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See Batman Visit All 50 States!

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
See Batman Visit All 50 States!

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. We did this one a few years back, but the formatting of the site has changed, so we’re re-doing it.

Today, in honor of Independence Day in the United States, we take a look at Batman’s visits to each and every one of the 50 States in the Union over the last 78 years!

We’ll be doing this in alphabetical order. Most of the time, things are explicit which state it is, but I’ll admit that on a few occasions I’ve had to stretch it a bit (some more so than others). If you can think of a BETTER example for any state, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com (only for the non-obvious ones).

ALABAMA

In Batman #8’s “The Cross-Country Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Joker is hiding somewhere in the American South, relatively close to Washington D.C. Batman and Robin track him down to station ROB but just miss him. There are two radio stations with those call numbers, one in Mississippi and one in Alabama. Since Alabama is closer to Washington D.C., I think it is safe to say that the station is in Alabama.

ALASKA

In World’s Finest Comics #7’s “The North Pole Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson), Batman and Robin head to Alaska to stop some bad guys there…

Reader Schedel Luitjen pointed out that since Alaska wasn’t yet a state at the time, that I should feature a story from when it WAS a state. Fair enough!

Here, from Batman #126’s “The Mystery of the 49th Star” (by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris), we see Batman and Robin visit the then-newly added 49th State…

ARIZONA

In Batman #464’s “Spirit of the Beast Part 3” (by Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell), Batman tracks some bad guys to the Grand Canyon Caverns in Arizona (I’m mostly shooting for Batman’s first visit to states that he’s been to more than once, but occasionally I’ll pick examples from stories that I like)…

ARKANSAS

In Detective Comic #59’s “The King of the Jungle!” (by Joe Greene, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman and Robin track Penguin to Arkansas…

CALIFORNIA

In Batman #37’s “Hollywood Hoax!” (by an unknown writer and Jerry Robinson), Batman and Robin go to Hollywood…

COLORADO

In the first arc of Brad Meltzer, Ed Benes and Sandra Hope’s Justice League of America (this one is issue #5, specifically), a split group of the team (consisting of Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Red Arrow) finally meet up with the rest of the League, including Batman, in Colorado…

CONNECTICUT

Ivy Town has been placed in New York in more recent DCU stories, but when Ray Palmer married Jean Loring back in Justice League of America #157 (by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin), it is plainly stated that it is in Connecticut, thus I’m counting this Ivy Town wedding of Ray and Jean as Connecticut…

DELAWARE

This one is probably the second biggest stretch of the whole bunch (North Dakota is first, Oklahoma is third, Idaho is third, Alabama is fourth and Wyoming is fifth). Here’s the two killer things about this one – the DC Atlas placed Metropolis in Delaware. However, I just don’t believe that that was ever accurate (it really doesn’t make any sense) and I don’t believe there was ever a COMIC BOOK that said it was in Delaware, so I can’t use Metropolis, even though that would make this really simple. The other killer thing is that the aforementioned “The Cross-Country Crimes!” from Batman #8, which I will be using a lot today, has Delaware as one of the states where Joker leaves clues for Batman to follow him to the state. Batman follows the other clues to four other states, but skips over Delaware. SO CLOSE!

Okay, so here’s the deal. Detective Comics #78’s “The Bond Wagon” (by Joe Greene, Jack Burnley and George Roussos – it is the comic that gave me the image for the banner for this piece) sees Batman and a group of down-on-their-luck guys recreate famous moments in Revolutionary War history to raise money for War Bonds. It begins in Gotham City, but it soon spreads to the rest of the East Coast, including a crossing of the Delaware River, a la George Washington. It then follows with a recreation of John Paul Jones’ famous “I have not yet begun to fight!” sea battle. The thing is that the original battle was fought off the coast of England. Obviously that’s not what is happening here (besides the logistics of taking everyone out to Britain, this was during World War II, so it wouldn’t be safe). So since they JUST recreated the crossing of the Delaware River, and since it is clearly taking place in a bay, I think it is fair to say that it is taking place in the bay that the Delawre empties out into, which is the Delaware Bay, which is enough in Delaware (it borders Delaware and New Jersey) for me to count it…

FLORIDA

There is a very notable early Batman story set in Florida (where one of Penguin’s lackeys, a female lounge singer, falls in love with Batman), but come on, how could I pass up Bob Haney, Jim Aparo and Joe Staton’s Brave and the Bold #148 and its tale of Batman and Plastic Man stopping a cigarette smuggling operation in Florida (read more about this awesome story here)?

GEORGIA

In the aforementioned Detective Comic #59’s “The King of the Jungle!” (by Joe Greene, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), before Batman and Robin traveled to Arkansas, they first travel to the Southern city known as Boswick, which simply must be Bostwick, Georgia…

HAWAII

In Batman #145’s “Hunt for Mr. 50” (by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris), Batman and Robin track the villainous Mr. 50 to the 50th state, Hawaii…

IDAHO

In Detective Comics #56’s “The Stone Idol” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman and Robin travel to a ghost town out west built around an abandoned silver mine. Idaho is famous for having a ton of abandoned silver mines and ghost towns, so I figured I’d go with this one for Idaho. While I think it works, it is certainly fair to say that it is a stretch…

ILLINOIS

In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #160 (by John Ostrander, David Lopez and Dan Green), Batman travels to Chicago to search for a missing Jim Gordon…

INDIANA

Back when Jason Todd still had the “Dick Grayson, Part Two” origin, Jason went traveling with the circus. Batman followed him out to a tour date in Indiana in Batman #364 (by Doug Moench, Don Newton and Alfred Alcala)…

IOWA

In World’s Finest Comics #227 (by Bob Haney, Dick Dillin and Tex Blaisdell), Batman is hunting down Deadman (for reasons that I will probably get to in a future column, perhaps Remember to Forget, or perhaps I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Haney often had the impressive way of toeing that line). He tracks him to Iowa…

KANSAS

In Batman #8’s “The Cross-Country Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Joker is leading Batman and Robin on a wild goose chase across the country, including a stop in Kansas…

(Obviously, any trip Batman made to Smallville would work here, as well. I just like using Cross-Country Crimes as much as I can)

KENTUCKY

In Detective Comics #48 (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman and Robin head for Kentucky to help out Bruce Wayne’s then girlfriend, Linda Lewis…

LOUISIANA

In Batman #522 (by Doug Moench, Kelley Jones and John Beatty), Batman tracks Killer Croc to Louisiana where they both encounter Swamp Thing…

MAINE

In Justice League #11 (by Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams), Batman and the rest of the League travel to the Maine cabin of the writer David Graves…

MARYLAND

In Batman #258 (by Denny O’Neil, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano), Batman and Robin set up a road block in Maryland to stop Two-Face’s plans to use an atom bomb for extortion…

MASSACHUSETTS

In Batman #432 (by Jim Owsley, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo), Batman tracks a bad guy to Boston…

MICHIGAN

In Green Lantern #14 (by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin and Keith Champagne), the then-new new Green Lantern, Simon Baz, encountered Batman and the Justice League in Dearborn, Michigan…

MINNESOTA

In Batman #7’s “The North Woods Mystery” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman travels to the North Woods to impress a socialite girlfriend of Bruce Wayne’s, Nora Powell. The North Woods could technically be other states, but I’m going with Minnesota….

MISSISSIPPI

In Detective Comics #90 (by Joe Greene, Ed Kressey and Dick Sprang), Batman and Robin head to Mississippi to catch some bad guys…

MISSOURI

In a famous Christmas issue of Justice League of America #110 (by Len Wein and Dicks Dillin and Giordano), Batman and the rest of the League head out to St. Louis, Missouri…

MONTANA

In the conclusion to Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare #3 (by Mark Waid, Fabian Nicieza, Darick Robertson and Jeff Johnson), Batman and the newly formed “Big 7” Justice League track their enemy KnowMan to Montana…

NEBRASKA

Mark Waid established that Blue Valley (where Wally West is from) is in Nebraska. In JLA: Secret Files and Origins #1, Grant Morrison (in a story co-written by Mark Millar and drawn by Howard Porter and John Dell) shows how the new Justice League was formed, and it involves the League being sent into Blue Valley to stop a Starro-like creature…

NEVADA

Batman visits Las Vegas, Nevada in Batman #463 (by Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell)…

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Mister Miracle and Big Barda owned a suburban home in New Hampshire. They held a barbecue for their Justice League friends in Justice League International Annual #2 (by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Bill Willingham and Joe Rubinstein). The Joker crashes it and at the end, after chaos ensues, Batman shows up…

NEW JERSEY

In Batman #8’s “The Cross-Country Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), J, Joker is leading Batman and Robin on a wild goose chase across the country, including a stop in New Jersey…

(The DC Atlas once claimed that Gotham City was IN New Jersey)

NEW MEXICO

In Brave and the Bold #146 (by Bob Haney, Romeo Tanghal and Frank McLaughlin), Batman and the Unknown Solider head to New Mexico to stop some Nazis…

NEW YORK

Batman and the Joker have a memorable encounter at the United Nations in New York City after the Joker murdered Jason Todd in the conclusion to the Death in the Family in Batman #429 (by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo)…

NORTH CAROLINA

Batman had a memorable Brian Bolland-drawn encounter with Green Arrow and Black Canary in North Carolina in the Gerry Conway-penned Justice League of America #200…

NORTH DAKOTA

This is by far the biggest stretch. What sucks is that the Joker actually commits a crime in North Dakota Detective Comics #85, but Batman didn’t come on to the scene until later on (you’ll see that story later in this piece). Anyhow, in Batman #10’s “The Sheriff of Ghost Town!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman takes over as the sheriff in a fictional ghost town in what appears to be somewhere in the Dakotas. It is more likely to be SOUTH Dakota, which is why this is the biggest stretch, but eh, there’s nothing definitive saying it one way or the other, so I’m willing to go with it. I sure would love a more definitive one, though!

OHIO

In Batman #8’s “The Cross-Country Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Joker is leading Batman and Robin on a wild goose chase across the country, including a stop in Ohio…

OKLAHOMA

This Batman #21 story “The Streamlined Rustlers!” (by Jack Schiff and Dick Sprang) is a stretch because it is a pretty broad “prairie range,” but I am actually pretty confident in this actually intended by Schiff to be Oklahoma. They had just recently done a Texas story where they name Texas in the story, so I think they’d just say Texas if they meant Texas. Either way, this obviously COULD be Oklahoma, so I’m fine with it…

OREGON

Batman and the Justice League show up in Portland, Oregon in Justice League #32 (by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Keith Champagne)…

PENNSYLVANIA

As noted earlier, Detective Comics #78’s “The Bond Wagon” (by Joe Greene, Jack Burnley and George Roussos – it is the comic that gave me the image for the banner for this piece) sees Batman and a group of down-on-their-luck guys recreate famous moments in Revolutionary War history to raise money for War Bonds. The story concludes with Batman giving an impassioned patriotic speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…

RHODE ISLAND

In Batman #8’s “The Cross-Country Crimes!” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Joker is leading Batman and Robin on a wild goose chase across the country, including a stop in Rhode Island…

SOUTH CAROLINA

In Action Comics Annual #1 (by John Byrne, Arthur Adams and Dick Giordano), Batman and Superman team-up in Fayerville, South Carolina to stop a vampire…

SOUTH DAKOTA

Batman and Robin take part in a cross country race in Batman #34’s “The Marathon of Menace!” (by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang and George Roussos) and they make a stop at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota…

TENNESSEE

In Batman #176’s “Catwoman’s Grasshopper Chase” (by Alvin Schwartz, Jack Burnley, Fred Ray and Win Mortimer), Batman and Robin chase Catwoman to Tennessee…

TEXAS

In Batman #6’s “The Secret of the Iron Jungle” (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), Batman goes to Texas to help out one of Bruce Wayne’s girlfriends, Linda Page, by going to Texas…

UTAH

In Superman #710, during Superman’s cross-country “Grounded” trip, he runs into Batman in Utah…

VERMONT

In Batman #237 (by a host of writers, with art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano), Batman travels to Rutland, Vermont…

VIRGINIA

In Detective Comics #85 (by Bill Finger, Es Kressy and Dick Sprang), Batman and Robin chase a Joker scheme to Virginia…

WASHINGTON

In Green Arrow #35 (by Andrew Kreisberg, Ben Sokolowski, Dennis Sampere and Jonathan Glapion), Bruce Wayne came to Seattle to meet with Oliver Queen…

WEST VIRGINIA

In Detective Comics #85 (by Bill Finger, Es Kressy and Dick Sprang), Batman and Robin chase a Joker scheme to West Virginia…

WISCONSIN

In DC Universe: Decisions #3-4 (by Judd Winick, Bill Willingham, Howard Porter and Wayne Faucher), there is a primary in Wisconsin that a bunch of heroes of the DCU have shown up to protect, including Batman…

WYOMING

In Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17 (by Sholly Fischs, Robert Pope and Scott McRae), Batman travels through time and teams up with Jonah Hex…

This one is a stretch because there’s nothing specifically saying that it IS Wyoming, but Jonah Hex has had plenty of adventures in Wyoming, so there’s nothing to rule Wyoming OUT, so I’m going with Wyoming.

Wow, that was tough. Hopefully some of you have even MORE on point suggestions for the iffy ones like Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Delaware!

If you have suggestions for interesting pieces of comic book history for future columns, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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