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Silver Age Stories: Batman #171

Batman 171

Silver Age Stories is a brand new feature brought to you by the kind folk in the Marvel and DC comics divisions at Comic Booked. We bring you weekly re-caps and reviews of the most famous Comic Books and story lines from the Silver Age of Comics! We cover as much as we can from the period, from both of the major publishers of the time.

We feature reviews, “top 10″ lists, opinion pieces and guest blogs from the Comic Booked’s finest writers. We also have an accompanying podcast that is currently in the early stages of production.

You can’t run a Silver Age Comic Book feature and call yourself a DC fanatic without kicking off with probably the most influential Comic Book character to have existed. A late Golden Age creation, Bob Kane’s Batman really started to find its campy, silly self in the 1960′s. Where stories like the one below could be fun, adventurous and still present some form of message or lesson. This is one of my favorites, strap yourself in and prepare to face the 60’s goodness!


So kicking off the DC comics edition of Silver Age Stories, Batman #171, May 1965


What’s It All About?
The Riddler has finally been released from prison following his last defeat at the hands of Batman. While in prison, he has thought of a new way to commit crimes. However, when he reads the newspaper, he learns that Batman has been busy trying to catch the Mole-Hill Gang. Wanting Batman’s undivided attention, the Riddler approaches Batman and Robin telling them that he’s reformed in prison and that he wishes to help them catch the Mole-Hill Gang.

Writer – Gardner Fox
Pencils – Sheldon Moldoff
Inks – Joe Giella
Cover – Carmine Infantino, Murphy Anderson

Apparently he REALLY needs that Crucifix!

What’s Good?
A lot of great action scenes, Batman catching The Riddler in the act is a good one. The fact that Riddler tries to go after a bejeweled crucifix, I mean of all the items you could take? That’s silver age for you! There is some really fun interaction with The Riddler and Batman.

What’s Bad?
Quite predictable, no real drama. You put the issue down feeling like you could have done without it, bu you tend to not care. What’s bad in this case is what makes the issue so loveable!

Why You Should Pick This Up?
This is really typical of Silver Age Batman, a little bit weird, a little bit silly but at the heart of it: It is pure Batman. The worlds greatest detective lives up to his name and kicks some ass and takes some names. Fun. Action. Batman. You shouldn’t need any more persuading than that!

Have an issue you’d like to see get the Silver Age Stories treatment? Leave us a note in the comments section or tweet us @ComicBooked and we’ll get right to it!

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Comments (3)


Thank god for reprints and digital, or I would never read this kinda stuff.


Sometimes the covers alone are worth picking these gems up. So great.

Important trivia note: this issue was adapted to form the basis of the plot for the pilot episode of the Adam West TV show! Many of the incidents and riddles are taken right from the comic.

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