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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Batman Vanishing on Commissioner Gordon

by  in Comic News Comment
Drawing Crazy Patterns – Batman Vanishing on Commissioner Gordon

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Here is an archive of all the patterns we’ve spotlighted so far.

Today I will spotlight the way that Batman constantly vanishes on Commissioner Gordon…


As I noted in a When We First Met awhile back, it appears that the first time this bit was done was surprisingly in 1973 (which is relatively quite recent) and surprisingly in the pages of SWAMP THING! Len Wein and Berni Wrightson do the bit here…

A couple of years later in Batman #266, Michael Fleisher has Batman and Gordon basically be jerks to each other in this sequence drawn by Rich Butler and Berni Wrightson (less than two years later it is already a “thing” with Gordon and Batman)….

The vanishing bit was used prominently by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin as the actual finale of their run together on Detective Comics in Detective Comics #476…

In Batman #361 by Doug Moench, Don Newton and Pablo Marcos, Batman does a double whammy and both sneaks up on Gordon AND vanishes on him!

In Batman #450 by Marv Wolfman and Jim Aparo, Gordon wonders aloud how Batman does it…

That’s five instances. Obviously, there have been a lot more over the years. Feel free to name your favorites in the comments section!

Now that the five examples are established, here are a few riffs on the idea.

First off, in Batman’s very first appearance in Detective Comics #27 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, he does a vanishing act…just not on Commissioner Gordon!

In Batman #465, by Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell, it is Robin pulling the vanishing act on Gordon and Sarah Essen, and now Gordon is a bit more sanguine about it all…

Finally, in Detective Comics #666, Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna show one of the many ways that Jean-Paul Valley is just not cut out to be Batman…

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