Undervalued Spotlight #98

Brave and the Bold #79, DC Comics, August/September 1968

Neal Adams knew something was wrong with Batman even during the absolute height of the character’s popularity. In a panel at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con (with excerpts reprinted in a recent Back Issue Magazine) Adams recalled his frustrations with the campy schlock that was Batman in 1968. Adams fondly remembered a darker more dangerous Batman “usually he’s out at night, usually he’s doing some terrible things and he scares people. This guy (TV Batman) was telling jokes”

There was no denying the success the campy Batman was enjoying though. In the late 1960s the hugely popular Batman TV show was spilling over into record monthly comic sales. DC Editor Julius Schwartz couldn’t have been happier.

Neal Adams actually approached Mr. Schwartz a few times basically confronting his boss on what Batman had turned into. “Well, its selling comics” was the reply Adams got. Schwartz would not let Adams onto the Batman of Detective titles, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Thankfully Neal Adams is a persistent guy and with Schwatz’s permission he approached Brave and Bold (Brave and Bold was a Batman team up book at the time) editor Murray Boltinoff asking to draw a Brave and Bold story. Boltinoff asked Adams if he was going to change the stories. Adams replied “No, I’m not going to change a word. I just want to put them at night. And I’d like (Batman) rather than to walk through a door, come in through a window.”

As simple as that. Neal Adams had just set the taking back of Batman in motion.

A few months later, after Adams had done about 3 issues of Batman in Brave and the Bold Julius Schwatz stopped Adams in the halls of DC and asked “Why are all these letters saying the only Batman at DC Comics is in Brave and Bold?”

Actual letter I dug out of Brave and Bold #82

Brave and the Bold #79 represents one of those pivotal moments in comic book history, certainly a pivotal moment in the history of Batman. It was a moment that started a movement with other great moments (one of which I have lined up for a future Undervalued Spotlight) and this movement back to a darker Batman eventually led to the publishing of the greatest Batman stories ever told!

Brave and the Bold #79 boasts a penciled and inked cover by Neal Adams. The 23 page story is scripted by Bob Haney, pencils and inks are by Adams.

The 41st edition of the Overstreet Price Guide shows $65/$113/$160 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long-term investment are:

  • 1st Neal Adams work on Batman
  • A turning point issue, quietly but unmistakably  changing the direction of the character
  • Early Deadman appearance


Walter Durajlija Written by:

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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  1. Charlie
    October 16

    Can’t go wrong with Neal Adams… I just assume all his older works are undervalued. Speaking of which… I finally picked up a decent copy of GL#76 recently:

      • Walter Durajlija
        October 17

        You Dog Charlie! That is a nice book! As far as I’m concerned you played it right, got a 9.2 with White Pages. Better long term potential for a GL #76 9.2 at today’s market prices than a 9.4 as far as I’m concerned.
        All you need now is for me to feature it in the Spotlight and look out! Not that I’m looking for bribes.
        I really do like B&B #79 because as I said in the post it was a marker, the beginning of something new. Hopefully as the market matures these books will be recognized more so than they are now.

  2. Charlie
    October 17

    It’s funny you say that… I recently sent my Hulk#181, ASM#129, both 9.4s to CC to be auctioned off. I’ve noticed that 9.4s seem to be flat for some reason. I’ve got various other grades for my collection so I figure the resources are better placed else where.

    This will be the first time I’m using this type of auction service so it’ll be interesting… And considering these books are not appreciating I’ll probably have to take a hit in the form of their commission. I’m also following your advice and weeding out all my cream page books. Personally, I don’t mind these books, especially since you can’t read them… but the philosopher in me agrees with you, ie; “reality is not reality, perception is reality.”

    Another first for me is that I had some books pressed over the summer. Out of the 12 submitted, 3 came back with the same grade while the rest were bumped up a notch. I’m open to providing details but I think I’m way past the point of “Charlie fatigue” on this site so I’ll refrain, but a very interesting considering what I sent in ^_^

  3. Brian48
    March 12

    It’s a shame that after two years since this posting, the market is still relatively flat with the Adams Brave and the Bold run. Although the regular Batman and Detective titles of that era have seen steady interest, the same can’t be said about the Brave and the Bold.

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