163 (April ’64) is in session March 5th. Cover by Moldoff. Note: This is the last regular issue of BATMAN edited by Jack Schiff, but he continues as the Giant editor. Also the last turn for Charles Paris as inker on a Batman comic–although he does ink the New Look Batman-Green Lantern team-up in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD No. 59 (April-May ’65).
a grey area
12th of MARCH ’64
The “I” Who Defeated the Justice League by Fox, Sekowsky and Sachs, in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA No. 27 (May ’64) goes on sale March 12th. A disembodied entity called “I” undermines the teamwork of the Justice League. Note: The story references an unrecorded Robin adventure called The Case of the Headless Statues. Cover art by Mike and Murph.
The Olsen-Robin Team Versus the Superman-Batman Team in WORLD’S FINEST COMICS No. 141 (May ’64) is at your newsdealer March 12th. This is the first issue of the title edited by Mort Weisinger, taking over from Jack Schiff, and his top hitters are at bat: Hamilton, Swan and Klein–with Curt and George also doing the cover work. Batman has the yellow spot, but not on the cover and not in some flashback scenes. The artwork by Swan and Klein is much more in the New Look style; however, Robin has his traditional haircut. This adventure is in a grey area along with a few other tales that come out after, such as This World is Mine in GREEN LANTERN No. 29 (June ’64) on sale April 9th–no yellow spot but edited by Schwartz; and The Thousand-and-One Dooms of Mister Twister in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD No. 54 (June-July ’64) on sale April 30th–no yellow spot and Robin’s old haircut (Moldoff inks).
the yellow spot begins
26th of MARCH ’64
The Mystery of the Menacing Mask by John Broome, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella, DETECTIVE COMICS No. 327 (May ’64), comes out March 26th. This is the first qualified New Look Batman comic. Julius Schwartz takes over from Jack Schiff as editor on DETECTIVE COMICS (as he also does, next month, on BATMAN, issue No. 164). The Martian Manhunter gives up the back-up his feature spot, switching to the lead spot in HOUSE OF MYSTERY No. 143, edited by Jack Schiff (who takes over that title from George Kashdan) so that Elongated Man holds the back-up slot in ‘TEC, beginning with this issue.
see also these fine My Favourite Funnies features . . .
issue No. 2: THE LAST DAYS OF THE DYNAMIC DUO
issue No. 3: THE FINAL DAYS OF THE GOTHAM GANGBUSTERS
extra: Jack Schiff’s Shift
issue No. 15: FIRST DAYS OF A “NEW LOOK”
On sale dates determined using information provided on Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics.
Credits determined using information provided on the Grand Comics Database.
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