Why does CGC consider Batman #234 to be Two-Face's first "SILVER AGE" appearance?
1 1

16 posts in this topic

Idea for this topic spring from a discussion on a different thread the other day:

Can anybody explain to me why CGC labels Batman #234 as the "1st Silver age appearance of Two-Face"?

I know the definition of the various Ages of comics can vary by title, who you ask, etc. However, I can't really make sense of this one on any level.

The book has an August 1971 publication date. That's after the publication of Green Lantern #76 (widely considered the launch point of the Bronze Age), after the publication of Batman #217 (which was published in 1969, and is considered by most to kick off Batman's Bronze run), and squarely within the years of 1970-1979 which CGC uses for its own registry.

What am I missing here?

Thanks.

Edited by Kripsys99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/22/2022 at 1:52 PM, seanfingh said:

I don't think you are missing anything. It is strange language all the way around.  It realistically should say "First appearance since Golden Age."

Agreed, that would be much better wording.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there may be a couple of (admittedly, not very good) reasons why they use the "first Silver Age appearance" designation.

First, the other Bat-villians had their Silver Age appearances broken out which actually occurred in the 60's so I suspect they used it with Two-Face just to maintain consistency in use of terms with those characters.

Second, someone with an extensive OSPG library would have to confirm this, but I think OS was using the "first Silver Age appearance" designation before the term "Bronze Age" was widely used.  I remember speaking to a mail-order dealer in the early 2000's who asked me what comics I was primarily interested in and when I told him "Bronze Age" he gave the snarky, sarcastic reply "Bronze Age? What's that?".  I think there was some Gold/Silver elitisms going on at the time. 

But I agree with Fingh, I would much prefer the "first appearance since the Golden Age" term be used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To add to the above - I started collecting in 1989 - largely due to the Batman movie.

Believe "Bronze Age" books (or even...$.15 and $.20 cover books) only began to take off around 1991.

Key 1970s issues jumped in the guide from $8 to $60 within less than two years.

One of the books that was "discovered" around this time and skyrocketed (from like...$12 - $60) was Lois Lane 70 - when folks confirmed it was the "first Silver Age Catwoman."

So...mostly due to Lois Lane 70, even as a teenager in the early 90s I knew the "Silver Age Batman villain keys" by heart:

Batman 155 (1st SA Penguin)

Batman 171 (1st SA Riddler)

Batman 189 (1st SA Scarecrow)

Lois Lane 70 (1st SA Catwoman)

Batman 234 (1st "SA" Two-Face). On the one hand, he didn't appear in the '60s Batman TV show; on the other, he was all over late '80s/early '90s Batman books -- so he was considered a top-tier Rogue's Gallery villain by then.

I'm okay with the designation -- because it falls in line with (and within a few years) of the other (overtly "SA") villain revamps. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of great answers. Never considered the Overstreet Guide, or the fact that the "Bronze Age" only became the Bronze Age after sometime had passed (like how the Great War only became WW1 once there was a WW2). Thanks for the replies!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/22/2022 at 1:52 PM, seanfingh said:

I don't think you are missing anything. It is strange language all the way around.  It realistically should say "First appearance since Golden Age."

 

This. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 11:38 AM, bronze johnny said:

Interestingly, does referring to this book as “first Bronze Age appearance” implies that there was a Silver Age appearance?

FYI, the most recent Overstreet abandons the Silver Age notation altogether, and goes for "modern" (the same designation Overstreet has been using for Hugo Strange's return several years later in Detective Comics #471).

8866854E-7289-458D-A4CD-1A255B75A018.thumb.jpeg.4a894264e386c8eb7b33abdcd116d776.jpeg

Also, we sometimes forget how recent is the concept of a Bronze Age.  DC published this reprint in 1992.  The Silver Age Swamp Thing?  

HoS_SAClassics.jpg.218e6f9f1896bf97b249c3fbe803b5db.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 5:15 PM, Zonker said:

FYI, the most recent Overstreet abandons the Silver Age notation altogether, and goes for "modern" (the same designation Overstreet has been using for Hugo Strange's return several years later in Detective Comics #471).

8866854E-7289-458D-A4CD-1A255B75A018.thumb.jpeg.4a894264e386c8eb7b33abdcd116d776.jpeg

Also, we sometimes forget how recent is the concept of a Bronze Age.  DC published this reprint in 1992.  The Silver Age Swamp Thing?  

HoS_SAClassics.jpg.218e6f9f1896bf97b249c3fbe803b5db.jpg

 

I hadn't heard of the worlds finest #173? Only silver age mention of two face? What is that about...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 5:53 PM, ADAMANTIUM said:

I hadn't heard of the worlds finest #173? Only silver age mention of two face? What is that about...

Ah batman dresses up as two face, 

That truly is a rescripting of sorts.

Head scratcher 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 6:15 PM, Zonker said:

FYI, the most recent Overstreet abandons the Silver Age notation altogether, and goes for "modern" (the same designation Overstreet has been using for Hugo Strange's return several years later in Detective Comics #471).

8866854E-7289-458D-A4CD-1A255B75A018.thumb.jpeg.4a894264e386c8eb7b33abdcd116d776.jpeg

Also, we sometimes forget how recent is the concept of a Bronze Age.  DC published this reprint in 1992.  The Silver Age Swamp Thing?  

HoS_SAClassics.jpg.218e6f9f1896bf97b249c3fbe803b5db.jpg

 

I’m aware of the modern reference in Overstreet and glad you raised this Zonker. The Bronze Age as we know, has been around for more than 25 years now and we see reference to in the 25th Edition of the Guide’s feature on the Overstreet Hall of Fame and the years that follow. The 90s were a time when we were further defining the history of the comic book and saw differences between the Silver Age comics and those in the Post-Silver Age that followed (referenced in the 24th Edition’s Overstreet Hall of Fame). It’s clear from the Guide’s perspective as evidenced by the references in the Hall of Fame features continuously published during the mid-90s and into the 2000s, that the Bronze Age preceded the Modern Age so the Guide’s current reference regarding Bats 234 is inaccurate. I personally love the Guide (I even have every edition) and can live with the mistakes because the intent on the part of Bob and company is to provide a reference that helps collectors. There are inconsistencies and we collectors will point them out in hope that the Guide corrects them and improves overall. That being said, I prefer seanfingh’s suggestion that the Bats 234 be defined as “first appearance since Golden Age.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 6:57 PM, ADAMANTIUM said:

Ah batman dresses up as two face, 

That truly is a rescripting of sorts.

Head scratcher 

It is kind of odd.  The only time Two Face had made any appearance since the 1950s was in a reprint in one of the Batman Annuals from 1962.  That was 6 years before Worlds Finest 173, a very long time in those days (in those days most people assumed comics readership turned over completely every 5 years or so).  Adding to the oddity is WF 173 was written by Jim Shooter, who couldn't have been more than 15 years old at that point, and unlikely to have much of an awareness of Two-Face. 

This is 100% speculation, but I'm wondering if Shooter's original -script used a generic (previously unknown) bad guy, just as his Superman villain in WF 173 had never appeared before, despite the story being written as if the Superman villain was making a return appearance.  The assistant editor of WF was E. Nelson Bridwell, who certainly would have known of the Golden Age Two-Face, and possibly could have suggested the change to the -script.  2c

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 6:42 PM, Zonker said:

It is kind of odd.  The only time Two Face had made any appearance since the 1950s was in a reprint in one of the Batman Annuals from 1962.  That was 6 years before Worlds Finest 173, a very long time in those days (in those days most people assumed comics readership turned over completely every 5 years or so).  Adding to the oddity is WF 173 was written by Jim Shooter, who couldn't have been more than 15 years old at that point, and unlikely to have much of an awareness of Two-Face. 

This is 100% speculation, but I'm wondering if Shooter's original --script used a generic (previously unknown) bad guy, just as his Superman villain in WF 173 had never appeared before, despite the story being written as if the Superman villain was making a return appearance.  The assistant editor of WF was E. Nelson Bridwell, who certainly would have known of the Golden Age Two-Face, and possibly could have suggested the change to the --script.  2c

Interesting the thoughts behind five years back then, as it really almost does reboot around that time frame today, but I always thought myself that was a new phenomenon.

Maybe just starting over with an official issue #1 is idk 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 6:53 PM, ADAMANTIUM said:

I hadn't heard of the worlds finest #173? Only silver age mention of two face? What is that about...

I don’t have my copy in front of me at the moment but as I recall, a scientist made a drug that transformed Batman and Superman into Two-Face and Kralik, respectively. Kind of a Jekyll/Hyde thing I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/1/2022 at 5:55 PM, OtherMan said:

Except that Arnold Blumberg who co-authored The OPG with Bob was saying ASM #121 was the beginning of Bronze in 2003 (shrug)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263564666_The_Night_Gwen_Stacy_Died_The_End_of_Innocence_and_the_Birth_of_the_Bronze_Age

If my memory serves me correctly, Blumberg’s piece in the 33rd Edition is his attempt to define the beginning of the comic book ages. The Bronze Age was already an accepted comic book era by the time Blumberg wrote his piece on the beginning of the comic book ages. However, there was debate over the beginning of the Bronze Age during the late 90s and into the early 2000s. I don’t agree with Blumberg’s conclusion that books like Green Lantern 76 were transitional until the death of Gwen Stacy. The Bronze Age started before 1973 especially when it was clear that Conan the Barbarian 1 and Green Lantern 76 were not Silver Age books.

Edited by bronze johnny
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1