Great Pages: DETECTIVE COMICS #442

Mostly remembered for his work on animated television shows like Super Friends and Space Ghost, Alex Toth had a keen design style. As a storyboarder and designer for Hanna-Barbera, Toth had a hand in the creation of characters like Space Ghost and Birdman, both of whom were resurrected decades later for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line of shows. His work on mainstream superhero comics was limited, which makes¬†Detective Comics¬†#442 all the more interesting. In this issue, Toth’s layout and design skills are shown in their full glory.

Here we have a Will Eisner-esque splash page with Batman’s name displayed on the underside of his cape. Everything on the page, down to the lettering, was created by Toth. The layout is extraordinary. Archie Goodwin, the issue’s writer and editor, crafted a compelling story about love, pilots, and murder, but this page was Toth’s to have fun with. He did not disappoint.

From Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #442 (1974)


  1. Wow! Toth is a master. Thanks for pointing this page out. I could think about its composition and layout for hours.

  2. MIKE ZECK! (right?)

  3. Oh man, I remember having this issue as a kid, and reading it about 15 times on a looooong family road trip. If it’s the issue I’m thinking of, this taught me not to eat drain cleaner.

  4. It reminds me of the terrific work that Francis Manapul does in every issue of Flash incorporating the action into the Title Logo.

    It’s not an easy thing to do in either case. But it starts the issue in such a fantastic fashion.