This is it! Everything changes this month with the addition of not one, but TWO masked heroes who will go on to have important legacies at DC Comics. Obviously, the one with the pointy ears is who we've been waiting for - and I've put him at #100 of our panel count, seemed appropriate even if that didn't put him at the top of the post - but go all the way down and you'll see he didn't premiere alone.
They knew what they had, presumably, because the Superman story ends with a one-panel add for Batman. World's Finest from day 1! Maybe that's the dangerous curve ahead. Supes isn't going to stay alone or on top forever!
Meanwhile, in the mostly humor-centric All-American, Scribbly scripts always include a one-panel gag at the top of each page reserved for the character, which is perfect for our purposes. I have to say I was overjoyed to see Scribbly interacting with DC stars during the Convergence event recently, and do wish he had gotten a Who's Who page. I mean, come on.
Okay, enough waiting around. You ready?
The first full and real appearance of the Bat-Man (copyright pending) in a comic book panel (Action showed a head shot, the cover doesn't count as a panel, and the splash panel has him all in shadow), Bruce Wayne strikes fear into the hearts of criminals for the first of an infinite number of times. And no, he doesn't use guns in this story. I'll be sure to use such a panel when he does, don't worry. I'm not trying to retcon it away, but I also won't give all those BvS lovers any ammo where none is available either ;-).
Just a reminder that the DCU wasn't then suddenly swamped with costumed heroes, and that "ordinary joes" like Kent of Scotland Yard could swing bad guys around with the best of 'em without resorting to gadgets or long johns.
Rex Darrell was just a heroic pilot, but I have to wonder if he wasn't the inspiration for Roy Thomas' stand-in for Batman in the post-Crisis Young All-Stars. The code name, the look, though of course Rex isn't a Native Canadian. Was the Flying Fox, in fact, a preexisting DC character and not an original creation? The answer is: It's Roy Thomas.
Not his official first appearance because this comic was a giveaway at the World's Fair that just happened to be available before Sandman's actual first story, but there you go. Wesley Dodd puts on a mask, puts people to sleep, etc. and he doesn't care if the Crimson Avenger had been doing it for months. The issue also includes stories with Superman (who is blond on the cover), Zatara the magician, Slam Bradley, and various other adventurer and humor stars all interacting with the World's Fair in some way.
So now we have four costumed heroes running around in the DC Universe (if we don't count Zatara)... Who will be the fifth?