Help Wanted! The Golden Age Salad Days

Calling all divers hands! I’ve been filling in gaps in my timelines. Notably, I just added a Salad Days section for the New 52 (which required me to do a full re-read of the entire New 52, which I don’t recommend doing unless you want your brain to melt and run out of your nose). The only other big gap in my timelines is the Salad Days section for the Golden Age. The amazing Anthony Fallone helped me construct a first draft, which is up on the site, but I’m convinced (he, not so much) that there must be more to add.

Thus, I’m reaching out to all my followers and asking if they could scour the Golden Age in search of any references or flashbacks that we might have missed that pertain to Bruce’s time prior to becoming the Bat—from his birth until his early 20s.

Really, I’m looking for the tough ones, the ones that are easy to miss at first glance. Like this…

“I saw him once when I was a boy!” See what I mean? When I first built my Golden Age timeline, I neglected to do a Salad Days section, so I had to go back and do it later, which is decidedly harder to pull off later as opposed to as you are reading through everything.

So, if I’ve missed anything, please let me know. Happy to have some hunters out there giving me an assist. Thanks in advance!

About Collin Colsher

Collin Colsher, the creator of The Real Batman Chronology Project and disCONTINUITY, is a writer, filmmaker, teacher, and comic book historian that currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He has lectured at various universities, libraries, and book fairs. Collin has also served on the jury for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, which is sponsored by the US Library of Congress.
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7 Responses to Help Wanted! The Golden Age Salad Days

  1. definativewillg says:

    On a related note, regarding the different Batmen and their physiques.
    http://gothamalleys.blogspot.com/2011/10/batmans-physical-appearance.html

    One thing I liked was Joe Stanton’s art, he had that stocky, barrel-chested Batman with the Square jaw, recapturing the late 40’s-mid50’s Batman look perfectly. Or in an idealized form at least.

  2. definativewillg says:

    I’ve been wondering about the same topic, we know a lot about Modern Batman’s training, Kirigi, the FBI, etc.

    We don’t know as much about the Golden Age, when Bruce was at the Hudson Academy, nor much of his studies at Gotham U. Also, the only names for Bat skills he as taught outside a University curriculum were Barret Kean for Makeup and Lee Collins who trained him in the art of boomerangs and made the ORIGINAL Batarang. But I find it interesting that Batman was already in costume when he learned these skills however, its quite understandable. I’m sure there were skills that all the versions of Batman had to learn even after they had adopted the cape and cowl.

    I also like your placement of Robins training before his debut, makes sense.

    • I really wish that I’d been scanning for stuff like this when I did my original read through. The devil is in the details—often you can cull a lot of neat info from throwaway lines or references. But yes, very interesting that significant portions of Batman’s training occur after he is in-costume. I think this happens because he starts so young in the Golden Age.

      Thanks for the comment! Let me know if you spot anything that’s missing!

      • definativewillg says:

        You know one that really bugged me, Collin, is that when they did the Who’s Who for the Earth1 and EARTH2 Batman? They had the same height and weight. No way they were the same build.
        I personally say that its obvious from the art that the Earth 2 Batman started off as a slighter frame but became more stocky, what we would call the Barrel chested build. in shape but not the bulging muscles of the modern “Arnold” bodybuilder.
        Then when he retired, being behind a desk job as Commissioner? Bruce’s last act as Batman when he died was after a good spell of retirement and three years since Selina’s death, his last time in the Batsuit.

        Obviously DC wouldnt want to give us stats of Batman not in his prime, but it would have been interesting to see a more “realistic” depiction.

        Compare this to the more athletic style of the Bronze age, Neal Adams/ Garcia-Lopez /Aparo Batman.
        Its something I would love to see compared, the training of the different Batmen. Golden Age and even into the Silver age, he didn’t seem to leave the US in his training. Was it Frank Miller and the late great Denny O’Neill who first suggested that Bruce left the US. We take it for granted now, the “Walkabout era”.

        Things to consider, differences in training, the information available to the various Waynes, exercise methods. What fighting skills Martial arts, besides boxing and wrestling were available someone training from the age of 8 to 23-24 from 1923 to 1939?

        A good recommendation that might help show how these Batmen stat up is the book, Building Batman.

        I also play role-playing games so it’s interesting to consider different builds would stat up, given the era-specific resources.
        Here’s a pre Robin GA/E2 Batman circa 39/40.
        https://www.writeups.org/batman-earliest-version-dc-comics/

        1939 Batman would have virtually no knowledge of hacking for example, a 70’s Batman would be learning on the job. (i seem to recall a bit in Batman year three that Robin was learning computers alongside Batman). Modern Batman onwards, its obvious he’s a master hacker from Year one or Zero Year. Indeed, Zero Year the Batcave has a computer virtually from its inception.

        Perhaps it seems pointless to some but it’s the kind of thoughts that occupy my mind at times.

        In the meantime, brother, keep up the good work.

        • Love this! Thanks for the comment. RPG stats are a valuable resource that I have definitely taken for granted (for sadly, I am not a gamer). However, RPG sourcebooks can definitely can help guide and provide reasoning behind the Salad Day/training sections for sure. Awesome link, too.

          And you aren’t alone with these thoughts of yours, haha. If you ever want to do a write-up about the above topic, I’d love to host it on here. Just LMK!

          • definativewillg says:

            I recall the DC Heroes had stats for both the Earth 1 and 2 Superman, then moving on, the Post Crisis, Man of Steel supes.

            Batman’s, however, seemed more or less the same.

            Mayfair did make a scaled-back, Batman game which was better for non-superpowered characters.

            You’d be surprised what is covered by a roleplaying game stats, they at least give us some base to work on.

            On a related note, I would love to cover all the skills Batman is said to know or demonstrate and, if possible, locate a book if not THE BEST Book on the subject. Things that would be in Mr. Waynes ‘Private Library’.
            And if there’s is a period-specific skill, something the Golden Age Batman might have learned, finding a book that was from the period would be the extra cherry on a very rich cake.

            I take this picture of Young Bruce with Harvey Harris as an inspiration.

            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rLV-ZuNPwJ4/Sz_SiZqVqfI/AAAAAAAAGaA/SkUsarbJuro/s400/Detective226_07.jpg

            I have mixed feelings Bruce dressed as Robin but I accept it. The “fill in the legend” era stories were all fun.

            http://nothingbutbatman.blogspot.com/2010/01/fill-in-legend-era.html

            Perhaps I’m inclined to the Earth-2 Batman, like Superman, not being in costume in his teens, whereas with Superman in the silver age had a career as Superboy.

            • Filling in all the gaps (especially in Bruce’s Salad Days) is right up my alley! Let me know if you come across any more fun tidbits. I’m not familiar with the Nothing But Batman Blog either, so thanks for sharing. It’s already occupying a large chunk of my morning. Talk to you soon.

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