Bat Lash

Bat Lash on Ebay
Bat Lash Bat Lash was a short-lived Western title published by DC Comics between October 1968 and November 1969. It lasted seven issues. The character first appeared in Showcase #76.

Actually, Bat Lash first appeared in 1968, in a house ad running in Superman DC Comics. It featured a tall, gangly figure, in silhouette, stalking toward the reader, with the legend, "Bat Lash: Will he save the West, or RUIN it?"

The character's first published story appeared in Showcase #76. It featured a devil-may-care character, a peaceful, violence hating man who attracted trouble wherever he went. He wanted to be left alone... with the exception of the many females that crossed his path. Bat Lash the book possessed a sense of humor that has often been compared by fans to the TV series Maverick, starring James Garner.

In 1968, Carmine Infantino, newly installed Editorial Director of DC Comics, and his editor, Joe Orlando, were looking for something new to bolster sales. Marvel's inroads into DC's market position were being noticed and Infantino reasoned a slate of new books would fill the 'hero gap'. Westerns were popular at the moment, with the spaghetti westerns of Clint Eastwood breathing new life into a genre that had fallen into disrepute. Western heroes were few in comic books at the time, it was felt they could be revived.

Joe Orlando and Carmine Infantino came up with the name and basic premise of the loner whose family had been wiped out by murderous thugs, and then brought in Sheldon Mayer (former DC editor and creator of Sugar and Spike) and Sergio Aragonés to further flesh out the concept. Shelly Mayer would write the first appearance (Showcase #76). Infantino claimed to have greatly rewritten it. The assignment was then handed to Aragonés, with Denny O'Neil doing the dialog over Aragonés's plots, and Nick Cardy providing the art.

Bat Lash's own series only lasted seven issues. Even though Infantino claimed it sold well in Europe, sales in the States were not enough to sustain a run of the title.

Bat Lash made several other appearances after his cancellation, in issues of Weird Western Tales, and back ups in Action Comics and other titles.