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Comic Book Legends Revealed #279

by  in Comic News Comment
Comic Book Legends Revealed #279

Welcome to the two-hundred and seventy-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and seventy-eight.

Comic Book Legends Revealed is part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Baseball Legends Revealed to learn whether the Boston Braves were named after the Boston Tea Party!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). As I’ve promised, at 2,000 Twitter followers I’ll do a BONUS edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed during the week we hit 2,000. So go follow us (here‘s the link to our Twitter page again)! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: The Batcave was created due to budget constraints on the first Batman film serial.

STATUS: True

When first we meet Batman in the pages of Detective Comics #27, Bruce Wayne just changes into Batman in another room in his house…

This continues in later issues of the series, Bruce just changing in his mansion…

Heck, here, Dick does SURGERY on Bruce in the Wayne Mansion!!

Eventually we learn about a secret hangar…

and this leads eventually to talk about underground passages…

In Batman #12, we first see a special room in the mansion (although still clearly IN the mansion)…

but later in that issue we get the first reveal of an underground Batman hangar…

So that was the set-up for Batman around roughly 1941.

When the Batman serial debuted in 1943, though, a new set-up debuted. Serials were meant to be done CHEAP, and they would re-use sets as often as possible. They did not have hangar sets and they did not have mansion sets (single rooms, yes, a full mansion, no). What they DID have access to was a CAVE set (caves were very popular in serials).

So witness…the Bat’s Cave, which debuted in the second chapter of the serial, where Batman and Robin take a bad guy to their cave to question him (they’re not very visible, but there are supposed to be bats flying around – I can’t tell if the effect was just done by lights or if there were actual sort-of-puppets involved).

Here, the bad guy reacts to the bats…

And here, Batman and Robin mess with his head…

This chapter of the serial is also the debut of the idea of entering the Bat’s Cave through a grandfather clock!
Notice Alfred sitting there. As I featured in a past edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed (which you can read here), the serial is also the origin of the “thin Alfred” look.

Anyhow, watch as Bruce and Dick exit the clock…

So, a few months after the serial’s debut, the Batman comic strip had started up, and Bill Finger and Bob Kane decided to work the Bat’s Cave into the strip…

and soon after, in Detective Comics #83, it made its debut in the comic book…

Notice it is now just Bat Cave and not Bat’s Cave. That’s been the name ever since, well, with the name being shortened to just Batcave.

I wonder if the comics would have eventually settled on a cave, as well. I mean, bats and caves DO mix well and they already had hit upon the idea of an underground headquarters. It’s interesting to wonder what would have happened had it not been for the serial.

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