I loved the Untold Legend of the Batman mini-series! It came out in 1980, and — now it can be told! — the first issue was the very last comic that I allowed myself to be witnessed reading in public. I remember sitting at a desk in maths class (the teacher was away that day and we were allowed to amuse ourselves as a supply teacher supervised) and taking out the newly-purchased comic to read. As I was thirteen at the time, and it was a mixed-sex class, this illicited much eyebrow raising and sarcastic comment, and so, reluctantly, I put the mag away and left my childhood behind — at least in public, eh readers?

Psychologically scarred by this event, I vowed to never again get caught out, and from that day to this, I’ve never read a comic outside the safe four walls of my, or a friend’s, house. While I never went through the whole giving up comics altogether when I was in my mid-teens, as so many do, I suppose the ribbing I got in that class that day, and my reaction to it , was my version of that frequent comics ‘rite of passage’.

The comic itself, and the mini-series as a whole, was extremely good, giving a solid overview of the Batman’s career, with fine art by John Byrne (first issue only) and Jim Aparo. Some of the historical ideas covered in the series (like a mention of the Flying Bat-Cave) confused me a little, so it was a godsend a few weeks later when I stumbled across a remaindered copy of Mike Fleisher’s Batman Encyclopedia — and that was when my adoration of all things Silver Age began in earnest. I suppose, in some ways, it was this little mini-series actually led, in a twisty-turny kind of way, to Gorilla Daze.

So, here’s to The Untold Legend of the Batman: gone — but certainly not forgotten!

©2009 DC Comics