Once again, we’re voting for our favorite cover from the year 1940. I’ve taken the winner from the first half of our poll (Batman #1 triumphed with well over 50% of the vote) and thrown it in here to duke it out with these other fine covers. Keep in mind that you’re not voting for what cover was the most important to Batman history! That’s pretty obvious and we don’t need a poll to know which cover was the biggest milestone. So even though I add some fun facts with a few of these, don’t let it affect your decision on which cover you believe looks the coolest. We’re judging these contenders by their covers alone– don’t make me take away the fun facts! As always, our poll will end in 2 weeks and we’ll have a true winner of Best Batman Cover of 1940!

Batman #1

Batman1

Cover by Bob Kane

Spoiler
The Joker’s first appearance. There is no battle at Axis chemicals, no mention of the Monarch Trading Card Company, and no Red Hood disguise. In fact, Axis chemicals and the Red Hood concept are never introduced into the Batman mythology until 1951! Much like the way he was represented in the film The Dark Knight, the Joker of the comics  came out of nowhere. It was almost as if this evil city had created him to counter-balance all the good that Batman represented. In this issue, Joker goes on the radio and causes panic among the average citizens of Gotham, the police, and even the underworld as he announces that he will kill three of the city’s most prominent figures. We even get a glimpse at the rivalry between gangsters and freaks as mobster Brute Nelson plans a trap for the Joker that fails miserably. Another first is the use of Joker venom. The Joker racks up quite the body count using this bizarre weapon and even to this day we still see victims of the Clown Prince of Crime wearing a permanent grin! It’s really quite amazing how perfectly formed The Joker was in his very first appearance. Very little has changed about him over the years and it could be argued that Batman has evolved more than the Joker. And as if the monumental first appearance of Joker wasn’t enough, Batman #1 also marks the first appearance of Catwoman, but here she is simply known as The Cat. And yes, Batman does allow her to escape.

Detective Comics #41

Detective41

Cover by Bob Kane

Batman #2

Batman2

Cover by Bob Kane

Detective Comics #42

Detective42

Cover by Bob Kane

Detective Comics #43

Detective43

Cover by Bob Kane

 Batman #3

Batman3

Cover by Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson

Detective Comics #44

Detective44

Cover by Bob Kane

 Detective Comics #45

Detective45

Cover by Bob Kane

Spoiler
The Joker, who was presumed dead after his last confrontation with Batman, makes his first appearance in Detective Comics.

Detective Comics #46

Detective46

Cover by Bob Kane

Spoiler
If you think Scarecrow was the first Batman villain to use fear toxin, you’re wrong. Professor Hugo Strange invented his own “fear dust” and planned to gas, not only Gotham, but the entire nation and seize power as the country plunged into chaos.