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The Saturday Comics: The 1940’s Batman Newspaper Strip

13 Oct

October 13, 2012

Batman has been a comic book staple but since 1943 he has been a newspaper comic strip staple as well. There have been 5 different versions of Batman comic strips running in the daily papers, including one where he costarred along with most of the Justice League on a rotating basis. The best of them is the first, the 1943-1946 run.

If ever a comic strip almost exactly emulated its comic book inspiration, this was it. In fact it was created by many of the same people who did the comic book, like Bob Kane and Bill Finger. These strips are easily available, compiled in various books and volumes, so it was a little surprising that there was not too much available online. In fact, I found many more examples of the 1966-1974 version of the strip than I did this one. Batman was still published as late as 1991 and the last incarnation was also carried in Comic Shop News, a weekly free newspaper given out in comic book stores.

Oddly enough, from 1972 until 1974, the Batman strip did not feature Batman! Although Bruce Wayne was still a main character, the strip featured a new hero called Galexo. I have no idea why. Posted below are several examples of the excellent 1940’s run. If you are a Batman fan, you owe it to yourself to go out and buy these collections. The newspaper series is a lot of fun and the volumes inexpensive.

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

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