Saturday, August 23, 2008

British Batman Annual Covers

I've been snooping around for foreign DC Comics editions this weekend, after stumbling upon an incredible piece I'll share later in the week. It's very hard to find images from these books on the internet, I've learned. Martian Manhunter fans like myself are aware that in all the years he resided as a back-up feature in Detective Comics, he never appeared on a single cover. It seems the Dynamic Duo were a tad more generous across the pond, as the "John Jones, Manhunter From Mars" feature was at least referenced, and the hero himself was seen at least once. Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd. (London) were responsible for the lot, and I thank them especially for the 1967 Batman Annual. From left to right: 1960, 1962, 1967, 1965 & 1966.

One thing that I've noticed is that, while you would think that publishers would mix and match material at will, there was a tendency to keep all of the U.S. editors' characters together. Here, you can see John Jones sharing space with Congo Bill and Roy Raymond, Jack Schiff characters all. I find it interesting that everyone, including Robin the Boy Wonder, gets mentioned above and beyond the manner in the U.S. editions. Was it that the Brits just favored anthologies, were the individual features more popular there, or perhaps both? Also note that 1967 cover was the only time any hero besides the Caped Crusaders appeared on a Batman Annual cover.

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