A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: The popular writer was born 68 years ago, on May 30, 1954…


Though he’s penned just a handful of stories over the years compared to many other scribes, Alan Brennert is one of my most favorite comics writers. He’s also a scriptwriter and a novelist, and I’m here to tell you he’s also a darn nice guy t’boot. I jumped at the chance to wish him a very Happy Birthday and to dig into some of his accomplishments in not only comics but on the television screen. After perusing the following list, I think you’ll agree Alan’s done some pretty cool things over the years—the kind of things geeks like me really dig.

In no particular order then…

Secret Origins #50 (1990). Okay, I lied. I had to start here. For me, this is The Big One. Probably my favorite Brennert story. Black Canary’s origin had gotten pretty convoluted by this time and with the universal change DC went through in 1985-86, the heroine needed an origin retooling. Alan does that with clarity and conviction and a lot of charm. And, even better, it’s a Justice Society story, too.

Joe Staton pencils, Dick Giordano inks

Detective Comics #500 (1981). Arguably the comic story Alan’s best known for. “To Kill a Legend” placed Batman in the path of his own origin, thanks to the Phantom Stranger, and a moral dilemma of epic proportions became a question for the ages: Should Thomas and Martha Wayne be saved and rob the world of a Batman?


Wonder Woman, “Disco Devil” (1978). Alan scripted four episodes of the Lynda Carter TV series, and this one really rocks. It involves telepathy, a disco, and Diana Prince stayin’ alive.

Batman: Gotham Knights #10 (2000). The story, “Guardian,” teamed Batman with his predecessor as Gotham City’s protector, Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. It’s as cool as it sounds and illustrated in noirish black-and-white by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, “The Plot to Kill a City,” Parts 1 and 2 (1979). If writing episodes of Wonder Woman wasn’t legendary enough, Alan also wrote for the Gil Gerard SF vehicle. In this one he created a kind of futuristic Legion of Super-Villains, which you have to see to believe.

Gorshin alert! (With John Quade)

The Brave and the Bold #182 (1982). Another of my favorite Brennert comic tales, the story teamed the Earth-One Batman with the Earth-Two grown-up Robin and Batwoman. The Jim Aparo art puts the cherry on top of this sweet sundae.

Wonder Woman, “Skateboard Wiz” (1978). Apparently, Alan wasn’t satisfied with Lynda Carter running up against just one 1970s fad; he also had to include skateboards in the show. One of the especially cool things in this episode is the alternate skateboarding costume WW spins up.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, “Cosmic Whiz Kid” (1979). Remember that episode with Gary Coleman as a 493-year-old super-genius? Alan Brennert wrote that. And now you’ll never forget. You’re welcome.

Wonder Woman #231-232 (1977). We’re back to the comics and a two-part story that pitted the Amazing Amazon against the whole freakin’ Justice Society of America in World War II-era Egypt. Man, I just loved this one as a kid—still do, actually. Alan plotted the tale and Martin “Pesky” Pasko scripted.

Wonder Woman, “Amazon Hot Wax” (1979). Funny how Wonder Woman keeps popping up on this list. Regardless, in this episode Lynda Carter proved she wasn’t just another star-spangled pretty face by belting out a few tunes (off her then-new LP).

The Brave and the Bold #197 (1983). Alan has claimed this story as his personal favorite from among his comic book scripts. I don’t blame him: hard to top the starry-eyed romance between the Golden Age Batman and the Golden Age Catwoman and all the triumph and tragedy threaded throughout.

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, “A Dream of Jennifer” (1980). Another tragically romantic Brennert tale, this time about the girl Buck left behind when he slipped the bonds of the 20th century to dream away for 500 years…

Anne Lockhart

Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2 (1989). If you’re an old-school DC Comics fan like me and you haven’t read Alan’s “Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot” in this book, prepare yourself. It’s Deadman’s meeting with the spirit of a certain heroine who gave her life during cosmic upheaval. Yeah, have some tissues handy.


— My 13 Favorite BATMAN Stories, by ALAN BRENNERT. Click here.

— The Brief Brilliance of ALAN BRENNERT’s BATMAN. Click here.

JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases: a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting, his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding WorldRunning Home to Shadows about Dark Shadows, and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. You hit my sweet spot with those Wonder Woman and Buck Rogers episodes. I never missed either show as a wee lad.

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  2. “Plot to Kill a City” may have been the best Buck Rogers episode. It is my favorite.

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  3. That whole WWII-era Winder Woman run that included 231-232 begs to be reprinted in a trade.

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