Black Bat Returns at Dynamite
The iconic character, Black Bat, makes his return to comics with a Dynamite series, written by Brian Bucccellato, the current acclaimed co-writer of DC Comics’ The Flash. Black Bat joins a long-line of successful pulp relaunches at Dynamite, and this series guarantees to be just as successful. Look for Black Bat in 2013!
In July 1939 Ned Pines’ Thrilling Publications (also known as Standard or Better) introduced a new Black Bat in a series called Black Book Detective. Written mainly by Norman Daniels under the house name G. Wayman Jones, the stories describe the crime-fighting career of former District Attorney Anthony Quinn. In a clear departure from most pulp characters and heroes, this Black Bat was actually an origin story, describing how Quinn became the Black Bat after being blinded and disfigured by acid. DA Tony Quinn is blinded by acid and believes his career is over until Carol Baldwin arrives. She tells him that her father is a small town policeman who is dying from a gangster’s bullet and that a surgeon is willing to perform an operation to graft his corneas onto Tony Quinn’s eyes so that he can see again. The operation is done in secret and when the bandages are removed, Quinn finds that he can not only see normally but can even see perfectly in darkness too. While blind, Quinn had developed the necessary skills of the blind; sharper hearing, more sensitive touch, and a better sense of smell. Like many other crime fighters, Quinn is unhappy about all the criminals who slip through the law’s net on legal technicalities, etc. and decides to work outside the law in another persona to bring them to justice, and so the Black Bat is born, with Quinn deciding to keep the role of a blind man and later acquires the title of “Special District Attorney”. Carol, a “resourceful and intelligent girl” decides to work with Quinn on his secret crusade and next comes Butch O’Leary. None too intelligent but completely loyal and “a hulking giant of a man who was never happier than when his fists were flying in defense of the law and in the aid of the Black Bat”. Last came “Silk” Kirby, a small time crook who had tried to rob Tony Quinn one night and had been persuaded to stay on as “officially” valet to the blind Quinn but in reality a valuable asset to the Black Bat using his underworld skills. Quinn has a secret underground tunnel to a gatehouse at the rear of his house which leads to a quiet street, which he uses as the Black Bat. This is necessary not just because of criminals who want him dead but because of the police too as he works outside the law. Friend to Quinn, the bulky lieutenant, about ten issue later, Captain McGrath (under Commissioner Warner) is also enemy of the Black Bat. He suspects they are one and the same and often tries to prove it, with tricks, even once having a doctor examine Quinn’s eyes. While Quinn can see perfectly, he can also make his eyes appear like those of a blind person and the doctor is fooled. Quinn usually turns the tables on McGrath, making him look foolish in his attempts to prove he is the Black Bat.