in the Seventies
updated 12/4/2006
In August 1968 (Comic book time) Bob Kane signed a new contract with DC.  From now on Kane would be paid for use of the characters but would no longer be required tosupply artwork, or be credited with said artwork. The change coincided with the end of the Batman TV show (which actually went off the air in March).  Editor Julius Schwartz chose that opportunity to try to bring back some of the serious tone and darkness of the Golden Age version of the character.
"Batman! Drop Dead.. Twice!" by Frank Robbins, Bob Brown and Joe Giella. Detective 378, August 1968. "Operation Blindfold" by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella. Batman 204, August 1968.
Newspaper comic strip great Frank Robbins (artist/writer creator of Johnny Hazzard) was the first writer chosen to provide Batman with real mystery stories to face.  The silly villains of the past few years and the pop art were replaced by a new, "new look"  Bob Brown (1915-77) started in comics in 1949, kicking back and forth between Marvel and DC until he landed the Challengers of the Unknown gig when Kirby left in 1959.  He also did Space Ranger in Tales of the Unexpected, before moving on to Batman.  Early on his Batman work emulated Carmine Infantino, but he moved quickly back towards his own Harold Foster/ Joe Kubert infuenced style pretty quickly. He continued on Batman  through 1973.  Irv Novick (1916-2004) was a phenomenon.  He began his career in comics back in 1939, working in the Chesler shop, soon moving on to MLJ (Archie) where he created the first patriotic hero, the Shield.  He spent most of the fifties doing war books at DC (as well as Wonder Woman covers!)  He returned to superheroes in the late 60's , doing Lois Lane, The Flash and the Teen Titans as well as Batman, and his style was not one bit less contemporary than it had ever been! 
"Punish Not My Evil Son" Bob Haney andNeal Adams. 
Brave & Bold 83, April 1969.
"The Secret of the Waiting Graves"  Denny O'Neil, Adams and Dick Giordano. Detective 395, January 1970.
Neal Adams (born 1941) is often incorrectly credited with beginning Batman's move back towards his Golden Age dark roots.  He didn't, but his art was so overwhelming it tended to blind people to every thing else that was going on that time.  The history of Batman can easily be divided into two phases, BA and AA, before and after Adams. Despite the revolution he caused, Adams' "photo realistic" version of Batman appeared in only 7 issues of Brave and Bold and 16 more stories in Batman and Detective Comics.  After that Adams moved on, leaving other artists to try to incorporate his vision into their styles.  Many used tracing paper.  Few caught the soul and inspiration.
"Warrior in a Wheel Chair"- Bob Haney and Jim Aparo.    Brave & Bold100. February 1972. "Man Bat Madness"- Frank Robbins. Detective 416, October 1971.
Jim Aparo (1932-2005) was one of those artists who used the Adams revolution to give himself the freedom to do what he wanted in his own style. Almost all of Aparo's Batman work appeared in Murray Boltinoff's Brave and Bold team-up stories, where he pencilled, inked and lettered his own work. Frank Robbins (1917-94), as mentioned above, was an artist as well as a writer, so it was only natural that he try his hand at depicting the Man-Bat, his own creation.  One of the most controversial artists of his day, Robbins' Noel Sickles/Canniff flavored stylings disconcerted conservative fans used to Neal Adams' Alex Raymond/Jack Kirby flavor.  Adams, however, thought enough of Robbins to color this story himself!  Robbins drew five Batman stories before moving on to an even more controversial run on Captain America.
"The Scarecrows Trail of  Fear" Denny O'Neil, Ernie Chan and Dick Giordano. Batman 262, April 1975. 1975-77  " The Dead Yet Live" Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin. Detective 471 August 1977
Ernie Chan (born 1940) had his name accidentally changed to Ernie Chua by an immigration official who just couldn't be bothered to do his job right. He later changed it back.  Chan did his own job right however, and ended up being one of the stars of DC's "Phillipine Era", pencilling Batman for three years, and being DC's chief cover artist for eight years! Marshall Rogers (born 1950) drew eight Batman stories but caused almost as big a stir as Neal Adams had a decade earlier. It had become pretty much comic gospel that Adams' "photo realism" was the only way to go. Rogers went for a post-Ditko Bauhaus style, however, and blew all the tracers away.
"Batman Ex- as in Extinct" by David Vern, Mike Grell and Bob Wiacek. Batman 287, May 1977   "Where Were You The Night Batman Was Killed?" by David Vern , John Calnan and Tex Blaisdell.  Batman 291, Sept 1977 
Mike Grell, burst into comics after two years working as Dale Messick's  assistant on the Brenda Starr newspaper strip.  He began at DC with science fiction oriented work on the Legion of Super-Heroes and Green Lantern, so it wasn't immediately apparent that his natural inclinations lay more along Batman's dirty alley.  He only spent a few issues on the book, but returned to the neighborhood for a decade or so with his own masterful creation Jon Sable, Freelance. John Calnan came from the world of commerical advertising and the Catholic comic Treasure Chest. He spent three years doing Batman pencils from 1977-79. He was all over the DC universe in the 70's and early 80's but left the field around 1980.
"and a Deadly New Year" by Denny O'Neil and Dick Giordano. Batman 247, Feb 1973 "Port Passed" by Doug Moench and Klaus Janson- Detective 554, September 1985
Dick Giordano (born 1932) is usually thought of as an inker, joined at the hip with Neal Adams.  Giordano, however, had a much longer, and arguably more influential, career in comics than his sometime partner, starting as an artist and later editor at Charlton, where he championed Steve Ditko's Blue Beetle, and DC, where he brought Jim Aparo to Aquaman. After a decade in commerical art, he returned to DC in the early eighties as Batman editor and later Managing Editor of the whole company where he pioneered DC's move to go after older readers.  Somewhere in there, he found time to occasionally pencil a Batman story, like "Deadly New Year" above and  Detective 457's classic "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley". Another artist often considered to be primarily an inker, Klaus Janson  (born 1952) made a major mark on Batman history when he inked "The Dark Knight Returns" over Frank Miller's pencils. Jansons' career began in the early 70's as an assisstant to Neal Adams and "the Crusty Bunkers".  He piled up a long career at both Marvel and DC, where his rarer pencil jobs showed a high degree of design. Janson often used tones, mechanical overlays and color to achieve spectacular effects.
"The Perfect Fighting Machine" by Denny O'Neil, Don Newton  and Dave Hunt.  Detective 480- November 1978. "Target Practice" by Doug Moench, Don Newton and Alfredo Alcala- Batman 369- March 1984
The incredible Don Newton (1944-84) tragically died at the age of 40, but left behind a substantial body of classic comic work on every feature from The Phantom through Captain (Billy Batson) Marvel. He  pencilled Batman stories from 1978-85 in a style that was simultaneously classicly clean and dark and mysterious.  This is hard to do. Jack Burnley and Berni Wrightson come to mind. The majority of Don's stories were inked by Alfredo Alcala (1925-2000). Alcala had already had a lengthy career as one of the most famous artists in the Phillipines before he came to America where his lush inking style made him perfect for the darker DC titles.  Alcala's inks were widely considered capable or rescuing even the most inadequate of pencillers.  Thankfully, that was not necessary here.
"Calling Doctor Death"- by Gerry Conway, Gene Colan and Klaus Janson  -Batman 345, March 1982 "The Face of the Chimera" by Doug Moench Conway, Gene Colan and Alfredo Alcala- Detective 531, October 1983
Gene Colan (born 1926) came to DC after a long stint at Marvel in 1982 and immediately began making waves as THE Batman artist of the decade. Colan had a number of different inkers during his five years on the strip, the most frequent being Bob Smith.  His most striking inker was probably Alfredo Alcala, who usually inked Don Newton's stories.
Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake "Ebon Masquery"- Batman 387 September 1985 Doug Moench, Pat Broderick and Bob Smith- "Dr. Harvey and Mr. Bullock" -Detective 549 April 1985
Tom Mandrake (born 1956) channeled the major artistic influences of the Sixties and Seventies, primarlly Joe Kubert and Neal Adams, into his own darkly exuberant style.  His run on Batman was a short prelude to his defining run on the Spectre, with writer John Ostrander. Pat Broderick (born 1953) was another artist who came out of fandom in the seventies. He began as an intern at DC under the "Junior Woodchucks" program and went on to make his mark on Firestorm and a run on Swamp Thing.  His Batman run was short, but full of dynamic, if not very accurate, anatomy.

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