Hey there comics fans!!
And welcome back to another episodic adventure in TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST, where I get to share my collection of back-issue comics with you, as well as some cool comicbook knowledge that you can't get in college. Today on TBIQ, the first appearance of...
Feast your eyes on my copy of Detective Comics #311, printed by DC Comics in January of 1963!! Detective Comics #311 features the first appearance of Zook, the Martian Manhunter's long-forgotten sidekick from another dimension, and this comic also features the first appearance of CAT-MAN!!
In Detective Comics #311, Thomas "Tom" Blake, a wealthy, bored Gotham socialite is inspired by Catwoman, and his own pet black panther, to become a super-criminal, dressed in a cat-inspired costume, using cat-inspired themes and gimmicks in his crimes. In his first appearance here, Cat-Man goes to head-to-head with Batman, Robin, and Batwoman! Cat-Man's criminal career became somewhat of a running joke in the criminal community, as he never really made it into the A-List of Batman's Rogues Gallery. Later, he even tried teaming up with Catwoman, but their relationship was short-lived because of Cat-Man's misogynistic ways. Eventually, Cat-Man gave up the criminal life and became a bit of lazy bum, but after being humiliated time and again by Green Arrow, and after a botched attempt to kill himself, Cat-Man retreated to the wilds of Africa to retrain, refocus and rejuvenate himself. He began living with a pride of wild lions and emerged years later better, more intelligent, and more dangerous than ever before.
Cat-Man's idyllic life in the wild with his lion-family was interrupted when the Secret Society of Super-Villains (SSoSV) tried to recruit him. He refused, and in retaliation, Cat-Man's lion-family was murdered. Cat-Man vowed vengeance and ended up joining The Secret-Six with the intent of wiping the SSoSV off of the face of the Earth. With the Secret Six, Cat-Man eventually took a more heroic turn. On to the FUN FACTS!!
FUN FACT 1: Cat-Man's first Cat-costume was made of a magical material that helped him survive the several deaths he seemed to meet while taking on the Dynamic Duo throughout the years.
FUN FACT 2: Originally, it was thought that the SSoSV was behind the deaths of Cat-Man's lion-family, but it was revealed later that Mockingbird, the hidden head of The Secret Six, had ordered the deaths of Cat-Man's lion-family at the hands of Deadshot in order to manipulate Cat-Man into joining The Secret Six to wage war on the SSoSV.
FUN FACT 3: Deadshot eventually apologized for murdering Cat-Man's lion-family. Cat-Man accepted, and they slowly developed a friendship between them.
FUN FACT 4: Cat-Man is not the man he used to be, and has really prospered under the writing of Gail Simone in "Villains United" and "Secret Six." His genius-level intellect, his deadly martial arts abilities, his Batman-like weaponry, and his animal-like tracking abilities put him among one of the most formidable mercenaries in the DCU.
FUN FACT 5: TEX loves obscure DC properties like The Suicide Squad and Secret Six, and has been collecting them since long before it was popular. It's funny how both groups started as human adventure teams which later morphed into teams of super-powered bad guys doing good things.
FUN FACT 6: The first Cat-Man didn't belong to DC Comics. Publisher, Holyoke, debuted the first Catman in Crash Comics Adventures #4 in 1940. Afterwards, he would gain enough popularity to carry his own series, and even get a female sidekick called Kitten.
FUN FACT 7: That CGC-Graded 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #311 is a recent addition to my collection and I scored one HECK of a deal on it! Doesn't it bring a smile to your face?
Well, that's it for today. Join me next time on TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST, where I'll provide you more comicbook knowledge that you can't get in college!!
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