FEBRUARY: One of the greatest Joker stories of all time – “The Laughing Fish” – was told in DETECTIVE COMICS # 475.
"The Joker must have The Batman!
Nay, The Joker deserves the Batman!
What fun would there be in humbling mere policemen?
I am the greatest criminal ever known! HA HA HA HA!
And for anyone else to destroy the Batman would be unworthy of me!"
APRIL: One of the best (but rarely used in any medium) of Bruce Wayne girlfriends – Silver St. Cloud – breaks up with and leaves him in DETECTIVE COMICS #476. This issue ended the great “Strange Apparitions” run of Englehart and Rogers on DETECTIVE.
JUNE: Batman’s signature comic – BATMAN – hits issue #300 with a “possible future” story where an older Bruce Wayne ponders getting married and running for governor. As he says in the issue, “What one man can do, I’ve done.”
AUGUST: Preston Payne – AKA “Clayface III” – makes his debut in DETECTIVE COMICS #478.
1978 marked the year that I started to pull back from and hide the fact I was a Batman fan.
Why? Because I entered junior high school and was a “jock.” And in 1978 in southeast Texas, “football players” didn’t read comic books.
The fact that I hid my Batman fandom for the next decade is one of the most regrettable moments of my life. UGH!
The things we would do differently as we reflect over our lives, right? I hope I've very publicly made up for my very poor teenage decision to shun Batman with BOF.
Regardless, the Marshall/Rogers run on DETECTIVE COMICS had one of the most profound influences on my personal Batman fandom to this day. Looking back, it’s so obvious that this version of Batman had a HUGE influence on what would become BATMAN ’89. Speaking of which, 1979 will prove to be a VERY significant year in the history of Batman on film.