Knowledge Waits : Batman Travels To Each State in the United States

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

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 75 years!

We'll be doing this in alphabetical order and on a number of pages (way too many images not to do it this way). Ten states per page. 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 (only for the non-obvious ones. For the obvious ones,


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.


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...


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)...


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...


In Batman #37's "Hollywood Hoax!" (by an unknown writer and Jerry Robinson), Batman and Robin go to Hollywood...


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...


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...


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...


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)?


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...

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