Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #171

STATUS: Kinda Sorta True (but not so much)

Reader Bertrone asked me about something he read on Wikipedia that suggested that there were stories featuring Catwoman killing people and that DC later stated that these stories took place on Earth-B. He wanted to know what the deal with Earth-B was.

Well, the answer, like most things in life, begins with Bob Haney.

The Brave and the Bold had an interesting start, as it first began as a non-superhero book...

then, when the Silver Age began, it became a counterpart to Showcase, as a try-out book...

finally, with #50, the book became a team-up book (in one of the oddest moves you would see, the book went BACK to being a try-out book for two issues, #57 and 58, then returned to a team-up book).

That first issue was written by Bob Haney, who would go on to write the book on a more or less ongoing basis (a couple of fill-ins mixed in) for the next seventeen years.

As mentioned in one of the very first Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, Bob Haney was not exactly a stickler when it came to continuity, especially in the pages of the Brave and the Bold, so soon, he began "violating" continuity left and right...

The Spectre...

Plastic Man...


All these books did not technically fit into the Earth-1/Earth-2 dynamic, so DC fans, and ultimately DC personnel, began referring to Haney's Brave and the Bold stories as being on "Earth-B," with the B either standing for Haney's longtime editor (although not his editor when he began or his editor when he finished with Brave and the Bold #158), Murray Boltinoff or for the Bs in Brave and the Bold.

Eventually, Earth-B began what people at DC would refer to to explain ANY events that did not fit into continuity - "They took place on Earth-B."

One example of an event that was placed on to Earth-B was a number of Catwoman stories during the 1970s that involved Catwoman killing people. These stories were considered to be on Earth-B.

Now, Earth-B was never actually referenced in an actual comic book. The closest it came was Bob Rozakis referring to it in a letters column. So that's why I have this marked down as kinda sorta true (but not so much).

Still, it's interesting to see how continuity mistakes were dealt with decades ago.

Chris Elam had a fun, if short-lived, blog called Earth-B!

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