The Bats & the Birds

Batman: Lost #1 (2017) is a one-shot tie-in to the Dark Nights: Metal series. The summary to which reads only: “Trapped in the Dark Multiverse, Batman must face his greatest fears!” I would place it as horror fiction, but up until now I have never liked “horror fiction”. I also recently began drinking coffee, so I guess that I am evolving as we speak.

Some observations…

When I saw this panel, I was at once reminded of the animated intro to the 1960s Batman televisions series…

…starring Adam West, and I cannot help but think that it was intended as a tribute to the late, beloved actor.

In this story, an elder Bruce Wayne is asked by his granddaughter to read one of the many “non-fiction Batman” stories. There are many to choose from, nicely bound in volumes on the library shelves at Wayne Manor, but little Janet asks to be read once again the first ever Batman adventure: The Case of the Chemical Syndicate


Looking it up, I learned that not only is this first Batman story, written by Bill Finger with illustrations by Bob Kane, appearing in Detective Comics issue #27 in 1938, it has been re-told many times after. At the 30th anniversary in 1969, it appeared in in Detective Comics issue #387, and again in 1986, as part of Secret Origins issue #6 focusing on the Golden Age Batman.

To celebrate Batman’s 600th appearance in Detective Comics, two new versions of the story were printed in 1991, both published in Detective Comics issue #627. It was updated again when it appeared in the rebooted Detective Comics issue #27.

Part of the mythos detailed in the “Metal” series tells of an ancient war between the Bat tribe and Bird tribe. It hints of something going on between Batman and Hawkman. I am aware of the decades’ long feud between Hawkman and Green Arrow, but never of anything between the Hawks and Batman family.

There is a reference to “Hath-Set”. In the Hawkman/girl origin story, Hath-Set was the servant and later murderer of Prince Khufu (Carter Hall) and his wife Chay-Ara (Shiera Hall).

In one panel there is a direct mention of the Hawks…

Finally, in one of the dream sequences, there is a young woman laying on a sacrificial altar. With her green eyes and short hair, she looks like the current incarnation of Hawkgirl, Kendra Sanders. In this story, she is identified only as a “stepping stone” in the story.

But this reminds me of this scene in the very first Hawkman story in Flash Comics #1 (1939).

And of this scene from All-Star Squadron #6 (1982).