Hardin "Jack" Burnley (b. 1911)

was the first outside artist directly in the company's employ to work on Superman and Batman.

After working on special advertising material, he did the cover to World's Fair Comics #2 (and the Superman story inside). His first solo Batman cover was Batman 9 (Feb 1942).  The image was later used extensively in promotional art and became the first panel of the first Batman daily strip in October 1943.
Then he took over Action Comics from September to April 1941(28-34), after which he took over the daily Superman comic strip.  He also began drawing Starman in Adventure Comics 61 in April 1941


Burnley's first Batman story appeared in Detective 65 July, 1942 "The Cop Who Hated Batman" was written by Joseph Greene (also his first Batman assignment).  By this time Batman was explictly known to never carry a gun.

Jack was clearly a superior drafstman to anybody who had worked on the strip before.  Thus he was often assigned to do covers. 

He began his own comic book feature, Starman, which appeared in Adventure Comics  in April 1941. As his workload increased, other inkers were called in to assist. George Roussos inked and lettered a number of Batman efforts including this one, from Detective 75,  May 1943. "The Robber Baron" was written by Don Cameron.



The Karen Drew Mystery May 23-24, 1945 written by Jack Schiff, inked by Charles Paris


He began pencilling the Superman Sunday pages in 1943 and took over the Batman Sundays in January 1944, for a time pencilling both of the most widely viewed DC comics products of the day. He continued to pencil most of the Batman Sundays until the feature was cancelled in 1946

This example is from the Sunday strip of July  30, 1944, written by Bill Finger and inked by Charles Paris.


In May, 1945 Burnley did a story for the daily Batman strip written by editor Jack Schiff.  The adventure was utterly unique in that Batman does not appear in the story at all.  It's a "Bruce Wayne, Detective" story from beginning to end.

After the newspaper strip was cancelled in 1946 Jack continued to do covers, particularly Superman, Batman and Worlds Finest, until 1947 when he left DC to return to newspaper work in sports cartooning.