Thursday, July 15, 2010

Still More Schiff Recycling

I've talked a few times in the past about how editor Jack Schiff would take a story from Batman and run it in Blackhawk (or vice-versa). Here's another good example.

Consider these two covers:


Not hard to see the similarities; in this case the Batman story was the earlier one, appearing in the March 1959 issue of that mag, while the Blackhawk version comes from December 1960. Both tales are "dream" stories; that is to say that they did not really happen, but were a dream of one of the characters; Robin and Lady Blackhawk. Both dreams end with disaster. In the Batman tale, Batwoman's identity is exposed, thus indicating to the world that Batman must be Bruce Wayne. And the marriage of Blackhawk and Zinda ends up causing the dissolution of the team.

At the end of the Blackhawk story (after Zinda has awoken from the dream), Blackhawk asks her to go out to the movies with him, but she has a better idea:


THE BEATY said...

the batman cover is long considered one of the dumbest of all the silver age

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

That Batman cover is unintentionally famous (or infamous) on account of Robin's thoughts.

It reminds me of the Gardner Fox-penned JLA tale where several of the members are thinking of their nearest and dearest, i.e. girlfriends. Batman, on the other hand, is thinking of Robin ...

Paging Dr. Wertham!

Commander Benson said...

I've got both of these stories and I did notice the similarity between the two. But I never linked it to Jack Schiff's editorship, nor did I ever catch the other "recycled" stories Schiff shuffled among Batman and Blackhawk. Good eye, Pat!

(I wish I had remembered that final Blackhawk panel you attached as art to your article---it would have been perfect for the fade-out at the end of my series on Blackhawk I just concluded over at the Captain Comics site.)

That's just the kind of thing I enjoy about visiting Silver-Age related sites like yours. Any of us who lived through those days can claim a certain degree of expertise about them. But it's always a treat to when someone shows you something that you didn't know or notice before.

Incidentally, I also enjoyed your entry on Blackhawk # 100 a few posts back. Even though watered down from their Military Comics days, it's obvious that Quality was still setting the Black Knights in reasonably intelligent adventures. Yes, it acquiesced to a few of the SF conventions---such as the alien world in the first story---but it approached it with an angle of realism.

It was also a fine example of how much more detailed and defined Dick Dillin's art was, before his style got looser and somewhat chaotic in the mid-'60's.

Much obliged for your efforts.

Pat said...

Thanks CB. Praise from a master is praise indeed! :)

Anonymous said...

Recycling plots is common in series in all media. Film historian William Everson, in "A Pictorial History of the Western Film," noted how Republic Pictures would adapt and re-use the same plot for Zorro, Roy Rogers, Wild Bill Elliott, and John Wayne. And, on TV, you can see the same script being changed slightly and re-used for the Mod Squad, the Rookies, Charlie's Angels, and T.J. Hooker.

Anonymous said...

Robin's thought balloon on that Batman cover reminded me of the 1967 TV episode "Scat, Darn Catwoman." She proposes marriage to Batman and he asks, "What about Robin?" She thinks for a second and then cheerfully says, "I've got it! We'll kill him!"