Some of you are probably already aware I have an (un)healthy obsession with Batman. If you don’t, read this, it will become abundantly clear. Regardless, I’ll pretty much take any excuse to celebrate Batman so when I heard today was “Batman Day” I decided I needed to do a little research.
Most people claim today is “Batman Day” because it supposedly marks his very first appearance in comics. But not everyone is in agreement on that. Detective Comics #27 may have a May 1939 date printed on its cover but similar to how they are published today, comics were printed and sold a month or two ahead of their “publishing” date.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of hard fact I could find about the release date. DCIndexes.com lists April 18, not the 25, as an “approximate on sale date.” And while it’s a very thorough website, it’s not run by Warner Bros. or DC.
So, is April 25, 1939 the date Detective Comics #27 hit the newsstands? The DC Nation Facebook page (as well as the DC Comics page) seems to think so. Earlier today they posted this, “On this date in 1939, DC Comics introduces its second major superhero in Detective Comics #27. Batman becomes a legend.” But even posters there, as well as the DC message boards, are questioning the validity of the date.
Perhaps that’s because Batman #1 was in stores April 25, 1940. And the best proof I can find for that is this advertisement for the comic that ran in Detective Comics #39.
But, that being said, the general public consensus seems to be that Detective Comics #27 was released on April 18, 1939 and not on today’s date. I don’t have the DC Archives edition with Detective Comics #27 in it so I’m not sure if that has any mention of the true date but I’m open to hearing what you guys have to add to the debate. Just don’t go quoting Wikipedia on me.
Either way, it looks like we may need the Detective himself to figure this one out.