Wednesday, August 31, 2016

3 Villains of Doom's Stories Adapted

3 Villains of Doom fc and bc 'Wham! Zowie!'

In the 1966 novel Batman vs. 3 Villains of Doom the Penguin, the Joker, and Catwoman vie for the Academy Award of crime, a golden machine gun: the Tommy. DC in the person of E. Nelson Bridwell considered the novel canon, mentioning the Tommy in a World's Finest letter column.

Although William Woolfolk (as Winston Lyon) certainly followed the Batman TV show in the details—Robin's "Holy" exclamations, Chief O'Hara, the bust of Shakespeare—the three villains' schemes are adapted from comic book stories. (And the Catwoman is wearing her comic-book costume, with its full-head mask and green cape.)

Once I recognized the stories' sources from their synopses in the Batman volume of Michael Fleisher's Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, I assumed they must have been written by Woolfolk—having seen pages of a few of his scripts in fanzines, I thought he might have kept them on hand. Evidently not, at least in this case; once I saw the stories themselves, I changed my opinion. Copies of these stories must have been pulled from the files and sent along to him by DC.

Stories Adapted in Batman vs. 3 Villains of Doom

 Apr-May/50 Batman #58  The State-Bird Crimes w: Edmond Hamilton 
  June/47 Det #124  The Crime Parade w: Hamilton
  Apr/47 Det #122  The Black Cat Crimes w: Hamilton?


  1. I think Woolfolk also wrote Batman vs the Fearsome Foursome which adapted the movie shot between seasons 1 and 2.
    It was credited to "Winston Lyon"...

  2. Yes, I remember being a bit put out at the time that he didn't address the continuity between novels of the Catwoman's having plunged to her supposed death at the end of 3 Villains.

  3. He wrote them both, "Winston" being I think his middle name and "Lyon" because he was lyin'. Where did Nelson Bridwell's comment come up? (And just because ENB considered it canon doesn't mean DC did!)

  4. Woolfolk had a non-comics-related paperback original, Criminal Court, published under the Winston Lyon byline in 1966 as well.

    I looked at the issues of World's Finest that I read in the late 60s, and didn't run across that letter answer, but I'm pretty sure I'm remembering it correctly from somewhere. E. Nelson Bridwell of course considered most of literature--up to and including Marvel Comics stories--part of DC canon, anticipating the Wold Newton Universe by a few years.

  5. Woolfolk's mother's maiden name was "Mary Lyon". While I dunno about the Bridwell comments, Bridwell was also the editor of the Batman giants, some of which had letter pages - so check there.

  6. I didn't find that answer there, either. A few of my World's Finests now are scans with the letters pages left out, which may explain things--or this could be a phantom memory.