Posts tagged ‘Robin Hood’

Detective 116 – Batman meets Robin Hood


Professor Carter Nichols had been a regular guest in the Batman comic for years, but Detective 116 (Oct 46) marks his first appearance in this book.


Nichols is shown only briefly, at the beginning and end of the story, which is normal for this character.  Professor Nichols has invented a method of time travel through hypnosis, in which Bruce and Dick get put under in his office, and awake in a different time period, although their bodies remain in the present as well.


In this story, with no preamble, they set out to go meet Robin, which they do, as well as the Merry Men, Maid Marian, Friar Tuck and the whole crew, getting involved in the standard ‘archery competition before the Sheriff of Nottingham’ plot.


The story is pretty bland, really.  The best scene has Batman and Robin Hood working together to escape after they are thrown in the dungeon.

At the end, they wake up and Nichols comments, as he frequently does, that under hypnosis they called each other Batman and Robin, and again, Bruce and Dick make really lame excuses.


More Fun 82 – Green Arrow meets Robin Hood, Dr. Fate vs the Lucky One, and Aquaman lives in Atlantis


The first of many, many versions, Green Arrow and Speedy meet Robin Hood in More Fun 82 (Aug 42), which also sees the logo shrink and move to the corner of the cover.


Speedy is the first to travel back in time, popping some experimental “time pills.”  Oliver follows quickly after.


The story then has the two heroes join forces with Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  As there are no trick arrows yet, Green Arrow is really not much different from Robin Hood in the story.   The two would meet again and again over the years, every time as if it were the first.


Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman give Dr. Fate an interesting villain in this story, although his name, the Lucky One, leaves something to be desired.


He runs really large and elaborate cons, convincing people he has great luck.  As usual, Kent and Inza learn of him through society friends, and Dr. Fate goes into action.


In the top two panels it really appears that Fate is flying, yet by the bottom of the page he seems unable to do so, in order to avoid the card trap.


Aside from that, this story has much better visuals than any story in while.  Still no magic from Fate, but that was far in the past now.

The villain does not appear again, but certainly seems to be cut of the same cloth as later JLA villain Amos Fortune.


Aquaman’s story slightly resembles his fight with the King of the Sargasso Sea, as a man takes kingship on an island of convicts (cleverly called Convict Island).


What makes this story significant is a very brief scene in which Aquaman takes a man he has rescued to his place of residence (apparently).  A temple, sealed against the water, in the ruins of ancient Atlantis.  Sadly we see almost nothing of the temple, inside or out, or the ruined city.  But it is the first mention of Atlantis in the Aquaman series.


Robin Hood


This Robin Hood story is told in the fashion of the novel adaptations, and I suspect it is adapting some book on the character.  It makes the curious choice of setting the events during the reign of Henry II, and has young Robin intending to be a forester for the king. The story then makes this all a Saxon/Norman thing, with the rich being the Normans, and Robin standing up for the oppressed Saxons. It ran from New Adventure Comics 23 – 30  (Jan – Sep 38).

After getting challenged by the foresters to prove his archery skills, Robin shoots a stag, and is then arrested by the foresters for doing so.

With the aid of Will the Saxon woodcutter, Robin gets away, and then spends the next few instalments gathering his band of men.  The scene with Little John on the log over the river I recognize, and I have vague memories of a poem in which Robin has to carry Friar Tuck across a stream, though I do not remember anything ascribing the Friar a deadly pack of hunting dogs.  Will Scarlet appears as Robin’s dispossessed cousin.

This version does not confine Robin to Sherwood Forest, in fact the forest is not even mentioned in this run.  Friar Tuck is found in the region of Fountains Abbey, way up in Yorkshire.

In the last two instalements Robin and his men come to the aid of Sir Richard of Lea, whose lands are about to be foreclosed on by the abbot.  Robin’s men also capture the wealthy Bishop of Hereford, and take money from him to pay off Sir Richard’s debts.  The abbot is surprised to receive the payment, he was expecting to take the land.  The Sheriff of Nottingham is with the abbot, and hears of Robin Hood, but as the serial ends at this point never gets to take any action against him.


One of the reasons I believe this was taken from a novel is that, aside from the men in his band, we have few to none of the standard Robin Hood events – there is no big archery contest at the castle, the Sheriff is only being introduced in the 8th instalment, and no Maid Marian is in sight.

Robin Hood would get much better treatment by DC in the 50s, but I will discuss his run in Brave and the Bold, and in his own series as well, if and when I reach those.


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