Episode 8: November 1939

Welcome to episode seven of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

This week your hosts, Michael Bradley and Michael Kaiser tackle all things Batman released in November of 1939, which again only consists of one issue, DETECTIVE COMICS #34, where Batman takes on the mysterious, pointy eared, magic wand wielding, wheel of chance owning, horticulturist known as the Duc D’orterre!

Things We Learned:

  • A faceless man? Bruce Wayne has better things to worry about!
  • Never burn the face off your future brother-in-law.
  • Drunk people in Paris often dress up like Batman.
  • Sentient flowers with female human faces will never make sense.
  • Taking a Batplane is faster than taking a taxi.

Images from Coverage:

Reference Links:

How to Get this Episode

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3 Responses to Episode 8: November 1939

  1. Glade Packer says:

    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering if you have seen Justice League The New Frontier and if so, if you think that the red-hooded guy Batman encounters, and by encounter I mean punching in the face, and breaking his arm, might be a nod to the Mad Monk? And now that I write this, could be a subtle reference to the character, the Red Hood? Now onto my thoughts about this episode: do you think that the brief encounter Bruce has with this faceless man inspired Steve Ditko to create the Question? After watching Justice League Unlimited, he quickly became a favorite character of mine. On that note as well, do you happen to know of any podcasts about the Question?

    As always, keep up the awesome work and looking forward to your next episode,


    P.S. I haven’t had an opportunity to try out the belt breaking glass experiment yet.

  2. This is one wacky story, but it’s not hard to handwave some explanations for all of the weirdness if we allow that Fox didn’t have enough panels to give ones of his own…

    …except for the flowers. I offer a surmise for the origin of the talking flowers on my batindex website. (Fox was a fan of authors in the Lovecraft Circle, like C.A. Smith.) But the only handwaving to explain those would be to declare them a delusion caused by Batman’s dizziness from the wheel, not something Fox even hints at.

    Unless there’s an interview with Ditko specifically mentioning this story as influencing The Question, I’d doubt there’s a connection. Dr. No-Face (Det. #319) appeared a few years before The Question and would be a more likely influence, but Dick Tracy’s The Blank appeared years before Charles Maire and possibly influenced all other faceless-yet-able-to-speak people who came after. (Unless there’s a still earlier faceless man I’m unaware of.)

  3. Accursed Interloper says:

    Batman got hit in the head a lot in those days. How long had it been since his last prior head-konk? He COULD have hallucinated that whole business with the flowers just from one of his earlier concussions. Or from getting shot in the eyes with that laser-looking light-ray from the Duc’s magic wand, whatever that was.

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