Silver Year 17


–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #289. In the Fortress of Solitude, Superman shows Batman some alien telepathic headgear.

–DC Comics Presents #50
Superman accidentally wishes upon the Controllers’ Miracle Machine (!) to be both Clark Kent and the Man of Steel simultaneously. This wish re-writes reality, splitting him into two distinct non-connected beings. Except, without his human side, Superman is kind of an asshole. Days pass without Clark or Superman getting any wiser. Clark, still with some residual memories of having been Superman, phones Batman, but since Batman is not friends with Clark, having no shared history with him at all in this new reality, he tells him to piss off. Later, Clark realizes that he’s been separated from Superman somehow, calling Superman to meet up for an explanation. When an emergency occurs in deep space, Superman heads off to handle it, but he drops Clark off in California to outsmart and bust Atomic Skull. The next day, Clark takes Superman to their old Smallville home. After touring the house, they visit the gravesite of Ma and Pa Kent. This jogs Superman’s memories and he re-merges with Clark, which fixes reality.


–The Brave and The Bold #195-196
A rash of vampire attacks plague Gotham. When the daughter of gangster Hodges is bitten, he reluctantly calls Batman. Batman agrees to help in exchange for information about Hodges’ associate Johnny the Gun. Batman, armed with a crucifix, soon finds himself at Club Dracula—a Gotham haunt populated by both fake vampires and real vampires alike. There, Batman joins forces with 400-year-old benevolent vampire Andrew Bennett to take on those responsible for the recent murder wave—Blood-Red Moon (aka The Cult of the Blood Red Moon), which is led by ancient nosferatu Mary Seward (aka The Queen of Blood). Soon after, Batman and Bennett take on Mary Seward and a vampirized Johnny the Gun. They defeat the villains, but Bennett gets pumped full of silver bullets. Batman offers his own blood, via transfusion, in order prevent Bennet from suffering a second (and final) death. Hodges’ daughter is also saved. Batman orders Commissioner Gordon to drive stakes through all the bitten victims in the morgue, just to be safe.

When a terrorist organization called the Dynamiters For Democracy (DFD) kidnaps a wealthy banking heiress named Nina Norwood, Batman goes hunting only to get injured by the group. Thankfully, Ragman and his gal pal Opal are on hand to save Batman, taking him to a nearby junkyard. Upon seeing Batman is too injured to move, Ragman swaps costumes with the Dark Knight and substitutes as him to go after the DFD. (Why this is necessary is beyond me, but they make some stupid excuse about the villains needing to see Batman for some reason.) Ragman—dressed as Batman—fights the DFD only to get badly injured as well. He retreats to the junkyard where the real Batman has mostly recovered. Thus, Batman—dressed as Ragman—takes his own shot at the DFD, but gets beaten back too. Twenty four hours later, back in their own correct costumes, the heroes conduct a stake-out across from Norwood Bank. When the DFD attempts a robbery, Batman and Ragman thwart their attempt, but come across Nina, who—just like Patty Hearst—has been brainwashed to join the villains. Nina shakes off her brainwashing in time to dive in front of a hail of bullets, allowing Batman and Ragman to bust the other DFD members. Later, at the hospital, Batman and Ragman watch over an unconscious Nina. When Nina flatlines, Batman gives her CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, saving her life.

–World’s Finest Comics #289
Batman fails to prevent a couple from getting murdered, triggering memories of his own parents’ deaths. Sensing Batman’s distress, Superman picks him up for a therapeutic hangout. At the Fortress of Solitude, the two friends chat. Batman tells Superman that he often feels deep-seated rage and frustration when things don’t go right. (This issue of WFC is an early Doug Moench work, and you can really see narrative psychology at play here that will bridge us into the ever-nearing Modern Age.) In a touching moment that defines their friendship, Batman and Superman express their genuine love for one another. Superman says, “We’re closer than twins because we compliment each other. We fit each other.” The heroes then shake hands and Moench delivers amazingly ridiculous narration: “They hold the grip for a long time… staring silently, shattering with the honesty of their eyes all the usual emotional obstacles of embarrassment and discomfiture. Such naked feeling…” Okay, this is straight up slash, Mr. Moench. Anyway, the sexual tension—er, I mean BFF hetero-bond—is broken by the sight of a rock-like spacecraft crashing just outside the Fortress. Superman brings the ship into the Fortress for study. Alien worms emerge, using telekinesis to strike out at our heroes. Batman dons some telepathic headgear to speak with the aliens, learning that they have been sent by the robotic race known as the Kryll to harvest emotional aura energy from human beings. The only catch is that once harvested, the human dies. Superman and Batman reason with the worms, who realize that they can create the same amount of emotional aura energy by sacrificing themselves. Not wanting to kill an entire race, the worms commit suicide, sending the emotional energy to the Kryll, galaxies away. Batman and Superman, still emo, cry together.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: A site contributor once insisted that “Batman in SOS: Save Our Snakes!”—a one page print ad for Sears’ Magic Snake toys that ran in some 1982 comics—had to be Earth-1 canon, demanding that I include it on this chronology. Like the Hostess ads (and all other Silver/Bronze Age ad comics), this one is 100% non-canon. In fact, this mention is closest “SOS” will ever get to being on the timeline.